Lotus announces “strategic technical partnership” with Williams Advanced Engineering to develop electric powertrains
28 January 2019

Lotus has announced a collaboration with Williams Advanced Engineering to develop and research “advanced propulsion technologies”.

The announcement comes after Autocar exclusively revealed a £2 million electric hypercar was under development by the Norfolk-based brand last month. It's expected that Williams will contribute its technical know-how gleaned from supplying battery systems to the Formula E grid since 2014. 

Exclusive: Lotus plans £2m electric hypercar

The full extent of the partnership is yet to be detailed, but we know that Lotus will be leading the development of the car itself to ensure that it meets the brand’s standard of structural lightness. Williams will focus on the EV powertrain necessary to give it an expected four-figure power output, which is needed to take on the current crop of hypercars at this price point. 

Lotus Cars CEO Phil Popham said: “Our new technology partnership with Williams Advanced Engineering is part of a strategy to expand our knowledge and capability in the rapidly changing automotive landscape. Applying advanced propulsion powertrains can provide numerous exciting solutions across multiple vehicle sectors. 

"Our combined and complementary experiences make this a very compelling match of engineering talent, technical ability and pioneering British spirit.”

As the first electric Lotus, the hypercar - codenamed Omega - is part of the brand’s repositioning as the cutting-edge technology and performance-focused leader of the Geely Group, its majority shareholder. The group also includes Volvo, Polestar and LEVC, three makers with extensive experience in electrification already.

Four-wheel drive through at least two electric motors is expected for the Lotus hypercar’s powertrain, giving serious acceleration figures. Despite this, advanced battery technology should allow for a range of more than 250 miles, with fast charging and some sort of energy recovery system part of the package.

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

With the Omega project car not launching for around two years, it remains to be seen if Lotus and Williams will be working on other powertrains or models together. 

Read more:

How faster cars will shake up Formula E

New Coventry-based firm to be largest EV battery maker in UK

Lotus SUV to use Volvo underpinnings and have class-leading handling

Join the debate

Comments
8

28 January 2019

 It could be, all the pieces are there to design and produce something as good as McLaren are doing.

wmb

28 January 2019

While Lotus is the name plate in the Geely group that has of the reputation for motorsport, driving dynamics and superstar aspirations, hadn't it been Polstar the one that has been grabbing the headlines for their electric, high power vehicles and power trains? If Lotus is also doing electrified vehickes, hat is their relationship with Polestar in the Geely Group? Is there a hierarchy? Are they co-equal? Polestar as Volvo's version of AMG, M series and RS from Mercedes, BMW and Audi, made more since until they were  spun into their own brand/name plate within the Geely Empire. This development is okay, since their niche within the group was electrification. Now Lotus is doing an electric supercar with Williams Advanced Engineering??? Color me confused! Don't get me wrong, truth be told, I am instantly more impressed  by anything with a Lotus badge on it over Polstar, but that doesn't mean that Polstar is anything to shack a stick at!  It just seems like the is a bit of an over lap.

28 January 2019

As of yet Polestar only have a Hybrid with a 'on the road' date of next year and even then only plan to make 500 a year worldwide.  Maybe the plan is for Lotus to do the Hyper stuff and Polestar the 4 seater GT type vehicles.

Good to see Williams and Lotus put themselves in a strong position for a ICE/EV mix

28 January 2019

And it was a scorcher.

28 January 2019
giulivo wrote:

And it was a scorcher.

Omega is just the codename, but yes the Lotus Carlton was awesome.

28 January 2019

There's a massive gulf between sports car and hypercar!

Lotus are the luxury performance brand - polestar are the sporty electric version of volvos, still a substantial difference. It's equivalent to Audi vs Porshe - Porsche make a whole load of powertrains and vehicles Audi do not.

Looking forward to seeing what Lotus produce.

28 January 2019

A so called hyper car from a blundering car maker that is going to make a car with less than half the range of the upcoming Tesla roadster 2 and less performance in every way at nearly ten times the cost? Lol.

This I have to see...

 

29 January 2019
lambo58 wrote:

A so called hyper car from a blundering car maker that is going to make a car with less than half the range of the upcoming Tesla roadster 2 and less performance in every way at nearly ten times the cost? Lol.

This I have to see...

 

 

Tesla, really....

You mean the guys who based their roadster on a Lotus Elise to save costs and not have to develop the platform quite as much...

Besides which, the Tesla roadster is a sports car not a hypercar.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week