‘Hot-Swap’ Batteries Could Be Key to Lotus’ E-R9 Electric Endurance Racer

Lotus is targeting 2030 for its E-R9 electric racer, and the company is hoping that the car’s interactive design and electric powerplant will put the competition in the rear view mirror.

Lotus unveiled renderings of its new car on Tuesday.

Among its innovations are an active aerodynamics system with adjustable body panels that can change their shape to the air flow when triggered by the driver at the press of a button or automatically, through what Lotus is calling “performance sensor inputs.”

The car’s E-R branding stands for Endurance Racer, while 9 is a nod to Lotus’ racing past. Lotus hopes to race the car in 2030, which would mark the 75th anniversary of the Lotus Mark IX’s debut at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1955. Company founder Colin Chapman and Ron Flockhart drove the original Mark IX.

According to Lotus, the E-R9 was developed by the engineering team of Richard Hill, chief aerodynamicist at Lotus, and Louis Kerr, principal platform engineer on the Lotus Evija pure electric hypercar as well as technical director, GT, Geely Group Motorsports International. Russell Carr, Design Director for Lotus, led the design team.

“What we’ve tried to do is to push the boundaries of where we are technically today and extrapolate into the future,” Hill said in a press release. “The Lotus E-R9 incorporates technologies which we fully expect to develop and be practical. Lotus has an amazing history of developing unique solutions, and we’ve done it many times in motorsport and with our road cars.”

As for the drivetrain, the Lotus E-R9 features and electric drivetrain that powers each wheel independently.

“Battery energy density and power density are developing significantly year on year,” Kerr said. “Before 2030, we’ll have mixed cell chemistry batteries that give the best of both worlds, as well as the ability to ‘hot-swap’ batteries during pit stops.”

The car builds on technology already integrated on the Lotus Evija pure electric hypercar, though for the E-R9 would be fully adjustable by the driver inside the cockpit.

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