A strategic partnership has been announced by legendary British racing companies Lotus and Williams Advanced Engineering, which will bring the two together to develop cutting edge propulsion technologies to spearhead a “high performance automotive evolution”.
Lotus is renowned for its lightweight sportscar bodies – the first Tesla Roadsters were built on Lotus bodies.
Williams on the other hand will bring to the partnership advanced knowledge in electric vehicle technology it has garnered through four season of Formula E racing – in particular, battery tech.
Together, the two expect to accelerate high performance, clean transport, technologies – and it is expected that this may culminate with the £2 million ($A3.67 million) Omega hypercar that Autocar first reported on last year.
While the Omega project is somewhat of a mystery, it was confirmed that Lotus is planning the hypercar, which will travel at incredible speeds, as part of a statement of intent under a £1.5 billion investment made by new owner Geely last year.
Details are thin on the ground for the hypercar but it is known that it will derive its power from a proprietary all-electric drivetrain.
“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,” said Lotus chief Phil Popham in a statement.
“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,” he said.
Managing director of Williams Advanced Engineering Craig Wilson also confirmed in a statement that the partnership will focus on highly advanced next gen powertrains.
“Williams Advanced Engineering takes great pride in delivering innovation for our customers at a rapid pace of development, born from our Formula One heritage. We will be further developing next generation powertrains in this partnership with Lotus,” he said.
Whether or not the partnership results in the culmination of the Omega project or a fresh all-electric concept, it will be a big step forwards for iconic sportcar maker Lotus: to date, its only foray into EV technology has been producing the Lotus Evora 414E hybrid.
Bridie Schmidt is associate editor for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018, and has a keen interest in the role that zero-emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model 3 and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.