Lotus and Williams partner to develop 'Omega' hypercar

by Lawrence Allan, Autocar UK 29 Jan 2019

Williams' Formula 1 car

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

The announcement comes after Autocar UK exclusively revealed a £2 million (Rs 18 crore) 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.

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.