The Lotus Eigne is an electric sportscar concept targeted to young families which combines the typical sportiness of Lotus models with a high level of practicality. The Lotus Eigne concept was designed by David Fearnley, who has graduated with a 1st class BA(Hons) degree of the Transportation Design Course at Northumbria University, England. He has graduated on 17th July 2008.
The Lotus Eigne is a concept aimed to offer a more practical sports-car than the usual vehicles from Lotus, like the Elise and Exige.
Designed by David Fearnley with a young family in mind, the Eigne intends to offer a level of practicality while maintaining the Lotus experience.
The generously-scaled central space of the cockpit can accommodate two adults and a child, behind the driver thanks to a 1+3 seating arrangement, made possible thanks to the in-wheel electric motors which eliminate any obstacles on the floor pan.
The in-wheel motors offer rear biased four-wheel drive for more control while maintaining the rear-wheel drive feel.
The batteries which power the electric motors are sandwiched in the floor pan to keep them cool and lower center of gravity for better handling.
Lotus Eigne ConceptThe 3+1 seat layout is possible thanks to the electric four-wheel drive system which eliminates any obstacles on the floor pan.
The cockpit can accommodate the driver, two adult passengers and a baby-seat – positioned directly behind the driver.
The dashboard has been conceived with a sporting, modern look, with clean-cut details matching the style of the exterior.
The lightweight carbon-fiber and alcantara seats promote the sports theme further.
Some subtle elements hint at the electric powertrain of the car: these include the battery shaped logo and the circuit board pattern embossed on the floor.
As David Fearnley explains “The surfaces have been created to cover the package of the vehicle and to improve aerodynamics.
“This can be noted on the front end where the traditional bonnet has been eliminated and replaced by a large front wing that is formed into the bodywork.”
This channels air through and over the windshield while creating extra down-force to improve front end handling.
The airflow glides over the roof and down the rear of the vehicle where it is pushed through a subtle spoiler integrated into the lip at the rear, intended to create sufficient down-force when coupled with the lower diffuser to replace the existing lip spoiler seen on current Lotus models today.
The surfacing under the belt line features a large intake which swoops under the car allowing ample cooling to flow to the rear in-wheel motors and helps suggest that the source of power is present from the rear – this detail is further accentuated by the rear wheel size being larger than the front.
“The convex and concave detailing which runs into the vent maintains the voluptuous Lotus styling and helps to disguise the fact the vehicle is a little wider through the center.”
The access to the car was of prime importance. The side section of the chassis was lowered slightly to allow for an easier “step” into the vehicle.
As there is a center seat, access to it would be tricky with conventional doors, to overcome this, the doors incorporate a section of the roof in order to allow a larger access point to step in to.
The hatch at the back was designed to allow the full width of the boot to be easily accessed, great for the shopping, pram, golf clubs, etc.