Lotus Engineering is currently pushing its Versatile Vehicle Architecture to any manufacturer that wants to license it as a base platform for future cars.
The Lotus Evora is the first production car to debut based on the VVA chassis and previously we’ve also seen the Lotus APX Concept which was also built on the VVA. It’s interesting how these two models could have come off the same base platform as the APX is a front engine crossover SUV kind of thing while the Evora is a mid-engine sports car.
The VVA allows for the development of a range of vehicles up to a gross vehicle weight of 1,900 kg. It is designed for low to mid volume applications and is an evolution of technology from the tub that forms the basis of the Elise, Exige and Europa. The tub now allows for ease of ingress and egress from the vehicle (it’s not exactly easy to get in and out of an Elise), build modularity and improved, lower-cost repairability.
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One of the key selling points is that usually when car manufacturers make a niche or halo vehicle, it rarely fits the kind of engineering that the rest of its product range does. Not every car company is like Toyota, able to quickly source a rear wheel drive platform and boxer engine from now-partly-owned Subaru. A halo sportscar that may require a bespoke platform will rarely fit in with the rest of the mundane front wheel drive sedans and hatches in terms of platform engineering.
So instead of spending lots of time and money on a bespoke niche platform, Lotus hopes car companies will come to them for the VVA instead. It has been designed so that it can be stretched in width, length and height. The strength and stiffness of the low volume VVA chassis can be modified cost-effectively by varying the wall thickness of the extrusions, without altering the exterior dimensions.