Five decades after Emerson Fittipaldi claimed the Formula 1 World Championship the blisteringly-fast Brazilian was back at Lotus driving the future. Fittipaldi was reunited with a Type 72, just like the one he raced to five victories in 1972 before unveiling the new Evija Fittipaldi electric hypercar, which has been named in honour of the F1 title he won 50 years ago.
“The Lotus 72 would be the most important car for my life,” recalls the champion. “The Evija Fittipaldi is going to be as iconic as the Lotus Type 72. It has beautiful handling, incredible power, the next level of performance for hypercars and is different from all the other cars I’ve tested. It is a beautiful piece of art. Look at the outside, look at the technology – to have my name on the car is an honour for me.”
The first eight Evijas built will be Fittipaldi Editions, each wearing the distinctive black and gold livery in tribute.
Decals that celebrate the Type 72’s race victories from the 1972 season are on the active rear wing, while a number 8 – which Fittipaldi raced with that year – has been applied to the B-pillar. A carbon and gold Lotus nose badge completes the exterior styling. Inside, a black leather interior with gold contrast stitching marks out the Evija Fittipaldi’s cabin, along with exclusive roof liner stitching, plus gold finishes to the air vent surrounds, centre rotary dial, start/stop button and pedals.
Nostalgia aside there does appear to be a genuine link between Fittipaldi’s Type 72 and the Evija. Specifically, the aerodynamics that transformed F1 have continued to be developed by Lotus ever since, leading to the ingenious porous design of the Evija. “The things Colin Chapman was doing 50 years ago we’re still doing at Lotus today,” says Lotus boss Matt Windle.