The investment comprises a new electric drive unit test cell, a remodelled test track, and upgraded engineering facilities.
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Lotus is in the process of upgrading its Hethel headquarters and testing facilities, as part of a push to modernise the brand and develop its zero-emission line-up.

The most prominent element of the multi-million-dollar investment is a new electric drive unit test cell.

According to the Geely-owned manufacturer, this will allow engineers to test EV motors, gearboxes and supporting electronics under simulated real-world conditions.

The existing internal combustion engine testing facilities have also been upgraded, alongside the vehicle emissions lab and propulsion prototype build workshop.

Meanwhile, the 3.5km Hethel test track has gained upgraded safety systems and a new CCTV camera loop for full circuit monitoring.

The site is expected to be completed by 2021.

“We see huge potential to put Lotus Engineering right at the cutting edge of automotive innovation, further building on our core competencies as well as increasing our capability in growth areas,” said Lotus’s Executive Director of Engineering, Matt Windle.

“An example is electrification; the challenges around weight reduction and improved dynamics are a major factor in the quest for more efficient electric vehicles, and those link back directly to the Lotus core values,” Mr Windle said.

“What we continue to learn on the Lotus Evija all-electric hypercar programme creates knowledge and experience which we can use to help other businesses.”

Early next year the manufacturer is set to launch the Evija, its first electric hypercar.

Williams Advanced Engineering – an offshoot of the Williams Formula One team – was initially collaborating on the project, however Lotus pulled out of the agreement last month.

Producing a mammoth 1470kW and 1700Nm, the car is expected to cost north of $3 million when it arrives in Australian showrooms in mid-2021.

The brand is expected to deliver one more petrol-powered model in 2022, before transitioning its entire stable to fully-electric powertrains for 2023.

Watch the Evija prototype undergo testing in Hethel below.