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Hypercar Meets Legend: Emerson Fittipaldi Gets Behind the Wheel of the Raucous Lotus Evija

They say two mountains will never meet, but over the past week, two of the greatest names ever to grace Formula 1 went behind the wheel of the world's most powerful production car at the Hethel test track. Ladies and gents, we are talking about the Lotus Evija EV.
50th anniversary of Emerson's World Championship in 1972 29 photos
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In 1972, British auto manufacturing company Lotus changed the Formula 1 game when they unveiled their new aerodynamic design with the Type 72. The man behind the wheel was Emerson Fittipaldi.

Fifty years later, Lotus is honoring the unrivaled performance of the retro Formula one car with the most potent production car globally – the Lotus Evija Fittipaldi.

According to the automaker, Fittipaldi's success in the Type 72 inspired the development of the Lotus Evija Fittipaldi. To commemorate the legend's unique motorsports heritage – the 50th anniversary of Emerson's World Championship in 1972, Jenson Button, the 2009 F1 World Champion, was also involved in the shakedown testing before the premiere.

"It is a very special day for me to be back at Lotus to commemorate 50 years since my first World Championship. My Lotus 72 is one of the most iconic cars in the history of Formula 1, and the most important car of my life," the Brazilian F1 legend said before taking to the test track in a chassis 72/5, the car in which he claimed the F1 Drivers' title, and Constructors title for his Lotus team.

Finally, when the wrap came off the day's car, the Evija Fittipaldi, the iconic black and gold livery, glistened in the light, and for a moment there, it was as if the Brazilian legend was in his 20s again.

It's hard to miss the hand-tinted plan view of the Type 72 on the exposed carbon fiber roof or Emerson's hand-stitched signature on the dashboard.

Still, the most honorable detail on the EV is the rotary dial on the floating central instrument panel, handcrafted from recycled Type 72 aluminum – a nod back and genetic embedding of the iconic racer on the revolutionary hypercar.

The Evija hypercar might wear the name of the 72-year-old legend, but it holds its own on the road. Its all-electric quad motor all-wheel-drive train makes an astonishing target of 1,973 hp (2,000 ps) and 1,254 lb-ft (1,700 Nm) of torque (with torque vectoring).

It'll bolt from 0 to 186 mph (300 kph) in less than nine seconds, with a top speed of 217 mph (350 kph). We can only imagine how impressive its 0 to 60 mph (97 kph) is, a statistic the automaker is silent about.

"The Evija Fittipaldi is going to be as iconic as the Lotus Type 72. It's beautiful handling. Incredible power, the next level of performance for hypercars and different from all other cars I have tested," Emerson said after running several laps in the Evija at the Hethel test track.

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