Hybrids & Electrics

Lotus Takes on an Extreme Off-Road Racing Partnership

While Lotus cars aren’t as popular in America due to stricter safety laws, there are still plenty of models available to keep owners and fans of the brand interested. For many decades Lotus has been known for being a true motorsports-oriented brand, especially with cars in their lineup like the Elise and Exige that offer a raw, racecar-like driving experience in a street-legal car. With the newest partnership between Lotus and JBXE racing, they’ve created an electric car that is totally off-brand but totally mind-blowing.

A close up of the Lotus badge
Details of 1997 Lotus Elise Sport 190 |Martyn Goddard/Corbis, Getty Images

JBXE Racing and Lotus Engineering

JBXE Racing is a racing team that was founded by Jenson Button, a 2009 FIA Formula 1 Driver’s World Champion, along with Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky, a multiple Scandinavian Touring Car race-winner. The team races in a motorsport you may have never heard of: Extreme E. If you haven’t heard of Extreme E racing, you’re definitely not alone — and while some forms of racing can seem dull and monotonous, Extreme E is anything but.

Lotus is a great British brand that is inextricably linked to motorsport, so we are delighted to welcome Lotus Engineering to JBXE. Extreme E is a unique and exciting formula, full of “world firsts” and challenges, and to announce that a brand such as Lotus Engineering is coming on this journey with us is a proud moment for myself and the team.” 

Jensen Button, founder of JBXE Racing and 2009 FIA Formula 1 Driver’s World Champion
The new Lotus Extreme E
The new Lotus Extreme E | Lotus

What is Extreme E racing?

Extreme E racing is the next level of futuristic motorsports that most people may not have heard of yet, but will definitely be excited to learn about. Races occur in the most remote places in the world, and while that might sound questionable compared to larger track-focused racing, there is one key element of Extreme E that ties it all together: it’s completely off-road. This FIA-sanctioned form of racing consists of 9 teams, with two drivers each, which, for the Lotus and JBXE combo, would obviously be Jensen and Mikaela themselves — two very capable drivers with fantastic track records.

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What car will Lotus race for the Extreme E circuit?

Lotus is known for its small, light-weight two-door sports cars, and now even their electric hypercar, the Evija, so their entry into the Extreme E circuit may seem odd to some. Extreme E race cars are unlike anything you may have seen before because they are spec electric SUVs. We don’t know too much about the car itself yet, but from the pictures provided by Lotus, we know it’s going to be something worth our attention.

An overhead view of the new lotus off-road racecar
The Lotus Extreme E race car | Lotus

RELATED: The Lotus Elise Is Missing a Basic Feature That Almost Every Car Has

Lotus isn’t just reaching into the electric sector with this Extreme E race car, either, as they plan on announcing its newest lineup of models, including a hybrid and an all-electric model that will be more reasonably priced than its electric hypercar, the Evija.