The world of motorsport is on the cusp of a revolutionary transformation as the inaugural electric hyper car Elite World Cup was officially announced on Monday, 21 August, in Johannesburg.
The first-of-its-kind racing championship marks a significant lane-swerve in the evolution of motorsport, as the world leans in to witness developing countries, South Africa and China, joining forces to provide a global competing platform like no other.
The announcement came a few hours ahead of the BRICS Summit, at Sandton Square, where founding members of the new Elite World Cup consortium – Tokyo Sexwale, Liu Yu and Stephen Watson – set the stage ablaze with their intention for the first electric hyper car World Cup to launch in September 2024. Pipped to be an international showdown of premium performance, elite talent and innovation – the founders agree that the Elite World Cup creates a new international racing spectacle.
“The Elite World Cup is not just a racing competition,” says Sexwale, Co-founder of the Elite World Cup. “It is a testament to the power of collaboration, innovation and sustainability.”
The Elite World Cup arrives as the unapologetic new kid on the block that seeks to attract superior drivers with high-end driver profiles, as well as an advisory board that offers enough motorsport credentials to break the ceiling.
Stephen Watson, Co-founder of the Elite World Cup, says: “The Cup is called Elite for a reason as we will engage and invite experienced international racing car drivers that have competed across F1, Indy Car, NASCAR, WRC and the likes. We want the drivers and teams who have established themselves and represented their countries in various prestigious motorsport championships around the world,” adds Watson.
From the thrilling racetracks of Europe to the bustling streets of Asia and Africa to the sprawling landscapes of the Americas, the Elite World Cup will challenge drivers and engineers alike to redefine the boundaries of speed, performance and sustainability. Teams from around the world will compete in a series of 8-10 exhilarating World Cup race weekends, pushing the limits of electric vehicle technology to new heights.
Pressing go between September 2024 and March 2025, the Elite World Cup will deliberately unfold at the traditional racing calendar off-season.
Unveiling the Lotus Evija: A Glimpse of the Future
According to Yu, there are three primary questions one asks when it comes to the selection of electric hyper cars: how big is its performance, how far is its range and how rapidly can you recharge? Cue the Lotus Evija.
Leading the charge as the preferred Elite World Cup hyper car is the remarkable high-powered Lotus Evija. The Lotus Evija embodies the pinnacle of electric vehicle engineering, seamlessly combining cutting-edge technology with breathtaking performance.
As a road car, the Lotus already holds fast its reputation as a striking manifestation of elegance and raw power. With 2000+ bhp (brake horsepower) and acceleration of 0 to 300kmh in just over 9 seconds, the Lotus in its commercial glory, is no stranger to the intrepid petrol head.
The Lotus Evija on display at Sandton Square, is a limited-edition Emerson Fittipaldi (Brazil), one of only eight in the world. Its captivating design, featuring sleek lines and aerodynamic contours, speaks to the fusion of form and function. Beneath its gloating exterior lies a cove of engineering excellence – an all-electric powertrain that delivers astonishing acceleration, exceptional handling, and an exhilarating driving experience that competitive drivers crave.
Revealed at the foot of the emblematic Nelson Mandela statue, Sexwale, Watson and Yu took great pride in showcasing the limited-edition Lotus Evija on the Elite World Cup stage. Sexwale, who is revered as the late-A1 GP’s Team South Africa Seat Holder, and a comrade and confidant of South Africa’s beloved Madiba, expressed his pride and sentiment in unveiling the Lotus Evija. “Nelson Mandela recognised that sport has the power to unite nations, driving patriotism and its positive influence for change. Launching the Elite World Cup, on Nelson Mandela Square at the foot of Madiba’s statue on the eve of the BRICS Summit, is the start of a new and exciting era,” says Sexwale.
A Platform for Change
As the motorsport industry embraces the transition to electric power, the Elite World Cup stands as a beacon of change. By fostering competition, collaboration, and breakthroughs in electric vehicle technology, this event will drive advancements that have far-reaching implications for the automotive industry and beyond.
“We have run Team China in many prestigious racing championships since we first started racing internationally in 2004,” says Yu. “The automotive landscape has evolved significantly, and as the electric car industry is growing rapidly in China, we’re excited and proud to be at the forefront of this Elite revolution in sports,” says Yu.
Special Message from across the Atlantic
On the night the founders received a special message from Emerson Fittipaldi, two times F1 World Champion and Indy 500 winner. Fittipaldi, who had been attending a motorsport gathering hosted by Lotus as part of the Monterey car week in Los Angeles, sent a video note saying:” What an exciting time, the beginning, the foundation of the Elite World Cup, with these modern full electric cars, this is the future. What an idea to have the GT World Cup for country racing against country. I hope I will have the Brazilian team, for sure I am going to have the Brazilian team!”
Follow the Movement
Elite is inviting motorsport fans, drivers, and enthusiasts alike to follow its progress towards a new era in motorsport – an era defined by innovation, speed, and sustainability. Regular updates and exclusive coverage leading up to the historic Elite World Cup can be found across all Elite social channels: @eliteworldcup (Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, X (Twitter).