Lotus has officially confirmed its all-electric “hypercar,” of which 130 examples will be built, will be dubbed the Lotus Evija. Evija... Evija.... it glistens on the tongue. But what does it mean?
“Evija,” according to the press release issued by Lotus, “means ‘the first in existence’ or ‘the living one’.”
It’s being called the “first in existence,” the company goes on, not because it is the first car ever built (there are a few earlier contenders for the title), but because “it’s the first hypercar from Lotus, our first electric offering and is the first new model under the stewardship of Geely.”
And yet, Lotus promises that it’ll be a “true Lotus,” presumably lightweight, with mind-bending handling, and a faint whiff of glue and cramped spaces.
All that being said, I’m having the darndest time what language Lotus is speaking. Not the language of the release itself, that’s in what ever the hell the British call “English.” The name of the car, rather.
While it may mean “the first in existence” or “the living one” in some language, I have no idea what language Lotus may be referring to. Google Translate’s best guess is Latvian, but it doesn’t seem to know why “Evija” is Latvian, since it seems to just mean “Evija” in English:
Wiktionary agrees, placing the name within the Latvian realm, but identifying it merely as a given name originating in 1940:
But that doesn’t mean a name doesn’t have meaning. For instance, the name of my boss, Patrick George, translates to “Devourer of Souls and Warlord of the Seven Wastes” in his native tongue. We call him “PG” for short.
Names.org, which would surely never lie to us as it’s the place with the names, says that “Evija” is indeed Latvian, and that a Latvian person who speaks(?) Hebrew(?) says it has a different meaning:
A submission from Latvia says the name Evija means “”To breath or live, living”” and is of Hebrew origin.
So I asked Max Finkel, a Friend of the Site and a Hebrew speaker, what Evija means in Hebrew. He said that there is a given name in Hebrew, “אוויה,” however that’s pronounced more like “Aviya” than “Evija.” I then told Max Lotus’ whole translation sounded instead like “bullshit,” and he said he had to agree.
Further googling also brought up a ceramics shop in Riga.
We’ve asked Lotus if they could tell us what language “Evija” comes from, and will update when we hear back. Maybe we’ll just call it the “Type 130" for now, which is the car’s internal designation.