When Lotus released the first digital render of its new E22, it wasn’t so obvious, but under closer scrutiny and then with the arrival of a second, aerial shot, Lotus’s rather unusual nose becomes more apparent.
The idea of using a twin-nose was likely considered by many teams, as it leaves an opening for airflow where it’s most important. However the rules don’t allow it.
“It [the nose] must have a single external cross section, in horizontal projection, of more than 9000mm²,” read the 2014 technical regulations.
Lotus have obviously interpreted the rules differently and the answer can be found in the length of each individual ‘tusk’. As the image above shows, the right ‘tusk’ is longer. This alone is deemed part of the nose as it meets the 9000mm² measurement.
The left ‘tusk’ isn’t deemed part of the nose as it’s slightly shorter. It simply forms part of the crash structure – an area which caused Lotus some problems and is the reason behind their testing delay.
The benefit of the ‘double-tusk’ is that it places the nose in the most beneficial area compared to the ‘ant-eater’ solution used by both McLaren and Williams so far.
It creates a channel for the airflow to pass under the nose, toward the turning vanes underneath and is therefore spread more equally and less turbulently along the cars sidepods.