The new model, internally coded Type 131, will be Lotus’ first all-new sports car in 12 years and will hit the UK market in 2021 to join the Exige and Evora lineup.
The Type 131 will not replace any existing Lotus vehicle. In the lineup, it will sit somewhere between the Exige and Evora and will adhere to the Lotus mantra: “Simplify, then add lightness.” Little is known about the specifications of the Type 131 other than that it will be based on an entirely new lightweight platform. In the interest of reducing weight, the ICE will be responsible for the performance of the new sports car, without the help of a hybrid system. It is possible that the Lotus Type 131 can get engines from the list of the parent company Geely.
“We are currently investing in a rather aggressive business plan that will launch a completely new sports car next year. It will be shown towards the end of next year, and after a while it will go on sale. We are also investing in new platforms. The Type 131 will not be fully electric. In addition, whatever vehicles we have will be derived from BEVs. This is not the only powerplant we are working on, but the BEV will be part of it, ”said Lotus CEO Phil Popham.
Regarding Lotus’s potential switch to engines from Geely, Popham said that Lotus is currently using Toyota engines, but the company will soon have access to powertrains that already exist in the group and are under development. In addition, Lotus is free to partner with other manufacturers and use them as suppliers of not only engines, but also platforms. But, as Popham noted, even in the new segment, the car will be in line with Lotus’ DNA, so the company should be involved in developing any new platform from the beginning.
These exclusive images showcase what a production-ready vehicle might look like. It looks like the Type 131 will incorporate second-generation Elan elements, with the same low nose and wide stance. Like all current internal combustion engine Lotus models, this new sports car will also have a mid-engine layout.
The nomenclature of this new Type 131 sports car suggests several more models are waiting in the wings on the company’s timeline. It has long been rumored that Lotus is piecing together a SUV project – and when Poppham was asked if such a car would be part of the company’s future plans, he did not rule out the possibility.
“I would not discount anything,” he said. “We are a premium brand, not a major brand, with premium products, premium pricing and premium offering.”