More details have arrived.
We've known for several months now Lotus is planning to launch an all-new sports car in 2021 and, if the reports are confirmed to be true, it'll be the brand's last purely gasoline-fueled model ever. Already, there's the $2.2 million Lotus Evija all-electric hypercar and the brand has made clear future vehicles, including an SUV, will utilize some level of electrification.
Auto Express has learned new details regarding this so far unnamed sports car that's internally known as the Type 131. As the firm's first all-new sports car in 12 years (12 years!), the Type 131 won't replace any existing models, meaning the Lotus Evora GT and overseas-only Exige will stick around for a while longer. The Type 131 will be aimed directly at the Porsche 718 Cayman and will abide by the Lotus philosophy of "simplify, then add lightness."
A previous report indicated that the Type 131 could ultimately become a reborn Elan, but Lotus hasn't confirmed anything just yet. What we can now state with confidence is that the car will be sized in between the Exige and Evora and it'll ride on an all-new, lightweight platform. Where will its engine come from?
That's still uncertain, but we suspect it will be sourced from parent company Geely. For years, Lotus has used Toyota engines, albeit with modifications such as a supercharger. Ever since Lotus was bought by the Chinese automaker, who also owns Volvo and Polestar, it simply no longer requires Toyota's services. Plus, that V6 engine will soon no longer meet global emissions standards because of its age.
Lotus CEO Phil Popham previously stated the company is free to collaborate with and purchase engines from other manufacturers if Geely can't meet its powertrain requirements. More than likely, Lotus has decided on an engine because final development will have to get underway shortly if that 2021 launch target is to be met.
Design-wise, sources claim the Type 131 will have a low nose and a wide stance, similar to the second-generation Elan. And yes, it'll be mid-engined. A manual transmission option is also very likely. Think of the Type 131 as sort of a back-to-basics Lotus sports car, only one that'll arrive before the electrification revolution fully gets underway. It'll be the last of a dying breed.