Lotus just can't catch a break.
To succeed in the challenging automotive industry as we head towards 2030, manufacturers need two things: SUVs and electrification. Even the high-end brands haven't been able to escape the trend, with Ferrari soon introducing its first-ever SUV, the Purosangue. This is the key to future success, especially for struggling boutique brands like Lotus. Aside from the Emira sports car, the brand has been hard at work, developing an electric SUV known as the Type 132.
Previously, we've garnered a glimpse of the exterior design, and now, thanks to more leaked patent images, we can get a glimpse of the SUV's interior. Leaked via cochespias.net, several images provide insight into the design and features Lotus is planning for its newcomer. It's tough to comment on interior space but, based on the filings below, rear passengers can expect impressive amounts of head- and legroom at the rear. The sloping roofline may cut into trunk space but a split-folding rear bench will offer increased cargo room.
The near-symmetrical dashboard is dominated by a large, floating screen which will most likely control most of the vehicle's features and functions. The air vents appear to span the width of the fascia, leaving us curious as to where the gauges will be placed, although it seems a head-up display will be present. The dashboard cascades down into a flat surface, with the glovebox sited below. Judging by the size of the glovebox lid, there should be plenty of storage available.
Speaking of interior storage, the center console has a floating design, allowing the placement of personal items in a nifty storage bin. Additionally, the driver and front passenger armrest appear to have a split opening, suggesting further storage space beneath. Two cupholders are placed just in front and resemble the flush design first seen on the Volkswagen Phaeton. What appears to be a drive selector is also placed on the center console, along with a wireless charging pad and supplementary air vents.
The front seats are particularly sporty in design, with an integrated headrest and prominent side bolsters. Power adjustment switches can be seen on the control panel. The rear seats are more conventional in design, with a centrally located armrest and child seat tethers.
The front door panels don't look particularly interesting, but one patent image shows a screen placed ahead of the door-mounted speaker. This implies that the upcoming Lotus SUV will feature available cameras in place of mirrors where countries allow such.
We won't have to wait much longer to see the final product, with the reveal happening on March 29, 2022. From what we've seen so far, it may prove to be a worthy contender to the Jaguar I-Pace.