And chances are you've heard of it.
Early last month we learned that Lotus is preparing to up its game by building a new electric hypercar with 1,000 hp on tap. This would clearly be new territory for Lotus, which is now owned by Chinese carmaker Geely (guess where the development money is coming from). And because this is a whole new level for Lotus, most often known for its outstanding suspension and chassis work and lightweight expertise, it needs a partner with other areas of know-how.
Today, Lotus has formally announced a partnership with Williams Advanced Engineering. The two companies have inked a deal where they will share research and development regarding "advanced propulsion technologies,” which very likely means electrification to some degree.
"Our new technology partnership with Williams Advanced Engineering is part of a strategy to expand our knowledge and capability in the rapidly changing automotive landscape,” said recently appointed Lotus CEO Phil Popham. "Applying advanced propulsion powertrains can provide numerous exciting solutions across multiple vehicle sectors. Our combined and complementary experiences make this a very compelling match of engineering talent, technical ability and pioneering British spirit.”
Williams has a strong Formula 1 racing heritage, as does Lotus, so the combined effort of these two companies has the potential to produce something extraordinary.
Unfortunately, no new details have been provided regarding the eventual car itself. What we’re most interested in seeing is the likely reinterpretation of Lotus founder Colin Chapman’s "adding lightness” philosophy. As we all know, electric propulsion systems are anything but light due to the heavy batteries.
That said, the potential of this new partnership is promising and could have wide-ranging effects for the hypercar market as a whole. No time frame was given regarding the unnamed hypercar’s launch, but hopefully, things will get moving soon.