All will be revealed later this year.
Lotus is about to enter an exciting new era, as the automaker recently announced it’s teaming up with Williams to develop an all-electric hypercar. It’s called the Type 130, and according to CEO Phil Popham, it’s going to blow our minds.
"It will re-establish Lotus as a sports car maker,” he said during the recent FT Future of the Car Summit. "A mind-blowing hypercar, designed, engineered and built in the UK. We’re very much focused on rebuilding the sports car business. When we’ve done that this brand has the strength to go beyond that. It could be GTs, crossovers, sporting sedans… the premium segment is large beyond sports cars. We have to produce cars that are loyal to our DNA”.
Lotus is renowned for making lightweight sports cars, so building an electric hypercar with heavy battery packs seems to contradict the company’s core values, but Popham was keen to highlight the benefits of electrification.
"Lotus is about lightweight. There are distinct benefits of electrification, certainly in terms of aerodynamics, and the center of gravity can be low. We need to understand the needs of the customer. If you’re driving for 20 minutes on track, do you need the full battery pack?” he told Car Magazine. As for the lack of engine noise, the CEO thinks people will "get used to that” because the focus is on performance and handling.
Technical specifications are being kept under wraps, but the Type 130 name is significant because Lotus has traditionally only applied this name to special models like the Type 14, the world’s first composite monocoque production road car, and the legendary Type 72 Formula One car. "The Type 130 is important to illustrate capability, intent and design direction,” Popham explained. "Those three things. It’s not a false dawn, there’s substance to the idea. Not only in terms of our ability to engineer a product but to actually engineer a product with new technology. It really showcases what Lotus could be, will be, and how much support we have from Geely.”
The Lotus Type 130 will be unveiled in the middle of the year. After that, Lotus will reveal a new, more affordable sports car next year according to Popham.