Up to 872 hp is possible, but it won't compromise its core characteristics.
Lotus recently teased four new vehicles that it would be creating, and although we've seen such displays of promise in the past, this could well be the time that Lotus sees its ambitions through to the end. After all. the British automaker has finally produced something new in the form of the Lotus Emira. One of the four new vehicles will be the Type 135, and since Lotus has just hired one of the best designers around, it'll probably be quite a looker. With an 872-horsepower chassis for the electric sports car, it'll certainly be fast too, but what else can we look forward to?
Due in 2026, the otherwise unnamed Type 135 will essentially replace the Elise as the entry-level offering in the new Lotus performance range, but don't worry about an obsession with loads of electric power killing that trademark handling ability that all Lotus sportscars are expected to exhibit. Speaking with Autocar, Lotus managing director Matt Windle says that he wants agility in this new breed of sports cars.
"It's our DNA: dynamics, aerodynamics, lightweighting (sic) - that's what we do on all our products," said Windle. "We still want these to be Lotus products. They are going to have a different propulsion system but that system comes with benefits as well: instant torque, easier cooling, and better packaging, so the first sports car (the Type 135) will have a lot of storage and packaging benefits as well."
The E-Sports platform underpinning the Type 135 allows for a choice of rear- or all-wheel-drive systems, although RWD is likely to be the preferred setup for most cars. Windle says that Lotus doesn't "want to close off the possibility" of adding a torque-vectoring setup similar to that the Evija hypercar, and we could see the Evija's aero appear on the Type 135 on a scaled down basis. Nevertheless, Lotus will aim to keep costs down by borrowing from other companies under the Geely group like Volvo, Polestar, and others. Despite this, the Type 135 won't be as affordable as the brand's previous cheapest model, the Elise, and will instead ring in at around the same price as the current Evora, which rings in at circa $96,000.
Still, people won't necessarily buy a new Lotus if it doesn't feel like one, so Windle promises that the stacked battery arrangement for the Type 135 will enable a "sports car feel" through similar yaw control and stability targets as existing offerings. As a result, the car will handle beautifully and the driver can sit just as low as in any other Lotus.
Under the skin, we're told that the entry-level battery will be a 66.4kWh pack that could offer up to 300 miles of range, while a 99.6kWh battery could extend that to around 450 miles. 800V charging capability will mean quick replenishing of the battery. It seems like a brilliant overall package, and Alpine may yet use the setup for its next A110, so let's hope that Lotus can make this ambitious plan stick.