It's happening soon. Very soon.
We've known this was something for the past few months and the wait is nearly over. Lotus has officially announced plans to unveil its first-ever SUV on March 29, 2022. Currently called the Type 132 (a name change is possible), the SUV will be all-electric, the first of many such vehicles from the legendary UK sports car company.
Based in Hethel, UK, Lotus was founded by Colin Chapman back in 1948 and quickly made a name for itself on the race track. Its road cars remain immensely popular to this day. The Emira, the firm's last combustion-engined model, just very recently went on sale. The Type 132 is not the brand's first EV; that honor belongs to the ultra-limited Evija hypercar.
But the Type 132 aims to do something no other Lotus model has done before: achieve mainstream popularity. The SUV will be a direct rival to the likes of the also upcoming Porsche Macan EV, for example. Built on the new Lotus Premium Architecture, the Type 132 will come equipped with battery sizes ranging from 92 to 120 kWh and will utilize an advanced 800-volt high-speed EV charging system that will allow for an 80 percent charge in about 20 minutes.
Performance will be brisk. Sources indicate a 0-60 mph time in around three seconds. We've only seen a few brief images, several of which are included in this article, which indicate the Type 132 will boast active shutters for improved cooling and enhanced front aerodynamics, carbon fiber wheels, and many other weight-saving measures and advanced new technologies.
"Simplify, then add lightness," as Chapman himself famously said. The minimalistic approach is difficult to achieve with EVs, but if there's one automaker that can prove it's possible, it'd be Lotus. Lotus was rescued, once again, from the brink of financial ruin a few years ago by Geely, the Chinese automaker that also owns Volvo and Polestar.
Geely has maintained a relatively hands-off approach with Lotus, allowing the carmaker's experts to do their thing in regards to chassis development, new lightweight technologies, and design. The Evija and Emira are proof that method is working out just fine so far. We'll know a lot more come March 29.