Our first shots of Lotus' new EV look promising.
New photos of what appears to be a Lotus sedan testing in China have emerged, which is believed to be the forthcoming Lotus Envya. The sedan will be a follow-up to the Lotus Eletre electric SUV. Internally codenamed Type 133, Lotus bosses previously confirmed it would retain the E naming strategy of the British brand, with earlier trademarks suggesting either Etude or Envya. The latter is most likely.
The car that will attempt to tackle the Porsche Taycan has previously been shown in shadowy teasers by Lotus itself, but these development prototypes - images of which come via Chinese social media site Weibo - are the first we've seen of the car in reality.
The car was originally slated for a 2023 reveal, but with recent setbacks pertaining to global supply chain shortages, we wouldn't be surprised if it only launches in 2024.
From a design perspective, the Envya/Type 133 prototypes seem familiar. Not only is the split design a dead ringer for the teaser we saw before, but it appears to be an advancement of the split design showcased on the Eletre. Lotus appears keen to create a consistent design language across all its models.
If the external cues weren't enough of a giveaway, the interior shots showcase seats and a steering wheel that are definitely shared with the Eletre SUV. Other details easily gleaned are that the Envya will be a four-seater with a full-length center console, and that it will have a coupe roofline and, at least the availability of, a full glass roof.
Not much else is known at this stage, but Lotus has the potential to reach into a deep pool of industry knowledge to challenge the Porsche Taycan. Lotus is owned by Chinese automaker Geely, which also owns Volvo and Polestar. While Lotus bosses have enthused that Lotus models must retain an individual identity, the potential wealth of knowledge available from Polestar could come in handy. The Polestar 5, for example, is coming with a sedan-type body and an 872-horsepower all-wheel drivetrain which is something Lotus will definitely be interested in.
The 5 will also utilize new mega-casting techniques for its chassis that will also find their way into the Polestar 6 - a 2+2 seater sports car based on the O2 concept that will rival the Porsche 911.
If Lotus can gain access to these technologies, it will not only reduce development costs, but give the British automaker a serious edge in its battle with Porsche. We'll likely find out more in the coming months.