Will it be called Etude or Envya?
Lotus has confirmed the existence of Type 134 and that it will be a small electric SUV aimed at the upcoming Macan EV. Lotus' commercial boss told Autocar that it wants the 134 to be responsible for 50% of sales by 2028.
Mike Johnstone also implied that it will use a different platform than the Eletre SUV, which makes sense. Lotus still has three electric vehicles to unveil before its 80th birthday in 2028.
As you've probably guessed, Type 134 is not the car's actual name, but all of Lotus' upcoming EV names have been discovered. It could be the Etude or the Envya, as Lotus has trademarked both of those names.
Whatever it will be called, you can be sure that it will feel like a Lotus. While Colin Chapman was famously against weight, the Eletre electric SUV was designed to be relatively lightweight despite its battery pack. In 2022, Lotus' managing director Matt Windle, said the car would weigh just under two tonnes. That's roughly 4,400 American pounds, which is 1,000 lbs lighter than a BMW X5 M.
Type 134 will also use trick aerodynamics to increase range and performance. From the teaser images Lotus has released so far, the smaller SUV will likely share the same overall design as the Eletre.
"A lot of effort has gone into ensuring the future cars that we introduce to the market handle in a way that you would expect a Lotus to handle," said Johnstone. "Take Eletre: the attributes team have been involved in its development, people who understand what a Lotus should feel like and drive. It isn't just an electrified SUV with a Lotus badge on it: it's been engineered from the beginning to look, feel and drive like a Lotus."
Lotus is setting itself up as a force to reckon with, partnering with all the right people. In 2021 it announced a partnership with Europe's other famous lightweight brand, Alpine. While it may seem odd to partner with a direct rival, the British and French companies must think there is enough room in the global market for both.
Alpine recently introduced the A290_ß concept, riding on an all-new CMF-B EV platform. Could this be the platform Johnstone is referring to? It would make sense from a cost-cutting point of view.
Alpine is also working on a Macan EV rival, and we wouldn't be surprised to find out that the partnership between the two brands extends beyond the planned small electric sports car. The French brand has the upper hand in America because it is currently lobbying hard to get its cars into the USA via AutoNation.
Join The Discussion