An exciting new chapter for Lotus is about to begin.
Lotus is going through a major transformation right now. After being bought out by China's Geely, which also owns Volvo and Polestar, the British automaker secured the investment required to build all-new models for the first time in over a decade. Lotus has already unveiled the extraordinary Evija hypercar, and plans to expand its model lineup with new lightweight sports cars, and the company's first-ever SUV over the next few years.
To prepare for this exciting new era, Lotus has made some significant upgrades to its production site in Hethel, England, as part of a massive, multi-million-pound investment.
New and upgraded state-of-the-art engineering test facilities have been installed, allowing the company to expand its consultancy services, and performance car range. Improvements to the site include an all-new electric drive unit test cell designed to test electric powertrains including the motor, gearbox and supporting electronics, as well as upgrades to the internal combustion test and development cells, the propulsion prototype build workshop, and the vehicle emissions lab enabling engineers to meet international emissions standards.
The famous 2.2-mile Hethel test track, which has been used to put historic Lotus race and road cars through their paces, has also been upgraded with new trackside barriers, new CCTV cameras, an upgraded entrance and exit barrier control system, and improved fire protection around the circuit. In addition, Lotus is building an all-new factory that will be used to manufacture a new Lotus sports car next year, as well as a new assembly hall for the Lotus Evija all-electric hypercar.
This will be the first time Lotus has built an all-new sports car in 12 years since the Evora. Codenamed the Type 131, the lightweight sports car will ride on a new platform and slot in between the Exige and Evora. Don't be surprised if it gets an electrified powertrain as electrification is a key part of the company's new strategy.
"We see huge potential to put Lotus Engineering right at the cutting edge of automotive innovation, further building on our core competencies as well as increasing our capability in growth areas," said Matt Windle, Executive Director of Engineering at Lotus. "An example is electrification; the challenges around weight reduction and improved dynamics are a major factor in the quest for more efficient electric vehicles, and those link back directly to the Lotus core values. What we continue to learn on the Lotus Evija all-electric hypercar program creates knowledge and experience which we can use to help other businesses."