The British brand wants to conquer America with an all-new model.
Lotus recently announced a partnership with French automaker Alpine to build a new all-electric sports car, which will be jointly designed, engineered, and developed by the two sports car specialists. However, Lotus hasn't forgotten about its plans to build a new entry-level combustion-powered sports car in all the excitement. According to Automotive News Europe, sources have revealed that the new model will be shown for the first time this summer. Following up, Lotus CEO Phil Popham told the publication that the car will go into production next year at Lotus's revamped factory in the UK.
Popham also says the new car, previously discussed to be an entry-level model focusing on accessibility as a daily driver as well as a performance model, will start at around $75,000. The new car, internally known as the Type 131, will be important to enhance Lotus's brand awareness and sales across the world. However, Popham is more than aware of how important the US is for Lotus's growth, where only one car of its current three-model range, the Evora GT, is available right now.
"This car will have a wider price point, and that gives us an opportunity in the US," Popham said. "To be successful in the sports car market you have to be successful in the US."
There's no word on which engine will power the Type 131 and, given its age, it's unlikely Lotus will be able to use the Evora's modified and supercharged Toyota V6 in the US. Lotus is now under the Geely umbrella of car brands along with six other brands that include Volvo and Polestar, so there's potential to source engines there. It's entirely possible Lotus could use Volvo's twincharged (supercharged and turbocharged) four-cylinder engine. That makes 316 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque in its standard configuration, and Lotus has chops when it comes to tuning.
Lotus's immediate future centers around the multi-million dollar EV hypercar, the Evija, but we're much more excited about a daily driver Lotus sports car in the grand scheme of things that could rival the BMW Z4 and Toyota GR Supra. Roll on the summer.