Lotus will usher in a new era with its upcoming mid-engined sports car, with reports claiming the brand’s last new internal-combustion model will debut a fresh platform.
Auto Express reports the new car – codenamed Type 131 – won’t replace any of Lotus’ existing models. Instead, it’ll slot in between the Exige and the Evora.
Unlike the all-electric Evija hypercar, it’ll use an internal-combustion engine, and it could be the last new Lotus to do so. No hybrid model is planned, either.
With Lotus now part of the Geely Group empire, the company no longer needs to source engines from Toyota, though CEO Phil Popham told Auto Express that’s still an option Lotus can explore. Alternatively, Lotus could borrow engines used in Volvo, Lynk & Co and Geely-branded models.
Earlier reports suggested the next Lotus sports car would use the Evora’s platform – the brand’s youngest, at a spry 10 years old – but be easier to get in and out of and more ergonomic than the Evora, while wearing styling inspired by the Evija.
Should this be the case, it’d be one last go-around for the decade-old platform before the brand’s current range migrates to the new architecture, which can support multiple wheelbase length and track widths.
The Lotus range will also expand further with the expected return of the fabled Elan nameplate.
Lotus hopes to increase its sales volume with the upcoming but as-yet unnamed sports car, which Popham has confirmed will be priced between £55,000 and £100,000 ($107,000 – $195,000).
Under Popham’s Vision 80 plan, the company wants to increase annual sales to 10,000 units by 2029. Though it’s prioritising new sports cars, Popham has refused to rule out an SUV or sports sedan.
Since coming under Geely’s ownership, Lotus has received an investment of £1.5 billion (A$2.93 billion), a lot of which has gone towards the upgrading of facilities. Lotus has also hired 200 additional engineers and opened a new engineering centre in the UK.