Lotus has been spied testing its upcoming all-electric sedan, codenamed Type 133, at the Nurburgring wearing only the skimpiest of camouflage.
It’s expected the vehicle will adopt a new name starting with E, in-line with the rest of the Lotus line-up.
This is our best look yet at the new electric Lotus, which has a fastback body and design cues from the brand’s electric Eletre SUV.
We can see what appear to be production-ready, L-shaped headlights, aggressively angled side skirts and sporty-looking alloy wheels.
The tail lights appear to be prototype units, though it’s likely the production model will have a similar full-width tail light assembly to the Eletre.
A charge port is located on the left-hand side of the car, towards the rear.
Digital side mirrors are expected to make it onto the production vehicle, however it’s unclear if they will be a standard inclusion or an option like on the Electre.
You can also see a LiDAR system mounted to the roof of the prototype.
Previous spy photos of the interior reveal a panoramic glass roof and similar dashboard layout to the crossover.
A 15.1-inch centre infotainment screen running Lotus’ Hyper OS is set to feature.
Lotus senior vice-president of design Peter Horbury says the sedan will have “some continuity and family identity” but goes on to say “every member of a family can have their own character,” when referring to its upcoming electric vehicle line-up.
It’s no secret the company plans to compete with the Porsche Taycan, with Lotus executives previously telling Autocar the Type 133 will be benchmarked against the Porsche Taycan.
The company also confirmed that the Type 133 will feature “active roll control, CDC [continuous damping control], independent active rear steer and active aero”, and at least 441kW of power.
The base model is set to rival the Porsche Taycan GTS, which produces 440kW from its dual-electric motor set-up.
It’s rumoured more powerful versions of the Lotus sedan could compete against the high-performance Taycan Turbo and Turbo S.
The company is yet to outline the exact power outputs to the Type 133 range but they are expected to be close to the super SUV Eletre.
The Eletre currently offers a choice of 450kW/710Nm or 675kW/985Nm powertrains with 600km of claimed WLTP range for the former and 490km for the latter.
It uses a 112kWh battery, an 880V electric architecture and can support DC fast charging up to 350kW.
The Lotus Electre R can do the 0-100km/h sprint in 2.95 seconds.
While Lotus hasn’t outlined when it plans to debut its new addition, it’s set to begin deliveries in some markets in 2024.
Following the launch of the E-segment Type 133 sedan, Lotus will reveal a D-segment SUV (Type 134) in 2025 and a sports car (Type 135) in 2026.
Lotus is in the process of also rolling out four new architectures:
- Hypercar, used by the Evija
- Sports Car, used by the Emira
- E-Sport, to be used by electric Lotus and Alpine sports cars
- Premium, to be used by everything else
The Premium architecture has been designed to accommodate C-E segment vehicles, 92-120kWh batteries, and an initial wheelbase range of between 2889mm and 3100mm.
All models on the Premium architecture will be built in China at Lotus Technology’s new plant in Wuhan.
Chinese parent company Geely purchased 51 per cent of Lotus in 2017. Although all of its upcoming electric vehicle line-up will be produced in China, its UK team will still develop its sports cars and hyper cars.
The brand has big goals for the next few years. An announcement in May 2022 outlined the companies plans to go public “within 18 months to two years from now”.
The company plans to expand its annual production volume to 100,000 vehicles in 2028, 90,000 of which would consist of its new ‘Premium’ family of vehicles. It produced 1500 vehicles in 2021.
Lotus announced in 2021 that it will produce only electric vehicles by 2028.