Lotus' First New Model Since 2009 Rolls Out Next Month

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
lotus first new model since 2009 rolls out next month

Lotus hasn’t delivered an entirely new model since the Evora debuted over ten years ago. The clock will reset come July 16th, when the company unveils the Type 130 in central London. Approved by Chinese-parent Geely and shrouded in secrecy, the 130 will represent a major change for Lotus as the brand’s first all-electric hypercar.

However, the baby is reportedly not being thrown out with the bathwater. The automaker has confirmed that the model will still be manufactured at its longstanding headquarters in Hethel, Norfolk, and remain hand-built by Britain’s finest.

Unlike the Elise, Exige, and Evora, the Type 130 will be limited to just 130 examples. While that pre-planned rareness could be the result of its electric powertrain — which remains a mystery — it’s more likely that availability is being limited due to the vehicle’s specialized role. On numerous occasions, Lotus has called the Type 130 a “hypercar,” suggesting it will represent the pinnacle of the brand’s technical prowess — which has been further aided by the company’s collaboration with Williams Advanced Engineering. That likely means it’s going to cost more than most people’s homes, greatly restricting the pool of potential customer.

CEO Phil Popham has previously said that partnering with Williams is essential for delivering high-performance vehicles that can compete in the “rapidly changing automotive landscape.” By most assessments it looks as though Williams is tasked with furnishing electric systems to the project, and will likely supply the batteries, too. Meanwhile, Lotus is presumed to be responsible for the rest of the vehicle and ensuring it’s as lightweight as humanly possible — adhering to the brand’s official design strategy (which it frequently brings up).

Rumors suggest early prototypes of the Type 130 utilized two electric motors to support an all-wheel-drive configuration, permitting an electric range of at least 250 miles. Fast-charging was a given. However, the speculation remained unconfirmed; later claims suggest the model, codenamed Omega, could make use of up to three e-motors.

Production is said to take place shortly after the June 16th debut, with deliveries commencing early in 2020. Thus far, we’ve only had a single teaser image to work with, plus a brief video clip showcasing the vehicle’s charging port. Lotus assures its fans it’s okay to start preparing to be blown away by this and subsequent models that will help reshape the brand’s new identity.

[Image: Lotus Cars]

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2 of 12 comments
  • Nutbags Nutbags on Jun 04, 2019

    WOW - all electric Lotus. Was a huge fan of Lotus until reading this. I guess I will just have to lust after all of their early cars up and including the Evora.

  • Cimarron typeR Cimarron typeR on Jun 04, 2019

    They'd be foolish to give up on the Evora, I know the Renlea Baruthian's gushed all over the latest iteration