Lotus' First New Model Since 2009 Rolls Out Next Month

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

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]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • 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

  • The Oracle Going to see a lot of corporations migrating out of Delaware as the state of incorporation. Musk sets trends, he doesn’t follow them.
  • Foo Eh. Net present value is in the red, once you add in rapidly rising insurance, late by months basic repairs-and-no availability, battery replacement, future hazmat recycling fees, and even faster depreciation. Wait until litigants win for "too heavy" in accidents... The math is brutal but if you value virtue signalling, some will pay anything.
  • Lynchenstein @EBFlex - All ICEs are zero-emission until you start them up. Except my mom's old 95 Accord, that used to emit oil onto the ground quite a lot.
  • Charles The UAW makes me the opposite of patriotic
  • El scotto Wranglers are like good work boots, you can't make them any better. Rugged four wheel drive vehicles which ironically make great urban vehicles. Wagoneers were like handbags desired by affluent women. They've gone out of vogue. I can a Belgian company selling Jeep and Ram Trucks to a Chinese company.
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