The 2019 Auto Shanghai is not out of surprises yet. After a decade of hiatus, Lotus confirmed the launch of a new electric sports car, the first ever such vehicle in the history of this British brand.
What little we have seen of the Type 130, the new would-be flagship model of Lotus Car, is a short teaser and an almost artistic, yet elusive picture. The Type 30 will be fully electric. The vehicle is entering the advanced stages of development. An exterior styling model is said to be in an almost finished state.
CEO Phil Popham didn’t spare the big words to rouse the interest for the new Lotus hypercar. ’Type 130 will be the most dynamically accomplished Lotus in our history…It marks a turning point for our brand and is a showcase of what we are capable of and what is to come from Lotus.’
Although the announcement itself may be exciting news for the sports and racing cars lovers, it should be added that Lotus is not a British company for a long time. The emerging Chinese automaker Geely bought a 51% controlling state from Proton (a Malaysian automotive company) two years ago. The other stakeholder, the little-known Etika Automotive is headquartered in Malaysia. The Lotus EV sports car program had started after the Geely acquisition and had been running under the name of Project Omega until the Type 130 title.
Williams Advanced Engineering is responsible for the electric powertrain, which will feature a four-wheel drive. Further good news for the fans of Lotus engineering that the design boss is still Russell Carr, the designer of the Lotus Evora. He shared a few additional details that the Type 130 is going to be a two-seater with a compact cabin and scissor-opening doors. The teardrop-shaped car will sit lower on the ground than the Evora. The interface will try to find the right balance between the Spartan minimalism (the switch gear remains to be conventional) and a reasonable level of digital practicality.
Lotus had not come up with an all-new production car since the Evora. If the Type 130 gets the green light for production, only a few thousand per year can be expected to roll out from the Lotus factory at Ethel. The price is estimated to be $1,3 million.
This all-electric wonder yet has to appear in metal (and carbon-fibre). The Type 130 is planned to be revealed on the Motor & Tech Show of London, one month later.