RE: Lotus confirms electric hypercar for 2020

RE: Lotus confirms electric hypercar for 2020

Tuesday 16th April

Lotus confirms electric hypercar for 2020

Type 130 will be produced in small numbers and available to buy later this year



We're not big fans of so-called teaser images, the ones that drop veiled hints about future models and which are intended to drum up interest. Images like the one you see here, in fact, an abstract image of something low and sleek which marks the total imagery Lotus has released about the electric hypercar it has just told the Shanghai motor show that it is building, and which is currently known as the Type 130.

The other issue with such teasing comes when - as here - we actually know a fair bit about the car and the picture isn't going to do much of the telling. So this is going to be a bit word heavy.

PH has already seen a nearly finished model of the 130 in the design studio at Hethel and can confirm that it is reason for genuine excitement. It's a proper hypercar: low, muscular and with some of the most spectacular aerodynamics ever fitted to a road-legal car, none of which you can see here. It is also going to be the most expensive Lotus road car of all time, with what we're told to expect will be a seven-figure price tag and - almost certainly - the quickest as well.


Let's start all Donald Rumsfeld with the known unknowns. Or, at least, the ones that Lotus is keeping most closely guarded at this point. We know the Type 130 will be pure electric with a battery pack mounted behind its two-seat passenger compartment. We also know that it will be all-wheel drive and that the powertrain is being jointly developed with Williams Advanced Engineering, two of the most famous names in Grand Prix racing collaborating. But beyond that, and Lotus boss Phil Popham's promise that it will offer an "entirely appropriate" level of performance for its market segment, all is speculation. Based on the car's price and positioning we'd be surprised if the system's total horsepower tally didn't run into four figures, and if range wasn't at least 250 miles. But we have to wait and see on that front.

The styling, though, is jaw-dropping. Created by a small team led by Lotus's long-serving design boss, Russell Carr, work began on the 130 pretty much as soon as the ink was dry on the contract for Geely's acquisition of a majority stake in the company. Length is similar to the Evora but it is lower and the width is pushing two metres. The core structure will be carbon fibre, and the body will be tightly proportioned to better allow airflow to pass around it.

The best feature is one that isn't even hinted at in the official rendering, two huge air channels that effectively tunnel beneath the rear bodywork and which will have the elements of the tail lamps built around them. It's a detail that Carr says has been inspired by the venturi gaps of LMP race cars. For anyone standing behind the Type 130, or trying to keep up with one, the most striking thing about it will be what isn't there rather than what is. Given Lotus's minimalist ethos, that seems fitting, doesn't it?

These tunnels will incorporate lighting element to better show them off in the dark, and there will also be a transparent cover which will show off the top of the battery pack and also the pushrod cranks for the rear suspension. Carr says the 130 will also have a sizeable underfloor diffuser to generate significant downforce, with other active aero features including DRS flaps. Like the Pininfarina Battista, this is an EV that has definitely been designed for high-speed work.


The cabin will feature a predictable quantity of carbon fibre and a minimal digital instrument pack, but the plan is to have a centre console with switches rather than just a touchscreen. "You want to be able to find functions without taking your eyes off the road in a car like this," Carr says. Passenger space will be more generous than in a Ford GT or an Aston Martin Valkyrie, with enough shoulder space to stop occupants from having to get intimate with each other and sliding seats instead of a moveable pedal box. "We're trying to get the balance between prestige and luxury right," Carr says, "but also to make clear that this is a very high performance car. We don't want people to think it's a stripped-out track day monster, it will be much more practical than that. But equally we don't want to make a Bugatti either, it has to be a Lotus."

There are some other special details as well, including a camera-based rear view system which uses pods that motor out of the doors rather than conventional mirrors, these relaying images to a pair of screens in the cockpit. It's a very similar idea to the one that McLaren recently showed as featuring on the forthcoming Speedtail. "We were frustrated when we saw those," Carr admits, "we'd been working on the same idea for some time." Great minds clearly think alike.

The good news is that we won't have to wait very long to see more detailed images of the car, with the 130 set to be formerly unveiled at an event in London this summer when it will also gain a more Lotus-appropriate name - suggestions in the comments, please. It will be available to order later this year and the small group of buyers will be taking delivery of their cars as soon as 2020. It's definitely a halo model rather than the future of the brand - we will have to wait a bit longer for Lotus's more accessible next-generation sportscars - but isn't it nice to have some good news from Hethel again?

Author
Discussion

Lotusgav

Original Poster:

22 posts

99 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
Fantastic news - good job Lotus

RobDickinson

25,423 posts

194 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
It'll be great to see this out there competing with the rimac etc al.

I'm just concerned with possible slowdowns in economies (china, europe, usa) that $1million+ cars are going to get hit hard some time soon

Nerdherder

544 posts

37 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
“Simplify, then add lightness”.. Angels weep.

Even though a mild phev might make more sense and we all hope for them to stick with ic engines, it is great to learn that Lotus remains to move forward.

Edited by Nerdherder on Tuesday 16th April 05:54

lotuslover69

86 posts

83 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
Lotus has always been about moving forward and innovation. Lotus introduced the world to a lot of firsts over the years and in their hayday were at the forefront of racing technology.

EV is the future and there is no getting around that at the moment, Lotus as a company has experience with EV power trains and it makes sense . It seems to be taken seriously as a sports car manufacturer today you need to have a hypercar and it will generate a lot of publicity for Lotus.

Cannot wait to see it.

cookie1600

1,111 posts

101 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
"We're not big fans of so-called teaser images, the ones that drop veiled hints about future models and which are intended to drum up interest."

Then why run every single one from almost every single manufacturer then?
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kambites

56,249 posts

161 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
Nerdherder said:
“Simplify, then add lightness”.. Angels weep.

Even though a mild phev might make more sense and we all hope for them to stick with ic engines, it is great to learn that Lotus remains to move forward.
You can't get much simpler than an EV. Weight... well I guess we'll have to wait and see but if it's under two tonnes they'll have done well.

Jellinek

202 posts

215 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
Some elements of the story imply it will be based around the FW-EVX platform, but with modifications (pushrod suspension was not on the Williams skateboard as far as I can tell).
The unveiling of the Hypercar in the summer followed by an affordable mid-range model in 2020 to feed off the hype does make traditional marketing sense I suppose, but for my money it does drain valuable resource in an attempt to short cut the brand-build process. All in all a bit disappointed by this announcement though, had hoped to see the new sports car or expected to see a picture of a new car at the very least. frown

Tuna

10,125 posts

224 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
As a signal of intent, this could be rather good. It's been a while since the cars were secondary to the high end engineering (at least from a public point of view) so a reminder that Lotus aren't 'just a Porsche-chaser' is very welcome.

The interesting thing is going to be how electrification goes through the brand. AM have re-introduced Lagonda as an EV-only brand, but are sprinkling volts over existing models. Geely have introduced 'Geometry' as their EV only mainstream(?) brand, and Polestar as their EV special-ops (for Volvo?). What are Lotus going to do? My understanding is that the access to Toyota lumps may end with the Chinese takeover - so what are the mainstream models going to run on?

Personally, as an owner of a noisy old-school car, I hope Lotus keep access to petrol burners into the next generation, just to ensure their cars don't get stratospherically pricey. The 'Camry' engine in the Evora must surely be helping keep the price competitive. Lotus are so good at getting the dynamics right that it would be a shame for it to jump wholesale into EV territory just to keep up with the cool kids.

Lets hope Geelys investment gives them breathing room to do something interesting.

GroundEffect

11,267 posts

96 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
Nerdherder said:
“Simplify, then add lightness”.. Angels weep.

Even though a mild phev might make more sense and we all hope for them to stick with ic engines, it is great to learn that Lotus remains to move forward.

Edited by Nerdherder on Tuesday 16th April 05:54
A BEV is significantly simpler than an ICE powertrain.

rockin

6,320 posts

185 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
We're nearly half way through 2019 and they say they're going to be selling this thing for over £1milion next year.

Hands up everyone who's going to buy one?
Errrrmmmmm.....

eddiesheanon

50 posts

156 months

Tuesday
quotequote all



Here's what I see.

donteatpeople

485 posts

214 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
This is properly exiting stuff. I’m interested in how the Type 130 turns out but more interesting to see what happens next. I’d imagine they’re going to be following a similar strategy to Aston, this being a similar step to the Valkyrie with a more main stream Vanquish Vision style car to follow. Lotus getting involved in the EV market could be the start of genuinely fun, attainable EV sports cars.


cookie1600 said:
"We're not big fans of so-called teaser images, the ones that drop veiled hints about future models and which are intended to drum up interest."

Then why run every single one from almost every single manufacturer then?
Because a lot of people do like them, it’s a peek into the future. Not all news has to be about what car you’re going to buy next, some car enthusiasts just have a general interest in the industry.

filski666

3,486 posts

132 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
if only the bloke who went to see the car in the flesh could draw....be nice to see a sketch / quick photoshop - bit hard to piece together all those words into a single vehicle.

kambites

56,249 posts

161 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
rockin said:
We're nearly half way through 2019 and they say they're going to be selling this thing for over £1milion next year.

Hands up everyone who's going to buy one?
Errrrmmmmm.....
I doubt they'll expect to sell many in the UK, I wouldn't be surprised if they don't even bother with RHD.

I think this thing is aimed squarely at increasing brand awareness in countries which aren't aware Lotus even exist. Primarily China.

CTE

1,255 posts

180 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
Even though things are slowing down in China, I`m not aware they are in recession and there are plenty of multi million and billionaires out there (in the world) who all want the next latest and greatest. Clearly there is quite a lot of competition, but this should stand a very good chance of getting some of that money.

Can`t wait for the more mainstream (relatively) models though assuming they are ICE powered.

Globulus Rift

1 posts

Tuesday
quotequote all
Name suggestion;

Lotus eAura

filski666

3,486 posts

132 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
Globulus Rift said:
Name suggestion;

Lotus eAura
sounds like Kia-Ora - it's too orangey for crows!

bakerstreet

4,022 posts

105 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
Look forward to seeing it. However, looking at these teasers, it is making the Defender replacement outdated before its even launched!

Cold

6,499 posts

30 months

Tuesday
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The Evora GT4 racing car was announced too.




treborcccp

15 posts

71 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
Want one.