The new ‘lifestyle’ Lotus models will be built in China, but the UK will remain the home of the brand’s sports cars
Lotus has plotted out its electric future by confirming it will launch four new electric cars by 2026.
A teaser image previews the future Lotus EV line-up, which will be made up of five models with the inclusion of the already revealed Evjia hypercar. Joining it from 2022 will be a large SUV codenamed Type 132, while 2023 will see the arrival of a similarly sized four-door coupe referred to as Type 133 and probably shaping up as a direct competitor for the Tesla Model S.
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A mid-size, ‘D-segment’ SUV known as Type 134 is slated for arrival in 2024, the size of the car suggesting it will be a rival for the BMW iX3. But, alongside the two SUVs and the four-door coupe, the brand will stick to its roots with a new sports car, launching in 2026 and also fully-electric. It won’t be a replacement for the recently revealed, petrol powered Lotus Emira but will be sold alongside it.
Three of these vehicles will use Lotus’ recently announced Premium Architecture – a fully electric car platform. It’s been developed by Geely owned Lotus for a global rollout of ‘lifestyle’ orientated cars, in this case, the two SUVs and the four-door coupe.
New Lotus platform: technical details
Technical detail has emerged, confirming that cars using the Premium Architecture will have wheelbases ranging from 2,998mm to 3,100mm, and that batteries 90kWh to 120kWh in capacity are being designed for use within the platform.
Lotus has also confirmed that the Premium Architecture is electrified at 800v, like the Porsche/Audi J1 platform underneath the Taycan and e-tron GT. This should mean ultrafast 350kW charging capability, while in terms of performance specifications, Lotus says Premium Architecture cars will have motor systems capable of propelling the cars from 0-62mph in less than three seconds.
No further detail on the 2026 electric sports car has emerged, but Lotus had previously confirmed the development of a new Electric Sport Car Architecture (ESCA) platform known internally as E-Sports. This platform will also be used under the next-generation Alpine A110.
The Lotus ‘lifestyle’ models will be built in China, at a new factory in Wuhan due to open later this year. Built at a cost of around £900m, the brand says the Wuhan factory will have the capacity to build 150,000 cars a year at peak production. Lotus has also revealed a new technology subsidiary in the city, revealing images of the new Lotus Technology campus that will open in Wuhan in 2024.
This new technology division has received investment from NIO, and Lotus has admitted that both companies may explore the potential to cooperate over the development of future EV tech.
Despite this, the UK will remain the home of Lotus sports cars. The brand’s existing facilities at Hethel and in Norwich and the UK-based Lotus team will take the lead on developing new performance and sports car models beyond the Evija.
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