Following the unveiling of its 2,000 PS all-electric hypercar, the Evija, Lotus will still focus on its core sports car range, though all subsequent models will have a fully electric version, said Lotus CEO Phil Popham. Skipping hybrids altogether and going into full electrification ‘is certainly an option’, Popham told Autocar.
In the meantime, a new internal combustion-engined sports car is on the cards for introduction towards the end of next year, and to subsequently go on sale. “Beyond that, every Lotus, in whatever segment, will have a fully electric version,” Popham said.
With the £1.7 million (RM8.7 million) Evija sitting right at the top of the Lotus pecking order, the British marque will return its attention to its core range once all 130 units of its EV hypercar are built. ‘The range of cars we have now runs from the mid £50,000s to well over £100,000 (RM255,700 – RM511,466), and we see our core future models, apart from the new hypercar, as continuing to be in that range,” Popham said.
“(Lotus) made 1,700 cars last year, but as it currently stands Hethel makes over 5,000 on a single shift; that means more than 10,000 on a double shift, and I believe we’ll outgrow Hethel in its current guise,” the CEO noted. Currently, the marque’s model line-up is comprised of the Elise, Exige and Evora.
It remains to be seen whether the firm will make radical changes to accommodate growth at Hethel or move elsewhere, however making cars in different locations wouldn’t change the DNA of the company, said Popham. “We won’t build anything unless it’s profitable and can be called a true Lotus, and we’d never made the same car in multiple locations,” he said.
Isn’t the ‘for the driver’ ethos living on borrowed time, in light of the industry direction towards autonomous driving? “I don’t believe (the idea) will become time-expired. Progress with other, much bigger manufacturers tends to focus on mobility and ownership models, which are leading to cars becoming commoditised,” he said.
A Lotus will always be a car to use and enjoy in one’s leisure time, though the British sports car firm will certainly harness some future technologies, Popham notes.
GALLERY: Lotus Evija
Source: Read Full Article