Lotus Cars Confirms Four Electric Models Are Coming


Photo credit: Lotus Cars

Photo credit: Lotus Cars

We already know that Lotus’s future is electric: the company has already confirmed that the forthcoming 2022 Emira will be its last new model to have a combustion engine. Now the company has released some more details about what will be the rapid deployment of the four fully electric models that will follow on from the Evija EV hypercar.

The future Lotus electric lineup will include two new SUVs, a coupe-sedan, and the new EV sports car the company has already dropped details about. They’re all being developed under what is described as the Vision80 plan, which concludes in time for Lotus’s 80th anniversary in 2028. To speed its move into electrification, Lotus is also creating a new subsidiary, Lotus Technology, which will be based in from Wuhan, China. This will work on the future models and will also have investment from Li Bin, founder of Chinese automaker Nio.

Photo credit: Lotus Cars

Photo credit: Lotus Cars

Car and Driver has also learned that Peter Horbury is set to become head of Group Lotus Design, leading work on this new generation of models as well as on the consultancy work for third-part automakers. The 72-year-old Brit is currently head of design for Chinese automaker Geely (which owns Lotus as well as Volvo) and was previously design director for Volvo (twice) and Ford Americas. Lotus Cars chief designer Russell Carr will continue to work under him. According to German media reports, former Bentley design boss Stefann Sielaff is set to replace Horbury at Geely.

In terms of new product, the SUVs and the coupe-sedan, described by Lotus as “lifestyle vehicles,” will all sit on the company’s forthcoming Lotus Premium Architecture. The company says, with impressive exactitude, that this can sit underneath cars with wheelbases ranging from 113.7 to 122.0 inches and will feature batteries with capacities from 92.0 to 120.0 kWh and support 800-volt systems. The official release also says that at least some of the products developed from the new platform will be able to dispatch the zero-to-62-mph benchmark in under three seconds.

We’ll see the larger SUV first, with its launch scheduled for next year. It will be followed in 2023 by the coupe-sedan, with a smaller SUV arriving in 2024. All these vehicles will be built at Lotus’s new plant in Wuhan, which is set to have a capacity of up to 150,000 cars a year, although Lotus insiders say it will take time to get close to that figure. The pure EV sports car that will follow in 2026 will be built in the U.K. and will also form the basis of a new model for Renault subsidiary Alpine.

Two other fascinating details have emerged from the official announcement. First, Lotus’s Wuhan plant will include what is described as an “integrated intelligent test track”where vehicles will be able to operate autonomously at speeds of up to 140 mph through 16 corners. Secondly that Lotus is working on what it describes as “track-level intelligent drive,” a 10-year project with the ambition to ÔÇťassist drivers to perform as well as an F1 driver on track.” We look forward to learning more about that one.

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