With the backing of Geely and new investor NIO, the product plan, known as Vision80, confirms Lotus’s global ambitions and two-centre manufacturing, with China assembling what Lotus calls the lifestyle models, developed by the new China-based company Lotus Technology, and the spiritual home of Hethel responsible for the sportscars.
“Transforming Lotus from a UK sportscar company to a truly global performance car company has always been at the core of Vision80,” Lotus Cars managing director Matt Windle tells us.
“The launch of Lotus Technology is a major milestone on the road to making that a reality, while adhering to the unwavering Lotus principles of pure performance, efficiency, motorsport success and, above all, being ‘For the Drivers’.”
One place where drivers won’t be needed is the new plant’s integrated “intelligent” test track, claimed to be a world first. From the 140mph, 16-corner track, the new cars will be transported into workshops using autonomous driving technology – without any human intervention.