John McIlroy 2019-04-16 03:00
The Lotus Type 130 hypercar could have up to 1,000bhp and is due to be unveiled in London in late 2019
Codenamed Lotus Type 130, the car will be revealed at an event in London in the second half of 2019, but the brand used this week’s Shanghai Motor Show to confirm the project’s existence and issue a teaser of the flagship model’s side profile. Our exclusive image previews how this could translate into production form.
Few other details have been released about the car, but Lotus CEO Phil Popham said: “Type 130 will be the most dynamically accomplished Lotus in our history. It marks a turning point for our brand as it is a showcase of what we are capable of, and what is to come for Lotus.”
Auto Express understands Geely is giving established figures within Lotus the freedom to create the new car. It has been designed by Russell Carr, who has been at Hethel since 2010. And engineer Gavan Kershaw, who has over three decades of experience at Lotus, is being appointed ‘Director of Attributes’ in a bid to ensure that the new model carries enough of the firm’s DNA.
It’s likely that Type 130 will be the first Lotus to feature engineering developed with Williams. The two companies confirmed a “strategic technical partnership” back in January, saying they would research “advanced propulsion technologies” with an emphasis on fully electric powertrains.
This arrangement allows for Lotus to have access to its own battery and electric motor systems, so it won’t have to take existing systems from the likes of Polestar, another Geely brand. This could result in a power figure of up to 1,000bhp – and the Type 130 will need that much to compete with other EV hypercars, like the Pininfarina Battista.
The car’s name fits with typical Lotus codes – but the last model in the sequence was the Type 125, a prototype track day car that was ultimately never sold. That could leave scope for up to four other models to slot into the timeline before Type 130 arrives.
Given Lotus’s bold initial statements on the new car, and its likely rivals, a price tag in excess of £1million seems inevitable.
Geely also confirmed last week that it had begun to build a $1.3bn (£1bn) factory in Wuhan, China, that will make Lotus cars. It’s only Lotus’s second manufacturing site overseas and should start production by 2022. With a capacity of 150,000 cars a year, it’s unlikely to be exclusive to Lotus.
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