New Lotus Type 133 electric saloon to rival Porsche Taycan
Codenamed Type 133, Lotus’ third EV will use the same Electric Premium Architecture as the Eletre SUV
Lotus is preparing to launch its answer to the Porsche Taycan, Tesla Model S, Lucid Air and forthcoming Polestar 5. Codenamed the Type 133, Lotus’ first electric saloon is expected to be revealed later this year after being spotted testing by our spy photographers in northern Sweden, close to the Arctic Circle.
The Type 133 prototype’s menacing front end is just one of the many styling cues shared with the Lotus Eletre electric hyper-SUV that was unveiled in 2022. The Eletre’s active grille also makes an appearance, consisting of motorised ‘petals’ which open up to help cool the battery, motors and other components under the car. When not needed, the petals stay closed for better aerodynamics.
The saloon car’s headlights appear to be split into two elements, just like the Eletre’s, with the main L-shaped unit sitting below the bonnet and larger lights located in the front bumper. Moving to the back, the roofline slopes off dramatically towards the rear deck which at this stage is still heavily camouflaged, but we expect will feature a deployable rear spoiler and full-width light bar in time.
We’ve yet to see inside the Type 133, but the cabin is likely to be almost identical to the Eletre’s which features a hexagonal steering wheel, 15.1-inch central touchscreen and two slim displays in front of the driver and passenger. The Eletre’s deployable LIDAR sensors may also be carried over and could allow for up to Level 4 autonomous driving capabilities at a later date.
Lotus’ electric saloon sits on the same Electric Premium Architecture as the Eletre, which gives us some clues to the Type 133’s specs. The base Eletre offers a range of 373 miles and produces 595bhp and 710Nm of torque from two electric motors that allow for all-wheel drive. Meanwhile, the top-of-the-range Eletre R gets a tri-motor setup, 893bhp and 985Nm of torque, and a range of 304 miles.
Given the Type 133’s slippier shape compared to the Eletre, if fitted with the same 112kWh battery, the saloon could potentially cover over 400 miles on a single charge. Speaking of which, thanks to the platform’s 800-volt electrical architecture, a 10-80% charge from a 350kW ultra-rapid charger should only take 20 minutes.
Of course, Lotus hasn’t confirmed any technical details yet, nor has it revealed the Type 133’s official name. In keeping with Lotus tradition, it will likely adopt a name beginning with ‘E’. Lotus has already patented in the name 'Ethos' in several regions, though the ‘Envya’ badge is also being mooted at the moment. The name should be revealed ahead of the new model’s debut later this year, while we expect prices to start from under £100,000.
Lotus may have built its name on lightweight, petrol-powered sports cars, but its electric car line-up will be much more diverse. The brand’s first EV was the nearly-2,000bhp Evija hypercar, which was followed a few years later by the aforementioned Eletre hyper-SUV.
Lotus is due to launch a smaller SUV in 2024, currently codenamed Type 134. That car is likely to compete directly with the electric Porsche Macan and forthcoming Audi Q6 e-tron. The Type 134 will use the same underpinnings as the Eletre and as-yet-unnamed saloon, with all three 'lifestyle' models to be built in China.
Finally, in 2026, Lotus will launch a zero-emissions sports car, which will share its platform with the electric successor to the Alpine A110 and go head-to-head against the electric Porsche Cayman landing in 2025.
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