Lotus is close to revealing an SUV. Yes, the company famous for lightweight sports cars is expanding into vehicles normally found at the grocery store car park instead of at the track. The move is necessary to boost Lotus’ financial health, and the profits generated should lead to new and better sports cars.
The new SUV, code-named the Type 132, is due for a reveal on March 29, the automaker has confirmed. Lotus has also provided glimpses of the design, both the exterior and interior, in a new video. The video shows a few elements, including the design of the steering wheel and a full-width LED strip at the rear.
The Type 132 is one of four new vehicles Lotus has in the works, all of them electric. Also in the pipeline is a smaller crossover (Type 134), a four-door coupe (Type 133), and a sports car (Type 135).
The Type 132 (and most likely the Type 134) will be based on a modular EV platform called Evolution. A pair of dual-motor all-wheel-drive powertrains are expected to be on offer, with the more powerful of these expected to deliver as much as 750 hp. And the biggest battery should have more than 100 kilowatt-hours of capacity.
China is expected to be the biggest market for the SUV, which will target the Porsche Cayenne and perhaps even the Aston Martin DBX, and as a result production will be handled there, specifically at a new plant constructed in the city of Wuhan. The plant will also be home to production of the smaller crossover and four-door coupe. Production of Lotus sports cars will remain at the company’s home in Hethel, U.K. Production volumes for the Type 132 (and other models built in Wuhan) will be higher than your typical Lotus, though still limited.
After the launch of the Type 132, Lotus will launch the Type 133 four-door coupe in 2023 and the Type 134 crossover in 2025. Lotus will then launch the Type 135 sports car in 2026, a model that is to be twinned with an Alpine sports car. As mentioned, all the vehicles will be electric. Lotus has confirmed that the recently launched Emira sports car is its last to be fitted with an internal-combustion engine.