Lotus is working on an all-electric hypercar and, according CEO Phil Popham, it will be extraordinary.
The British car manufacturer announced the Type 130 roughly one month ago after weeks of speculation that it was teaming up with Williams to develop such a vehicle.
“It will re-establish Lotus as a sports car maker,” Popham said about the car during the recent FT Future of the Car Summit. “A mind-blowing hypercar, designed, engineered and built in the UK. We’re very much focused on rebuilding the sports car business. When we’ve done that this brand has the strength to go beyond that. It could be GTs, crossovers, sporting sedans… the premium segment is large beyond sports cars. We have to produce cars that are loyal to our DNA,” he said.
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One thing which has long defined all Lotus road cars ever since the company’s creation 1952 by Colin Chapman is their extraordinarily minimal overall weight. Building a hypercar laden with heavy battery packs may seem at odds with the Lotus philosophy and even Popham admits that compromises need to be made.
“Lotus is about light weight. There are distinct benefits of electrification, certainly in terms of aerodynamics, and the center of gravity can be low. We need to understand the needs of the customer. If you’re driving for 20 minutes on track, do you need the full battery pack?” he told Car Magazine.
While technical specifications about the car remain a closely guarded secret, Lotus says the Type 130 name is very special as numerous important vehicles in the brand’s history have used the ‘Type’ prefix. These include the Type 14 and the Type 72, the company’s most successful Formula 1 car.
“The Type 130 is important to illustrate capability, intent and design direction,” Popham said. “Those three things. It’s not a false dawn, there’s substance to the idea. Not only in terms of our ability to engineer a product but to actually engineer a product with new technology. It really showcases what Lotus could be, will be, and how much support we have from Geely.”
The Lotus Type 130 will be unveiled in full in the middle of the year.