British sports car manufacturer Lotus will launch four new electric models over the next five years, including an all-new battery-powered sports car in 2026.
It’s the biggest news to come out of Hethel for a while, though technically, it comes out of Wuhan. That’s because the new EVs will be developed and manufactured in China by a new subsidiary called Lotus Technology. The new unit has just broken ground on its global headquarters in Wuhan, set to open in 2024, and will inaugurate an all-new Lotus EV factory later this year.
According to the press release, the division is tasked with accelerating innovation “in the fields of batteries and energy management, electric motors, electronic control systems, intelligent driving, intelligent manufacturing and more.”
Lotus Technology will also oversee the manufacturing of “exciting new Lotus lifestyle models for global markets.”
Gallery: Lotus electric car teasers
The first of these to arrive will be the long-awaited Lotus SUV in 2022. Codenamed Type 132, this will be an E-segment SUV, meaning it will compete with the likes of the Tesla Model X and Audi e-tron.
The SUV will be followed in 2023 by an E-segment four-door coupe codenamed Type 133. No other details were offered about this model, but it will probably be comparable to the Mercedes-Benz EQE.
Next up will be the Type 134, a new D-segment SUV (Tesla Model Y-sized) set to arrive in 2025. Finally, these three models will be joined in 2026 by an all-new electric sports car, Type 135.
All these new EVs will be built on the new Lotus Premium architecture, one of four new vehicle platforms announced in April. This platform supports a wheelbase range from 2,889 mm–3,100 mm (113.7–122 inches) and is compatible with all types of passenger vehicles from C+ to E segments.
It will use 92–120 kWh batteries and "the industry’s most advanced 800-volt high-speed EV charging system." EVs developed on this architecture will be capable of 0-100 km/h (62 mph) acceleration in under three seconds.
Mind you, the four new EVs are in addition to the Evija all-electric hypercar and the Emira, the last gas-powered sports car from Lotus, which will both be built at Hethel, UK.
In the teaser image, the four Lotus electric vehicles reveal their LED headlight signatures—somewhat reminiscent of Genesis in the case of the four-door coupe and sports car—as well as the video cameras they will use instead of traditional side mirrors.