So far only one serious sports car manufacturer has taken up the challenge of making an electric vehicle. We are, of course, talking about Porsche with its Taycan, which is extremely good to drive, in spite of its weight, so how would another fabled name, Lotus, approach the problem of creating an EV?
Well, we’ve know for some time that the famed British brand was going to produce a larger series electric sports car, but we really didn’t have too many details about it. The manufacturer made its intentions to electrify clear when it unveiled the Evija electric hypercar, a car with a price tag out of the reach of most people and a production run of just 130 examples.
Recently, Lotus unveiled what it announced would be its final internal combustion-engined car, the Emira. Once it completes development and launches the Emira, Lotus will shift its focus entirely on EVs, and it’s not just planning to make sports cars like the Elise, Exige and Evora that it recently stopped selling.
Lotus has big plans for its electrified future, which will include an SUV, a sporty sedan and a crossover; the latter is expected to be shown first. The new EV sports car (known as Type 135) is believed to debut in 2026 and Autocar says the model doesn’t yet have a name, but the publication has revealed some more clues.
Underpinning the new two-door is a platform called E-Sports that the source says is around 37 percent lighter than the same part of the new Emira. From what we understand, the chassis will be centred around a rear subframe that will also have the battery pack as a structural component.
Gallery: Lotus electric car teasers
The platform will also give designers two places to put the batteries: either in the floor of the vehicle, like in most EVs, or behind the passenger compartment in vehicles where maintaining a low driving position will be key - Porsche is also reportedly employing something similar in its upcoming fully-electric replacement for the 718 series of vehicles (the Cayman and Boxster).
In other words, future sports cars from Lotus will have the batteries stacked, behind the driver and passenger, while larger vehicles, those with rear seats, will have them in the floor. The platform will be able to accommodate single- or twin-motor configurations and power outputs ranging between 467 and 872 horsepower.
When it comes to battery capacity, the source article says the smallest battery fitted to the E-Sports platform will have 66.4 kWh capacity. This should be enough for more than adequate range (reportedly up to 300 miles), particularly since the future small sports car will be significantly lighter than most electric vehicles on the road, just like Lotus ICE vehicles are usually comparably lighter than similar size rival models.
And Just like the Elise, the new electric sports car will be the entry point into the Lotus range, the brand’s most accessible product. With it Lotus will keep its traditional focus of ‘adding lightness’ but now aero efficiency will play a much larger role too - the vehicle may even have passages to allow air to pass right through in order to make the vehicle slippery and stable at high speeds.
It’s also worth noting that Lotus is now owned by Geely, which in turn also owns Volvo, Polestar and Lynk&Co. Even though Lotus will design its own platform and powertrain, some sharing of knowledge (and possibly parts) could occur in the new models that it plans on launching - the more practical four-seater models will actually be built at the Lotus Technology HQ in China, and the small crossover model should be shown next year.