Lotus reveals details of four all-new platforms

Hethel firm mounts four-pronged assault on the sports, luxury lifestyle and EV market

2021 Lotus Evija

Talking Points

  • Four new platforms include sportscar and hypercar
  • All-electric 'Type 132' SUV slotted for 2023 unveling
  • Lotus-Alpine electric 'E-Sports' car rumoured for 2024 launch

Hot off the heels of the sneak preview and name reveal of its brand new sportscar, the Emira, Lotus has released details of four new chassis architectures that will underpin its entire future product line-up. 

Split into four different categories – sportscar, hypercar, premium, and electric sports architecture – the Geely-owned automaker aims to re-establish itself as a key player in the sports car market.

The first has been donned the ‘Elemental’ architecture and will serve as the base for the all-new Emira. 

Made using Lotus’s considerable expertise in extruded aluminium architecture, the chassis promises to deliver both a lightweight and dynamic platform for what will be Lotus’s last vehicle powered by an internal combustion engine.

Lotus’s ballistic 1470kW EV hypercar, the Evija, will utilise the second of the Hethel firm’s new chassis architectures, donned the ‘Extreme’ platform. 

The Extreme architecture is an important one for Lotus, as it’s the automaker’s first-ever carbonfibre monocoque chassis. 

Built by CPC in Modena, Italy, the complex and lightweight chassis goes a long way to ensuring the Evija’s kerb weight, which is said to be just 1630 kilograms. 

That may sound like a lot, but considering the Evija will be jam-packed with a whopping 2000kW lithium-ion battery pack slung directly behind the cabin, it is remarkably light.

The third architecture is being described as ‘the first-ever truly global automotive architecture’ made by Lotus. 

Called the ‘Evolution’ platform, Lotus says it will form the basis for a range of lifestyle vehicles, including an all-electric SUV, that will push the British brand into new markets and segments.

Designed by Lotus at its British headquarters with support from teams in China, Sweden, and Germany, the automaker is hoping the cars spawned from the Evolution platform will drive sales and profitability in a way the Hethel outfit hasn’t experienced before.

The fourth and final new architecture is one being jointly developed between Lotus and Renault’s EV performance spin-off, Alpine

Referred to as the ‘E-Sports’ platform, it’s understood the Anglo-French modular chassis will act as the foundation for both a Lotus and Alpine fully-electric sportscar. 

Collaborations between carmakers are becoming more and more commonplace across the automotive landscape, however, Lotus says this new EV sportscar will retain much of the characteristics synonymous with the brand.  

“The E-Sports architecture will be flexible and modular, and will generate an exciting new sportscar for the Lotus brand, with contemporary styling, class-leading ride and handling, explosive performance and that unmistakable Lotus character – a pure dynamic experience that is for the drivers,” said Matt Windle, Lotus Cars managing director. 

“I have challenged our teams to target the same weight as our latest combustion engine sports cars.”

Lotus has, of course, announced grandiose plans like this before, only to have them completely fall apart (Dany Bahar, anyone?).

However, since Chinese auto-giant Geely bought the ailing marque, it would appear as though things are finally looking up for the legacy sportscar brand – just look what Geely has been able to accomplish with Volvo and Polestar. 

Exact timing for these new models is still murky, with the Emira due to be globally revealed in July, which is around the same time the Evija should also be launched. 

The aforementioned lifestyle SUV, codenamed the Type 132, is likely to be unveiled in 2023, and the Lotus/Alpine amalgamation should follow the year after in 2024. 

Be sure to watch this space as WhichCar brings you all the latest updates on the Lotus Emira and Evija.

 

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