The Lotus Elise is a comparatively reasonably priced, no-nonsense sports activities automotive that’s equally at dwelling on the highway or race observe. First launched in 1996, the spritely roadster bowed out of the U.S. in 2011 and can exit all different markets by the top of 2021, together with the associated Exige and Evora sports activities vehicles. Various variations of the brand new Emira sports activities automotive will fill the void till Lotus makes a change to a full-electric lineup this decade.
Lotus will quickly begin deliveries of its limited-production Evija electrical hypercar however gained’t have a quantity electrical sports activities automotive on sale till 2026. Code-named the Type 135, this quantity sports activities automotive shall be based mostly on Lotus’ not too long ago introduced E-Sports platform designed for electrical sports activities vehicles with both twin or 2+2 seating configurations.
E-Sports is the platform that Alpine may also use for an electrical sports activities automotive, one in every of three electrical fashions the French model plans. Lotus can be open to licensing the platform to different corporations.
Autocar reported on Monday that the E-Sports-based Type 135 would be the non secular successor to the Elise, which means it is going to be the entry-level providing in Lotus’ future electrical sports activities automotive lineup. This additionally means that it’ll doubtless have the bottom specs provided within the E-Sports platform, which Lotus has confirmed as a 66.4-kilowatt-hour battery, 469-hp rear-mounted motor, and quick wheelbase with seating for 2.
Lotus E-Sports platform (Project LEVA) for short-wheelbase electrical sports activities vehicles
Expect different Lotus fashions based mostly on the E-Sports platform to have comparable positioning to the Exige and Evora/Emira. The most potent configuration has been confirmed as having a 99.6-kwh battery and dual-motor system good for 871 hp.
Due to the heavy battery, Lotus is unlikely to match the light-weight ethos of the Elise with its Type 135 although efforts are being made to make sure it’s among the many lightest within the electrical sports activities automotive enviornment. For instance, the rear construction of the E-Sports platform is 37% lighter than the construction on the Emira platform. Key weight-saving measures embody using the automobile construction because the battery enclosure, having an built-in electrical drive unit, eliminating bolt-on sub-frames, and optimizing the multi-link suspension elements.
Lotus can be unlikely to match the worth of the Elise. Citing feedback made by Matt Windle, Lotus managing director, Autocar reported that the worth of the Type 135 will fall someplace between 80,000 and 100,000 British kilos (roughly $109,000 and $136,000). That’s virtually double what the Elise bought for earlier than exiting the U.S.
Before the arrival of the Type 135, Lotus will launch three different electrical automobiles. These shall be a pair of crossovers (Type 132 and Type 134) and a four-door coupe (Type 133). While Lotus will preserve manufacturing of its sports activities vehicles in its Hethel, U.Okay., dwelling, different fashions shall be sourced from a brand new plant beneath building in Wuhan, China.