Lotus, a classic British marque, finally revealed its new Type 130 model at Auto Shanghai 2019 this week. The firm confirmed that the electric hypercar is in the works and already at an advanced stage, but that the concept will not be fully revealed until later this year in London.
It did however unveil some teaser design shots indicating what we can expect. It is unlikely to look like any previous Lotus model, but retains a connection with them. Codenamed the Type 130, it continues to exhibit many aspects of the Lotus heritage that covers a period of 70 years.
In the past a number of models have become iconic for the British firm. These include: the Type 14 (Elite, 1957), considered the world’s first production car with a monocoque structure made of composite materials; the Type 72, a multiple Formula 1 championship-winning race car; and the Type 111 (Elise, 1995), the world’s first production car with aluminium and bonded extrusion construction.
The Type 130 is an electric hypercar that Lotus hopes will help restore Lotus’ image as a genuine alternative to Porsche and Ferrari. Furthermore, none of its potential rivals have any plans to produce an electric sports car until the middle of the next decade, so the Type 130 could help Lotus to have a first mover advantage in this sector.
China’s Geely Holdings, which bought a stake in Lotus last year, is already developing the EV tech for high-performance cars that Lotus could leverage to position itself as a technology leader. Geely is committed to Lotus and is reportedly spending as much as $2 billion on future developments, including potentially increasing its stake in the British firm from the current 51%.There is also the new partnership with Williams Advanced Engineering that helped Aston Martin develop the Rapide E model.
It is expected that the Type 130 will only be produced in small numbers and that it will have a hefty price tag. According to Motor Authority, Lotus also plans to launch a new sports car next year and an SUV is also in the pipeline to help the brand attract a more general audience of fans.
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