Following Lotus’ partnership with Alpina, the latter of which is transitioning into an all-electric brand, Automotive News Europe has reported that Lotus is going to kill off its entire lineup and completely reinvent itself. That means big things are coming, the first of which is the company’s first all-new model in more than a decade. On the flip side, however, this means the Evora, Exige, and Elise will be discontinued by the end of 2021.
Lotus CEO Phil Popham revealed to AN Europe that its first new model, currently known only as the Type 131, will be revealed this summer and will be priced between £55,000
and £105,000 – figures than span the brands current lineup. The main purpose of the model is to appeal and increase sales in the U.S., and it will be followed quickly be the first deliveries of the Evija electric hypercar. Looking ahead, the brand will be introducing an all-electric SUV that will be bult by Geely (currently known as the Lambda) which will be followed by a new electric sports car sometime in 2025 – the fruit of the brand’s partnership with Alpine.
Why is all of this important to us or you? Well, Lotus’ current lineup is beyond old, and it’s honestly about time that we start seeing something truly new from Lotus. The Type 131 as we know it now will be powered by a V-6 powertrain that’s backed up by a hybrid system that’s built in-house. It may not revive the Esprit name, but word has it that this new model is said to be in the spirit of it, so expect there to be at least a bits of classic Lotus DNA. As for the rest of the new models coming from Lotus this decade, some are speculating that each will be “all-new” while others are expecting these to be different variations of the Type 131. The latter point makes some sense, given the widely ranging price point.
All of these future models is part of Lotus’ plan to grow significantly. In 2020, the company sold just 1,378 cars in total across all three models in its core lineup. The company expects to, eventually, increase that figure to as much as 10,000 units annually – a figure that will move Lotus from a tiny automaker to a small one.
Bidding Farewell to Three Icons
With news that Lotus’ current lineup is going out of production after 2021, let’s take just a moment to remember how we got to this point.
It all started back in 1995 when Lotus launched its most important and equally iconic model, the Elise. This model pioneers the utilization of an extruded and bonded aluminum chassis – an engineering technology that Lotus still uses to this day. Five years later in 2000, Lotus launched the Exige, a hardcore, track-focused hard-top version of the Elise which, by the way, carries on into 2021 practically unchanged since its launch 20 years ago. Finally, in 2008, the Evora hit the market, successfully returning Lotus to the super sports car segment and giving it a worthy, low-volume competitor for the Porsche 911. Over the years, Lotus claims it will have built and sold around 55,000 examples of all three cars combined.