Lotus only sold 576 cars in all of 2022 – not great, Jim. But already this year the company is showing huge improvements with pre-orders of the Emira sports car and Eletre SUV swelling to 17,000 in just the first six months of 2023.
Next year could be even more fruitful with the arrival of Lotus' yet-to-be-named electric saloon. Using the same architecture as the Eletre and boasting most of the same specs, the Lotus Type 133 – as it's currently known internally – could be another sales boon for the British brand on the rebound.
What Will It Be Called?
As mentioned, the Lotus saloon currently has no name. But the company is likely to follow the Eletre, Emira, and Evija (and Esprit and Elise and Eclat and Elan and Europa) with another "E" nomenclature. There's still no confirmation on exactly what "E" name the saloon could don, but initial trademark filings revealed possibilities like Envya, which Lotus has since shot down, and Etude, which the company has neither confirmed nor denied.
One long-shot option is Cortina, named after the Ford Cortina Lotus from the early 1960s like the one pictured above. Car And Driver suggests that Lotus could ditch the "E" naming convention altogether and use the throwback nomenclature instead, but we're not so sure.
What Will It Look Like?
There have been a number of revealing spy photos and videos showing the Lotus saloon undergoing validation, and from what we can see underneath the camouflage, the Type 133 will have a relatively sleek four-door design. It won't be as low-slung as the Porsche Taycan or Audi E-Tron GT, granted, instead more in line with something like the Tesla Model S.
Elsewhere, the Lotus saloon shares design cues with the larger Eletre, most notably its ultra-slim split headlight fixtures and rear light bar. But the high-spoke snowflake wheels pictured on nearly all the prototypes we've seen thus far are unique to the saloon, though they do bear some resemblance to the Emira’s shoes. The Type 133 will also boast lots of flow-through aero features like rear-wheel diffusers and buttressed front fenders to reduce wind resistance.
Our artist took a crack at rendering the Lotus Type 133 using the many spy photos provided, and the concept pictured here gives us a solid idea as to what the final production version could look like.
What Kind Of Specs Will It Have?
With the Emira sports car being the brand’s last gas vehicle, the Lotus Type 133 saloon will be completely electric and the third Lotus EV after the Evija supercar and Eletre SUV. It will use the same Electric Premium Architecture (EPA) as the Eletre, most likely with a matching 112.0-kilowatt-hour battery pack good for up to 400 miles of range and 10-80 percent, 420-kilowatt fast charging in just 20 minutes.
A range-topping performance version of the Type 133 could pack north of 900 horsepower, which would put it up against other powerful EVs like the Porsche Taycan Turbo S and Tesla Model S Plaid. Look for the base model to still have two motors, all-wheel drive, and somewhere in the neighborhood of 600 bhp.
The Type 133 saloon will also have fancy suspension tech – again, mimicking the Eletre – to make it a more dynamic performer. That will include an air suspension, rear-wheel steering, active roll control, and active aerodynamics, with Commercial Vice President Mike Johnstone saying the overall performance will be comparable to the Taycan.
When Will We See It?
Lotus has confirmed that the four-door will be revealed before the end of the year and it’s likely to go on sale sometime in the summer of 2024.
How Much Will It Cost?
The Type 133 should be more affordable than the larger Eletre, which starts at around £89,500 in the UK. Our best guess is a base RRP of just under £70,000 with the top-end, Taycan Turbo–rivaling version costing nearly £120,000. The 2023 Taycan Turbo, for reference, costs £125,800 and the Taycan Turbo S is £148,300.