We've never associated the words "electric," "SUV," and "China" with Lotus, and yet here we are. Subjected to a painstakingly long teaser campaign, the Type 132 as currently known by its codename will finally break cover on 29 March. With good reason, some will argue Colin Chapman would've never liked the prospects of a heavy, high-riding vehicle, but it's 2022 and business is business.
The first-ever Lotus SUV and the company's second EV after the Evija hypercar won't be built at home in Norfolk. Instead, the model will be assembled in China at a newly constructed factory in Wuhan (yes, that Wuhan). It will be followed by a Type 133 four-door coupe and a Type 134 smaller crossover, both of which will be EVs. In fact, the Geely-owned company is done with launching ICE-powered cars as the Emira is the last hurrah for the petrol engine.
Despite sharing more than a few previews, Lotus hasn't talked too much about its SUV. We do know it rides on a bespoke EV platform able to take battery packs as large as 120 kWh. The sports car on stilts will be roughly the same size as the Porsche Cayenne and will come with all-wheel drive courtesy of dual electric motors.
Other details confirmed about the architecture include a wheelbase measuring anywhere between 2889 to 3100 millimetres (113.7 to 122 inches) along with support for fast charging thanks to the 800V tech. Expect somewhere in the region of 600-700 bhp for a 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) sprint in as little as three seconds.
The antonym for Chapman's "simplify, then add lightness" motto will be a four-door, five-seat heavy vehicle brimming with tech. From active aero and a LiDAR setup to a tilting infotainment and digital instrument cluster, the Lotus SUV will be a thoroughly modern car.
Designed in the UK, the Lotus Type 132 will likely go on sale by the end of the year or early 2023. We're anxious to find out its real name as some say it will be called "Lambda." That would break with tradition since the sports cars usually began with the letter "E."