Let's all be honest and admit few would've thought we'd be casually talking about an electric saloon from Lotus to follow an SUV also without a combustion engine. Some of us were under the impression the folks from Norfolk would just go on and sell the Elise/Exige and Evora forever, sprucing them up through numerous special editions. However, everything changed when Geely bought the company, putting it under the same corporate umbrella as Volvo.
It's 2022 and the Eletre is officially out, with an electric saloon to follow next year. Indeed, the Porsche Taycan competitor currently known by its "Type 133" codename is due in 2023 as the second China-built model after the SUV. British magazine Autocar has obtained preliminary details about the saloon, which they say won't look like the Eletre without its stilts.
It is believed the saloon's design is about to be finalised, and Lotus points out it's going to be more than just a low-slung Eletre. According to Peter Horbury, senior VP of design, "every member of a family can have their own character." That said, the company needs to have a cohesive design, hence why "there has to be some continuity and family identity" since "families aren’t made up entirely of triplets or quadruplets."
Expect an aero-driven exterior design and a high-tech minimalist cabin for what will be Lotus' answer to the Taycan GTS. Considering the Eletre has dual motors with a combined 592 bhp, the saloon should pack the same punch as the SUV and Zuffenhausen's saloon. However, Lotus has already said there will be more powerful versions, so the Type 133 could eventually duel the Turbo and/or Turbo S.
According to the firm's managing director, Matt Windle, the SUV in the launch specification with 592 bhp is "where we're starting at – there's more to come." In fact, there are already rumours of a tri-motor Eletre with a whopping 900 bhp, which would still be less than the likes of the Tesla Model S Plaid and Lucid Air Dream Edition Performance.
Lotus' expansion will continue in 2024 with the Type 134 as a smaller Wuhan-built electric crossover to fight the next-generation, EV-only Porsche Macan. Come 2026, the result of a cooperation with Alpine will materialise in an electric sports car to be built at home in Hethel. Renault's performance arm will get its own variant to replace the mid-engined A110 Coupe.