What comes after an electric hypercar (Evija), a mid-engined sports car (Emira), and an electric SUV (Eletre)? A saloon that also does away with the combustion engine. Currently known by its "Type 133" codename, the EV has been spotted in prototype guise testing near the Arctic Circle. Our spies caught Lotus' answer to the Porsche Taycan wearing a special livery denoting 2023 represents the Norfolk brand's 75th anniversary.
Car paparazzi saw the EV in northern Sweden on a giant frozen lake where a tow truck arrived to rescue the prototype. The first Lotus saloon since the Carlton suffered a mechanical breakdown and had to be towed away. That frequently happens when automakers are testing an unreleased product, and it doesn't mean the subsequent production model will be problematic. Being an EV, it automatically has a better chance of being more reliable than an equivalent car powered by a combustion engine since there are fewer things that could go wrong.
2024 Lotus Type 133 spy photos
While the Taycan and E-Tron GT twins have a boot lid, the Type 133 appears to have a more practical liftback body style judging by the visible outline of the tailgate. It too has a swoopy roofline that not only gives it a sleek profile but also helps lower the drag coefficient to achieve a better range. The brakes are impressively large while the cap for the charging port on the left-front fender is much smaller than the Eletre's.
The prototype caught with German plates flaunted its unusual split headlight arrangement already in use on the SUV. In fact, the whole front fascia seems to be adapted from the Eletre, along with the side cameras and flush door handles. The back looks a bit odd because of the provisional taillights, which are likely to be replaced by a wide LED bar on the final car. A roof-mounted LIDAR is also noticeable.
From some angles, we can see the test vehicle had a pair of body-hugging Recaro front seats and a full roll cage. Needless to say, the production-ready Type 133 will have a regular cabin. We're expecting a roomy interior courtesy of the dedicated electric car platform, although the front and rear overhangs are quite long for a bespoke EV. We'll remind you the Eletre is 5,103 millimetres (201 inches) long and has a massive 3,019 mm (119 in) wheelbase.
The technical specifications should be rather interesting taking into account that the SUV tops out with an R version offering a colossal 905 bhp and 985 Newton metres (726 pound-feet) of torque. The Lotus Eletre does 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 2.95 seconds, but chances are the Type 133 will be even quicker by carrying around less weight.
As far as the name is concerned, it'll start with "E" but apparently not "Envya" as rumours have suggested. The wraps will come off later this year, with sales likely to start in 2024.