Lotus is a lot different nowadays compared to the ever-struggling sports car marque of yore. Parent company Geely is funding the transformation from a niche marque to an automaker with an extensive lineup. 2022 saw the introduction of what seemed impossible not that many years ago – an SUV. After the Eletre, another model with rear doors is coming. It doesn't have a name yet, but something different than "Envya" if we were to rely on recent reports.
A prototype carrying the production body has been spotted at and around the Nürburgring. Concomitantly, a new unofficial rendering attempts to peel off the camouflage we've seen in recent months of test vehicles. The exterior design will take after the Eletre SUV but adapted to create a low-slung saloon, although it technically might have a more practical tailgate for a silhouette reminiscent of the Audi A7 Sportback.
Codenamed Type 133, the first Lotus saloon since the Carlton has been filmed and rendered while trying to hide its split headlight design and roof-mounted LIDAR. Even though the prototype didn't seem to have the final taillights, it's easy to see there's a light bar behind the black tape. Footage showing the car's side profile tells us it'll be a big car with long rear doors, perhaps as big as the A7 we mentioned earlier.
The hardware should be largely carried over from the Eletre, so a potential R range-topper could offer a little over 900 bhp and more than 700 pound-feet (nearly 1,000 Newton-metres) of torque. If our assumption is correct, look for the 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) sprint to take less than three seconds considering the heavier SUV already does it in 2.95 seconds. The top speed should be similar as well, so expect around 165 mph (265 kph) to echo the Eletre.
Going up against the Porsche Taycan, the new electric saloon from Lotus will have a sister model in the Polestar 5, with the latter focusing more on the grand touring side. The Type 133 is going to be unveiled later this year, with a Type 134 coming in 2024 as a smaller crossover, also without a combustion engine. An electric sports car co-developed with Alpine will follow in 2026.