Lotus isn't wasting any time with testing on its forthcoming electric saloon. We mean that figuratively and literally in this case, because the smoke you see from this prototype isn't related to an engine. These poor tyres are fighting a losing battle between horsepower, weight, and tarmac at the Nurburgring.

Cycling through the series of fresh spy shots, it looks like the driver overcooked the corner but our photographer tells us this isn't a slide. Apparently, the Lotus wheelman was rather aggressive with the throttle through the turn, lighting up the inside front wheel as the weight shifted away from it. Indeed, cycling through the photos we see the smoke let up just a bit, then come back hard as the car accelerates out of the corner.

Gallery: Lotus Type 133 Electric Saloon Nurburgring Spy Photos

The smoking tyre also serves as a metaphorical smoking gun in this case, confirming an all-wheel-drive layout for the forthcoming electric saloon. That was pretty much a given, what with it tied to the Eletre SUV and all. But this display of power also suggests the sedan will be available in the same 905-bhp trim as the Eletre R. That would elevate the Type 133 to an exclusive arena of super saloons, bumping elbows with the Lucid Air and Tesla Model S.

Mechanical components won't be the only features shared by the Eletre. As with previous sightings, we can see the SUV's design influence in the saloon's face. There's a similar split-light motif with a thin grille, and there's no missing the side-view cameras on the doors in place of mirrors. This also leads us to believe there will be similarities inside as well. The Eletre uses a thin digital display directly in front of the driver, augmented with a large landscape-oriented centre touchscreen.

Of course, it won't actually be called the Lotus Type 133. That's the saloon's internal designation, but we've heard the names Envya and Etude tossed around. Whatever it's named, we think an official debut could take place by the end of the year.