News - Lotus
Lotus planning new series production model: report
All-new hi-po hybrid V6 Lotus model to revive spirit of Esprit supercar in 2021
17 Mar 2020
LOTUS is planning its first all-new series-production model in over a decade, in the form of a hybridised V6 coupe that could be a spiritual successor to the legendary Esprit coupe, according to a report from British publication Autocar.
The as-yet-unnamed sportscar will be underpinned by an updated version of the aluminium architecture of the top-spec Evora, however the reports suggest that the new model will sit above the Evora instead of acting as a direct replacement.
This will be followed soon after by a brand-new rivet-bonded platform that will form the basis for a new raft of products from the British performance brand, which is currently carried by the ageing Elise, Exige and Evora line-ups.
The new product will allegedly use a hybrid V6 powertrain, with combustion power coming from a unit said to be related to the Toyota-sourced 3.5-litre V6 used in the current Exige and Evora. It is not yet known if it will be aspirated or use forced induction.
Electric power is said to be developed in-house, with Lotus no doubt leveraging the expertise from parent company Geely, which has used electrified powertrains in Volvo and Polestar vehicles, which it also owns.
Lotus has already hinted at its electric potential with the wild 1471kW Evija hypercar EV, and the brand has stated its intention to introduce electrification on all future vehicles.
No outputs for the hybrid powertrain have been outlined, however if the new hybrid is to sit above the Evora, it will likely have to outstrip the 321kW/440Nm managed in the GT430 grade.
With Lotus’ focus having always been on light weight and exciting handling characteristics, engineers are expected to try to minimise weight gains from the battery packs powering the electric motor.
Autocar believes the design of the new model will evoke the design of the Evija but on a smaller scale, with a mid-engined layout and comfortable seating for two, instead of trying to package a 2+2 seating configuration.
Despite only two seats, the new model is being billed as the most usable Lotus available – to be fair, it doesn’t have a lot of competition – with a greater level of practicality and everyday comfort.
Lotus will be able to create the new hybrid sportscar thanks to an investment from Geely, which is said to be tipping billions of dollars into the brand to allow for greater design, engineering and manufacturing capabilities.
Concrete details are expected to come to light closer to the model’s reveal sometime next year.
Lotus has sold eight vehicles in the first two months of the year, slightly down on the 10 managed to the same point last year.
In 2019 the sportscar marque sold 57 units, an improvement of one sale over 2018.
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