A Huge Shakeup At Lotus Means Leaving Gasoline and Hybrid Vehicles Behind
British automaker Lotus is currently elbows deep in revamping its entire lineup of sports cars and previous rumors suggested that we will see new generations of the Evora, Elise, a brand-new Esprit, and an SUV.
However, word is now that Lotus is planning to unveil a new gasoline car in 2021 and everything after that will be fully electric.
This is What Lotus is Planning For The Next 10 Years
Lotus was in big trouble a few years ago, to the point where it almost went bankrupt. Luckily, Chinese automaker Geely purchased the British company from Proton in 2017 and it has taken important steps to save it. Although the current lineup includes three sports cars originally launched between 1996 and 2008, Lotus is planning a big expansion during the next decade.
Holy Smokes, Is Lotus Bringing Back the Esprit?
The Lotus Esprit was made famous first and foremost by its submarine derivative from the James Bond movie The Spy Who Loved Me. Wet Nellie (yes, that’s the car’s nickname) was based on a 1977 Series I Esprit or Esprit S1.
Esprit production, however, started two years before in 1975, and was eventually stopped in 2004. But if a recent report holds any truth, Lotus is looking to revive the Esprit moniker by infusing it with hybrid power. Did we get your attention? Good. Read on, then.
2020 Lotus SUV
The idea of a Lotus crossover might make some fans of the British sports carmaker a little squeamish, but if Lotus is going to stick around, it’s going to need a higher-volume model with more mass-market appeal. Lotus revealed that it’s developing a compact crossover in 2017, but we still don’t know much about its underpinnings and design. However, a batch of patent images that surfaced the Web provided some hints as to what the British crossover will look like, and our designer created a rendering of the vehicle.
So what do we actually know about this crossover so far? First, it will be built in China and launched exclusively in that market before expanding to Europe and Japan. No word on U.S. availability just yet, but it’s very likely that North America will get it too. Second, Lotus aims to win SUV enthusiasts with one of the lightest and most dynamic vehicles on the market. "The SUV market changes as well – it’s not just cars that are six feet high and wide now, it’s a huge market that’s becoming more segmented. There is a niche within that for a Lotus crossover that is light and aerodynamic and handles like nothing else," former Lotus CEO, Jean-Marc Gales told Autocar in October 2017. Lotus began testing the crossover in 2019, but the prototype is just an old Lynk & Co 01 model. As a reminder, Lynk & Co is owned by Geely, the same Chinese company that owns Lotus (and Volvo for that matter).
Updated 06/24/2019: Our spy photographers caught the very first mules for the upcoming Lotus SUV out for the first testing session.
The Lotus Elan Could Come Back, and It’ll Take the Porsche 718 Boxster Head On
The iconic Lotus Elan could return to the market after nearly three decades. The British company is reportedly considering a revival of the nameplate for a brand-new drop-top sports car that will slot above the Elise in the lineup. The revival won’t happen until 2021 though, as that is when Lotus will have the proper platform for such a car.
Lotus Isn’t Planning Another Hypercar But a New Sports Car Is Coming in 2020 - Will It Be Electric, Though?
Lotus’ first real hypercar, the all-electric Evija stunned enthusiasts and pundits alike last week and is a sign of things to come for the Geely-owned British sports car specialist. But, in the meantime, Lotus is also preparing to rejuvenate its otherwise dated lineup of more affordable sports cars. The new model, that will become its bread and butter in the following years, should arrive next year and pop up in showrooms by 2021. The big question, however, is this: will it be electric as we’ve heard in the past few months?
Taking a look through Lotus’ current catalog is akin to taking a trip down memory lane as you see old friends such as the Elise, the Exige, and, lastly, the Evora - the only one still available Stateside - soldiering on. It’s not uncommon for a low-volume manufacturer to push the envelope when it comes to keeping a model on life support before there’s an influx of capital that allows it to create something new but there’s no denying that the entire Lotus lineup is very much long in the tooth by now and in dire need of an update.
Lotus Confirms Evija Name For its 1,000-Horsepower Hypercar; What Does the Teaser Video Tell Us?
Lotus’ highly anticipated hypercar is ready to emerge from the shadows. The 1,000-horsepower maniac will be unveiled on July 16 in London. Lotus also plans to hold a sneak peek of the model at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this week. But before any of that, we finally have confirmation on what has become a point of intense scrutiny about this model. Finally, the Lotus hypercar codenamed “Type 130” has a name. It’s called the Lotus Evija (“Ee-vi-ya”- meaning "the first in existence” or ’the living one,") and it’s ready to take the hypercar world by storm.
The Lotus Type 130 Electric Hypercar Will Have an Interesting Name; Will Offer More Room than a Ford GT
Lotus’ long-awaited entry into the fast and nutty world of exotic cars is finally taking shape. The first order of business? Finding a name for said exotic. Well, it looks like Lotus can cross that off its list. The model that we know today as the “Type 130” will eventually be called the “Evija.” The name revelation comes by way of Auto Express, which discovered a trademark filed by Lotus earlier this month pertaining to the supposed name. A quick look at the U.K.’s Intellectual Property Office reveals that the Evija trademark covered a number of classes, including “land vehicles, parts and fittings for land vehicles included in Class 12,” “Repair and maintenance of vehicles, custom built construction of vehicles” (Class 37), and “Engineering services, vehicle, and engine design services” (Class 42). If that doesn’t scream like a trademark for a future vehicle, I don’t know what does. Group Lotus Limited filed the trademark on June 18, 2019.
The new Lotus Hypercar will be Built in Partnership with Williams Advanced Engineering
Strategic alliance is the best way to go forward these days. We recently heard about Ford and Volkswagen collaborating, and this time, it is Lotus and Williams Advanced Engineering. The two companies will work hand-in-hand to share “research and development into advanced propulsion technologies.” The newly-wed companies have not provided any details on their forthcoming projects yet, but rumors suggest they could be working on the upcoming Lotus all-electric hypercar.
You’ll be Shocked When You Find out Who Geely-Owned Lotus will Soon Compete Against
Geely is one of China’s automotive giants, an industrial colossus that owns Volvo, Proton, Lynk & Co, the London Taxi Company and as of 2017 sports car manufacturer Lotus, as well. Its most recent acquisition was made with the intent to turn it into one of the world’s leading maker of sports cars, to rival the likes of Porsche, maybe even Aston Martin and McLaren.
Introducing Omega, a $2.5 Million Electric Lotus Hypercar Aimed At the Bugatti Chiron
With the performance scene moving towards ever-more advanced battery-powered mega-machines, some companies will inevitably get left behind in the electron dust. Luckily, it looks like Lotus won’t be among them, as it was just revealed that the Hethel-based brand might be working on a brand-new all-electric hypercar!
Lotus Is Making the Sweet Eye on Bringing its SUV into The Luxury Market
Lotus’ planned SUV is taking shape ahead of its scheduled debut in 2022. But, before things are said and done, the British automaker is reportedly keen on positioning its SUV as a luxury model, pushing it into the segment occupied by other premium SUVs like the Porsche Cayenne, Jaguar F-Pace, and Maserati Levante. More importantly, it might not be the only SUV to wear the Lotus badge.
Lotus Aims For Different Sports Cars As New Long-Term Strategy Kicks Off
Now that it’s found the safe and comfortable arms of burgeoning Chinese auto conglomerate Geely, Lotus isn’t wasting any time putting a new long-term strategy in place. The things that financial stability can do, right? Part of this strategy involves a 10-year plan that, according to CEO Jean Marc Giles, will bring life to a new generation of sports cars that will be different from the current models that the company has in the market today.
In a conversation with Top Gear, Giles didn’t outline the specifics behind the new strategy, but he did say that priority will be placed on a number of different options. The man credited for steering Lotus back to solid footing added that the company needs to evolve with the times and adapt to the trends that are shaping the industry today, including electrification and the development of a future SUV. These items are all part of Lotus’ 10-year plan, which it expects to kick off in 2018, two years ahead of the first Lotus model that will be the physical representation of that plan. To those expecting more of the same from Lotus, a recalibration of expectation is probably warranted in light of Giles also saying that these new-era Lotus models will be different from anything we’ve seen from the company. That said, just because they’re going to be different, it doesn’t mean that they’re going to be robbed of the very qualities that helped Lotus become one of the most famous sports car companies in the world. All future models will still put premium importance on being light in weight, agile in handling, and affordable in price. In other words, the core foundation of Lotus will remain intact; the only thing different will be on how Lotus builds off that old foundation and creates something new and better over the next decade. On that note, I’m excited to see what the future looks like for the automaker. It’s been too long since we really got excited about Lotus as a brand. But then again, better late than never.
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Here’s What A Lotus Acquisition Could Mean For Geely And Its Sub-Brands
Geely’s acquisition of Lotus sent some shockwaves to the auto industry for good reason. The Chinese automaker has been pushing aggressively for Western expansion in recent years, having acquired Volvo back in 2010. It’s done incredible work on that front and the results have been impressive. Volvo, dormant for so long, has become a luxury brand to be reckoned with once again and there doesn’t appear to be any signs of the Swedish company slowing down anytime soon. What Geely has done for Volvo is one of the big reasons why the Chinese automaker’s recent purchase of a majority stake in Lotus is being treated with a lot of optimism, and rightfully so.
Now I’m not about to go into overdrive on the hyperbole, but I do think that this transaction will yield a lot of positive results for both Geely and Lotus. Volvo could even benefit from it, and while we’re at it, let’s not forget about Geely’s new start-up electric car company, Lynk and Co. There’s plenty of room for growth for all these companies now that they’ll effectively under one umbrella. The objective now is to look at the possible benefits that each of these companies stand to gain.
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Lotus Finally Gets A New Owner!
For the longest time, Lotus seemed like the most under-utilized car company in the industry. At the very least, it ranks high on the list of automakers that have failed to live up to its potential. Fortunately, things are now taking a turn for the better for the beleaguered British automaker as Hong Kong-based automaker Geely acquires a 51-percent share in Lotus from its parent company, Proton.
In addition to the 51-percent stake in Lotus, Geely is also acquiring a 49.9 percent stake in Proton itself from the company’s parent firm, Malaysian conglomerate DRB-Hicom. The movement of all these chess pieces means Lotus is free from its struggling past ownership and under the watchful eye of Geely, the fledgling Chinese automaker responsible for reviving Volvo. Geely’s assumed goal to do the same for Lotus, which is largely credited for introducing some of the best handling, lightweight sports cars back in its heyday. It’s been a while since Lotus was a relevant name in the auto industry, but with Geely now in charge, there’s a lot of optimism in the air.
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