British automaker Lotus is poised to introduce its latest creation, an all-electric sports car scheduled for unveiling next year, with customer deliveries anticipated to commence in 2027. The upcoming model, currently designated as the Type 135, is positioned as the successor to the Emira, potentially coexisting with its predecessor during the transitional phase.
Built on the Lightweight Electric Vehicle Architecture (LEVA), shared with the Alpine A110 successor, the Type 135 adopts a distinctive approach to battery placement. Unlike typical electric vehicles, Lotus plans to position the battery pack just behind the front seats, adopting a mid-engined-style layout. This strategic design choice aims to maintain a low profile reminiscent of traditional mid-engine sports cars while ensuring a familiar weight distribution and handling balance.
Reports from Autocar suggest that the LEVA platform will accommodate both single- and dual-motor configurations, boasting power outputs ranging from 469 horsepower to a formidable 872 horsepower. Lotus is expected to maintain a rear-wheel-drive configuration, though it remains open to exploring an all-wheel-drive variant with advanced torque vectoring in the future. Two battery pack options, 66.4 kWh and 99.6 kWh, will be available, complemented by an 800-volt electrical system for rapid charging capabilities.
Lotus envisions substantial market success for the Type 135, aiming to sell between 10,000 and 15,000 units, significantly surpassing the projected annual sales of the Emira at 5,000 to 6,000 units.
Ben Payne, Lotus Vice President of Design, emphasized the meticulous approach to the Type 135's design, stating, “The design is something we've got to balance and get absolutely right, so it's not taken lightly at all. There's lots of investigation going on. Lots of things have been tried and looked at.”
As the project progresses, Lotus has yet to finalize a name for the new model. Mike Johnstone, Chief Commercial Officer, acknowledged the possibility of resurrecting a historic name from the brand's past but emphasized the need for careful consideration, stating, “If you're going to use an old name, though, it needs to really have legitimacy.”