While Lotus still has a huge appeal to the true driving enthusiasts, it’s hard to ignore the fact that its ageing cars (aside from the the ultra-millionaire-only Evija) barely attracts regular car buyers any more. The Lotus Elise and Exige in their latest iterations are now a decade old, and the “more comfortable” Evora was unveiled more than twelve years ago.
It’s no secret that Lotus has been working on a new “global appeal” sports car to reinvigorate its model line-up, with rumours floating about ever since Geely took over ownership of the famed British brand. But according to a new report by Automotive News Europe, the new model could be unveiled as early as June this year.
Speaking to the publication, Lotus CEO Phil Popham said that the new internal combustion engine sports car “will focus on usability”, and is “designed so you can live with it on a day-to-day basis”. He also said that the new sports car will hopefully broaden Lotus’ appeal in the United States, giving the Hethel-based sportscar maker “quite substantial growth”.
“This car will have a wider price point, and that gives us an opportunity in the US,” said Popham. “To be successful in the sports car market you have to be successful in the US.” Due to legal issues and safety regulations, Lotus currently only has the Evora on sale in the states.
According to Popham, the still-unnamed model will be offered in various versions with prices ranging from GBP55,000 (~RM304k) to GBP105,000 (~RM581K), roughly matching that of the marque’s current offerings. Production will begin next year at Lotus’ revamped factory in Hethel.
The new sports car will feature modern electrical architecture to allow for a higher degree of connectivity, Popham said. The platform has also been redesigned to remove some of the practical disadvantages of the current Lotus cars, such as the ingress/egress body contortion one has to perform to get in or out of the cabin.
Not much else is known about this new sports car as of now, but according to several people in the know, this might well be the last internal combustion-powered model from Lotus.
Recently, the British sportscar maker announced a partnership with Renault’s Alpine brand to develop fully-electric sports cars. But even before that, Lotus has already signalled its intentions with the RM10 million Evija fully-electric hypercar – which is expected to begin delivery by year-end after development was delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
No matter what the model ends up to be though, rest assured that it will most likely be available on our shores too, with Lotus Karz now taken the reins of the brand here in Malaysia.