Published on December 3rd, 2021 | by Amirul Mukminin0
Lotus To Relaunch Brand With Type 132 SUV
The British sports car maker has Porsche, among others, in its sights
Ever since its acquisition by Zhejiang Geely Holding Group some four years ago, Lotus Cars has been busy reinventing itself as an all-electric automaker. We’ve seen the Evija in 2019, and now, Lotus looks set to welcome its first crossover SUV sometime in spring 2022.
The first of the four new EVs Lotus has in the pipeline for the next five years, the SUV, which is tentatively named the Type 132, is being developed at the newly-built Lotus Tech Innovation Centre (LTIC) located in the small German town of Raunheim. The SUV has also been undergoing performance tests at the Nurburgring, according to reports.
The facility is staffed by roughly 150 engineers from more than 15 countries, some of them recruited from automakers Lotus intend to compete with such as Porsche, Audi, Ferrari, McLaren, Aston Martin, Mercedes and Opel, as well as suppliers like Continental, Hella, Faurecia and Bosch.
As for the Type 132, we know that it is built on a modular EV platform called Evolution and will most likely be offered with a pair of dual-motor all-wheel-drive powertrains with a 100-kWh battery and up to 750 hp. Lotus has so far only provided glimpses of the SUV through a video that shows a grille with active shutters, a roof-mounted LiDAR sensor, an active rear wing as well as a large infotainment screen.
The Evolution is one of four platforms that be used to develop future Lotus cars, the other three being the Extreme, which underpins the Evija, the E-sport for electric sports cars and the Elemental, which is the basis of the Emira, Lotus’ final combustion car that replaces the Elise, Exige and Evora.
With China as its primary market, the Type 132 will be built at the company’s new USD 1.3 billion factory located in the city of Wuhan. The new site covers an area of over 1 million square metres and is capable of producing 150,000 cars a year. That’s 10 times more than the production capacity at the Hethel factory. In addition to producing cars, the site also houses an integrated intelligent test track that has an advanced autonomous driving technology to transport vehicles into workshops.
The Type 132 will not be the only Lotus EV manufactured in Wuhan. A four-door coupe, codenamed Type 133, as well as a second crossover, codenamed Type 134, are expected to be built there as well. Meanwhile, the Type 135 sports car, which will reportedly be launched in 2026 as a twin to an Alpine sports car, will be made in Hethel.