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Could an Electric Esprit Replace the Lotus Emira in 2027?

by Nik Berg
2 February 2024 2 min read
Could an Electric Esprit Replace the Lotus Emira in 2027?

A new Lotus sports car, codenamed Type 135, is confirmed for production in 2027 to become the fifth car in an all-electric line-up.

When the Emira ends its run the Type 135 will take its place as the brand’s accessible sportster and be sold alongside the Evija Hypercar, Eletre Hyper SUV, Emeya Hyper GT and a more compact Type 134 SUV. Unlike its more mainstream stablemates, which are built in China, the Type 135 will be assembled at the Chapman Production Centre in Norfolk where the Evija is also produced.

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While the SUVs and sedans will make up the vast majority of Lotus sales, the Type 135 will play a vital role in the company’s future. “We need the bullseye of the brand, which has to be that two-seat sports car,” Lotus Chief Commercial Officer Mike Johnstone told Autocar. “Otherwise we’re just a brand with a Lotus badge. The sports car is an essential part of our future.”

Lotus LEVA

So what do we know about the upcoming two-seater? It will be designed and built in Britain on a unique platform known as Project LEVA (Lightweight Electric Vehicle Architecture), with its batteries mounted amidships for better weight distribution. Both rear-drive and all-wheel-drive will be available and advanced aerodynamics will be a key component. Lotus has set ambitious targets for range and price. A 66.4 kWh battery pack would allow for 300 miles on a charge, while the top-spec 99.6 kWh pack would extend that to 450 miles. The entry-level model will sell for around £75,000 which is on a par with the current Emira.

As to what the car will look like, there’s a strong chance Lotus could be inspired by its past for this future sports car. At the launch of the Emeya Chief Creative Officer Ben Payne told Hagerty that the classic Giugiaro wedge is already major influence on the design team. “We had an Esprit in the studio and everyone was drooling over it,” he said. “Designers love that Esprit definition, the join line – it’s super iconic.”

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