Set to be revealed late this year, the Lotus Type 133 will be the brand’s first performance saloon since the early-1990s Vauxhall-based Carlton and is set to be particularly popular in China and the US – crucial markets for Lotus.
Around five metres long, the Porsche Taycan rival will be positioned as the most luxurious model in the firm’s line-up. The Type 133 is in the late stages of development.
Test versions have been spotted on the road in a promotional camouflage livery and late prototypes are already going down Wuhan’s production line.
The Type 133 will be similar in size to the Polestar 5 grand tourer due on sale next year, but Lotus managing director Matt Windle has previously said that while there is some technology transfer, Geely allows its brands, which include Polestar, to conduct development independently. This means the models will be tangibly different in every key aspect.
Spy shots show that the Type 133 will feature sleek styling, a sloping roof and design cues from the Evija and Eletre. Lotus has placed a major focus on its dynamic development, given the model will be tasked with taking on the Taycan and Audi E-tron GT. It will feature similar chassis technology to the Eletre – including air suspension, rear-wheel steer, active roll control and active aerodynamics – but engineered to a different brief.
No technical details of the Type 133 have been revealed yet, but it is expected to closely follow the Eletre. This means entry-level versions are likely to offer around 602bhp from a twin-motor set-up, closely matching the Taycan GTS. The top-spec Eletre R features a more powerful rear motor that lifts output to 904bhp.
The Type 133 will retain the Eletre’s 112kWh battery pack, which could give the sleek saloon a range of more than 400 miles. The EPA platform allows for fast charging at speeds of up to 420kW.
Asked how the Type 133 will stack up to performance EV rivals such as the Taycan, new Lotus commercial chief Mike Johnstone told Autocar: “When you look at performance, we’ll be in a good place, both in terms of handling and 0-60mph speeds.