At the Shanghai Motor Show, alongside the Evora GT4 expected in 2020, Lotus is making official the “Type 130” project in a filmed sequence, which will mark Hethel’s new course in electrification.
A video teaser announces the new strategy Lotus, which for the future (in the short term, it is to be assumed, since the project is in the execution phase, it seems) will extend towards theelectrification. The announcement, by the top management of the Hethel brand, comes as a bit of a surprise during the opening hours of Shanghai Motor Show 2019, and very shortly after the anticipation of the Evora GT4 Concept, prefiguration of the new racing configuration for the high-end coupé of the factory now in the orbit of the Chinese giant Geely. It can be imagined, although this had been in the air for several months, taking into account the ambitious repositioning programs of the “brand” and its range (here our news of the past few months), that thanks to the new control of the holding company which holds the majority of Volvo’s shares, Lotus history starts at a all new chapter: last summer, the “upper floors” of the Chinese company had announced, in favor of Lotus, a sum of investments in the order of 1.5 billion pounds, aimed at the construction of some new projects (an SUV, a “baby” sports car that could take the place, if not at least alongside her, of the long-lived and bestselling Elise; a high-end and very high-performance supercar) and, at the same time, expand Hethel’s production plants, create new jobs ( no less than 200 engineers and technicians), found a new Style Center (in Coventry, historically one of the automotive “hubs” in the United Kingdom) and set up a second Lotus factory in the West Midlands.
In detail, the Announcements unveiled by the top Lotus at the Shanghai Motor Show represents a first indication of Lotus Type 130: an epochal preview for the factory founded by Colin Chapman which last year celebrated the seventy years since the construction of the first cars (the conversion kits for the Austin Seven), and for two reasons: it represents the first totally new project for Lotus since 2008; and it will be there first electric super sports car in the history of the glorious brand that has written memorable pages in motorsport.
And it is by looking at its past that Lotus begins to chart the future: the brief demonstrates it video sequence, symbolically accompanied by the opening slogan “We dare” (“We dare”), focusing the spotlight on the many innovations in the name of lightness, absolute attention to the dynamics of the vehicle and the construction of the chassis that Colin Chapman, and the technicians which over time joined him, proposed on the market after having properly tested them in competitions.
The movie reviews some of the key models in Lotus history: from Type 25, the first monocoque in F1, which gave Jim Clark his first world title in 1963; to Type 49, a single-seater that inaugurated the adoption of Ford Cosworth V8 engines, ailerons and won the F1 World Championship in 1968 with Graham Hill; to Type 72 (twice world champion: 1970 with Jochen Rindt; 1972 with Emerson Fittipaldi) with extremely accurate aerodynamic research and an exceptionally long competitive life; and, to represent the road models, the Type 26 (Lotus Elan), la Type 14 (first generation of Lotus Elite, produced between 1957 and 1963), the Type 82 (Lotus Esprit) and the Type 111 (or the “dynasty” Elise). Finally, one is portrayed for a few seconds first indication of the side profile (with strong aerodynamic qualities) of Lotus Type 130, which highlights a car body two-seater and cockpit placed in a rather advanced position; this last clue could suggest the adoption of a powertrain module placed in the center. Further hypotheses, advanced by the international press, would indicate a monocoque structure in carbon fiber (a project that, presumably, would start from a blank sheet) and, for the propulsion part, the partnership with Williams Advanced Engineering, a company in recent days at the headlines thanks to the collaboration established with Aston Martin for the development of the electric super sedan Rapide E which is presented at the Shanghai Motor Show.