Lotus

Lotus unit takes step toward e-car switch

Units of Lotus and electric-vehicle upstart Nio signed an investment pact as the Chinese owner of the iconic maker of British sports and racing cars seeks to transform it into an all-electric brand.

Lotus Technology and Nio will explore collaboration in areas including high-end intelligent EVs, according to a statement. The unit, which develops electric cars for the Lotus brand globally, broke ground on its global headquarters in Wuhan last week and plans to roll out a range of new models over the next five years.

The first, a sport utility vehicle code named Type 132, will debut next year. This will be followed in 2023 by a four-door coupe and another SUV in 2025. An all-new electric sports car, the Type 135, will hit the market in 2026.

The models are in addition to the Evija all-electric hypercar and the Emira, the last gas-powered sports car from Lotus,

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Lotus to launch last pure petrol sports car

The Lotus Evija hypercar,

Lotus is already experimenting with electrification with its Evija hypercar, which goes into production at the end of the year

The sportscar maker Lotus has announced that a new model, to be called the Emira, will be its last conventionally powered car.

The new design forms part of a major overhaul of the Norfolk-based business, which is controlled by China’s Geely.

Managing director Matt Windle told the BBC it would form a bridge between what he called the analogue cars of today and the digital cars of tomorrow.

The firm wants all its models to be electric in future.

The investment programme orchestrated by Geely, which will see production in the UK tripled, as well as expansion abroad, is expected to cost more than £2bn.

Bond’s company car

Lotus is a brand redolent with heritage. The car company was founded in the early 1950s by the engineer Colin Chapman.

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The challenging road ahead for Lotus

A Lotus Evija - Jorge Ferrari 

A Lotus Evija – Jorge Ferrari

As the world’s richest man and one of the most famous people on the planet, Elon Musk can draw a crowd just by walking down the street.

But back in the mid-Noughties, the tycoon and his team from Tesla raised fewer eyebrows during visits to the headquarters of Norfolk-based sports car company Lotus in rural Hethel.

Tesla had recognised that Lotus produced the best-handling sports car on the road, according to the electric car company’s co-founder Martin Eberhard. It wanted to tap that expertise.

When Tesla unveiled its first car in 2006, the Roadster, it had an obvious similarity to the Lotus Elise – hardly surprising given the basic Roadsters were built at Lotus’s Potash Lane factory, before being shipped off so Tesla could install an electric drivetrain.

The link between Tesla – now the world’s most valuable car company, worth $800bn (£580bn)

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