Colin Chapman’s legacy is legendary, as is that of the marque he founded, Lotus. To call the two influential in the history of motorsports and sports cars is to grossly understate the matter. But, for the past couple decades (or three), small but spirited Lotus has struggled to move that legacy forward in a world of increasingly complex technologies. That’s seemingly about to change, however, thanks to backing by global big-leaguer Geely, the parent company for the reborn and reinvigorated Volvo and holder of 51 percent of Lotus. The first spawn of the reborn Lotus? An all-new, all-electric hypercar dubbed the Type 130.
“Type” names litter Lotus’s rich history, and include a number of firsts:
- Type 14 – World’s first composite monocoque production road car (Elite, 1957)
- Type 25 – World’s first fully-stressed monocoque F1 car, first Lotus to win F1 world championship (1963)
- Type 72 – Most successful F1 car of all time and the blueprint for F1 car design for many years (Championship winner in 1970, ’72, and ’73)
- Type 78 – World’s first ground-effects F1 car (1977)
- Type 88 – World’s first carbon-fiber F1 car (1981)
- Type 92 – World’s first active-suspension F1 car (1983)
- Type 111 – World’s first aluminum and bonded extrusion construction production car (Elise, 1995)
Now Lotus wants to add to that list of firsts with the Type 130, the first fully electric British hypercar, according to the company. “The Type 130 will be the most dynamically accomplished Lotus in our history,” said CEO Phil Popham. “It marks a turning point for our brand and is a showcase of what we are capable of and what is to come from Lotus.”
That said, no details or specifications or anything else about the Type 130 beyond the single image seen here have been released; expect to hear more in advance of its full unveil in London later this year. The model will be the first new car to come from Lotus in more than a decade, and the company says it will be followed by another sports car and then, around 2022, another first for Lotus: an SUV.