Lotus Announces First New Model in 11 Years, a “Pure Electric British Hypercar”
But they've done it with the help of a new Chinese owner
The last time we checked in with Lotus, the storied British marque, they were bidding adieu to the zero-door 3-Eleven. While they have been making moves in automotive circles since then, the regular, car-buying public hasn’t been given a glimpse into what’s coming next. In fact, the brand hasn’t offered a brand new model in 11 years.
Then this week, they announced the new Lotus Evija, which they’re calling “the world’s first pure electric British hypercar.” It’s powerful (almost 2,000 HP and a top speed over 200 MPH). Its design is radical (in a satisfyingly futuristic, Tron-esque kind of way). It has doors. But it’s not British, really. At least not anymore.
Yes, Lotus is still headquartered in Hethel, a small town near Norfolk, England, where they’ve been since 1966. And production of the Evija will reportedly take place there. But the reason Lotus is making noise again (figuratively speaking), after 11 years of difficulty, is because China has stepped in.
Specifically, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. (more commonly known just as Geely) has stepped in. The company was founded by Chinese billionaire Li Shufu back in 1986 and has since become a global power in the automotive industry. In 2017, they bought a majority stake in Lotus. Two years later we have Evija, one of the brand’s most exciting cars of all time. Lotus is even forthcoming about this fact in their press release: “As the first completely new car to be launched under the stewardship of Geely — the world’s fastest growing automotive group — its significance cannot be overstated.”
To anyone familiar with Geely, this isn’t exactly a surprise. Geely is also the majority owner of Volvo, which is becoming relevant again thanks to the electric Polestar brand. And as the Verge notes, cars aren’t their only purview: they’ve even acquired a vertical take-off and landing startup.
So why is the Evija a sign that things are turning around? For one, for all its estimated power (besides the aforementioned stats, it also touts a 250-mile range, weight just over 3,700 pounds and a 0-60 time under three seconds), it’s in all likelihood more powerful than they’re letting on. According to Car and Driver, Lotus will use it to contest the production-EV lap record at the Nürburgring. And while production was originally rumored around 20 editions, Lotus is now confirming that 130 will be made.
If you’re interested in reserving one of these British-Chinese dream-team hypercars, all you have to do is plop down a $310,500 deposit … on a $2.1 million price tag.