Lotus Type 133 sedan caught testing in China
Before the Lotus Eletre battery-electric SUV debuted in March, Chinese car spotters snapped photos of prototypes in testing. The same has happened again with the Lotus codenamed Type 133. An image of the tester parked along a curb showed up on the Chinese site Weibo, with a camouflaged Eletre in the background left and an uncamouflaged Eletre parked opposite. The Type 133 is a four-door sedan being developed as a driver’s car, benchmarked against and planning to take on the Porsche Taycan as well as the Audi E-Tron GT. Slated for a reveal next year, recent Lotus trademark applications for the names Envya and Etude lead watchers to believe the Type 133 will adopt one of those monikers for its debut in March, Envya getting the short odds.
Lotus SVP of design Peter Horbury said the 133 wouldn’t be just a smaller Eletre, we’ll need to wait until the covers come off to know the truth of it. What we can tell for now is that the sedan doesn’t look far off the kind of four-door we’d have expected from Lotus if the English maker had got into family sedans before the electric age. Peeking through the window, the driver’s area gives off the same vibes as in the Eletre thanks to a squared steering wheel and minimalist instrument panel. An earlier spy shot picked up by Car News China shows a rear door with pillarless window. The biggest surprise is how long it looks. Some of that length could be a trick of the angle and the camera lens; even so, this won’t be a wallflower.
And why should it be? Said to sit on the same Electric Premium Architecture (EPA) as the Eletre — a derivative of parent company Geely’s Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA) that supports the Polestar 4 and the new Smart range — we expect overlap in powertrain possibilities. That could mean an entry-level battery pack of 92 kilowatt-hours juicing a dual-motor drivetrain with 595 horsepower and 524 pound-feet of torque, and a 120-kWh pack powering four motors producing 893 hp and 727 lb-ft. That latter model should get the Type 133 from standstill to 62 miles per hour in under 3 seconds.
After the sedan debuts, the Type 134 SUV isn’t anticipated until 2025, a challenger to the Porsche Macan EV. The following year, Lotus returns to its roots with the Type 135 sports car that will usher the current Emira into retirement.