As the company prepares to put the 130-run Evija hypercar into production and get the Emira, its final combustion-engined car, into dealerships in the coming months, it has revealed the first details of the E-Sports architecture that underpins its bold plan to electrify all future sports cars. More ‘lifestyle’-oriented EVs, including the Type 132 SUV, Type 133 four-door coupé and Type 134 crossover, will be built at the Lotus Technology HQ in Wuhan, China, from next year.
The E-Sports platform has yet to be revealed in its entirety but will be based around a lightweight rear subframe housing batteries and motors, developed by the dedicated Project LEVA (Lightweight Electric Vehicle Architecture) programme.
Said to be 37% lighter than the equivalent structure used by the Emira, it has been designed from the ground up to compensate for the added weight of an electric powertrain and with a view to replicating the typical dynamic traits of previous Lotus models. The batteries can either be stacked vertically behind the seats – in a layout reminiscent of a conventional mid-engined format – or arranged under the floor in longer-wheelbase cars with rear seats.
Its first production application will be as the basis of the Type 135 two-seat sports car, due in 2026 and previewed for the first time recently as part of Lotus’s long-term product strategy announcement. As yet unnamed, the new sports car will effectively serve as the electric successor to the Elise, which recently bowed out after 25 years on sale, by forming the entry point to Lotus’s new-era performance line-up.
The LEVA unit will be mated to a bulkhead and front end completely unrelated to those used by the Emira, but managing director Matt Windle is keen for Lotus’s trademark dynamic agility to be carried over to the new models.