While Lotus has operated exclusively as a niche manufacturer of sports cars for its entire existence, the age of electrification has prompted it to expand its ambitions.
Hot on the heels of unveiling the all-electric Eletre SUV and flush with cash from Geely, Lotus wants to be selling 100,000 vehicles annually by 2028. While that may not sound like much when you consider that the likes of Toyota and the Volkswagen Group each routinely sell 10 million units annually, 100,000 is a monumental figure for Lotus.
In fact, the British car manufacturer only managed to produce 1,710 vehicles last year. Not only that but it took Lotus 70 years from its formation in 1948 to produce its 100,000th car, a red Evora that rolled off the production line in August 2018. That’s an average of just over 1,400 vehicles per year for 70 years.
While speaking with Australian publication Drive about the company’s production plans, managing director Matt Windle said a host of EVs will drive growth.
“Globally, the 2023 Lotus Eletre SUV (above) will kick things off, but it won’t arrive in Australia until 2024 however,” he confirmed. “We then have our four-door Panamera-fighter [Type 134] coming shortly after, another [Type 135 medium] SUV by 2025, and then finally our dedicated and exciting sports car [Type 136] in 2026.”
The Lotus Eletre is expected to start at around $100,000 and will be built exclusively in China. It acts as an all-electric alternative to the Porsche Cayenne and will hit the market with a battery exceeding 100 kWh and delivering approximately 373 miles (600 km) of range. It will also support 350 kW charging. The entry-level model is good for 592 hp and should hit 62 mph (100 km/h) in less than 3 seconds and reach a 160 mph (257 km/h) top speed.