British sports car maker Lotus will introduce one more petrol-powered model in 2022 before transitioning its entire stable to full-electric powertrains, according to a report out of the UK.
The yet-unnamed sports car would occupy a more premium segment than usual for Lotus, surpassing the brand’s regular £45,000-£85,000 (AU$82,500-$156,000) price bracket, according to UK publication AutoExpress.
“One thing we do believe in is the future of battery electric vehicles, and our intention is to offer BEV (battery electric vehicle) on our products in future,” Lotus CEO Phil Popham told AutoExpress.
Further to this, Mr Popham all but dismissed the use of hybrid technology – which combines an internal combustion engine with an electric motor – for use in its sports cars.
Above: The Lotus Evija – the brand's first all-electric car
“One of the challenges of a hybrid, is you carry a small engine as well as batteries and electric motors, which goes against the philosophy of sports cars, which have a tight package,” Mr Popham said.
“You want to minimise weight and maximise performance and spread weight in the right places to get the right dynamics. So hybrids do present a challenge.”
What this statement and the new model means for the revived, hybridised Lotus Esprit the brand was reportedly working on for a 2021 release is not known.
The 2021 Esprit is slated to use a Toyota-sourced V6 with hybrid technology to produce “well in excess” of 375kW – but whether the new model would replace or exist alongside the Espirit in 2022 is yet to be seen.
Lotus has demonstrated a commitment to an electric future since being taken over by Chinese-owned Geely in 2017, with its first all-electric Evija hypercar slated for first customer deliveries at the end of this year.
Earlier this year, Lotus announced a partnership with Centrica plc – with CarAdvice speculating the two companies were co-developing vehicle-to-grid technology.