Lotus Type 132- See Teaser
(Photo/Lotus)

Lotus Type 132: British Sport Car Company Goes Electric With Its First SUV

Lightweight icon Lotus Cars is building its first SUV, which is also its first battery-electric vehicle (BEV).

The Lotus Type 132, the first SUV to come from the team at Hethel in Norfolk, England, is ready to debut next month. And not only will it be the first SUV in Lotus’ lineup, but it will also be the company’s second electric vehicle, coming hot on the heels of the Lotus Evjia.

Here’s what we know about this new sports SUV and what we expect to find out from Lotus soon.

Electric SUV Part of Major Expansion

The Lotus brand became part of Chinese automaker Geely in 2017. This gave what was once a British cottage carmaker the chance to turn into something bigger than it had ever been.

Around this time last year, Lotus announced that living up to that potential meant switching from solely producing sports cars like the Lotus Evora to manufacturing electric vehicles. The new goal was to sell tens of thousands of vehicles per year instead of just over 1,000.

The Lotus Type 132 will be the company’s second EV. It follows the Type 130, later named the Evija, which entered production last year. That electric supercar is extremely limited in production, with just 130 of the 1,974-horsepower cars planned for construction.

In the meantime, Lotus has revealed four teaser videos for the Type 132 SUV. The brand says it will get an official name to replace the number in the next few weeks.

Breathe With Active Aero Nose

The first video showcases what looks to be the Type 132’s lower grille. The opening, which EVs still use for battery and climate-control system cooling, wears an intricate latticework mesh. But it’s for more than just fashion.

Hidden in the mesh is a series of fast-forward arrows, which Lotus highlights in its graphic. This is an active grille. Shutters open and close to balance aerodynamic and cooling needs, helping to enhance the performance of the Type 132.

See With Rooftop Lidar Pod

The second video highlights a LiDAR pod, the eyes of the new Lotus, which pops up from the roof panel of the SUV like the cabin air intake of a rally car. Lotus says that this will allow for “pioneering intelligent drive technologies” in the brand’s new EVs.

The LiDAR pod looks like the Luminar Technologies lidar system that will be used by corporate sibling Volvo on the next-generation Volvo XC90 SUV, which will give that SUV hands-off driver assistance.

Lotus had previously hinted that the Type 132 would use a Volvo platform. Later, it said the SUV would use a new premium architecture that was designed in the U.K., along with help from teams in China, Sweden, and Germany.

The second doesn’t rule out the first, as Polestar (another Geely group company) is also launching a performance SUV with a U.K.-designed platform.

Stretch With Active Rear Spoiler

The third teaser features a glimpse of the active aerodynamics that helped Lotus become a legend in F1 racing. The active rear spoiler moves to add downforce and press the SUV into the road when you’re driving quickly as well as retracts to increase efficiency when you’re not.

Awaken Swivel Screen and Interior

Last up is the first look at the interior of the Type 132. Here, we can see contrast stitching on the dashboard of the newest Lotus as well as a large infotainment screen. The floating design means it stands in front of, rather than protruding out of, the Type 132’s dashboard.

Look closely, and the screen appears to be rotating around the bottom. A movable screen can help bring performance data to more drivers more quickly.

Of course, it can also help keep sun glare out of your eyes when the sunroof is open. It’s a Lotus, but it’s still an SUV, so we expect a panoramic roof to at least be an option.

Lotus says that the SUV will have “an immersive startup sequence” with multiple screens, sounds, and lights to tell you it’s ready to go.

What to Expect From the Lotus Type 132

So what do we expect from Lotus? This electric SUV will most likely immediately become the make’s bestseller. Look at the success of the Lamborghini Urus and Aston Martin DBX if you’re skeptical. Those models more than doubled each make’s sales almost overnight.

Lotus has based its reputation on building the lightest vehicles possible, and the Type 132 isn’t likely to deviate from that formula despite being an SUV. We would expect the Type 132 to have a curb weight of under 5,000 pounds. That’s hardly featherweight, but not bad for a battery-electric SUV.

Power figures haven’t been revealed, but Lotus has said that vehicles using this platform will be able to hit 60 mph in under 3 seconds. For a vehicle this heavy, that means somewhere north of 600 horsepower.

Lotus Type 132 Reveal Coming Soon

That’s all we have for now, but Lotus will release more details during the coming weeks about its first SUV. Having announced that the Type 132 would be revealed in March, that leaves Lotus with a short window for the final unveiling. Stay up to date with the latest news on Lotus’ website.

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Evan Williams
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Evan has been drooling over cars since the time he learned to walk. Since then he's worked on controlling the drooling and expanded his interests to include hiking, cycling, and kayaking. He went to school for engineering but transitioned into a more satisfying career and has been writing automotive and outdoors news for nearly a decade