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Lotus, the famed British sports car maker behind the Elise, Elan, and Esprit, has announced that it's working on an all-electric hypercar to rival Porsche. The new car will be revealed later this week at the Shanghai motor show.
Lotus CEO Phil Popham said: "Type 130 will be the most dynamically accomplished Lotus in our history. It marks a turning point for our brand and is a showcase of what we are capable of and what is to come from Lotus."
The teaser image shows a low, flowing shape, which seems to bear some visual similarity with what Aston Martin has been coming up with for its new mid-engined hypercar lineup. Early rumours put the total power from the electric powertrain at 1,000hp and the car is expected to have a one-charge range of around 400km. Presumably not if you're deploying all that horsepower all of the time.
Lotus, which for many years struggled as an independent sports car maker, is now part of the Chinese Geely group that also includes Volvo. That means that the Type 130 may not be built at Lotus' traditional base in Norfolk in England. Geely has previously announced that it's building up a Chinese production base for Lotus, based in Wuhan, and it seems likely that the new hypercar could be built there.
Geely has also confirmed that Lotus will shortly start building an SUV model to allow it to compete with the Porsche Macan and Jaguar F-Pace. That will be a critical model in Lotus' plans to dramatically increase production from last year's 1,630 sales.
Lotus says that the Type 130 will be its first all-new production model since 2008, which was when it launched the Evora 2+2 mid-engined sports car. Unlike all Lotus models since the 1995 Elise, though, the Type 130 will use a carbon-fibre chassis, rather than an extruded and bonded aluminium platform.