Lotus has confirmed its latest model will be the last to be powered by a combustion engine as it announced plans to build electric sports cars in the UK.
The Hethel-based manufacturer said its new sports car, Emira, would be the last Lotus powered by an internal combustion engine before it moves to electric powertrains.
The announcement is the latest update in Lotus’ Vision80 strategy of Vision80 revolutionising its product range by 2028. The plans have been funded by Lotus’ majority owner, Geely Global, with an investment of around £2.5 billion.
Production of the Emira will create hundreds of jobs at its facility in Hethel, with the company also claiming that production of its models is set to triple.
A new plant in China, the home of Geely Global, is also planned for the production of fully-electric SUV’s.
As part of its ‘Driving Tomorrow’ statement, Lotus said the move would spark “a new generation of Lotus cars, which will lead to an increase in vehicle sales worldwide.”
Matt Windle, managing director of Lotus Cars, said: “Our ongoing Vision80 plan to transform Lotus is on track. This year is a pivotal one for Lotus, particularly with our sports cars we reach the end of one era and begin another. The spirit and passion that gave the world the Elise, Exige and Evora will live on in the next generation of cars.”
“The E-Sports architecture will be flexible and modular, and will generate an exciting new sports car for the Lotus brand, with contemporary styling, class-leading ride and handling, explosive performance and that unmistakable Lotus character – a pure dynamic experience that is ‘For The Drivers’. I have challenged our teams to target the same weight as our latest combustion engine sports cars.”