Lotus will offer other companies its platform for electric carsJanuary 21, 2021
The British brand Lotus has developed a new architecture together with Renault Alpine.
Lotus may sell to other automakers a version of the electric sports car platform it is developing with the Renault Alpine brand. According to Renault CEO Luca de Meo, the platform will be used as the basis for replacing the A110 electric sports coupe in 2025 as part of a wider modernization of the Alpine brand’s electric vehicles.
Lotus CEO Phil Popham said there will be “synergies” with Alpine when an electric model is released for Lotus. According to Popham, the platform will be adaptable enough to create different model variations. But he did not say when the new Lotus EV will be launched. The platform will potentially be available to other automakers from Lotus Engineering, according to Popham.
“It’s a sports car platform designed with the attributes of a sports car, but the savings come not only from having an OEM as a partner, but also maximum flexibility to supply potential multiple derivatives,” he said.
According to Popham, Lotus and Renault have been discussing the cooperation issue “for several months.” The decision to partner with Alpine, which is a competitor to Lotus, was made for financial reasons.
“Any sports car has more problems with a commercial proposal simply because of [low] sales in this segment,” said Popham. “It makes sense to have the right partner, and Alpine and Lotus are perfect.”
Both companies make subcompact sports cars that appeal to certain enthusiasts who are more interested in clean driving than direct power. Both attach great importance to the light weight of their vehicles as the key to good dynamics, and both build their vehicles around a glued aluminum cab to keep weight down.
Popham did not comment on the construction of a new platform for electric vehicles, but the company is not expected to switch to carbon fiber to compensate for the weight of the batteries, as it wants to keep the purchase price as affordable as possible.
According to Popham, Lotus is developing an electric hypercar called the Evija, which will begin deliveries later this year. A total of 130 vehicles will be sold at a price of 1.7 million pounds ($ 2.11 million) each plus taxes.
The British brand is also continuing to develop its latest internal combustion engine model, Popham said in an interview. The car, codenamed Type 131, will cost between £ 55,000 and £ 100,000 and will have enough interior space to be used every day.
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