New Lotus sports car to debut this summer, may replace all combustion cars at brand

Lotus will reveal a new sports car this summer but production won’t start until 2022, CEO Phil Popham told Automotive News (subscription required) in an interview last week.

The new sports car is expected to be the last model based on Lotus’ bonded and riveted aluminum platform that dates back to the first Elise launched in the mid-1990s. Test mules wearing makeshift Evora body panels have been spotted testing.

Popham said the car will have a wide price range to help boost its appeal, particularly in the United States. He hinted at a starting price of about 55,000 British pounds (approximately $75,000) and a top-end figure of about 105,000 British pounds.

“This car will have a wider price point, and that gives us an opportunity in the U.S.,” he said. “To be successful in the sports car market you have to be successful in the U.S.”

The sole Lotus sold in the U.S. is the Evora which starts at just under $100,000.

The price range hinted by Popham is similar to what Lotus’ Elise, Exige and Evora sports cars span in markets where all three models are sold. This has led to suggestions that the new sports car might replace all three models, the youngest of which, the Evora, is now 12 years old.

Eventually, Lotus plans to go the full-electric route. The company is close to signing off on the Evija electric hypercar which is due to enter production in 2021, and in January it said it would jointly develop an electric sports car with France’s Alpine.

Lotus is also known to be working on an SUV that will most likely be based on a dedicated EV platform borrowed from parent company Geely. The SUV will be built at a plant in Wuhan, China. Lotus plans to reserve U.K. production for its sports car models only.

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