First Lotus saloon since Carlton caught testing

The 'Envya' probably won't be called that – but it certainly will need to take on the Porsche Taycan

By Matt Bird / Monday, 27 February 2023 / Loading comments

Those who know their Lotuses well will know their Types: the 131 was the Emira, the 132 was the Eletre, and now there’s the Type 133, the Lotus forthcoming electric saloon intended to sit alongside the SUV and hypercar in the EV lineup. It will rival cars like the Porsche Taycan, Audi e-tron GT, Mercedes EQ S and Polestar 5 when it launches in 2024.  

These winter testing images are the most revealing yet of a car that might (or might not) be called the Envya. While that aspect of its identity is in some doubt, Lotus certainly isn’t being shy about advertising its newest product with the livery. And even with a less obvious disguise, a few key details – most notably the Eletre-style front lights – would give this four-door away as a Lotus EV. Notable for this car as well are enormous brake discs behind the alloy wheels (themselves sat on giant Michelin tyres), suggesting this will be as potent as the up-to-905hp Eletre. One way for Lotus to announce itself in the EV saloon sphere would be to nab all the Porsche Taycan’s lap records. Just a thought, of course. 

The Envya is said to be built on Geely’s Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA) platform, a dedicated and modular EV toolkit that’s set to underpin all manner of electric cars. It’ll likely use the SEA-S variant that’s also under the Eletre, but for some idea of the scope there’s also an SEA derivative beneath the Smart #1. If the Lotus Type 133 follows the 132 in terms of hardware, that’ll mean 350kW charging is possible, and assuming a similar weight a range around 370 miles with a battery between 92 and 120kWh. Just don’t expect the Recaro bucket seats seen here to feature on a production car, of course.  

Obviously, the Envya would be the first Lotus saloon since the Carlton, which gives it a certain amount of cache denied to the SUV. Autocar reported last year that ‘global’ Lotus dealers had been shown the final design and were ‘very excited’ about the prospect. Clearly, there is much work still to do (not least because the test mule ended up going back to base on a tow truck) but we’re willing to agree with the dealers – the car looks great in profile. Assuming Hethel’s plan is still on track (which was four new electric cars in the five years from 2021), the Envya should be officially unveiled later this year ahead of sales next. Then another SUV in 2025, and the sports car in cahoots with Alpine come 2026. There’ll be a Lotus EV for all before we know it. 

  • Polestar 5 set for 2024 – with up to 884hp 
  • Lotus Eletre R gets 905hp, £120k price tag 

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