The last time Lotus launched a brand new sports car was back in 2012 with the Series 3 Exige S. Since then the British marque has not announced a new performance model nor have they planned to replace the aging Elise and Evora. More so, they have also not released an electricfied model since the Evora 414E Hybrid despite the shift of mass market brands into electrification.
Instead, they have focused on building various high-performance, special-edition models from their current vehicle lineup. However, that could soon change with their new partnership with Williams Advanced Engineering of F1 fame.
“Our new technology partnership with Williams Advanced Engineering is part of a strategy to expand our knowledge and capability in the rapidly changing automotive landscape. Applying advanced propulsion powertrains can provide numerous exciting solutions across multiple vehicle sectors. Our combined and complementary experiences make this a very compelling match of engineering talent, technical ability and pioneering British spirit,” said Phil Popham, CEO, Lotus Cars.
At the moment, the specifics of their partnership have yet to be announced. Based on the press release though, the two companies will be doing 'research and development into advanced propulsion technologies'. Lotus will then use their expertise in lightweight construction and combine it with Williams' expertise on electric powertrains such as those used in Formula 1 and Formula E.
So what does this mean? Expect the 'advanced propulsion technology' - likely to be in form of electric powertrains - developed to make its way to upcoming Lotus models such as the next-gen Elise and possibly even in the brand's first ever SUV. At the same time, Williams' expertise in electric technolgy could also be used by Lotus to develop a purely electric supercar to rival that of other automakers which according to Autocar UK will be called the Omega.
Whatever they do end up building, we can expect exciting things to come from Lotus -and Williams- soon.