New Lotus Emeya electric 'hyper-GT' to be revealed on 7 September

10 months, 3 weeks ago - 30 August 2023, autocar
New Lotus Emeya electric 'hyper-GT' to be revealed on 7 September
The British brand's first performance saloon since the Carlton finally has a name – and a debut date

Lotus's long-awaited electric super-saloon has officially been named the Emeya ahead of a full reveal on 7 September.

Previously known by its codename, Type 133, and at one point erroneously associated with the Envya nameplate, the Porsche Taycan rival has been previewed in a new video that confirms it will feature a wraparound LED rear light bar, a movable rear wing and a distinctive LED headlight signature that matches the Lotus Eletre SUV.

Lotus refers to the new Chinese-built model as a hyper-GT, much as it dubbed the Eletre the world's first hyper-SUV - a nod to the fact that it will tout power and performance figures more in line with some of the world's fastest supercars than any similarly positioned saloons with combustion engines. 

It will be the brand's first performance saloon since the early-1990s Vauxhall-based Carlton and is set to be particularly popular in China and the US – crucial markets for Lotus. Bosses have previously told Autocar that the five-metre-long Emeya will be the most luxurious car Lotus has yet produced.

Confirmation of the new model's name comes soon after prototypes were spotted on the road in a promotional camouflage livery. Late prototypes started running down the Lotus Technology production line in Wuhan, China, earlier this year.

The Emeya will be similar in size to the Polestar 5 grand tourer due on sale next year, but Lotus managing director Matt Windle has previously said that while there is some technology transfer, Geely allows its brands, which include Polestar, to conduct development independently. This means the models will be tangibly different in every key aspect.

Spy shots show that it will feature sleek styling, a sloping roof and design cues from the Evija and Eletre. Lotus has placed a major focus on its dynamic development, given the model will be tasked with taking on the Taycan and Audi E-tron GT. It will feature similar chassis technology to the Eletre – including air suspension, rear-wheel steer, active roll control and active aerodynamics – but engineered to a different brief.

No technical details have been revealed yet, but it is expected to closely follow the Eletre. This means entry-level versions are likely to offer around 602bhp from a twin-motor set-up, closely matching the Taycan GTS. The top-spec Eletre R features a more powerful rear motor that lifts output to 904bhp.

The Emeya will retain the Eletre’s 112kWh battery pack, which could give the sleek saloon a range of more than 400 miles. The EPA platform allows for fast charging at speeds of up to 420kW.

Asked how it will stack up to performance EV rivals such as the Taycan, Lotus commercial chief Mike Johnstone told Autocar: “When you look at performance, we’ll be in a good place, both in terms of handling and 0-60mph speeds.

“In terms of charging, it will have the same platform as the Eletre so it can go from 10% to 80% in less than 20 minutes. We’ve got a number of key things we’ve taken from the Eletre you’ll see [in the Emeya], which will give us a good point of differentiation.”

Lotus hints at electric estate after 2026

Johnstone said the firm currently has no plans for derivative versions of its upcoming line-up, such as an Emeya shooting brake, but added: “Consumer tastes change, new market segments appear and new technologies come into play that mean we could do things in a different way – and we’re always looking for new opportunities to make sure we can maximise the amount of return on any investment we make.”

Lotus has so far only confirmed its product roadmap until 2026, when its new electric sports car will arrive. Although planning is already under way, Johnstone hinted that the line-up could be adapted based on market changes.

“The product plan at the moment is the three cars we have now [Evija, Emira and Eletre] and the three coming in the future,” he said. “We have to be dynamic with that plan. We’re constantly looking at how we can ensure we maximise the potential in the marketplace.”

Support Ukraine