Lotus’s design studio in Coventry is leading the creation of all of the brand’s electric ‘lifestyle cars’, including its first ever SUV, to be revealed in spring this year.
Alongside the SUV, codenamed Type 132, the studio will also design a four-door sports coupé (Type 133) and a smaller SUV (Type 134) in the coming years, as part of Lotus’s transformation under Geely ownership from a sports car company to an all-encompassing performance brand.
The Warwickshire site, which opened in 2019 as the Geely Design Studio, has now been renamed the Lotus Tech Creative Centre (LTCC) to reflect its “creative philosophy inspired by progressive start-ups and design agencies,” said a Lotus spokesman.
The facility sits alongside the design team led by Russell Carr at Lotus headquarters in Hethel.
The Norfolk site continues to lead the firm’s global sports car programmes, including its first electric sports car (Type 135), which is commonly thought of as a zero-emissions successor to the Elise. Already in development, it’s due to be launched by 2026.
The LTCC team is headed up by designer Ben Payne, overseen by Geely design boss Peter Horbury and in close collaboration with Carr.
Payne said: “More than just a traditional automotive design studio, the LTCC philosophy is inspired by the mindset of start-ups and creative agencies: open, progressive and pioneering.
“Our vision is to nurture a culture for diverse creative minds to meet and empower each other beyond the classic automotive structures and processes.”
Horbury added: “LTCC and Lotus Design at Hethel are now aligned as creative centres of excellence to develop and deliver the Lotus design vision. They’re already collaborating closely with the other Lotus facilities around the world, such as Lotus Tech HQ in Wuhan, China, and Lotus Tech Innovation Centre in Raunheim, Germany.”
The LTCC is described by Lotus as “a world-class automotive design facility delivering the complete range of disciplines: design strategy, exterior and interior design, user interface and user experience design, visualisation, studio engineering, digital and physical modelling, plus colour, materials and finish”.
Deliveries of Lotus’s first electric model, the Evija hypercar, will begin this year.