The as-yet-unnamed mid-size SUV will sport simplified design to flagship Lotus Eletre SUV and Emeya GT.
Lotus is a totally different brand to the low-volume sports car manufacturer it was just a few years ago. It’s been working hard to appeal to traditional luxury car buyers and corporate executives with its first two ‘lifestyle’ EVs: the Eletre SUV and recently unveiled Emeya hyper-GT. Next, the brand is hoping to broaden its appeal once again with the introduction of a new mid-size electric SUV that’ll take on the Porsche Macan EV and BMW iX3 when it goes on sale in 2026.
We’ve known a model like this was headed our way for some time, as it was part of Lotus’ plans to launch four EVs by 2026. The first two were the Eletre and Emeya, followed by this as-yet-unnamed ‘D-segment SUV’, then a fully-electric sports car that’ll serve as a replacement for the petrol-powered Emira.
The car’s official name remains a closely guarded secret for now, and won’t be announced until much closer to a world debut that’ll take place in late 2024, but it’s being referred to internally as the Type 134. Lotus has only released one shadowy image of its first mid-size SUV and that reveals little except for the car’s unique headlight design.
Lotus’ VP of design, Ben Payne, was on hand at the UK debut of the Emeya to provide us with some exclusive insights into the looks of the brand’s first-ever mid-size SUV.
“[D-segment SUV] is such a large segment. That, in a way, makes this [the Type 134] one of the most difficult products we will do. To really penetrate that segment and achieve high volume, which is what it’s all about, we’re going to have to make a product that’s as broad in its appeal as possible.
“I imagine something that’s probably a little bit more pure in its expression. And we’ve got to balance usability, practicality and performance in that car, but we’ve got to make something unique that stands out. So you’ll see a continuation of this language and this DNA, but the expression of it being evolved and possibly simplified a little.”
He also explained; “we don’t want a cookie cutter approach. We’re going to evolve things and we’ll react to customer feedback, and we’ll react to the perception and changing market trends which evolve very, very quickly now, and we will push this design language forward. But there will be common threads that carry through the designs of the products.”
As such, we expect the Type 134 will feature a similar nose design to the Eletre, Emeya and Emira, which despite their vastly different sizes and purposes, do share some resemblance from the front. The active front grille from the Eletre and Emeya is also likely to be carried over, with the petals opening to help cool the battery and motors underneath, or remaining closed to help improve aerodynamic efficiency. We expect there’ll be other aerodynamic aides at the rear, along with a full-length light bar like those one on its larger siblings.