Confirming a report by Automotive News Europe last week, Lotus has confirmed that it will be revealing an all-new sports car this year. Codenamed Type 131, the new model will form part of a series of sports cars rolling out of an upgraded plant in Hethel.

Lotus’ new cars will replace the existing Elise, Exige and Evora, which will all cease production this year, ending a 26-year legacy. No details of the Type 131 have been revealed just yet, but Autocar is speculating a V6 hybrid powertrain and a more useable cabin compared to the stripped-out Elise. Company CEO Phil Popham previously said that the new car will be more accessible and have enough interior room for daily use.

The Type 131 will benefit from a revitalisation of the Hethel plant as part of the Vision80 strategy, costing over £100 million (RM554 million). This will also see the relocation of two sub-assembly facilities into a centralised operation in Norwich to facilitate higher volumes, plus the hiring of 250 new employees.

They will join the 670 employees that have joined Lotus since September 2017, when Geely and the DRB-Hicom-affiliated Etika Automotive effectively bought the company from Proton. The new recruits will fill engineering and manufacturing roles for both the automotive division and the Lotus Engineering consultancy, which will open its Advanced Technology Centre in Warwick later this year.

Joining the Type 131 in showrooms later this year will be the Evija, an electric hypercar with an extraordinary claimed power figure of 2,000 PS. Before that however, the Elise, Exige and Evora will be supported by a “full programme of activities” and are expected to sell a grand total of 55,000 units when they finally leave the production line for the last time.