It’s Official: Lotus Is Building an SUV

Since its inception, Lotus Cars has done one thing: build nimble, lightweight sports cars that beg to be driven. To that effect, it’s understandable why SUVs have never factored into those plans. They can be heavy, tippy, and cumbersome… not exactly the spitting image of a Lotus Elise. That's all about to change. In an interview with PistonHeads, Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales confirmed that the sports car company will indeed take the leap and build an SUV, putting any speculation to bed. Additionally, Gales noted that the utility vehicle will be built in China, and he believes the first prototype could be ready within 12 months. Lotus famously tested the waters with its APX crossover concept in 2006, pictured below. RELATED: Check Out the Harder-Than-Hardcore 2015 Lotus Evora 400 “All SUVs are big and fairly heavy,” Gales told PH. “The most important thing is to bring to market a lightweight and well-handling SUV that doesn’t compromise on interior space.” It’s surely easier said than done, but for a company with such a remarkable history of chassis and race tuning, it could very well be possible. One certainty is that there won’t be much to haul around. Gales revealed that the yet unnamed SUV will sit atop a new steel and aluminum platform and is expected to tip the scales at a dainty 3,300 pounds. Its drivetrain will feature some type of hybridization, and the engine in particular is once again tipped to be a Toyota unit, much like in the current Exige and Evora. All design work will be handled at Lotus’ UK base in Hethel, but production will take place at a new joint-partnership plant in China with bus-building company Goldstar.Lotus expects a total run of 5,000 vehicles, which is to say extremely small for a global SUV production run. Then again, things might change in the time leading up to its appearance. Gales noted a 2019 debut. RELATED: Yes, the Isuzu Impulse with 'Handling by Lotus' Was a Thing ____________________________________ Click Here to Read the Original Article on BoldRide

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