With fresh financing from the new owners at Geely, Lotus’ future looks brighter than ever. Planning for a new generation of models is already underway, but fans of the brand don’t have to worry because the upcoming sports cars would still come the factory in Norfolk, England. Assembly for other models, like a SUV, would happen elsewhere.
The crossover would be among the first new products from Lotus. The company initially planned for the Porsche-Macan-sized model to arrive by 2020. “There is a niche within that [segment] for a Lotus crossover that is light and aerodynamic and handles like nothing else,” company CEO Jean-Marc Gales told Autocar.
To make so much development happen so quickly, Lotus intends a hiring boom. “The amount of work over the next three years will be massive. We’ve shown what we can do on limited budgets – imagine what we can do with a shareholder that wants to invest in an iconic brand,” Gales said. “We stay in the UK for sports cars, what we do for other cars needs defining.”
Lotus will also source some components from the Geely group of companies, according to Gales. The British sports car maker would still stand for “light weight, aerodynamics and handling,” though.
Conceivably, this would give Lotus access to the powertrains and platforms in Volvo’s latest generation of cutting-edge products. The Swedish firm’s powerful 2.0-liter four-cylinder would seem perfect for a future Elise or the plug-in hybrid variants would be a natural fit for the brand’s crossover.
Geely's management after earlier acquisitions suggests that it wouldn't dilute Lotus' legacy. For example, the company left Volvo's design and engineering teams alone after buying the Swedish automaker. Geely then used those developments to create the Lynk & Co 01 electric crossover.