As a general rule, sport-utility vehicles are heavy. Also as a general rule, the exquisite sports cars from Lotus are light. In an age where everything has gained weight, the automaker’s heaviest offering is the 3,153-pound Evora 400. If you visit Lotus’ homepage you’ll find lightweight mentioned constantly, so it’s safe to say that keeping mass to a minimum is a top priority for the company.

This raises a very interesting question, because just a few weeks ago images of a Lotus SUV were leaked. They were only patent sketches, but still, the automaker known for keeping things light is looking to build something that’s traditionally heavy. How exactly will Lotus tackle this dilemma? According to an article from Top Gear, Lotus boss Jean-Marc Gales simply says the forthcoming machine will be “a lot lighter.”


That’s not what you’d call a detailed answer, but the article does offer some hints as to the company’s future. Among other things, Gales says a Lotus with an SUV badge will be lower, wider, and considerably lighter – as compared to similar vehicles. That’s at least partially encouraging, but it still doesn’t mean a 4,000-pound Lotus couldn't be on its way. 2020 is the date when Gales says the first next-generation Lotus will arrive, though it’s not clear if that initial offering will in fact be the spied SUV. One thing we do know is that, whatever it is, it will be something very different for the company.

With Lotus under the umbrella of Chinese automaker Geely, the funds and expertise are certainly there to create a more mainstream lineup of Lotus vehicles. As fans of performance, we love the fact that Lotus has stayed true to its roots, but we also know that such devotion to niche vehicles doesn’t lend itself well to profit. Lotus is expected to sell its 100,000th car next year – as in total sales since the company’s founding in 1952. By comparison, Ford sells nearly that many F-Series pickup trucks every month.

Though mainstream offerings are in the works for Lotus – including electric vehicles – Gales is adamant that the company will stick to its core values as a company of lightweight performance machines. For what it's worth, we hope that's the case.

Source: Top Gear

Gallery: 2006 Lotus APX concept

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