The crossover won't necessarily ride on an aluminum platform.
We’ve heard rumors about an SUV model by Lotus several times, and leaked patent images even showed a possible design for it, but now there’s finally an open confirmation that the brand is indeed considering building one. It comes from Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales, who recently spoke to Automotive News’ Nick Gibbs.
When asked about the marque’s plans beyond sports cars, Gales hinted at a possible expansion outside this niche market. “We are not just tied to sports cars, which is a fairly stable market worldwide. What is growing at double-digits, however, is the SUV market, especially the premium SUV market,” he told the online publication.
As far as the SUV’s platform is concerned, Gales believes it doesn’t have to be all-aluminum, just like the architecture for Lotus’ sports cars. “Why should it? Bonded aluminum for sports cars is a great thing, and for the coming years we will certainly stick with that technology because we are masters at it. On other segments we can have steel, aluminum, composites or even carbon fiber. The future's wide open.”
According to preliminary details, Lotus could use one of Geely’s platforms for its first-ever SUV, with the most likely candidate being Volvo’s Compact Modular Architecture that’s currently underneath the XC40. However, it will likely be heavily modified, as the British automaker wants to continue its legacy of building lightweight vehicles. Gales has already hinted the model will be wider, lower and “a lot lighter” than rivals.
Now that it’s part of Geely’s ever-growing family, Lotus wants to expand with a more mainstream lineup, which, of course, also includes the aforementioned SUV. The next-generation models from the brand will arrive in 2020, but at this point it’s not clear whether the crossover will be ready for a market launch by the end of the decade or not.
Source: Automotive News