The company would likely build the SUV in China.
Lotus is now part of Zhejiang Geely, the Chinese automaker that also controls Volvo, and the firm's deep pockets mean that the British business has truly new vehicles on the horizon for the first time in years. Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales outlined the plan Automotive News Europe, including adding two new sports cars by 2020 and a performance SUV within two years after that.
"We are very confident we can launch those sports cars in two years and beat the competition where we want to beat them," Gales told Automotive News Europe. "We will never be No. 1 in luggage space, but we will be in handling."
According to Gales, one of the new sports cars will use an updated version of the company's bonded aluminum chassis (future Elise speculatively rendered below). The other will get a brand new carbon fiber monocoque. One of these vehicles will replace an existing Lotus, too.
Lotus will build the SUV in China, but the company won't decide where to assemble the sports cars yet due to questions over Brexit. “I can imagine two places worldwide and I would love one to be in the U.K., but there are many things we need to discuss,” Gales told Automotive News Europe. The company had previously planned to keep production in the U.K.
A design trademark filing already hints at what the Lotus SUV might look like. Rumors suggest that it might use Volvo's Compact Modular Architecture that's underneath the XC40, but Lotus would make sure the new model would be among the lightest entries in the segment.
Geely President An Cong Hui has high hopes for Lotus' future. He wants the brand eventually to rival the likes of Porsche and Ferrari, which is quite a lofty goal given the British firm's relatively small size.
Source: Automotive News Europe