Four Years will Yield Two Lotus Sports Cars and One SUV
All systems go for the once proud British automakerby Kirby Garlitos, on
Lotus is pushing forward with its expansion plans in the coming years. The first two items on the menu are a pair of new sports cars that are scheduled to debut in 2020. From there, the British automaker is setting its sights on building its first-ever SUV, which will arrive around two years after the new sports cars hit the road. Its been nine years since Lotus launched a new model — the Evora in 2009 — so these upcoming sports cars are being met with a lot of excitement. It’s a new era in Lotus as the company seeks to bring back the luster it has lost in recent years.
One sports car will use an updated version of an existing bonded-aluminum platform while the other sports car, likely the more premium model of the two, will rely on a new carbon fiber tub around which it will be built.
It’s nice to see Lotus back on its feet after years of being mired in obscurity. It hasn’t been said enough, but Geely’s acquisition of the British automaker is the shot in the arm Lotus needed to turn its fortunes around. Look at where it’s at now compared to its place as recently as last year? Night and day.
Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales has done a tremendous job keeping Lotus afloat since taking over in 2014. Speeding tickets aside, Gales has been a steadying force for Lotus when it was still gasping for straws. Not that it has Geely’s back, it’s going to be interesting to see where he takes the company from here.
The first orders of business are those two sports cars. There aren’t that many details about the two models, but Gales did tell Automotive News that one of the two sports cars would be a replacement of a current Lotus model. Likewise, one sports car will use an updated version of an existing bonded-aluminum platform while the other sports car, likely the more premium model of the two, will rely on a new carbon fiber tub around which it will be built.
The second sports car the latter will sit above the Evora and will be packaged as a road-legal version of the 3-Eleven
According to Giles, the latter will sit above the Evora and will be packaged as a road-legal version of the 3-Eleven, the 460-horsepower lightweight track monster that debuted back in 2016. By comparison, the new sports car, according to Gales, “will be something similar but much more civilized.”
As for the SUV, that model is also in the pipeline but will arrive after the two sports cars are launched. There are similar questions surrounding the SUV, but patent images leaked last November show that there’s more to it than buzz and speculation. The images showed an SUV rendering that had a pair of swept-back headlamps and a big center grille flanked by large outlets at each corner. Look at the renderings closely, and you’ll see the resemblance it has to the Elise and Exige sports cars.
As for the SUV, that model is also in the pipeline but will arrive after the two sports cars are launched
The launch of these new models is tied into Lotus’ goal of ramping up its sales volume to 3,000 units per year once the two sports cars arrive. Once the SUV arrives, Gales is confident that the company can exceed 10,000 sales on an annual basis. It’s a tall order getting to these benchmarks, but it doesn’t sound as impossible today as it did last year when Lotus was still on large on its own.
Times have changed for Lotus, and the future is looking bright for the company. “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. “We will never be No. 1 in luggage space, but we will be in handling.”
Sounds like a man with a plan.
Read our full speculative review on the 2020 Lotus SUV.
Read our full review on the 2016 Lotus 3-Eleven.
Read more Lotus news.
Source: Automotive News Europe