Lotus Crossover To Be Inspired By The 3-Eleven
Though it’s no longer a mystery that Lotus plans to develop an SUV and launch it by 2020, details as to what it might bring to the table are still scarce. And as is the case with family vehicles coming from sports car manufacturers, our main concern about Lotus’ first-ever crossover is whether it will live up to its badge. Well, we won’t find out for sure until it hits dealerships some four years for now, but company CEO Jean-Marc Gales claims it will be unlike any other sporty crossover launched before now.
"It looks like a Lotus SUV, it looks lightweight, and it will drive like no other SUV because it will be much lighter," Gales told CAR, which adds that the vehicle will be about the size of a Porsche Macan, but will sit lower and weight up to 660 pounds less. Motivation will reportedly come from four-cylinder and V-6 engines, as well as a hybrid drivetrain.
What about styling? According to Gales, the crossover "will look stunning." It’s front fascia will feature cues from the 3-Eleven, "plus hints of the 1974 Elite and other Lotus cars." It all sounds great here, but the reference to the 1974 Elite is a bit weird. That’s because the second-gen Elite employed a wedge design and featured a pointy noise and an overall boxy shape. You don’t get to see that nowadays and Lotus quit making wedge-designed cars in 2004, when the Esprit was discontinued.
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Why it matters
If this crossover turns out to be the way Gales claims it will be, manufacturers such as Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW will have plenty of things to worry about. If the Brits manage to make its crossover 600 pounds lighter than the Macan, which tips the scales at around 4,200 pounds, the Lotus would be nearly as light as the current 2015 BMW M4. This will translate into staggering performance figures and segment-leading fuel economy. Sure, the Germans will most likely come up with lighter crossovers by 2020, but shaving 600 pounds off the Macan would not be an easy task.
Based on what Gales had to say, the upcoming 2018 Lotus SUV looks fantastic, but Lotus will have to back those claims with actual facts. One things for sure though, this crossover will help Lotus increase global sales and facilitate the brand’s entry in China, currently the world’s largest market.
Find out more about the Lotus 3-Eleven in our full review here.
Check out our speculative review of the Lotus SUV here.