Now that Lotus is Free to Expand, Will an SUV be in the Works?
10 years late to the party, but better late than neverby Kirby Garlitos, on
Now that beleaguered sports car brand Lotus is in the safe and stable arms of new parent firm Geely, there’s a lot of optimism and excitement surrounding the British automaker. One potential model that could finally materialize in the coming years is a Lotus SUV, which technically has been in the pipeline for well over a decade now. Not it appears close to reality as it’s ever been, and we could have Geely to thank for it.
To be clear, neither Lotus nor Geely have specifically identified an SUV as a future Lotus model. But Carl-Peter Forster, Geely board member and chairman of Geely-owned London taxi maker LEVC, hinted to Automotive News at the Frankfurt Motor Show about the possibility of seeing a Lotus SUV in the future. The main goal of Geely at this point is to look at possible avenues by which it can expand Lotus without diluting the brand’s status as a maker of lightweight sports cars. One way to do that is to build an SUV, something that Lotus has been keen on building since it introduced the APX CUV all the way back at the 2006 Geneva Motor Show. Nothing came out of those plans because Lotus didn’t have the money to build one, but with Geely now providing financial support, the possibilities are now open for Lotus to literally, in Forster’s own words, produce "any size of car and any number of cars.” Whether this pans out or not is another matter entirely. But consider a Lotus SUV as a viable possibility now, something that wouldn’t have happened had Geely not stepped in to buy the company.
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How do you feel about a Lotus SUV?
Talks of a Lotus SUV just refuses to die. The APX crossover may have been the first sign that the British automaker was planning to build one, but it certainly wasn’t the last. As recently as two years ago, Lotus once again made headlines with rumors that it was looking into building a model that would not only compete against the Porsche Macan but would be offered in some of the world’s biggest markets, including China. Again, nothing came out of it, largely because Lotus didn’t have the finances to absorb the costs of building one.
The APX crossover may have been the first sign that the British automaker was planning to build one, but it certainly wasn’t the last.
It’s a far different story now that the British brand has Geely’s financial might to fall back on. Suddenly, a Lotus SUV isn’t so much of a pipe dream anymore as it is a legitimate possibility. Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales has been a vocal advocate of an SUV for much of his time as the company’s head honcho, so the pieces are definitely in place to make it happen.
If it does come to fruition, the biggest factor is going to be Geely. As the new parent company of Lotus, it’s going to become the source of funding for the British brand to get its off SUV project off the ground. Geely’s experience in bringing Volvo back from the ashes could also be helpful in this regard. Then there’s the possible synergy with London taxi maker LEVC, which also happens to be owned by Geely. LEVC has a new plug-in hybrid London taxi that makes use of a lightweight aluminum platform, something that Lotus can make good use of should it decide to build an SUV.
There’s a way for the company to do it now because it has the resources to make it happen
The likelihood of seeing a Lotus SUV is more real and feasible now than it ever has been in the past. There’s a way for the company to do it now because it has the resources to make it happen. All that is left at this point is for Lotus to fully dedicate itself to finally bringing such a model to life. If it does, we could finally be well on our way to seeing that Porsche Macan competitor that we’ve all been waiting for.
Read our full speculative review on the 2018 Lotus SUV.
Read our full review on the Lotus APX.
Read more Lotus news.
Source: Automobile News