2020 Lotus SUV
The idea of a Lotus crossover might make some fans of the British sports carmaker a little squeamish, but if Lotus is going to stick around, it’s going to need a higher-volume model with more mass-market appeal. Lotus revealed that it’s developing a compact crossover in 2017, but we still don’t know much about its underpinnings and design. However, a batch of patent images that surfaced the Web provided some hints as to what the British crossover will look like, and our designer created a rendering of the vehicle.
So what do we actually know about this crossover so far? First, it will be built in China and launched exclusively in that market before expanding to Europe and Japan. No word on U.S. availability just yet, but it’s very likely that North America will get it too. Second, Lotus aims to win SUV enthusiasts with one of the lightest and most dynamic vehicles on the market. "The SUV market changes as well – it’s not just cars that are six feet high and wide now, it’s a huge market that’s becoming more segmented. There is a niche within that for a Lotus crossover that is light and aerodynamic and handles like nothing else," former Lotus CEO, Jean-Marc Gales told Autocar in October 2017. Lotus began testing the crossover in 2019, but the prototype is just an old Lynk & Co 01 model. As a reminder, Lynk & Co is owned by Geely, the same Chinese company that owns Lotus (and Volvo for that matter).
Updated 06/24/2019: Our spy photographers caught the very first mules for the upcoming Lotus SUV out for the first testing session.
Lotus was in big trouble a couple of years ago, struggling with net losses of more than $250 million a year. That’s when Jean-Marc Gales stepped in as CEO and the British finally began to move in the right direction. Gales’ new strategy included a redesign of the Evora, which allowed Lotus to continue its operations on U.S. soil. Now, only a few months before the new 2016 Lotus Evora 400 goes on sale nationwide, Gales confirmed there’s also a roadster version on the way.
The convertible sports car will cross the pond to the U.S. six months after the coupe, which means a launch date is expected sometime in June 2016. When it arrives, the Evora 400 Roadster will join a market that already includes two remarkable sports cars, the 2016 Porsche Boxster Spyder and the 2016 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, both newly introduced for the 2016 model year. As it stands, Lotus won’t have it easy, but despite rough competition, Gales still hopes the new roadster will be as popular as the coupe.
There aren’t many official details to run by here, but the car is not much of a mystery. Moreover, Gales was kind enough to provide just about enough info on the Roadster to allow us to put together a rendering of the car, as well as a speculative review on what it might bring to the table.
Continue reading for the full story.
Lotus may be struggling, but it certainly hasn’t given up on producing high-level sports cars in an attempt to regain the edge it once held in that realm. With much of the dead weight cut from the company, Lotus is ready to move forward and we certainly hope to see big things from it, whether it be under the control of DRB-Hicom and Proton or some other company altogether.
The last new models to successfully reach production phase under the Bahar reign were the Evora and Evora S, which debuted for the 2010 model year. Last year, the models were expanded to include an all-new automatic transmission that could be shifted from auto to manual almost instantaneously. For the 2013 model year, Lotus is expanding the lineup again by including this transmission as an option on the Evora S.
Now that it is four years into its production life, is the Evora S still up to the task of taking on some of the best sports cars the world has to offer?
Click past the jump to read all about the 2013 Evora S and find out if it is on the decline or positioned to spearhead a revival of the Lotus brand.
Lotus is in high gear, attempting to fill in every gap of their "five year, five model" plan. So much so, in fact, that they are even stepping away from their sports car roots and developing a city car to rival the new Aston Martin Cygnet. The baby Lotus will first be developed by parent company, Proton, and is set to go on sale in 2014.
The move to develop a city car stems from the fact that Lotus didn’t feel confident going against Mini, BMW, and Audi in the small car segment. During an interview with Auto Express Dany Bahar said: "There’s no point in trying to fight the MINIs, and the small BMWs and Audis unless you have a special offering. Our car will be an EV or range extended EV and will offer performance of no other small car."
The future Lotus city car will first be offered as a Proton, but will be easily adapted to a Lotus platform when the time comes. The Lotus version will be more expensive than the Proton, a move that Lotus says will be justified in the additions to the car. That being said, it will be about £2000 cheaper (or $3,125 at the current exchange rates) than the Cygnet so expect to pay about £29,000 - or about $45,300 at the current exchange rates.
The Lotus City Car will be a production version of the Ethos concept unveiled at the Paris Auto Show. The concept used a 1.2 liter, 3 cylinder Lotus Range Extender engine with a peak torque of 177 lb-ft. The concept finished the 0 to 60 mph in just 9 seconds and was capable of hitting a top speed of 105 mph.
Lotus called it a night for the current generation Exige by unveiling two special edition models - the Exige S260 Final Edition and Matte Black Final Edition - but that doesn’t mean the brand’s engineers are getting a break. Just last month, the next generation sports car was caught testing covered in questionable camouflage and now our spy photographers have captured new images of the Lotus Exige with more mind-numbing coverups. We can’t wait for the 2013 Lotus Exige to be unveiled at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show just so our heads stop spinning from these psychedelic wraps.
These new spy images reveal a little more of the Exige’s future design language, like the new front and back of the vehicle. The future model will also benefit from a new rear wing on the elongated back end, a tidbit many of us anticipated when we heard that the new Exige would be borrowing elements from the Evora. The roofline also looks different from the current Exige.
As previously reported, the 2013 Exige will be powered by the same V6 engine as also found in the bigger Evora. So expect to see a 3.5 liter V6 producing 280 HP in the normal version and 350 HP in the S version. This engine will be combined with bigger brakes that, of course, suggest improved performance numbers.
On your marks, get set, GO! McLaren and Aston Martin are charging forward with their respective supercars, but a new leader in the race for Britain’s fastest supercar is emerging and it’s none other than Lotus. According to Automotive Express, sources are stating that the British manufacturer is preparing a flagship Superleggera version of their next generation Esprit. The new Superleggera is set to be released in late 2013/early 2014 and will be the fourth model in the Esprit lineup - next to a coupe, a convertible, and a glass-roofed Targa edition.
The Esprit Superleggera will be powered by an upgraded version of the 4.8-liter V8 engine mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch semi-automatic gearbox with rapid shifts. This configuration will be capable of producing 612 HP at 9,000 rpm which will be highlighted with a special aluminum body that will be even stronger and lighter than the body used in the current model. This type of powerful and light combination will ensure the supercar charges from 0-60 mph in under three seconds with a top speed of 212 mph. Drooling yet?
Lotus is so confident about their new Superleggera model that Chief Technical Officer, Wolf Zimmermann, even took a stab at McLaren’s new MP4-12C: "This car will not be like the McLaren MP4-12C. It will be cooler – there will be more emotion."
Lotus is definitely shaking things up and moving in a direction reminiscent of their high performance origins. They have already planned the next five models spanning out in the next five years and they have recently announced they would be building their own engines. These seem to be pretty hefty plans for a company that has been in the shadows since the release of the Elise. Will they crash and burn, or will they come out on top?
When Lotus announced that a production version Elan would never happen, they also announced that the next generation Evora would receive some aesthetic changes and new trim levels to align it with the rest of the "Lotus New Era" range. These things are typically better on paper then they are in practice, but a leaked image of the future model illustrates these exact predictions.
The new Evora is expected to debut in 2013 and it seems it will include no less than 150 changes compared to the current model. These changes were made in order to make the Evora a serious competitor for the Porsche models in existence. Lotus’ ex-Ferrari design boss, Donato Coco, said that these changes were necessary to make up for the lack of aggression in the current model’s design. The next Evora will feature this added aggression, but will also continue the same design language that started with the Lotus 18 single-seater at the beginning of the 1960s.
We’ll keep our eyes and ears open for any more information on the future of the Evora so stay tuned!
Lotus has been a hot topic in the news ever since their astounding resurgence into the sports-car world. The company has decided to move its racing ambitions further along as it has unveiled the Evora Enduro GT Concept car at the 2011 Geneva Auto Show. It was interesting to learn that last year the company had struck a deal with Renault to back its racing team and help with development. Lotus joining F1 racing may be more than a few years off, but this company clearly has big plans. After being rather lethargic during the 1990’s and almost fading away into the night with the Esprit dying out – the company has made drastic changes behind its fearless new leader and is poised to offer several new models within the coming years. With such an emphasis on road-going performance, it was only a matter of time before a racing car was developed.
More details on the Lotus Evora Enduro GT Concept after the jump.
At the 2010 Paris Auto Show, Lotus impressed the entire world with a totally revised line-up with a few debuts in the next few years. However, before we actually get a chance to see the second generation Evora launched on the market, the company has announced that a revised version will be launched in 2012. This just so happens to be the year Lotus plans on revealing a convertible version.
While there will be no major changes made to the exterior, the interior will get a completely redesigned cabin and a new version to go along with the newest S trim level. The cabin will be designed by German firm, CSI, who have also engineered cabins for the Audi R8, Mercedes SLS, and Porsche Panamera. The engine will also remain unchanged, but it will be mated to an all-new paddle-shift gearbox.
Hit the jump to read more about the 2012 Lotus Evora.