And two new sports cars will precede it.
It’s been exciting times at Lotus, though we haven't heard much from them. The hallowed British sports car maker, aside from churning out one special-edition Evora after another, has been largely quiet since its acquisition by growing Chinese automotive conglomerate Geely. However, a recent interview with its CEO has revealed the company’s plans for the future.
Jean-Marc Gales spoke to Car Magazine of the UK and talked about what lies in store for the sports car marque. Two new sports cars are on the cards for 2020, while 2022 will see Lotus break into the highly-contested and increasingly-trendy world of SUVs.
The two sooner introductions will consist of a model replacement, as well as a light-weight special-edition performance model that will sit as the performance flagship. The more affordable model will utilise a heavily-revised version of the bonded-aluminium tub that Lotus presently uses in most of its cars, which the CEO said remains “a benchmark for light weight, crash resistance, and longevity.”
The performance model, however, will make use of a carbon-fibre tub, and offer greater refinement and usability than the Lotus 3-Eleven that it will be replacing. Technologies from the Geely portfolio will be used generously across both models, though we have on good authority that an enormous 9-inch Sensus infotainment display will not get tacked on.
Fitting with Lotus’ history, the two cars will be “absolutely stunning and gorgeous, in terms of design and aerodynamics.” The new cars will also offer greater usability and practicality without “corrupting the fundamental character” that comes with every Lotus-badged product. Also in-keeping with their history will be the powertrains: No hybrids here.
“For sports cars, I still always look at the combustion engines, or full electric. Two powertrains is just weight, it’s inefficient.” — Jean Marc-Gales, Chief Executive, Lotus Cars
Gales wasn’t forthcoming about the Lotus SUV though, aside from pinning down its introductory date. We join the many pundits who reckon that while it’ll wear a Lotus badge, the upcoming model will likely be underpinned by the same architecture as the Volvo XC60, Geely Boyue, or Volvo XC90 (depending on what size category it intends to compete in), and likely find motivation from the TwinEngine plug-in hybrid system that presently provides Volvos with as much as 300kW/640Nm.