But it may not be built in the UK.
We’ve heard about the Lotus SUV rumor for quite some time, and during a recent interview with Autocar, the UK carmaker’s CEO, Jean-Marc Gales, all but confirmed the project is finally back on track. The reason for the continued delays was directly because of Lotus’ money problems. That’s been sorted out now that China’s Geely has assumed ownership of the iconic UK brand. With the lifesaving cash infusion, Lotus can not only finally build Elite and Exige successors, but also the SUV that’ll help bring in even more money.
“We will always have sports cars, but we’re looking at other segments,” Gales said. “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.” Although Gales confirmed all future Lotus sports cars will continue to be manufactured in the UK, he couldn’t say the same about an SUV. Our guess is that because of Geely’s production capabilities in its home market, China could very well end up being the place.
In any case, Gales reaffirmed that the Lotus identify of “lightweight, aerodynamics and handling” will firmly remain in place, even for an SUV and any other future models that may or may not be sports cars. Hey, if Porsche was able to pull off a similar growth strategy that now includes two SUVs and a big sedan, then why can’t it work for Lotus?