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This SUV Prototype Is Not What You Think

Spy Shots

Here's a hint: it's a Porsche fighter.

For months this vehicle was said to be in the works, though we had no visual proof. Company officials confirmed plans to build this SUV, but specific details have been kept under wraps. Which new SUV are we talking about? The upcoming Lotus SUV. That’s right, the famed sports car company is definitely proceeding with plans to enter this segment and it’s now financially able to do so thanks to its new parent company, Geely. Geely also owns Volvo, Polestar, and Lynk & Co, meaning there’s plenty of technical and mechanical assistance available to help deter costs.

Our spy photographers have just snapped the fresh images of what’s very likely a new test mule of the unnamed Lotus. It was spotted on the roads just outside of Hethel, Lotus’ UK headquarters. For anyone familiar with the Lynk & Co 01 prototype, this mule might look awfully similar. This platform also underpins the Volvo XC40.

A closer glance, however, reveals more significant differences. The wheel arches at the rear fenders are cut up in order to increase space for larger wheels. Up front, the front fenders are significantly wider than on the regular Lynk vehicle. What does this indicate? Not only bigger wheels but also a wider track that’ll give the unnamed Lotus SUV a sportier appearance.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about this vehicle is the high voltage stickers in the front window. Also, notice the fuel cap is taped up and that’s there no exhaust. What’s going on here? Chances are, this means the Lotus SUV will, at the very least, be a plug-in hybrid. We also wouldn’t rule out an all-electric powertrain.

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Lotus previously said it’d like to have its first-ever SUV on sale by 2022, but delays are possible. In any case, it’s good to see at least some visible progress on the vehicle is underway. Although it’s an SUV, Lotus promises it’ll drive like a Lotus, hence it being tested by Lotus engineers in the UK. More than likely, it’ll compete directly against the Porsche Macan, which is also slated to become all-electric for its next complete redesign in a few years. But don’t worry, Lotus is still very much in the sports car business. Beginning next year, it’ll launch a successor for the Elise and hopefully not too long afterward, an Evora replacement.

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