It was at the 2010 Paris Auto Show that previous Lotus CEO Dany Bahar shocked the automotive world by unveiling six separate concept cars and promising to bring all of them to production within five years. What didn’t come as a shock was the plan falling flat on its face and Bahar eventually getting fired.
Since then, Lotus parent company Proton has been sold to Malaysian conglomerate DRB-Hicom, and a new CEO, industry veteran Jean-Marc Gales, secured. Gales is yet to reveal any future plans for Lotus but according to reports out of Malaysia there could already be plans for two new models brewing in Hethel.
Citing an anonymous source, Utusan Malaysia is reporting that Gales revealed plans for a new SUV and a new sedan during a recent meeting with Proton’s board of directors. The models are said to be unrelated to any previous projects at Lotus, such the APX SUV concept showcased at the 2006 Geneva Motor Show and Eterne sedan concept from the 2010 Paris Auto Show.
Gales is reportedly keen to tap fans of the Lotus brand that may not necessarily be interested in the hardcore sports cars the company is known for. SUVs and sedans are also two of the most popular bodystyles in the all-important Chinese market—just ask Porsche. Sadly, it means the mooted return of an Esprit supercar looks even more dire.
While any all-new model from Lotus is likely to be years away, the company in the immediate future will continue to implement updates to its existing model line. Hopefully some of those updated models will be sold in the U.S.
2015 Lotus Eterne