Alleged patent drawing for Lotus SUV - Image via PC Auto
It's a brave new world. As automakers bend to consumers' love of utility vehicles, numerous brands have jumped aboard the SUV bandwagon—even Lotus. We knew the British sports car brand, now owned by China's Geely, had one SUV in the works, but there will be more than one.
That's according to Peter Horbury, Geely's design boss, who told Autocar in a Wednesday report, "We’ve already mentioned SUVs are coming and we need a lot of resources in a fairly swift amount of time."
Horbury backed up Lotus' move to expand its product range to SUVs by invoking Porsche.
"SUVs were never on the agenda at Porsche until someone dared to suggest to the board it might be a good idea. Where would they be today if they hadn’t?"
Still, a Lotus SUV won't be a true track machine, and Horbury acknowledged that. He said such a model won't be anywhere near as slim as an Evora, but it should absolutely "be the lightest it can be of that genre." Additionally, Geely wants Lotus to play in a more luxurious arena than it has before.
Design work for the Lotus SUVs will take place at Geely's new Coventry-based design studio. Horbury said he felt it was important to keep Lotus design in England, and he ruled out expansions in Shanghai or Gothenburg, where Geely-owned Volvo is based. Perhaps not so coincidentally, Coventry is also home to Geely's London Electric Vehicle Company.
We don't know much about what will go into (or perhaps more appropriately, out of) an SUV to make it a Lotus, but we know it will likely use Volvo architecture.