Lotus SUV to Use Volvo Platform, More Lotus Sports Cars Coming
The upcoming Lotus SUV will utilize a Volvo platform and will most likely be sold in the United States.
Lotus’ first SUV will ride on the SPA architecture that currently underpins the Volvo XC90 and XC60 – a result of China’s Geely owning both Volvo and Lotus. That means the SUV will have support for four-cylinder engines only, so the Toyota-sourced supercharged V6 that has become a Lotus staple is off the cards. Not all is lost, though, as Lotus has confirmed a hybrid version of its SUV will arrive, and Volvo’s Twin Engine hybrid system makes a healthy 400 hp in the XC90. Other pieces from the Volvo parts bin will also appear on the Lotus SUV, such as the vertically-mounted touchscreen.
Speaking to Autocar, Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales promised yardstick-rasing handling dynamics from the SUV. “It will go round bends like nothing else in its segment,” he said. “If we fail on that, we fail the project.” Gales also said the vehicle will weigh less than two tonnes, which is equivalent to just over 4,400 lbs.
Patent drawings for the new Lotus SUV surfaced last year (above), revealing the styling direction the Lotus team is heading in. The drawings aren’t of a finished product, however, with the design for the vehicle expected to be finalized in the next two months. The SUV will be aimed at China, with Lotus also eyeing markets like Europe and the United States.
In a separate interview with Automotive News Europe, Gales also revealed Lotus is working on two new sports cars. The executive declined to comment when asked if the sports cars will be entry-level or flagship models, but revealed both “will be a benchmark in the segment in terms of handling, aerodynamics and lightweight.”
Lotus is aiming for annual sales of around 3,300 units a year right now, but that number could grow to over 10,000 when the new sports cars and SUV arrive. “Above 3,000 a year is still our aim,” Gales said. “Maybe in 2021-2022 with the two sports cars we can do that. Last year we sold 1,600, up from 1,416 the year before. We’ll be at five digits with the SUV.”
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Sam McEachern holds a diploma in journalism from St. Clair College in Windsor, Ontario, and has been covering the automotive industry for over 5 years. He conducts reviews and writes AutoGuide's news content. He's a die-hard motorsports fan with a passion for performance cars of all sorts.
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