Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales looks at the Porsche Macan, promises their crossover to be “the first lightweight SUV” and “a real Lotus.” He also wishes to triple their sales by the end of the decade. Lofty goals.
Autocar reports the following things about Lotus’ first trip to soccer mom car land:
- The crossover will be the first product of the three-way joint venture between Lotus, its Malaysian owner Proton and Goldstar Heavy Industrial, a Chinese engineering and trading company.
- It will be built in an all-new Lotus factory in south-east China.
- It’s part of the third phase of their development plan, when the brand’s new sports cars and compact SUV are expected to beat 10,000 units annually.
- It’s name will start with an ‘E’ and in true crossover fashion, all-wheel drive will be an option.
- It will launch in China first with Europe and Japan following if there’s enough demand, but the US remains a question mark due to the different regulations.
- The Lotus SUV is expected to be lower, lighter and faster than the competition, but offer lots of rear legroom for the Asian audience.
- Lotus will use some Proton parts.
Jean-Marc Gales also had this to add:
Lightness, driving purity, design and a certain unconventional quality — these are all core Lotus values. At present, there’s nothing on the market that fits the description. Our car will drive beautifully. It will be supple and comfortable but the emphasis will be on handling. It will be the lightest and fastest of its class on the track.
For even more details and a Q&A session with the Lotos boss, head over to Autocar.
In the meantime, here’s the Lotus APX concept from the 2006 Geneva Motor Show:
I know, I know, but SUVs sell and if you also want to see Lotus building kick ass sports cars for long years to come, you might also want to get onboard with this plan. It makes sense.