Lotus planning Evora-based crossover?

The yet-unnamed soft-roader will retain the Evora\'s mid-engined configuration.

A new report finds Lotus is in the early stages of developing a soft-roader based on the mid-engined Evora coupe.

Designed largely to boost sales in key markets such as United States and in China, the crossover will essentially be an Evora on stilts. It will follow the path blazed by the Audi TT Offroad concept that was presented in Beijing and offer a noticeably raised ground clearance, rugged styling cues such as plastic trim around the wheel arches and on the rocker panels as well as beefier tires.

The yet-unnamed two-door crossover will remain mid-engined and it will retain the Evora's rear-wheel drive configuration. The cockpit will offer space for up to four passengers and their gear.

The rumored crossover will be one of many upcoming Lotus models designed to breath new life into the Hethel-based automaker. The expansion will kick off next March at the Geneva Motor Show when Lotus will present an updated Evora that will be more extreme than the current model (pictured).

"[The updated Evora] will be lighter and it will be faster: there's nothing this side of £100,000 that will beat it on a track - unless it's another Lotus," declared Jean-Marc Gales, the head of Lotus Cars, in an interview with British magazine Car.

The current Evora was sold in the United States under a temporary exemption that expired for the 2015 model year. Sources close to Lotus have revealed that the next Evora will be fully street legal because U.S. regulations were taken into account early in the development process.

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