Four-door Lotus model likely an SUV, says CEO

It would be unlike any other SUV, with a focus on lightness and speed.

A Lotus SUV or crossover is likely on the horizon. This harsh acknowledgement of market forces comes directly from the Lotus Group boss, Jean-Marc Gales.

In an report by Automotive News, Gales says, that if the company — founded on Colin Chapman's principles of "Simplify, then add lightness" — were to build an SUV, it would "reinvent the category" with an "SUV that is very light, very fast on the track and has outstanding handling."

Gales admitted to being conflicted about the decision: "I'm a bit torn between an SUV and a four-door sports car — but in the end I can see that the SUV has the bigger market." This should come as no surprise. Gales hinted at as much last September. The Lotus board will vote later this year on whether to invest in a four-door model, of which the SUV is one possibility.

Enthusiasts might be understandably wary, but since taking the helm in May of 2014, Gales has shown good faith in understanding aficionados by redirecting the Lotus brand towards its core identity. As an example, Gales cites the motorized glovebox door in the Lotus Evora, calling it "worse than useless." Gales added: "I don't know who put that in, but I took it out." Since Gales' reign, the Evora has trimmed 49 pounds and received a bump up to 400 horsepower.

Lotus, owned by Malaysia's Proton, hopes to return to profitability by 2016-17.

Live images by Ronan Glon.

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