Lotus open to releasing more mainstream modelsby Ronan Glon
Its CEO isn't ruling out more SUVs, and even a sedan.
It's no secret that Lotus is developing its first crossover. The firm is expected to begin producing the yet-unnamed model in China in the coming years. It will represent a drastic departure from the sports cars Lotus has made all of its life, but its chief executive revealed the model expansion could include other mainstream products.
"I wouldn't exclude anything: saloons, GT cars, crossovers, SUVs... it has to have Lotus DNA," said Lotus CEO Phil Popham in an interview with Top Gear.
The company has promised ambitious offensives in the past, but it has never had the funds to launch them. This time, it's different. Chinese giant Geely owns a controlling stake in Lotus, which places the sports car brand under the same umbrella as Volvo, Polestar, and half of Smart. Geely can provide Lotus with the funding and the expertise it needs to expand.
Popham ruled out expanding for the same of expanding, however.
"I won't stick a Lotus badge on a Geely group platform and say, 'that's a Lotus'. We'd have to be involved in the engineering right from the start," he affirmed. This suggests the company's upcoming SUV will be a true driver's car, which is difficult to achieve when developing a tall, heavy vehicle.
As for other body styles, Popham didn't reveal the other segments we could see Lotus compete in over the next few years. We know it's in the early stages of developing an electric hypercar named Type 130. But the company has previous hinted at its ambitions to challenge Porsche, so it's not too far-fetched to imagine a full range of Lotus-branded sports cars built, as Popham promised, "for the drivers."