New, more user-friendly Lotus model coming in 2020
Yes, the British firm has a pulse.
Lotus is no longer dangerously teetering on the brink of collapse. The once-great British company has put the cash it received from China-based Geely to good use, and it's preparing to introduce a new model in 2020.
British magazine Autocar learned that the yet-unnamed new model will ride on a heavily revised evolution of one of Lotus' current platforms. It will be a more usable car, meaning it will be easier to get in and out of than anything the firm currently makes, more spacious, more comfortable, and equipped with a better infotainment system. The publication believes the Evora will lend its chassis to the project.
The idea of a less punishing, more road trip-friendly Lotus shouldn't keep brand purists up at night; the company isn't out to build a Buick Cascada.
"We will build cars in the future with the DNA of today. They'll have the same performance and handling, but will appeal to a wider audience. Our barriers to entry now are the cars' practicality, the ingress and egress, the day-to-day use like ergonomics and connectivity. They will improve, but absolutely retain the purity," explained Lotus CEO Phil Popham in an interview with Autocar.
Looking ahead, Lotus is preparing to replace the Elise, the Exige, and the Evora (pictured). All three models will ride on an entirely new platform, and they're expected to arrive by 2023. They're all being developed with American regulations in mind, so odds are we'll see them here. The company is also working on its very first SUV, which is hardly a surprise considering the body style's immense popularity. Production of the yet-unnamed high-riding Lotus could take place in China.
The tie-up with Geely creates a number of growth possibilities for Lotus. It could conceivably build its volume-oriented models (like the aforementioned SUV) on Volvo's platforms, since the two companies are now part of the same group. It could adapt Volvo's plug-in hybrid technology to fit its cars. And, Autocar learned Lotus is calling into question its long-running engine deal with Toyota, though there's no word yet on whether it will turn to Volvo instead.
Photo by Ronan Glon.