The Chinese automaker Geely now owns Lotus, and the infusion of funding could turn the British firm into a real rival for the world’s top supercar brands.
“We are making plans; we want to bring back the heritage of Lotus to be one of the top performers in the luxury sports car segment,” Geely President An Cong Hui told Autocar. “Lotus used to be ranked alongside Ferrari and Porsche, so we need to come back in that rank again.”
According to Autocar, Geely is also reevaluating plans for Lotus to build an SUV. A revised strategy would mean using one of Geely’s platforms, and the most likely candidate would be Volvo’s Compact Modular Architecture that’s currently underneath the XC40.
The Lotus crossover would reportedly retain the company’s legacy of building lightweight vehicles. The automaker’s CEO, Jean-Marc Gales said the model would be lower and wider than rivals, too. Leaked patent images have hinted at the vehicle’s possible design.
Lotus’ ambitions to build a crossover go back many years. For example, the company showed the APX concept (above) at the Geneva Motor Show in 2006. Then in 2015, the firm formed a partnership with Goldstar Industrial to build a crossover in China. At the time, the company’s goal was for it to be a competitor against the Porsche Macan and to be available first in China.
Geely only officially completed its purchase of Proton and Lotus in September. Based on the Chinese automaker’s management of Volvo, experts predict the British company would still have independence in its decision making but with the advantage of Geely’s funding. Lotus would share technological innovations with the owner’s other automakers.