Lotus SUV will be the brand in the ‘luxury’ market

The next Lotus SUV is in the position of the Norfolk sports car of the brand as a luxury car maker that previously – and could be the first of a series of the intersection of the machines of the firm.

The project was one of the first signed by the Chinese Geely company afer he has bought the British company last year. As previously revealed by Autocar, the machine will use Volvo underpinnings, with Lotus boss Jean-Marc Gales promising “first-class handling”.

Speaking at the Beijing motor show, Peter Horbury, Geely’s design boss, said: “The question is, where Lotus may be positioned in the market, where it is today and where the competition can be. China is a huge market for more luxury, more expensive cars, so that is a possibility.

“Suvs have never been the order of the day at Porsche until someone dared to suggest to the commission, it might be a good idea. Where would they be today if they had not?”

Lotus SUV to use the Volvo foundations and have class-leading handling

Horbury, who has already led the design of Ford and Volvo, has been evasive on details about the upcoming SUV, but said: “It’s never going to be as light as an Evora. But I’m sure that if you call a Lotus, it has to be the most lightweight, it can be like this.”

He also suggested that there is more of an SUV to come from Lotus: “We have already mentioned Suvs are coming and we need a lot of resources in a fairly quick amount of time.”

Beijing motor show 2018 – comprehensive coverage

This resource is coming from a new Coventry-based Geely design center, including new Lotus models, including the Suv, the focus will be.

All Lotus design remains within the framework of the mandate of Lotus chief designer Russell Carr, who refers to Horbury. While Carr remains focused on the sports cars, Lotus ‘ home in Hethel, Norfolk, the Coventry studio will facilitate the brand’s future Suv.

“It is an ambitious plan for [Lotus],” Horbury said. “Russell is stretched to make sports cars, it is creating with his team at Hethel and so this new design center allows Lotus to use Geely resources.”

While a factory in Coventry was already on the cards before Geely acquired Lotus, Horbury, said the purchase cemented this decision. “I could have expanded to Gothenburg and Shanghai studios. When Lotus came along, I thought that it was wise to maintain the work of creation Lotus in England. If we could not develop Hethel with enough people to do all the projects, we would do better to stay in England at a reasonable distance.”

He added that Coventry has a lot of expertise automotive, not only in design but also in the model of decision-making and the manufacture of tools. The city is also the base for Geely-owned London Electric Vehicles of the Company, which makes the new TX taxi.

Lotus design is good to differentiate from their rivals, according to Horbury: “We have reviewed the design of the signatures of the Lotus and I think they are very good at keeping the Lotus and separated it from other brands. Simple things like the visor look of the windows is great. We could say that this has to be there.

“We are looking hard at what Lotus can be. There is a good balance to Geely to leave marks to develop. Volvo is an excellent example.

“The ambitions of Lotus are more important than before Geely came along. There is the possibility to build a group of vehicles that carry the Lotus name in areas that Lotus has not been before.”

Read more

Lotus Exige review

Lotus SUV to use the Volvo foundations and have class-leading handling

Lotus 3-Eleven review