Lotus Plans Two New Sports Cars For 2020, SUV Also In The Pipeline

The last time Lotus launched an all-new sports car, the year was 2009 and the culprit was the Evora. Which evolved into the Evora 400, then the British automaker went crazy with the 410, GT430, and the GT430 Sport.
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If it seems that Lotus launches a different version of the same car every two months or so, that’s because the automaker doesn’t have anything else to do with the limited budget for research and development. The thing is, there’s a change on the horizon following Geely’s acquisition of Lotus.

The Chinese company that controls Volvo and 49 percent of Proton wishes for Lotus to spring back to its former glory. Infusing millions in the automaker is just the first step of the transformation, with An Cong Hui of Geely wishing for Lotus to be ranked alongside Ferrari and Porsche.”

A pair of sports car, which are set to arrive in 2020 according to Automotive News Europe, will lead the revival. Chief executive officer Jean-Marc Gales refused to go into further detail, but mentioned that “one of the sports car” would replace a current member of the model lineup.

The Evora is two years older than the Elise, but bear in mind the Series 3 is nothing more than a facelift of the Series 2 Elise. What that means, in turn, is that the core model can trace its roots back to 2001. All things considered, it’s the little one that needs a replacement as soon as possible.

“We are very confident we can launch those sports cars in two years and beat the competition where we want to beat them,” argues the head honcho. “We will never be No. 1 in luggage space, but we will be in handling,” which is reassuring considering that great handling is the defining characteristic of the company founded by Colin Chapman.

Automotive News Europe understands that one of the cars will use a bonded-aluminum platform based on a current design, with the other expected to get a carbon-fiber tub. Regarding the more expensive of the two models, “it will be something similar [to the 3-11] but much more civilized, because the 3-11 is pretty raw.” When Lotus says that about one of its most driver-focused cars, you know these people mean business.

The Lotus SUV, meanwhile, will launch a year or two after the two sports cars, with production expected to start “in China and one other location.” To help with the development of these three newcomers, Lotus announced that it would hire 300 new people at its headquarters in Norfolk, England.

What pushes Lotus to expand its operations and diversify its lineup is not just survival, but profitability. From last year’s 1,600 vehicles, the automaker hopes to increase the sales volume to more than 10,000 vehicles once the SUV joins the lineup.


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