Lotus Officially Announces Crossover Launch
|   Sunday, May 10, 2015
Lotus joins the wave of companies that offer SUVs to their customers. The British manufacturer promises its crossover will arrive in 2019.
In recent years, Lotus has constantly tried to think of a viable project to extend its range. After a series of personal purchases from big names in the industry (Ferrari or McLaren) and several concepts that have not materialized, Lotus decided to calm down the enthusiasm of those who were already seeing it as a serious rival to Italian supercars.


The British manufacturer has decided to launch a realistic project, which will be in the foreground of a crossover designed to exploit the explosion of demand in this segment. Jean Marc Gales, Lotus President, confirmed the intentions of Lotus giving birth to an SUV in an interview with Autocar magazine.
Gales described the future crossover as "pure Lotus product and the first SUV in the world with an extremely low total weight."

Although there are not many details about the 4x4 model, the extremely low weight that Lotus promises will come via a new chassis and aluminum panels. The engine will also be one with a small displacement and will be supplied by Toyota. In terms of size, the Lotus crossover will be similar to the Porsche Macan, but will weigh 200 kilograms less.

The production will be assured by a plant in China, because Proton which owns the Lotus company, has just signed up to create a joint venture with Goldstar Heavy Industrial, a Chinese company. Preparations for production will be completed in a maximum of three years and will start assembling the SUV in 2019.

The new car is scheduled to enter production in 2019, and is likely to become the best-selling model in the 67-year history of Lotus. Lotus will consider launching the model in Europe and Japan, where design and safety legislation are relatively similar to China's, after satisfying the initial demand in China.

US sales would be more difficult to handle, says Gales, due to the modifications needed. He agrees that SUV demand could eventually increase total Lotus sales beyond 10,000 units but he is anxious "not to run before we can walk".

The launch of the new Lotus SUV is the third phase of the ambitious development, but credible, plan signed by Gales, which was exposed about a year ago.
The first phase, which is almost done, was to increase sales beyond 2,000 units in the first year. The second step is to improve to 4,000 units, all sales of sports cars, with several improved versions of current models.

"Lightness, driving purity, design and a certain unconventional quality — these are all core Lotus values. At present, there's nothing on the market that fits the description. Our car will drive beautifully. It will be supple and comfortable but the emphasis will be on handling. It will be the lightest and fastest of its class on the track" he said.

Regarding the Chinese SUV demand, Gales said that "It's absolutely huge. Six million SUVs will be sold in China this year, and more than half of those are C-segment models. That figure is forecast to rise to eight million in four years. C-segment SUV sales alone will be bigger than the entire German market."
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