Lotus could be building saloon and SUV models within a decade as part of a transformation plan framed in secret over the past few months by its recently-arrived CEO, Jean-Marc Gales, who once led Peugeot.
The idea was initially leaked on a Malaysian website claiming to be privy to Lotus's boardroom secrets but in an exclusive interview today with Autocar, Gales confirmed that the idea was very much on the table.
Speaking one day after it was revealed that Group Lotus' workforce could be cut by a quarter, a "very sad and regrettable" move that was needed to reshape the company and cut costs for the short term, Gales said his initial aim was to sharply increase sales of Lotus's three existing models - Elise, Exige and Evora - by making them better and increasing dealer spread.
"You will see many new variants of familiar Lotus models over the next nine months, and even more in the next two years," he said. "Our cars will be faster, better made and more convenient to use but we will keep our relationship with Toyota as an engine partner so the cars will be also be very reliable and easy to own."