Currently reading: Lotus SUV to use Volvo underpinnings and have class-leading handling
Patent images show what the first Lotus SUV could look like; on-road bias is apparent
2 mins read
20 March 2018

Lotus's long-mooted SUV will arrive in less than four years to battle rivals such as the Maserati Levante and Porsche Macan, the firm’s boss has revealed.

Lotus will cherry-pick platform modules from parent company Geely to create a Levante-sized car weighing less than two tonnes. “It will go round bends like nothing else in its segment,” said CEO Jean-Marc Gales. “If we fail on that, we fail the project.”

Geely-owned Volvo will be a big source of parts. The SUV will likely use elements of the SPA platform that underpins the XC90 and XC60, which are both relatively light SUVs thanks to the platform’s use of high-strength steel.

The SPA structure would restrict the car to four-cylinder engines, but Gales said the car will have a hybrid option. Volvo’s XC90 Twin Engine hybrid makes 401bhp, so an increase on that can be expected given Lotus’s skill at extracting power from its Toyota engines.

The SUV will also use Volvo’s electric architecture and equipment, including the large touchscreen. “I love the new Volvo interiors because they are so simple,” said Gales.” The screen is great.” However he ruled out using the screen in future new sports cars, the first of which will arrive in 2020.

Gales added that the SUV’s design will be finalised within the next two months; patent drawings have offered an early glimpse of how the car could look.


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The SUV doesn’t need a sports-car front end in the style of the Porsche Cayenne but it does need to be recognisably a Lotus, Gales said. He also praised the design of the Alfa Romeo Stelvio. “Take away the badge and you would probably say that was an Alfa,” he said.

China is likely to be the primary build location but Gales didn’t rule out the UK. “I can imagine two places worldwide and I’d love one for the UK, but I want to know what happens after Brexit,” he said. Lotus is hiring 250 new engineers at its Hethel base to work on the SUV and the new sports cars.

A price approaching £60,000-£70,000 is expected for the new SUV. Last year the average selling price of Lotus’s models was £60,000.

Nick Gibbs

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27 October 2017

Jaguar meets SEAT by the looks of it. But if lightness and handling are in the mix, then the Lotus badge shoudl live on.

27 October 2017

That front is lifted straight out of Jaguar's designs.    I know the rest will be form following function, but if I didn't know it was Lotus I'd have said it was one of those Chinese copies.


20 March 2018

and the hundred other me-too softroaders. How good it'll be is anyone's guess but if it looks like this then the best that can be said for it is that it might - might - safeguard some jobs in Norfolk.

27 October 2017

Yes we can see a hint of Elise in the tail lights and the long and low profile, for an SUV, but it isn't outstanding. The only saving grace is it isn't eye bleedingly ugly as many other small, medium and large SUVs seem to think makes them look the part.

27 October 2017

Looks like a Kia to me.

27 October 2017

Jaguar called, they want their front grille back.

27 October 2017

and suddely it's just a hatchback with 4WD, like the new BMW x2 is. Nice try though. I hope it can be seriously lightweight, true to the Lotus tradition, perhaps even under 1300 kg or so.

20 March 2018

It's funny, I just thought it was a hatchback with hideously over-sized wheels. Lotus are a niche manufacturer who don't need to do this - concentrate on what you are good at rather than re-badging Volvos for God's sake! Colin will indeed be turning in his grave.

27 October 2017

I really have a soft spot for Lotus and hope Geely respect them in the same way they do Volvo, but a side of me thinks this will be a return of "Handling by Lotus" badging on an rebodied platform..

23 March 2018
supercarrambler wrote:

I really have a soft spot for Lotus and hope Geely respect them in the same way they do Volvo, but a side of me thinks this will be a return of "Handling by Lotus" badging on an rebodied platform..


The only way of surviving for Lotus. Could be worse.




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