A Lotus SUV Sounds Wrong But if Makes Money Then So Be It
Rumors are swelling that Lotus is deep into the development phase of a pure electric SUV that could launch in 2022. A Lotus SUV has been touted for the last four years, primarily to tap into the demand for SUVs in particular premium/luxury SUVs. SUVs are cash king at the moment. Every other sports car manufacturer is ditching the marketing heritage and opting for a guaranteed revenue stream. The Lotus SUV was originally designed around a hybrid powertrain to be sourced from Volvo. Both Lotus and Volvo are owned by the Chinese multinational corporation Geely.
It is highly likely that the Lotus SUV will utilize a detuned pure electric powertrain sourced from the Evija. Media reports claim that the SUV is codenamed Lambda. The decision to switch from a gas-powered powertrain to batteries is simple. It’s to do with numbers. China accounted for 1.2 million electric car sales in 2019. And the demand in the region for electric cars is predicted to grow. Geely thus determined that the future Lotus SUV will pivot for a pure electric powertrain.
The Lotus Lambda will more than likely be built in China. Geely has recently completed building works for a £1bn vehicle production facility in Wuhan and could easily find space to fit in a Lotus SUV assembly line. Building the SUV in China is cheaper and could add between 5,000 – 10,000 annual sales.
Lotus is and always has been a low volume manufacture of lightweight premium sports cars. Which is why the company has always faced the threat of permanent extinction. The new SUV could finally stabilise the company’s long term future and allow the UK HQ to concentrate on developing lightweight sports cars.
But the real story here isn’t about the SUV, it is the switch from gas power to battery power. No other rival is seeking to manufacture a pure electric SUV, not Ferrari, Lamborghini, or Porsche.