Lotus confirmed that it plans to build a crossover in April this year. The crossover will be a China-only model, but not for very long.
According to a new report from Auto Express, the crossover may be launched in the company’s home market if it does well in the booming Asian market. Considering the segment’s heavy demand in the country and Lotus’s prestige as a brand, the crossover has a big chance to succeed. It will be the company’s first vehicle to be sold in a large volume in a single market.
DRB-HICOM, the British sportscar brand’s parent company, announced a joint venture with Chinese company Goldstar Heavy Industrial Co. for local production of Lotus cars and engines in April this year. This Porsche Macan-rivaling crossover will be built in China by the Chinese partner. Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales told the British publication that the crossover will be much lighter and faster than “any other SUV currently on offer”, and its nearest rival will be the Porsche Macan.
In China, it is likely to be powered by a Toyota-sourced petrol-electric hybrid powertrain, as per the report. However, if it makes it to Europe, it will have to be offered with a diesel engine, Mr. Gales said. Hybrid powertrain won’t be offered on the brand’s sports cars though, at least not in the near future, as the CEO feels they are unsuitable.