Following Bentley, Rolls Royce and Aston Martin, Lotus has become the next British carmaker to join the crossover/SUV bandwagon. Almost every major luxury and sportscar maker is planning to either enter, or expand the product line-up in this booming segment, except for Ferrari.
The British sports car maker plans to build its first crossover in China, says a report from Automotive News Europe. Although the company prefers calling it SUV, the final product will most likely be a sporty crossover utility vehicle like the Porsche Macan. According to the report, the new crossover will be launched in 2019, and be exported to Europe and possibly USA too.
The Chinese production as a joint venture with Goldstar Heavy Industrial Co. was announced last month. The new crossover could be the first Lotus car produced in China, as the currently sold iconic sports cars – Evora, Exige and Elise will continue to be built exclusively at the company’s manufacturing facility at Hethel, Norfolk UK.
The company reportedly will build a prototype version of the crossover in the next 12 months based on a platform created with parent company DRB-HICOM’s subsidiary Proton. The platform will use a mix of steel and aluminum, so as to achieve the a kerb weight target of 1,500 kg to 1,600 kg. The report suggests that the price of the new crossover will be slightly lower than that of the Porsche Macan and its range will likely include a hybrid model.