“Simplify, then add lightness.” That was the mantra of Lotus founder Colin Chapman and one that the British sports car firm has embraced for over six decades. With that in mind, it isn’t exactly shocking to note that a sport utility vehicle has never played a part in the company’s lineup, ever.
That could very well change however, according to a new report, as a resurgent Lotus looks to push a new model into the burgeoning SUV market. Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales told Reuters at the Geneva Motor Show that the next all-new Lotus would most likely be a crossover SUV. But don’t expect it to be anything short of a true Lotus.
“We’d do an SUV that is very light, very fast on the track and has outstanding handling,” commented Gales. “I’m a bit torn between an SUV and a four-door sports car, but in the end I can see that the SUV has the bigger market.”
The foray into four doors would be a change of pace for the Hethel, UK outfit – Lotus currently retails the Elise, Exige, and Evora coupes – though the segment shift has been mulled over before.
Lotus first tested the waters with its APX compact utility concept in 2006 (pictured above) and later followed up with the striking Eterne sports sedan concept in 2010 (below). Gales went on to mention that a Lotus SUV would be a reinvention of the category, rather than a placeholder in it.
Based on the company’s financials, it appears Gales’ time at the top is quickly making a difference. In the beginning of February, Lotus announced a 54 percent overall sales increase over the past nine months, with a staggering 81 percent increase in Europe alone.
While Lotus makes a markedly different product than Aston Martin, Bentley, and Rolls-Royce, time will tell whether the brand follows the other heritage British marques into the sport utility market.