Leaked patent images on Chinese website pcauto.com.cn have revealed Lotus' first SUV.
The boutique brand said in 2015 that it was developing its first SUV in a joint venture partnership with Chinese engineering and trading company, Goldstar Heavy. Comments made by Lotus CEO, Mark Gales, confirmed that the British firm was building an SUV that would be a competitor to the likes of the Porsche Macan.
If it’s anything like what the Lotus Exige is to the Porsche Cayman, then we can expect a no-frills lightweight SUV with epic handling but without some of the luxury appointments.
Most of the body styling looks typically Lotus, such as the contemporary front and rear. But, by contrast, the side profile harks back almost half a century and borrows heavily from the four-seat shooting brake style Lotus Elite Types 75.
It’s not the first glimpse of a crossover by the squad from Hethel which revealed its APX Concept car at the 2006 Geneva motor show. However, unlike the concept which was based on Lotus’ versatile vehicle architecture platform (that underpins the current Evora), the production SUV is backed and built by new owner Geely, that's keen to increase Lotus’ profits with a broader offering.
Although patent images have been leaked, Lotus has not released any details on its upcoming SUV. Gales said in 2015 that its family-oriented sports car would hit production in 2019 but that date was for the Chinese market only and other markets would come on-board at least three years later.
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