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Lotus SUV Gunning For Porsche Macan, Locked In For 2019 Photo:

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Tony O'Kane | Jun, 30 2015 | 1 Comment

Lotus says its upcoming small SUV is locked in for a 2019 debut, and that it should give the Porsche Macan a run for its money.

Speaking to British mag Auto Express at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales (above) declared the as-yet-unnamed SUV "will be better" than the Macan, and that it will be "much lighter and faster than any other SUV currently on offer".

Light weight will be the key to the Lotus SUV's performance, with the firm's experience with aluminium-intensive chassis technology likely to be employed.

However unlike its current range of road-going vehicles, the engine will be mounted up front rather than amidships. Speaking earlier this year, Gales said the SUV's dynamic prowess will be significant.

“At present, there’s nothing on the market that fits the description. Our car will drive beautifully,” Gales said.

“It will be supple and comfortable but the emphasis will be on handling. It will be the lightest and fastest of its class on the track.”

But while SUVs continue to sell strongly and are valuable money-spinners for a brand, Lotus' SUV will only be sold in China - at least initially.

It will also be built in China, though the Chinese government has yet to issue a manufacturing licence to Lotus or its Chinese joint venture partner Goldstar Heavy Industrial Co.

But if it proves successful in the Far East, Lotus may give its first-ever SUV a global roll-out.

Petrol and a petrol-electric hybrid powertrain are certainties for the Chinese market given local powertrain preferences and Lotus' ongoing technology collaboration with Toyota, but Gales says a diesel would be added to the mix if a European debut eventuates.

Source: Auto Express
MORE: Lotus News and Reviews

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