Lotus eyes ‘premium’ expansion with saloon, crossovers and SUVs
Beyond its forthcoming new range of sports cars, Lotus will look to expand into other premium areas of the market that could include a line-up of saloon, crossover and SUV models, according to the British firm’s new boss Phil Popham.
Since Chinese car giant Geely took a majority stake in Lotus 18 months ago, the firm has already confirmed it will launch a fully electric hypercar this summer, which is due to go on sale at the end of next year.
Popham, speaking at the Financial Times Future of the Car summit, said that the firm’s immediate priority is to develop a new range of sports cars but once that has been achieved the company can look at other areas of the market thanks to its strong financial backing.
“A new range of sport cars is our priority, however, we do believe once we have done that this brand has the strength and equity to go beyond that,” Popham explained. “We would look at all segments where we could produce a car that would meet the DNA of a Lotus in segments where we could make money, that could be GTs, crossovers, SUVs or sporting saloons – I wouldn’t say the list is endless but the premium segment is pretty large beyond sports cars.
“Moving into other segments we have to make sure the true underpinnings and DNA of Lotus, which is all about the driving experience, is all delivered in the finished product.”
Lotus’ new generation of products would also embrace electrification in some form, something that Popham sees as an opportunity rather than a challenge. “We have to move on with the technology, which gives you great opportunity when it comes to aerodynamics, centre of gravity and torque but you have to offset weight which you have to do in a creative and flexible way,” he explained.
The first vehicle to adopt that thinking will be the Type 130 all-electric hypercar. Technical details on the project are still under wraps but Popham described the vehicle as “a statement of intent.” He added: “Its purposefully the first thing to market to establish us as a pioneering, breakthrough technology leading brand.”
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