The future looks bright at Lotus.
The brand has laid out its future model plans in clearer detail, as it continues to find its niche under the Geely umbrella.
Confirmed as part of the Driving Tomorrow business update, Group Lotus will develop new cars on four platforms.
The first is dubbed Hypercar, and will underpin the upcoming all-electric Evija. The second, dubbed Sports Car, will form the base for the new Emira sports car.
The Sports Car architecture of the Emira will be an extruded aluminium structure like that underpinning the now-axed Elise and Exige, but Lotus says “every dimension is different to previous generations of Lotus sports cars”.
A new Premium chassis will underpin an “all-new range of lifestyle vehicles” from Lotus, hinting at a future SUV.
“Building on the launch of the Emira, these cars will catapult Lotus into a new era of higher retail volumes and significant revenues,” the company says.
“The architecture has been defined and designed in the UK, supported by collaborative work with teams in China, Sweden and Germany.”
Lotus isn’t alone in abandoning its sports car roots to chase the higher-volume, higher-profit world of crossovers. It’s not yet clear what size the Lotus crossover will be.
Finally, a new E-Sport architecture developed with Alpine will be used beneath both Lotus and Alpine cars. It will also be offered to other carmakers keen to build electric sports cars on a known architecture.
The new product onslaught will be backed by a makeover for Lotus retail spaces, led by a showroom in Bahrain.
Along with its in-person spaces, the brand will move to selling cars online as well.
“It’s about offering a combination of online and offline retail experience,” said Geoff Dowding, executive director of sales and after sales for Lotus.
“Looking, feeling, seeing, interacting and at the same time having the ability to do this 24 hours a day and maybe even conclude a transaction in the middle of the night, anywhere in the world.
“New generations of buyer and different models of ownership are bringing about this change and fast, particularly in some of the newer markets for Lotus such as in China.”
When its latest business plan is complete, Lotus will have its traditional home in Hethel, and a base for Lotus Engineering on the University of Warwick campus in Wellesbourne.
The company also has access to Geely facilities in Sweden, Germany, the USA, and China.
“Our global expansion is continuing at pace, with Hethel still very much the heart and soul of the brand, but with a whole new Lotus map of the world to draw upon and to capitalise upon,” said Lotus MD, Matt Windle.