By on March 10, 2015


Is it possible to apply Colin Chapman’s lightness philosophy to SUVs? Lotus believes it could, should the storied automaker enter the game.

According to Reuters, Group Lotus chief Jean-Marc Gales said that his company’s next model may indeed be an SUV. However, unlike Jaguar, Aston Martin, Bentley and other high-end luxury brands considering the same, Lotus doesn’t intend to follow the leader, instead opting to “reinvent” the SUV in its image:

We’d do an SUV that is very light, very fast on the track and has outstanding handling. 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.

An SUV would likely help turn things around for Lotus — now under ownership by Malaysian automaker Proton — having lost $108 million in FY 2014 as Gales, who also handled marketing for Volkswagen and was second-in-command at Peugeot, began to right the ship toward a return to profit by 2017 at the latest.

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18 Comments on “Gales: Lotus SUV Under Consideration...”

  • avatar

    When the only Lotus anyone cares about is the “Hennessey Venom GT”, I sincerely doubt building an SUV is a wise move.

    • 0 avatar

      The fact that they don’t have an SUV is why “nobody” cares about their current lineup.

      Unfortunately for Lotus Americans claim to care about at the limit performance but really just want pomp and flash in the form of high specs they will never take full advantage of. Take for example your obsession with SRT land barges. One trick ponys literally only good for saying “the projection of my penis is larger than yours”. When a company like Lotus builds a no-frills driving car folks like you ridicule them for not giving it 1000 HP to make you feel better about yourself. It’s a shayayaame.

      • 0 avatar

        You call SRT cars one-trick-ponys but the reason why ANY SRT will outsell and outperform ANY Lotus is simply because:

        It’s a BIG CAR, with a RIDICULOUS ENGINE.

        I don’t expect anyone to agree with me, but the mere fact Chrysler has absolutely no problem selling Jeep SRT at $70,000…over and over again… or Dodge Chargers at $50,000… and will move EVERY SINGLE HELLCAT ON THE LOT…

        …should be a perfect example to you as to why I’m 100% right and you’re 100% wrong.

        When I go to DUBAI in April and I make videos of the exotic cars for TTAC – let’s see just how many Lotus you spot vs. how many SRT vehicles you spot.

        They aren’t one-trick-ponies.

        They are 3 trick ponies.

        Big cars that carry 4 people while doing burnouts and cost less than $80,000 (unlike Ze’ Germans).

        You’re definition of “driving car” is absolutely not the same as most of our definitions of driving car.

        And that’s why the manual is DOOMED and the Mercedes CLA is a top seller.

        • 0 avatar

          Lol. A Hellcat is most definitely a one trick pony. Chrysler has come a long way with its interiors, but in the context of driving engagement there’s not much in something like a Hellcat besides going fast in a straight line and being able to type “MINE IS BIGGER THAN YOURS” in all caps.

          And stickshift isn’t going anywhere. One of my buddies has a new Challenger SRT8. It’s really nice and the manual gearbox in it works really well. I don’t think there has ever been a period in time where there have been so many stickshift performance cars- many of which are only available in stickshift (Ford ST cars, Civic Si, Z/28, GT4, Viper etc).

          So go ahead and keep flouting the superficial, scrambling to get the first post in every article + TYPING IN ALL CAPS as that’s all you understand. I look forward to Lotus’ return and hope they can turn things around.

        • 0 avatar
          bigduckseriesreview @ youtube

          $80,000 (unlike Ze’ Germans).

          You’re 100% wrong.

          When I go to you spot.

          When I go to DUBAI in April and the manual is DOOMED and the Mercedes CLA is a BIG CAR, with a RIDICULOUS ENGINE.

          I don’t expect anyone to you as to why I’m 100% right and over again… or Dodge Chargers at $50,000…over and over again… or Dodge Chargers at $50,000…over again… or Dodge Chargers at $50,000 (unlike Ze’ Germans).

          And that carry 4 people while doing burnouts and cost less than $80,000…over again… or Dodge Chargers at $50,000 (unlike Ze’ Germans).

          I don’t expect anyone to you spot.

          I don’t expect and you’re definitions of driving car.

          And the Mercedes CLA is a top selling car” is absolutely no problem selling car” is absolutely no problem seller.rnouts and cost less that carry 4 people while doing burnouts and cost less than $80,000… and I make videos of driving cars for TTAC.

  • avatar

    I think this could work. If they pull a “Lotus Outback”, make it practical and keep it under ~3500lbs they could have something with a lot of…… CROSSOVER appeal (hehehehehe)

    Porsche, Audi and MB have very successful entrants in this segment…. the key will be for Lotus to make sure they get their infotainment right. Simplest way will be to just buy a damn aftermarket unit with phone screen mirroring and have a built in app with silly Forza track monitoring stuff. Lotus needs a DCT too. If they can somehow pull that off and make it look good they might have a winner.

  • avatar

    “Is it possible to apply Colin Chapman’s lightness philosophy to SUVs?”

    Been there, done that, says Suzuki. They called it the Samurai.

    • 0 avatar

      Well, the AMC Eagle, a car most thought was silly back in’ 80 and vanished without notice after’ 88, has been back for some time as the CUV, so why not? Personally, my opinion is if you want a light nimble vehicle buy a hatchback, not a tippy raised crossover. But the market wants what it wants, I guess.

  • avatar

    “We’d do an SUV that is very light, very fast on the track and has outstanding handling.”

    I think what they’ll end up having to do here is build something in the vein of that Aston Martin ____ something concept, the AWD activity vehicle or whatever they called it. It will have four doors, and be JUST high enough off the ground to be considered an SUV. But really more like one of the Volvo S60 XC’s.

  • avatar

    Will anyone *really* want a Lotus SUV? Porsche had the awareness of the trophy wife set that enabled them to build his and hers vehicles. Lotus? Beyond throwbacks to Pretty Woman, I’m not so sure. If I were running Lotus, I’d probably do the sedan to stay within the company’s realm of influence.

    • 0 avatar

      Agree. Those said women also want the Porsche because it’s very luxurious, has lots of “class” and is very “fancy.”

      The Lotus – by nature – can be none of these things.

  • avatar

    A Lotus SUV would be for rappers and women. The Lotus sports
    Car is for men. It would have to be more luxurious and blingy and less sporty, and despite its engineering superiority, would have to be price competitive.
    The reality of it is that we fantasize about racing along a curvy road, but most driving is to and from work, taking kids to school and going shopping. Hence the practical but unexciting SUV’s popularity.

  • avatar

    My head and heart say no to this idea. They´d better spend the money on making their existing cars as brilliant to own as they are to drive.

  • avatar

    I have no idea of what a Lotus SUV is all about. They don’t have facilities to make a lot of cars anyway. I’m all confused, as should be obvious by now.

  • avatar

    …there’s nothing anathematic about a lotus SUV; they already designed one ten years ago (the APX concept) and that’s but one example of myriad non-sports-car projects they’ve engineered over the decades, both as in-house experimental projects and consulting engineer projects for other manufacturers…heck, colin chapman’s personal car in the late seventies (the elite M50) was a four-seat hatchback GT, available with an automatic transmission to boot…

    …regardless of application, lotus’ common theme remains lightness and exemplary chassis dynamics…

  • avatar

    They need two versions. One that competes with Bowler on track. And one that merely looks the part but is more practical and costs less.

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