What's Lotus Going to Look Like Under Geely's Ownership?

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
what s lotus going to look like under geely s ownership

There has been some gentle complaining among select individuals that Chinese ownership will somehow taint the purity of the Lotus brand — a strange accusation considering the brand was operating under the Malaysia-based Proton Holdings since 1997 long before being bought by Geely Automotive earlier this year.

Sure, it might not be the Lotus of yesterday but the company’s new Chinese overwatch has said it still has big plans for the brand. Based on its handling of London Taxi and Volvo, we haven’t been overly concerned. But we have been hoping the parent company would elaborate on what that might entail.

According to a recent interview Autocar had with Geely President An Cong Hui, Lotus may undergo a return to form (of sorts) in the years to come. “We are making plans; we want to bring back the heritage of Lotus to be one of the top performers in the luxury sports car segment,” he explained. “Lotus used to be ranked alongside Ferrari and Porsche, so we need to come back in that rank again.”

However, things have changed quite a bit over the last decade. Porsche’s best-selling model is a sport utility vehicle and Ferrari is planning on building one of its own — so Lotus will probably need to do the same. Likely based upon the Compact Modular Architecture that underpins Volvo’s XC40 and Lynk & Co’s 01, the Lotus SUV will be optimized for performance but no one at Geely has said anything even remotely official. All we really know is that “something” is in the works.

Lotus will also continue producing pure-bred sports cars and, if the brand’s British leadership has its way, those units will continue being built in the United Kingdom. However, a new car has to be in the works. Lotus’ newest model, the Evora, has been in production since 2010 while the oldest in the current lineup, the Elise, has been around since 1996.

While the Evora still gets heaps of praise from the enthusiast community, it’s not a hot property anymore. The brand will need something fresh to challenge its rivals with eventually and, with new capital coming from China, it’s only a matter of time.

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2 of 26 comments
  • CincyDavid CincyDavid on Dec 04, 2017

    I didn't know they were still in business... I tried to climb into a Lotus Elise one time maybe 10 years ago, had to crawl back out, and would have had to remove my shoes to work the pedals...not my kind of car.

  • Asdf Asdf on Dec 04, 2017

    What's Lotus going to look like under Geely's ownership? Easy. It's going to look like MG under SAIC's ownership.

  • Kat Laneaux Wonder if they will be able to be hacked into (the license plates) and then you get pulled over for invalid license plates or better yet, someone steal your car and transpose numbers to show that they are the owners. Just a food for thought.
  • Tassos Government cheese for millionaires, while idiot Joe biden adds trillions to the debt.What a country (IT ONCE WAS!)
  • Tassos screw the fat cat incompetents. Let them rot. No deal.
  • MaintenanceCosts I think if there's one thing we can be sure of given Toyota's recent decisions it's that the strongest version of the next Camry will be a hybrid. Sadly, the buttery V6 is toast.A Camry with the Highlander/Sienna PSD powertrain would be basically competitive in the sedan market, with the slow death of V6 and big-turbo options. But for whatever reason it seems like that powertrain is capacity challenged. Not sure why, as there's nothing exotic in it.A Camry with the Hybrid Max powertrain would be bonkers, easily the fastest thing in segment. It would likewise be easy to build; again, there's nothing exotic in the Hybrid Max powertrain. (And Hybrid Max products don't seem to be all that constrained, so far.)
  • Analoggrotto The readers of TTAC deserve better than a bunch of Kia shills posing as journalists.