Lotus eyes ‘premium’ expansion with saloon, crossovers and SUVs

A new generation of sports cars is coming and could be followed by a broader range of Lotus models, including SUVs and a 4-door saloon

Lotus badge

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.

New 2020 Lotus sports car to be brand's first electrified model

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.”

Are you optimistic about what the future holds for Lotus? Get your crystal ball out and let us know in the comments…

Recommended

New Lotus Emira’s digital dash teased ahead of Goodwood reveal
Lotus Emira wheel
Lotus

New Lotus Emira’s digital dash teased ahead of Goodwood reveal

The Lotus Emira will feature a fully digital cockpit – but the wheel in the teaser images has paddle shifters, meaning a manual option is unlikely
8 Jun 2021
'We’ve finally seen evidence that Lotus really does have an exciting future'
Lotus opinion
Lotus

'We’ve finally seen evidence that Lotus really does have an exciting future'

John McIlroy is looking forward to seeing Lotus branch out into more family-orientated cars
28 Apr 2021
New Lotus SUV likely as part of brand’s electric revolution
Lotus SUV - front (watermarked)
Lotus

New Lotus SUV likely as part of brand’s electric revolution

Stunning plan from Hethel will see the Lotus brand expand like never before with a new SUV, plus production lines in Norfolk and China
27 Apr 2021
Electric Lotus Evija looks to Type 49 racer for soundtrack
Lotus Evija
Lotus

Electric Lotus Evija looks to Type 49 racer for soundtrack

The Lotus Evija’s electric motor will be accompanied by an edited version of the Type 49’s V8 engine noise
10 Mar 2021

Most Popular

Driving test update to preserve the manual gearbox
Dacia Duster gear lever
News

Driving test update to preserve the manual gearbox

With more drivers learning in autos and electric cars, the DVSA is looking to update the driving test so people can still drive manuals in future
16 Jun 2021
Tesla Model 3 police car all set for evaluation by UK emergency services
Tesla Model 3 police car - front
News

Tesla Model 3 police car all set for evaluation by UK emergency services

Tesla hopes to offer UK police forces a new zero-emission emergency responder option with the Model 3 police car
17 Jun 2021
New 2021 Vauxhall Astra to offer plug-in hybrid power
Vauxhall Astra render
Vauxhall Astra

New 2021 Vauxhall Astra to offer plug-in hybrid power

The new Vauxhall Astra will get a plug-in hybrid powertrain and a more premium image - here’s how it could look
17 Jun 2021
Ineos Grenadier prototype 2022 review
Ineos Grenadier prototype
Ineos Grenadier 4x4

Ineos Grenadier prototype 2022 review

Can the Ineos Grenadier really fill the mud-splattered void left by the old Land Rover Defender? We take a first drive in a prototype to find out...
15 Jun 2021
Motorists think they can get away with driving offences due to lack of road police
police speed gun
News

Motorists think they can get away with driving offences due to lack of road police

Lack of road traffic police officers in the UK is making it easy for drivers to break the law, according to a survey of 15,500 British motorists
16 Jun 2021
New Nissan Qashqai 2021 review
Nissan Qashqai 2021
Nissan Qashqai

New Nissan Qashqai 2021 review

We get behind the wheel of the larger, more comfortable and higher-tech Nissan Qashqai SUV in the UK
16 Jun 2021
Dacia unveils new badge design
Dacia badge
Dacia

Dacia unveils new badge design

The new Dacia branding will feature on the company’s cars from 2022, with the Bigster being the first candidate
17 Jun 2021
New Audi Q4 e-tron 2021 review
Audi Q4 e-tron 2021  front
Audi Q4 e-tron

New Audi Q4 e-tron 2021 review

We get involved with the new all-electric Audi Q4 e-tron SUV on UK roads for the first time
17 Jun 2021
UN report highlights ethical problems with electric cars
Electric car charging
News

UN report highlights ethical problems with electric cars

Analysis reveals lithium refining takes 65 per cent of Chilean region’s water, while 40,000 child miners dig for cobalt in DRC
14 Jun 2021
'I was cynical about Hyundai's aim to be the world's 2nd biggest carmaker, not now'
Opinion Genesis Hyundai Ioniq
Opinion

'I was cynical about Hyundai's aim to be the world's 2nd biggest carmaker, not now'

Steve Fowler is impressed by Hyundai's electric cars, its N division and now its luxury Genesis brand
16 Jun 2021
Mazda to launch 10 new hybrids and three new EVs by 2025
Mazda electric plan
Mazda

Mazda to launch 10 new hybrids and three new EVs by 2025

The electrification push forms part of Mazda’s goal to become a completely carbon neutral company by 2050
17 Jun 2021
Fan-designed Ford Puma ST Gold Edition revealed
Fan-designed Ford Puma ST Gold Edition
Ford Puma

Fan-designed Ford Puma ST Gold Edition revealed

Ford unveils a special edition Puma ST, with a black and gold colour scheme chosen by Ford fans over social media
18 Jun 2021
New Renault Arkana 2021 review
Renault Arkana - front
Renault Arkana

New Renault Arkana 2021 review

Does an eye-catching coupe-SUV body give the new Renault Arkana the edge over other mid-size SUVs? We find out...
16 Jun 2021
New Skoda Enyaq iV 2021 review
Skoda Enyaq iV 80 Sportline - front
Skoda Enyaq

New Skoda Enyaq iV 2021 review

The new Skoda Enyaq iV is the Czech firm’s first bespoke electric car and we've tested the full range on UK roads
10 Jun 2021