Lotus hasn’t done much in the U.S. for the past several years. It still sells an updated version of the Evora that we first drove back in 2009, but even 400 hp can’t quite make us forget the Elise and Exige we can no longer have. That said, anyone interested in an exceptionally quick track-only car can still pick up the ultra-hardcore Lotus 3-Eleven. But by 2022, that’s going to change drastically.
Automotive News reports that over the next four years, Lotus plans to add two all-new sports cars and an SUV to its lineup. The cars will come first, with both on the market by 2020. The SUV will arrive two years later.
“We are very confident we can launch those sports cars in two years and beat the competition where we want to beat them,” Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales told Automotive News. “We will never be No. 1 in luggage space, but we will be in handling.”
One of the new cars will sit on an updated version of the Evora’s bonded-aluminum platform, while the other will use a more expensive carbon-fiber tub similar to the ones commonly found in supercars. Gales didn’t give many more details or even say which will be introduced first, but he did suggest the second car will be a Nürburgring-eater like the 3-Eleven. “It will be something similar but much more civilized because the 3-Eleven is pretty raw,” said Gales.
As for the SUV, Gales didn’t say much. In the past, though, he’s said it will still be light, aerodynamic, and the best handling vehicle in its class. He also expects this SUV to quickly become Lotus’ bread and butter. The tiny British automaker only sold 1,600 cars worldwide last year, but Gales believes sales will eventually break 10,000 per year once the lineup includes the upcoming crossover.
Such a massive increase in demand, however, will require a massive production expansion. Gales said he expects to build the new sports cars in England, but building the SUV will likely mean building two new factories. One will probably be in China, but the location of the second one is still undecided.
“I can imagine two places worldwide, and I would love one to be in the U.K., but there are many things we need to discuss. Brexit casts a shadow over everything,” Gales said.
2017 Lotus Evora 400 pictured below