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Lotus SUV revealed: Hethel plans lightweight 4x4 for 2020

Published: 29 July 2015

► CAR magazine scoops new Lotus 4x4
► Planned for 2020, built with Chinese
► But what will Lotus faithful think?

Lotus is working on its first family-friendly SUV in collaboration with Chinese car manufacturer Goldstar and will launch a lightweight crossover in China by 2020 with European sales likely to follow, the CEO has told CAR magazine.

Our new artist's impression shows how the new family Lotus could look: we hear it will share a footprint with the Porsche Macan but will sit lower and wider, and a lightweight structure will pare bulk by around 200-300kg over the German rival. Four-cylinder engines are planned, a hybrid is likely and V6s are expected for more sporting iterations of the Lotus soft-roader.

'It looks like a Lotus SUV, it looks lightweight, and it will drive like no other SUV because it will be much lighter,' chief executive Jean-Marc Gales told CAR in a special news feature in the new August 2015 issue out now. 'It will look stunning. At the front you'll see a taste of 3-Eleven, plus hints of the 1974 Elite and other Lotus cars.'

Why is Lotus building an SUV? 

The world's appetite for crossovers and 4x4s continues to soar, and it's a market Hethel can't ignore, much like Jaguar, Bentley and Rolls-Royce, all of whom have decided to change tack to hoover up rising sales of SUVs. 

But the Lotus SUV will be aimed at China first, where it will be assembled by Goldstar. 'If the car is a runaway success, we will export it,' Gales told CAR. 'There may be some modifications to European handling and engine management which we'd do at Hethel.' Read the full story in the August 2015 issue of CAR magazine, previewed here

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet