There’s been a lot of change at Lotus since Chinese carmaker Geely bought the company two years ago. The CEO that led a stunning turnaround for the tiny British company, Jean-Marc Gales, left last year, and taking his place as Group Louts CEO is Geely’s Feng Qingfeng, while Phil Popham took over as sports-car boss. All of that, plus an influx of cash from Geely changed the brand’s future product plans significantly.
Pictured above: the current Lotus Evora 400
Thanks to Autocar, though, we have a better idea of what the very near future holds for Lotus. Popham told the English magazine that next year, Lotus would debut a new sports car that’d serve as a bridge between the brand’s current lineup and a series of new cars a few years down the road. This car will ride on a revised version of the current Evora’s platform, and Popham says it will combine familiar Lotus driving dynamics with more daily usability.
Lotus is working on a new platform for the cars that’ll eventually replace the current Elise, Exige and Evora, though it’s around three to four years away. Hence the need for an interim sports car. Lotus also has an SUV in the works—likely to be built in China—and Autocar says the company is considering an electric hypercar, too.
Popham aims to reduce the time it takes to produce each Lotus sports car, saying its slow production process costs the company too much money. This means there isn’t enough money to invest in new platforms and technology. Amazing though Lotus’s lineup is, it’s quite old—the Evora dates to 2009, while the basic structure of the Elise and Exige hasn’t changed since the early 2000s.