The Electric Lotus SUV Could Have 750 HP and 360-Mile Range When It Debuts in 2022
Keeping the lightweight approach remains a priority for the brand.
Lotus has been toying with the idea of creating a lightweight SUV ever since the debut of its 2006 APX (Aluminium Performance Crossover) concept. Colin Chapman's legacy hasn't been forgotten at all, yet since the 2002 launch of Porsche's Cayenne, all players of this industry have seen how producing SUVs leads to profitability, especially for a luxury brand. At Lotus, a lot has changed since. Now under new leadership as part of the Geely empire, Lotus is working on EVs as well as a more upscale hybrid Esprit successor, according to Autocar. The bit we're most interested in, though, is the SUV internally codenamed Lambda that's set to debut in 2022.
The British magazine also goes into technical details about what was initially thought to launch as a hybrid instead of a pure electric crossover. The rumor goes that the Lotus SUV will feature dual motors for a combined output of 750 horsepower, and pack enough lithium-ion battery cells to provide a range of 360 miles. First targeting the rapidly growing Chinese and American EV markets, Lotus can then expand the lineup with a hybrid option.
First teased through these alleged Chinese patent images in 2017, Lotus Lambda mules have since been spotted around the Hethel factory, hiding their secrets under the body panels of Lynk & Co 01 crossovers. Several Geely models, as well as Lynk & Co cars and the premium EV Polestar 2, are based on the Volvo XC40's CMA (Compact Modular Architecture) platform. Volvo's very own electric 2020 XC40 Recharge is a 408-horsepower affair on its own with a range of 249 miles.
Talking to Top Gear back in 2017, former Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales said that the company's SUV should be the lightest on the market:
"It will be lower, wider, a lot lighter and much better handling than existing SUVs or crossovers."
Lotus is claiming the same about its 3,700-pound electric Evija hypercar, and while it will be produced at the completely refurbished and expanded Hethel complex in England, the much higher production volume Lotus SUV is expected to come from Geely's new $1.3 billion EV plant in Wuhan, China. As you may remember, Aston Martin also built a completely new factory for its first-ever SUV and proposed company savior, the twin-turbo AMG V8-powered DBX.
Take all this with a grain of salt, though a Lotus SUV is definitely coming so that Hethel can justify giving us a worthy successor to its excellent Evora GT. Under Geely's umbrella, Lotus can cherry-pick its tech from an impressive bin of parts shared with Volvo, Polestar, Lynk & Co, Geely and The London EV Company, only to end up with a benchmark of an electric crossover. Fingers crossed.
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