Recent developments at Lotus Cars strongly suggest that the legendary British sports car company is setting up to build cars for other automakers.

Lotus builds about 5,000 cars per year, with its new supercar due to be added to the total soon. But Autocar reports that Lotus has the capacity to handle up to 8,000 cars a year.

Lotus says that it has two opportunities for contract manufacturing on the table at the moment, one of which could be VW's GX-3 trike, which debuted as a "we may build it if the market's there" concept car at the L.A. Auto Show in January. The GX-3 prototype was recently seen testing at Lotus' test track.

Lotus has been positioning itself as a potential contractor to bigger car companies for some time, developing a contract engineering business, and more recently unveiling its APX concept car to demonstrate its product development and manufacturing capabilities.