British sports carmaker Lotus will bring two new sports cars in 2020 with an SUV right behind them in 2021 or '22, becoming the brand's first all-new vehicles since it began production of the Evora back in 2009.
CAR Magazine reports the news in an interview with Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales. Of the two cars, he said only that one will be a replacement for an existing car, with the other likely to be a limited-edition, track-focused car slotted above the Evora. It'll base the cheaper of the two on an evolution of Lotus' bonded aluminum chassis, while the other will get a new carbon-fiber chassis and become the brand's new performance flagship.
Chinese automaker Geely, which also owns Volvo, purchased a majority ownership stake in Lotus last year, adding what's hoped to be a measure of stability and badly needed investment to years of ownership changes and endless re-iterations of existing models. With Geely money backing the operation, it's likely these two vehicles will be more likely to come to fruition than the last batch of ambitious concepts from the company, which included a new Esprit, Elite, and Elan. Those never progressed beyond the concept stage.
The company soon after revealed the Evora GT430 as its fastest, most-powerful road car to date, with a 0-to-60 time of 3.7 seconds, and it put the same supercharged V6 in the Exige to bump up horsepower to 430 and increase torque to 325 pound-feet.
Meanwhile, Lotus is ending production of the 3-Eleven this year, and Gales has previously said the company was developing a new Elise for 2020, so it's likely that's one of the new cars. The Elise and Exige were withdrawn from the U.S. back in 2011. The new vehicles will benefit from technology from Geely's network of suppliers, and Geely is also apparently hiring new Lotus staff and investing "millions" in Lotus' production lines.
Lotus said its sales were way up in both Europe and the U.S. during its last fiscal year, and while the brand still lost money it narrowed its financial losses and said it expected to be profitable before tax for the current fiscal year.