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Lotus SUV...


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The last interview I read about the SUV was by Popham who said something along the lines of:  the SUV was not their focus the sports cars are priority.  If and when Lotus do a SUV they would not want to repurpose an existing platform and just add a different body shape and Lotus badges, it would have to stand up to the core Lotus values, ie lightweight, beautiful handling, etc ..  so most likely a new platform design by Lotus or at least a new platform they have had significant input and influence into.

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The SUVs have somewhat replaced the minivan, and the SW. they provide an elevated driving position that some (women mostly) tend to like, the also have an image of safety that is false, SUVs are the new people carrier and have a better image than regular hatches or SW. It's all perception and clever marketing, they are sold mostly for aspirational reason. Most people would just fine with a hatchback, or a SW but SUV bring the safety, versatily and ruggedness, there is that idea that your are more active and outdoorsy even though you are not...  SUVs  are to cars what "active wear" is to clothing,  you get them to do stuff but end up doing nothing more than you couldn't do in your ordinary car or attire.

Now truth be told, I will be buying my first SUV later this summer.  Yes I am, but really  there are not many other options in my price range for a winter beater that can handle the amount of snow that I'm going to have to plow thru  from December onwards. I'd much rather buy a station wagon, but I want disconnectable AWD which does leave me with a very few options over here. I don't want to buy a full on 4x4 cause I'd like to avoid wasting my hard earned cash on just fuel. I owned a Mitsubishi Pajero and remember it gobbling an inane amount of gas while stuck in traffic, there will be almost no traffic where I'm going but still... The Volvo V60 XC did make the shortlist, as did the Subaru Outback, but in the end it seems I'm going back to Mitsubishi. The Lotus SUV makes a lot of sense if you leave in place that receive pile of snow that one may not want to shovel every day for months on end.

I don't believe Popham a minute when they say that their focus is solely on sports cars now. They are setting up a team in Coventry, and they have also set up a team in China which is set to work on it. The next gen of of sport cars are all sharing the same core chassis, so it will only  take one engineering team to churn them out. 

 

 

 

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Daughter had a Nissan Juke as a courtesy car while her Audi A1 was being fiddled with a month or two back. She absolutely loved it and said of the experience: "Really enjoyed driving that, I felt like a queen!".  This was all down to the elevated driving position, good visibility and ease of use. Not once did she comment on the driving dynamics or the vehicle's prowess save to say that she felt it had a "bit of grunt".

You or I would most likely turn our respective noses up at such a thing being a prospective purchase, but she is already planting the seeds in her CEO's headspace that she should be allowed to chose one of Audi's soft roaders when her company car is due for replacement in a couple of years. Just because they can't tow 5 tonnes up Mont Blanc doesn't mean their other attributes aren't valued by consumers. It's just that many consumers have different priorities and find different things attractive to them when considering a purchase when compared with the requirements of the owners of daft sports cars. 

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No, as usual I was driving and when you see them you don't have much time to take in the visuals.

Trying to look at bodywork, lights, number plates, badges etc just to decide if it is something different. Then its gone.

 

chipp

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Yes also agree; especially with three grandsons, the eldest wont go anywhere with us now we don't have the old Evora S +2

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Darryl & Sue

Proud to drive and own since new a true British supercar the Evora GT430

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Well saw two more today so some intensive road testing going on, needless to say they may not be actually be Lotus but something else in the Geely group.

I was about 30 yds away from one when it stopped and performed a standing start and it is definitely electric.

 

chipp

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@Brian Braddock Change happens. You can criticise Lotus for making an SUV and continue reminiscing about when “men were men” and become instinct or be a modern business and get over it. 

Having seen what the competition are doing, who gives a shit!? You don’t have to buy the SUV but it allows the manufacturer to build what it wants to.

If making a few variants allows the company to continue making world class sports cars... move on and get with it. 

Fast estate you get. Good. Give the fast estate better visibility whilst occupying the same chassis... come on, that view of SUV’s is so 90s! 

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On 06/06/2019 at 15:49, chipp said:

Well saw two more today so some intensive road testing going on, needless to say they may not be actually be Lotus but something else in the Geely group.

I was about 30 yds away from one when it stopped and performed a standing start and it is definitely electric.

 

chipp

It could be one of two things, Lotus doing some work for the no doubt upcoming Geometry B  crossover that Geely will bring to market... Or it is the Lotus crossover 

If so, they are testing the powertrain, it is probably with the same tech used in the Polestar 2  as I don't think something as pedestrian as an SUV will get the William AE propulsion system. this suv is coming sooner rather than later and they may be just a year behind the initial plan. I think 2022/2024 are going to be a busy years for Lotus.

Edited by NedaSay
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What I think I may have seen on the outside resembles the Link & Co 01/02 phev that is due for release in Europe soon. Would Lotus get involved in fine tuning this? Chassis, drivetrain maybe for a later variation even with a modified shell.

 

Chipp

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That thing has been testing in Europe quite extensively already but maybe some chassis tune for the UK market. however the Lynks are supposed to get PHEV and MHEV, the package is protected for full EV but I don't know if these cars have been tipped for this.  Besides Link & Co will soon activate their Cyan Racing connection to market the brand in Europe Cyan has the capability to tune the car, and lynk would be able to brand them so...

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Coincidentally when I was up at Hethel last year deciding on colour and spec for my new GT410, an SUV, that I didn't recognise at the time, drove past us into the building behind the main reception. I said to the Lotus guy I was with (I won't say his name), should I be seeing that? He just smiled and said, no you shouldn't! 

I obviously looked at images of all Geely group SUVs later and the car I saw looked identical to a Lynk & Co SUV on sale at that time, albeit not in the UK. I can only imagine it was a test mule for drivetrain etc and although the forthcoming Lotus version will hopefully have unique body panels, I wouldn't be surprised if it's based on a Lynk & Co floor pan.

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On 3 June 2019 at 19:35, Advantage said:

Daughter had a Nissan Juke as a courtesy car while her Audi A1 was being fiddled with a month or two back. She absolutely loved it and said of the experience: "Really enjoyed driving that, I felt like a queen!".  This was all down to the elevated driving position, good visibility and ease of use. Not once did she comment on the driving dynamics or the vehicle's prowess save to say that she felt it had a "bit of grunt".

Really? Bell & Colvill have a couple of Jokes as courtesy cars and, honestly, they are absolutely awful and bland cars. Apart from them being so downright ugly, I thoroughly hated them on the 2 occasions I've used them when my car has been in for work. They make a Trabant look exciting!

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Unless Lotus have an enormous surprise ready to spring upon us all, I'd imagine that you'll be waiting for a very long time for the Lotus SUV. They've been pretty clear in saying sports cars first and then other segments. Furthermore, they've said that they would need to be involved, right from the offset, in any design for the underpinnings of a new SUV, were they to use another from the group, in order to ensure it met Lotus's criteria. I think it was Popham who recently said they, ' won't take an  existing platform and just try to make a Lotus out of it'. 

 

What we 'might' see is SUVs within the group sprinkled with a little Lotus magic, allowing Geely, Volvo etc. to compete in segments where they have not been able to, before now. They could, for example, be developing/co-developing  electric drivetrains that might see use throughout the group. Given what's been said, I'd be surprised to see a genuine Lotus SUV before 2023-4. Porsche have already garnered a great deal of expertise in this particular arena so Lotus will need to have 'everything' right when they do launch. There's no doubt, however, that it/they will probably sell in numbers that Lotus have scarcely even imagined in the past.

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The current Volvo XC60, which probalby fits the Lotus SUV mould best was introduced in 2017. Considering a typical 6-year life cycle this means the next generation will be voming around 2023. 

Asuming Geely builds a platform strategy (as all makers have) then the Lotus SUV, which will most likely be based on this platform) won't be around much earlier. 

If you have the choice between a Stairway to Heaven and a Highway to Hell don't forget the Nomex®!

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Why is an SUV now considered the only way to make money in the sports car business? Surely there are other possibilities? Lotus are known for being pioneers, for leading not following. What makes SUVs so irresistible to buyers and why would they want a Lotus one? Traditional notions of driving pleasure aren’t a consideration among SUV’s whereas the status of the badge and image is everything. Doesn’t exactly play to Lotus’s strengths or core competencies.

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