They are the first models announced since Lotus Cars was bought by China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group last year. Lotus has also started work on its first SUV and it would arrive one to two years after the sports cars. Lotus hasn’t launched a new car since the Evora went into production in 2009. The company has also failed to record a profit in recent years as buyers switched from sports cars to crossovers and SUVs.
Lotus builds the entry Elise, the track-focused Exige and the Evora, a rival for the Porsche 911. It also makes the 3-11, a roofless track car with supercar levels of performance. One of the two new sports cars will use an updated version of an existing bonded-aluminum platform, while the more expensive model will use a new carbon-fiber ‘tub’ around which the car will be built.
This car is likely be positioned above the Evora and will be aimed at customers wanting a more extreme driving experience. To help develop the two sports cars and the SUV, Lotus will hire 300 new people this year. They will work at its base in Norfolk, eastern England. The expansion would boost Lotus to 1,100 employees.
Lotus Cars showed a positive cash-flow last year with revenues up 24% to more than 100 million pounds (USD142 million). He predicted the firm would be profitable in 2018.
The new models will help push Lotus toward its long-stated goal of selling 3,000 cars a year. Last year Lotus sold 1,600 cars globally, up 13% on the year before. The SUV would eventually take the company beyond 10,000 sales. The new sports cars will be built in England while the SUV would likely be built in China and one other location.