Lotus’s parent company, Geely, has experience in many market segments. So, when news appeared today saying the Lotus is considering an entry model for its portfolio of offerings, the inclination is to think that a sedan or SUV would be added to the stable of coupes Lotus currently has. But, after searching around on the internet for bits and pieces of the story, a little better picture of what will happen forms.
What information do we have?
According to Automotive News Europe, Lotus wants to ramp up production with an entry-level sports car. This will allow them to gain a new demographic of buyers, as well as still provide wealthier buyers the opportunity to take advantage of the more profitable upscale models they already have. But unlike other sports car manufacturers that have gone straight to four-door sports sedans and SUV, Lotus will stick with the idea of an affordable, roomier sports car. Additionally, this will be the last vehicle that Lotus produces that will have an internal-combustion engine. The target price range for the vehicle will be somewhere between $67,000 and $110,000.
A brief history of Lotus
The British brand was started by Anthony Colin Bruce Chapman in the 1950s. He is famous for having said, “Simplify. Then add lightness.” This would become one of the pillars of his design and manufacturing efforts over the decades since. In fact, other automotive manufacturers and designers have taken that to heart, especially in racing, where too much weight can be detrimental.
To this day, Lotus is very respected in the automotive community. In addition to streetcars, the company has built success upon success in racing. They were the first manufacturer to put sponsors on their cars. Eventually, the black and gold John Player Special livery would become synonymous with Lotus. The company would also be the first manufacturer to achieve 50 wins in Formula One. Eventually, Lotus even branched out to offer its engineering services to other manufacturers from Ford, to GM, to Aston Martin, to Toyota, to Nissan, to Delorean.
What does Lotus do today
Today, Lotus offers one model, the Evora. Soon the company will launch the all-electric Evija. It is a high price point hyper-car with production expected near the end of 2020 (Coronoavirus permitting). In the meantime, research and development have likely begun on the unnamed entry-level sports car. On the side, Lotus is also exploring the car-sharing model to see if it can tap into a new market of people who don’t typically want to own a vehicle but want access to one.
Lotus is in business to stay in business. In order to do so, it has to be able to meet the needs of the clientele that they want to serve. The new unnamed model will allow them to grab hold of a market of people that want entry into the brand at a lower price point than what is currently offered. This is a brilliant move if the company can pull it off without watering down its high-end reputation with poor quality, cheap materials, or anything, in general, that could end up hurting the automaker. Lotus wants to expand the brand, not tarnish the image. We’ll have to wait and see if they can pull it off. Porsche did it with the Cayman. There is no reason to believe Lotus couldn’t do the same.