Stop us if you’ve heard this before: Lotus is planning on building a car for the masses. At least, that’s what CEO Phil Popham said in an interview with Bloomberg. The car historians among you might recall the Lotus Carlton as one such endeavor. Another such Lotus includes the Elite; a funky, breadvan-shaped two-door with enough room for four.
The new Lotus doesn’t have a name yet, but Popham told Bloomberg it will be a sports car with enough interior space for day-to-day use. It will also serve as the brand’s last car with an internal combustion engine. Admittedly, you could use one of the British sports car brand’s current offerings, such as the Evora GT, as a daily driver—you’ll just likely tire of doing so after some time. Sure, the recently introduced Evora GT410 sounds like it’ll be more comfortable than the more hardcore, buttoned-down Evora GT, but it’s still a rather small vehicle with limited room for shopping or other daily tasks.
“It’s not as if we have to generate all the money ourselves to invest in our future,” Popham said in the interview. “Our focus now is on sports cars but we do think the brand has the potential to move into other segments. And [majority owner of Lotus] Geely has expertise in areas such as electrification and autonomous driving.”
The new Lotus model will be priced between $67,000 and $123,000, a far cry from the $2 million Evija EV hypercar. In general, this strategy makes sense for Lotus. Build a super-fast hypercar on the bleeding edge of tech to drum up interest in the brand and follow it up with a much more affordable model that Lotus can profit off of. Easy, right? Not quite.
Lotus has been regularly flirting with bankruptcy for decades, and most of its plans to build more than two or three model lines at a time have come up short. Remember when Dany Bahar shared his master plan to build five new Lotus models? Yeah, we do too, and we’re still a little sour about it.
This time, though, the brand’s plans seem more likely to come to fruition given Geely’s financial stake in Lotus. According to the report, Lotus plans to build 5,000 cars per year—way up from the 1,600 the automaker produces now. Additionally, Lotus is making room in its factory to build its new sports car.