The Geely brand Lotus plans to launch a luxury electric SUV in 2022. The vehicle, code-named Lambda, has been in development since 2016, and was originally planned to be a hybrid, but the growing market for EVs, especially in China, inspired the company to make it an all-electric model.
According to Autocar, the new Lotus will have a dual-motor powertrain, and will be offered in two variants: a base model with up to 600 bhp of power; and a higher trim with 750 bhp. Range is expected to be at least 360 miles.
In July 2019, Lotus presented an electric hypercar called the Evija, and announced that future models would be available in fully electric versions. Lotus CEO Phil Popham expressed skepticism about hybrids, saying that installing both gas and electric powertrains would make the cars too heavy. Another reason for Lotus to skip the transitional technology of hybrids may be its affiliation with the Geely Group, which has developed a platform called SEA, on which it intends to build pure EVs for various brands.
Lotus’s electric SUV is part of the company’s strategy to significantly increase sales. Lotus is currently modernizing and expanding its iconic plant in Hethel, England, with the goal of increasing capacity to 10,000 vehicles per year, primarily sports cars. The new ESUV seems more likely to be built in China, perhaps at Geely’s recently completed plant in Wuhan.