Patent drawings of what appear to be the upcoming Lotus SUV have appeared online, which is planned to enter production in 2019.
The sketches reveal a typically sleek and sporty crossover SUV that bears similarities to the Porsche Macan in terms of proportions. From the front, a large grille and air vents under the lights can be picked out, but the SUV doesn’t appear to adopt any design cues from Lotus’ current product range.
Sketches of the rear show a more coupe-like roofline, similar to the BMW X4. Another notable feature at the back is a prominent rear diffuser, roof spolier and two large exhausts, hinting further high performance.
The new images could indicate that Lotus’ plans to build an SUV have been accelerated since Chinese manufacturer Geeley took a majority stake in the Norfolk-based car company.
Back in 2015, Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales told Auto Express about the brand’s plan to introduce a lightweight SUV “within the next five years”, with an eye to selling it in the Chinese market first. He said: “[It will be] much lighter and faster than any other SUV currently on offer.”
Lotus is the latest sports car brand to join in on the performance SUV craze, with Lamborghini and even Ferrari joining in on the act. Alfa Romeo recently set the Nurburgring lap record for SUV’s with a time in under eight minutes courtesy of its Stelvio Quadrifoglio, lapping it quicker than most sports cars.