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Lotus May Be Building a Fast, Tesla-Fighting Electric SUV

Not sure whether it will be "simple" or "light." But Lotus' new electric SUV could have 760 hp.

lotus evija
Rob Borrett

Luxury buyers want SUVs now. Even sports car outfits like Lamborghini have started building them — and seeing rampant, runaway sales success as a result. Once-skeptical Ferrari has a utility vehicle en route. Even Lotus, perhaps the sportiest of the sporty car manufacturers, has a new SUV coming. And it’s going to be electric.

The British outlet Autocar has some details on the new Lotus SUV, which is codenamed “Lambda.” The company reportedly plans to launch the vehicle in 2022, with sales starting in 2023. The reported specs sound impressive: Lotus is allegedly targeting a 600-ish horsepower dual-motor main version and a top-tier model putting out about 760 horsepower. The Lotus SUV's maximum range would reportedly be around 360 miles.

Lotus will sell the SUV in the U.S. and China, with the goal is to more than triple its global sales volume to around 5,000 units. It will pair with Lotus's upcoming (and super-pricey) Evija electric hypercar.

As with any such brand departure, the big question here is how much of a Lotus the new SUV will be. Lotus founder Colin Chapman’s famous philosophy for cars was “simplify, then add lightness.” It’s hard to think of a vehicle more antithetical to that mantra than electric SUVs, which are anything but simple and light.

That said, Lotus’s goal is to expand its customer base beyond the niche racing design enthusiasts that buy them. Judging from the Lamborghini Urus’s success, if the new Lotus effort looks cool and sporty, they won’t have to answer too many other questions about it. Even the person with that mint vintage Lotus Europa is probably in the market for a practical daily driver.

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