Is there a more interesting car manufacturer in the world right now than Lotus? For so long one of those plucky British sports car manufacturers that lurches from crisis to crisis yet somehow manages to survive them all, now it faces a future with a confidence it has never known before – not in the Proton years, not even in the General Motors years and most certainly not in the Colin Chapman years.
What, then, will Lotus become? It has Geely’s money and also, it seems, its confidence. We’ve seen already from Volvo’s example just what a benevolent proprietor the Chinese giant has proven to be. Like Churchill to the Americans, ‘give us the tools and we will finish the job’, Lotus has been equipped with resources the likes of which it has never seen before. That its business will be transformed is beyond question.
Yet other questions remain. How will the world react to a Lotus SUV? Of all major car brands, its values are probably the most contrary to those of the luxury SUV. And just how strong is that brand? It will be entering a marketplace full of well established blue-blooded opposition whose names sit rather more comfortably with that kind of car than that of Lotus. And how will it solve the EV conundrum? Certainly not with cars like its Evija hypercar. It must find a way of creating an EV sports car that is battery-powered yet light, inspiring to drive yet driven by a soulless electric motor. The only car to attempt to crack that so far was the Lotus-based Tesla Roadster. No one’s tried since.
But we feel optimistic for Lotus and are fascinated to find out what it can achieve now its full potential appears ready to be realised.