Targeting the likes of Porsche’s Macan and Audi’s Q5, the Lotus SUV will be built in China at a new facility whose construction will begin by the end of this year.
The plant will be located in Guangzhou, a location chosen because of the local government assistance and strong support facilities for the automotive industry, according to Bernama, quoting the Guangzhou Development and Reform Commission Deputy Director, Wang Ke Si.
“It’s still under development. Studies on soil usage have been completed and we have sent the relevant documents to the ministries, National Development and Reform Commission and other related commissions. We will being at the end of this year“, Wang said.
This is a 10 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) project, signed between Proton, Group Lotus and Goldstar Heavy Industrial, last April, and will include headquarters, manufacturing facilities and a research and development center.
Lotus is expected to launch their SUV in China and other Asian markets from 2019, with similar styling cues and all-wheel drive. It will be constructed using lightweight materials for the body and chassis, while the engine options could include units similar to the ones that currently equip the brand’s sports cars, such as the supercharged 1.8-liter four-banger and the 3.5-liter V6.