We’ve known to expect a Lotus-badged SUV for years now, especially after possible patent drawings were leaked back in 2017. Then, last year we had the company’s CEO all but confirm the vehicle, followed by multiple reports regarding its underpinnings.
Now, we have our first ever look at a prototype, albeit in test mule form, as it is wearing an old Lynk & Co 01 body in an attempt to hide its large wheels and low, aggressive stance.
Also, the fact that it was spotted hear Lotus’ headquarters in Hethel, Norfolk, is kind of a dead giveaway.
In case you’re wondering why the automaker would choose a Lynk & Co shell to hide the vehicle’s underpinnings, keep in mind that Lotus is now owned by the same company that owns both Volvo and Lynk & Co, namely Geely – who holds a controlling 51% share in the British sports carmaker.
Looking at the test mule, there are a few things we should touch on, like the general fit of those large wheels underneath the wheel arches. The Lynk & Co body was clearly modified to accommodate the wheels as well as what appears to be a wider track.
What’s even more interesting though is that high voltage sticker in the corner of the windshield, which together with the taped up fuel cap and absence of any visible exhaust tips, could indicate that the upcoming Lotus SUV will either be fully electric or partially electrified (plug-in hybrid).
Once ready, the Lotus SUV will “go round bends like nothing else in its segment,” said the automaker’s chief executive, Jean Marc Gales. The sporty people hauler will also share many components with the Volvo XC90 and XC60, among them numerous tech bits such as the Swedish brand’s touchscreen infotainment system.
As for performance, even if the Lotus ends up using a four-cylinder unit (courtesy of Volvo’s SPA platform), we know how good they are at extracting a great deal of power from small capacity engines. In other words, we’d be surprised if this SUV would put down less than 400 HP.