Remember that SUV Lotus once presented in Geneva? That was over 10 years ago and the car, more accurately referred to as Crossover Utility Vehicle (CUV), was called the Lotus APX (short for Aluminium Performance Crossover). However, due to financial constraints, the APX never made it to the assembly line.

Lotus Cars’ dark days may soon be over though, after ending the 2016/17 financial year on a positive note, and more importantly now that it is under the stewardship of Geely following a RM556 million acquisition. “Thanks to a brand image that hasn’t faded, Lotus can be transformed into a moneymaker,” said Carl-Peter Foster, a Geely board member.

Former Malaysian prime minister and Proton chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad once told us that a Lotus SUV has already been in development since 2014, and that it would be developed largely for the Chinese market. To add to this, Lotus’ CEO, Jean-Marc Gales boldly claimed that the Lotus SUV would be “better than arch rival Porsche Macan”. Now, that was said over two years ago, but whether or not it still stands today remains to be seen.

Details of the SUV are sketchy at best, but if our previous report is anything to go by, then expect the Toyota-sourced 3.5 litre V6 engine to be within the lineup. It’s reported to weigh 200 kg less than the Porsche Macan S (1,865 kg, pictured below), and a hybrid variant may also be spawned to cater to the Chinese market. Mahathir also revealed that the Lotus SUV (and the Lotus sedan) could have been rebadged as Protons.

Lotus currently sells between 1,500 to 2,000 cars annually, but Geely remains optimistic of its potential. Foster said Lotus can produce “any size of car” while remaining true to its ethos of being lightweight and fun-to-drive, and that the model expansion will inevitably lead to greater production and sales numbers. He also said it will not dilute the brand, citing Porsche’s runaway success with the Cayenne when it was launched in 2002.

The acquisition will also see Lotus lending their expertise to fine-tune Volvo and Polestar cars, ranging from affordable hatchbacks to executive sedans and high-performance models – much like Mercedes-AMG‘s approach. Thoughts, anyone?