Lotus boss Jean-Marc Gales is keen on a switch to powertrain options available from other Geely-owned brands, although the sportscar maker will continue using Toyota engines for the immediate future, Autocar reports. Geely completed its purchase of a majority stake in Lotus from Proton in September 2017.

Geely group engines would most likely be from Volvo, which tech is being used by other brands in the umbrella such as Lynk & Co. Volvo’s petrol engine stable currently has a 1.5 litre three-cylinder turbo and several versions of a 2.0 litre four-cylinder turbo, with the option of an added supercharger.

The UK mag says that it’s expected that Lotus would use in-house expertise to boost performance from any Geely-sourced engines, as it does with Toyota units today. Volvo has electrified “Twin Engine” versions of its three- and four-cylinder engines, and those could be powerful enough to propel Hethel’s high performance sportscars. Volvo is also developing all-electric models.

There’s also the powertrain used by the upcoming Polestar 1 coupe. It combines a 2.0 litre engine providing power to the front wheels, a 46 hp/150 Nm integrated starter generator, and two 109 hp electric motors for the rear wheels. Total system output is 600 hp/1,000 Nm, with up to 150 km of electric range.

On the Lotus crossover that has been talked about for seemingly ages, now due within four years, Gales said: “Crossovers can be hybrid or full electric.” On electrification in Lotus sports cars, Gales thinks that there’s still life in the internal combustion engine. “There are some years left for combustion engines in sports cars, but maybe a mild hybrid would work,” he said.

The Lotus chief is open to the idea of an EV sports car. “The pace of development in electric drive is incredible and batteries are also moving fast,” said the man who has helmed Lotus since 2014.

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