News on Lotus’ forthcoming SUV has become rather thin on the ground of late, but a new report by Car Magazine suggests that not only is the model well on its way towards a 2021 debut, but there will also be a sister model following it. The two cars are tipped to rival the BMW X4 and X6, similar to the two-pronged approach Porsche has made with the Macan and Cayenne.

What’s more, under Geely’s new stewardship, both models are expected to utilise components and powertrains from Volvo, leveraging on the Swedish carmaker’s Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) and Compact Modular Architecture (CMA). While they won’t be based wholesale on the two platforms, they will share plenty of their individual modules, according to an interview with then-CEO Jean-Marc Gales.

“I wouldn’t talk about a platform; that’s nothing more than a set of components, perhaps 30 to 80 main modules,” said Gales. “These are components Lotus can share, it can be an engine, an autonomous radar system, a wiring harness which can be adapted to the cars.”

Gales said that a Lotus SUV will likely adapt components from SPA and CMA, integrating them into models with unique bodies, interiors and engine tuning. The publication expects the cars to feature Volvo’s familiar 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder engines paired with part-electric technology, similar to Gothenburg’s T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid models.

Hethel’s sales are tipped to grow from 1,500 units per year to 3,000 with a new “four-door” (i.e. SUV), said Gales. Given that they’ll share plenty of Volvo components, production will likely be shifted to the latter’s production network, said Car, despite Lotus’ plant in the small Norfolk village still having headroom with an annual capacity of 5,000 units.

As mentioned, the range-topping SUV will target the Cayenne with an estimated price range of between £80,000 (RM420,000) and £100,000 (RM525,000), and even though it will feature Volvo’s electrical systems and semi-autonomous driving technology, it won’t be anything like the XC90, said Gales.

The new Lotus SUV is expected to feature Volvo powertrains and components

“It would still be lowest in its class, maybe the widest in its class to hold the road well, certainly the lightest, certainly the best on track,” said Gales, who is said to have admired the Alfa Romeo Stelvio. ‘It needs to feel, drive and look like a Lotus.”

Lotus’ first SUV is still in the early stages and about three to four years from production. The company had previously looked to a collaboration with its previous Chinese partner Goldstar to develop the car back in 2015, but Geely’s purchase in a majority stake means that it will go through with the project alone.

GALLERY: Lotus SUV patent drawings