Having now come under Geely parentage, Lotus is now in an improved position in terms of development resources available for its future products. Traditionally famed for sports cars, the British automaker will be allowed to step out of its usual niche on the condition it preserves the marque’s tradition of lightweight and exemplary handling, chief executive Phil Popham told Automotive News Europe.

“We are a sports-car brand, and we are developing an all-new sports car, which you will see towards the end of next year. It won’t be on sale, but you’ll see it,” said Popham. “It won’t be an electric car, it will be a car that is within the price band that we have today in our range of products, and it will be a car that will appeal to a greater audience,” he said.

The forthcoming new model will be about on-road as well as on-track handling and dynamics, Popham added, saying that investments are being put into facilities at Hethel for the production of the forthcoming car.

Beyond the new sports car, Lotus will also be investing in a new platform that will be the basis of multiple new models in the future, Popham said. The firm has the access to the Geely group’s resources and technology to enable the company to go beyond two-door models, though it has yet to be decided if those platforms will be shared with Geely stablemates such as Volvo, Polestar and Lynk & Co.

Patent drawing of the upcoming Lotus SUV.

“We will utilise the resources of the group. The purchasing power they’ve got and the leveraging of price and quality comes with volume. If we are able to look at some commonality of parts that were appropriate, we will do that,” Popham said in terms of parts-sharing from brands within the group, noting that the resource-sharing approach enables the British brand to ‘really focus on what differentiates a Lotus.’

The automaker will however continue to use outsourced engines due to company limitations. “We are never going to be big enough to produce our own engines,” the CEO said, though Lotus is not constrained for where it gets its engines from. The sports car maker currently adapts Toyota engines for use in its model ranges, and Popham sees opportunities to use engines from within the group.

Fringe models developed for other marques that have become sought-after, such as the Lotus Carlton and the Lotus Cortina have helped build the credibility of Lotus’ engineering and brand, though it isn’t the company’s focus at the moment, Popham said. “I wouldn’t rule it out in the future,” he noted.

Will Geely money mean the influx of autonomous driving elements into future Lotus models? “Geely as a group is investing a lot of money on (autonomous driving), and we have the opportunity to benefit from that. But we’ve got to understand what that means in the context of a car that is built for the driver and for the driving experience,” the Lotus CEO noted. Good news, it seems, remains for the keen driver.