The Lotus SUV has been one of the longest-running rumours in recent automotive history, having existed in some form or another for at least six years. Now, it appears we’re on the home stretch before this rolling piece of unobtanium becomes a reality, as the car is finally set to go into production this year.

According to Dutch publication AutoWeek, it will be called the Lambda – potentially making it the first in-house Lotus not bearing a name beginning with “E” or a number – and be built in a new plant in Wuhan, China. Measuring around 4.9 metres long, two metres wide and 1.6 metres tall, it will be similar in size to the Porsche Cayenne, which will likely be its main rival.

Set to underpin the Lambda is Volvo’s Scalable Product Architecture (SPA), on which the XC90 is also built. Not only does this give Lotus access to a range of 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder engines but also the Swedish brand’s plug-in hybrid technology.

In the XC90 T8 Twin Engine, the engine and electric motor already produce 407 hp and 640 Nm of torque, and the Polestar 1 shows that the setup can be scaled up considerably – up to 600 hp and 1,000 Nm, in fact. A pure electric variant is also possible, says AutoWeek.

Of course, Lotus isn’t the only sports car maker barging into the luxury SUV sector. We’ve already seen the likes of the Bentley Bentayga, Lamborghini Urus and Aston Martin DBX, and even Ferrari is readying its salvo with the “Purosangue” SUV. At least Hethel’s offering will be smaller than the others, if not lighter.