For decades, Lotus was known for the Elise sports car, a tiny roadster that occupied the fourth or fifth bay in rich folks’ multi-stall garages. Ownership of the brand changed hands several times, and financial viability was always a crapshoot.
Today, though, Lotus Group is owned by Chinese auto group Geely, which also owns Swedish brand Volvo Cars. And instead of just relying on diminutive sports cars with finicky internal-combustion engines, it is trying to grow by offering electric vehicles – a 4-door sports sedan and CUV. In the next couple of years, we can look for an EV replacement for the Elise.
Ben Payne, Chief Creative Officer of Lotus Group, is responsible for all creative expressions of the brand. That now includes the design of vehicles following the passing of Lotus design chief and auto industry giant Peter Horbury last summer.
Payne talks with WardsAuto Podcast Host David Kiley about taking the Lotus brand into the modern era of electrification and the CUV and sedan categories.