Geely is accelerating its localization process after acquiring British Lotus for three years.
On August 19, according to information published on the Hubei Provincial Investment Projects Online Approval and Supervision Platform, Lotus’ domestic projects will settle in Wuhan and officially put into production at Geely’s Wuhan plant. The first model of the domestic Lotus is the pure electric SUV Lambda, which is expected to be officially put into production in 2022 with an annual production capacity of 20,000 vehicles.
Lotus Lambda is built on the Volvo SPA platform. The EIA report shows that its length, width and height are 4900mm, 2017mm, and 1625mm, respectively, with a wheelbase of 2999mm, which is comparable in size to the BMW X5. The new car offers 4-seater and 5-seater models, and has three powertrains: fuel, hybrid, and pure electric.
Specifically, the Lambda fuel version is expected to be equipped with a Volvo 2.0T engine, and the pure electric version of the Lambda uses front and rear dual motors, with a combined maximum power of 550kW. Among them, the maximum power of the front motor is 100kW, the maximum power of the rear motor is 450kW, the combined maximum torque is 710 N·m, and the cruising range of the new car reaches 579km under NEDC conditions.
According to the imaginary map exposed by foreign media, Lambda continues Lotus’s design style. The pure electric version will adopt a slip-back shape, the body has a sense of line and is matched with two-color wheels.
Lotus is the world’s top three sports car manufacturers on par with Porsche and Ferrari. It is known for its pure driving pleasure and lightweight design. In November 2011, Lotus officially entered China, but due to its niche characteristics, its sales performance was not outstanding. In 2018, Lotus sold only 1,630 vehicles worldwide.
In 2017, Geely acquired 51% of Lotus shares and became its largest shareholder. At that time, Feng Qingfeng, vice president of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, once said: “Lotus will definitely build a factory in China in the future.” In November 2018, Zhejiang Geely Automobile Co., Ltd. Wuhan Branch was established. According to the plan, Geely’s Wuhan factory has a total investment of 9.04 billion yuan. Construction will begin in early 2019 and be completed by the end of 2021.
In addition to Lambda, Geely’s Wuhan plant will also put into production two pure electric models codenamed Sigma_D SUV and Alpha_E Sedan. Among them, Sigma_D SUV is planned to be put into production in 2023, Alpha_E Sedan will be put into production in 2024, and the plant plans to have a total output of 150,000 units by 2026.