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Lotus, down but not out, betting on crossover to make a comeback

Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales has announced that he is close to approving the development of a new four-door model. The company hasn’t decided if the car will be a crossover or a sleek four-door sedan, but Gales hinted that executives are strongly leaning towards the former in a bid to boost Lotus’ annual sales in key markets such as the United States and China.

Although Gales did not reveal precisely what form the mulled crossover will take, he promised that it will be “very light, very fast on the track” and that it will offer “outstanding handling,” qualities that have been associated with Lotus’ unique breed of driver-oriented sports cars for over half a century.

Related: Lotus’ hybrid Formula 1 racer

An earlier report claims Lotus’ upcoming crossover will ride on an evolution of the platform that underpins the revamped 2016 Evora 400 that was presented in Geneva earlier this week. If the rumors turn out to be true, the crossover will likely retain the Evora’s mid-mounted engine, a configuration that will allow it to stand out in a growing sea of luxury crossovers that put a focus on performance.

To hardcore fans, the idea of a Lotus-badged crossover likely brings up images of the APX concept (pictured) that was presented to the public at the 2006 edition of the Geneva Motor Show. Rest assured, Gales has confirmed that the crossover will not look anything like the show car if it is given the proverbial green light for production.

Regardless of whether it builds a crossover or a sedan, Lotus aims to return to profitability by 2017 at the latest. That’s not bad for a company that many believed would follow Saab and Bertone into bankruptcy and, ultimately, the history books up until recently.