Lotus needs a hit, but will it get one from an Evora-based crossover?

A small company that only builds sports cars takes big gamble. In order to increase profits, it decides to slap its legendary badge on what most car enthusiasts consider the opposite of a performance car: a crossover SUV.

It may sound like Porsche’s life story, but this scenario could soon play out at Lotus as well. The British sports-car maker needs a profitable model, and a new report from CAR claims that model could be a crossover.

Lotus will reportedly try to leverage the existing Evora platform by building it into a family of models.

You might be wondering how Lotus plans to turn a mid-engined coupe into a crossover, but it looks like the proposed will be less like a British Cayenne, and more like an Evora in hiking boots.

The crossover will reportedly be rear-wheel drive only, but will have a taller ride height and SUV-style aesthetics, presumably including flared fenders and body cladding. It’s unclear whether the two-door, mid-engined layout will change at all.

It’s also hard to tell if typical crossover buyers will be interested in something like that, although it’s certain to enrage hardcore Lotus fans.

To mollify them, Lotus is apparently working on a track-only special as a followup to the Elise-based 2-Eleven, and an Evora convertible is also a possibility.

First, though, Lotus will unveil the refreshed 2016 Evora at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show in March.

The updated model is expected to be even lighter than the current featherweight model, more power, and possibly some styling changes.

The 2016 Evora will also get safety updates that will allow it to be sold in the U.S. The current car can’t be sold here anymore because of its lack of smart airbags.

The 2014 model was sold in the U.S. under a now-expired exemption, and the Evora is going on hiatus for the 2015 model year while Lotus prepares the new model.