The new model looks to have its sights set on the Porsche Macan, and will be based on the same platform as the Volvo XC40.
- shares

A mule believed to be the first test vehicle for the first Lotus crossover has been spied undergoing testing near Lotus HQ in Hethel, England.

The mule uses a modified body from the Lynk & Co 01 crossover, suggesting the first-ever Lotus crossover will be based on the CMA platform employed by both the Volvo XC40 and the aforementioned Lynk & Co.

From what we can see, the rear wheel arches have been crudely hacked to accommodate the mule's wider rear track and tyres. The front wheel arches seem to be wider too.

The mule has its fuel filler cap taped up with yellow tape, and there's a yellow electrified car sticker on the windscreen.

We're not sure if this vehicle is a plug-in hybrid or a pure electric car, but it should be noted this prototype doesn't have a visible exhaust tip, at least not from the angles pictured here.

The Volvo-developed CMA platform supports both plug-in hybrid and fully electric drivetrains, as well as transversely-mounted three- and four-cylinder turbocharged engines.

Both Volvo, and Lynk and Co are wholly owned subsidiaries of Geely. The Chinese automaker also owns 51 per cent of Lotus.

Geely is reportedly pumping £1.5 billion ($2.8 billion) into Lotus.

In addition to the crossover due in 2022, this investment will see the company add a second factory in the UK, share in a new production facility in China, and develop two new sports cars.