Welcome to The Grid, R&T's quick roundup of the auto industry and motorsports news you should know this morning.
More Lotus SUVs?
Lotus, one of our favorite sports-car brands, will succumb to the inevitable and make an SUV to better compete with the likes of Porsche and Mercedes-AMG. , Peter Horbury, design boss at Lotus parent company Geely, revealed some tidbits about the SUV plans and where the UK brand is headed.
"The question is where Lotus can be positioned in the market, where it is today and where the competition might be," Horbury said at the Beijing Motor Show. "China is a huge market for more luxury, more expensive cars, so that’s a possibility."
Horbury also implied to Autocar that more than one SUV might be coming from Lotus. But, the company hasn't lost the plot, because as we've previously reported, Lotus is working on two new sports cars as well.
Button to Race In WEC
Retired McLaren F1 racer Jenson Button will follow the lead of his former teammate, Fernando Alonso, and race in the World Endurance Championship (WEC) this year, . He'll be racing against Alonso this time, as he's secured a drive with the Russian SMP Racing team along with former IndyCar driver Mikhail Aleshin and Vitaly Petrov. Button is set to make his WEC debut at Le Mans in June.
Tesla Autopilot Chief Leaves
Tesla Autopilot chief Jim Keller has left the company to join Intel. Keller's departure comes at an interesting time, as a fatal Tesla Model X crash last month is being investigated by the National Traffic Safety Board. The driver of the Model X was reportedly using Autopilot at the time.