Back in 1975, the world witnessed a few landmark incidents including the founding of Microsoft, the introduction of disposable razors, and – we actually don’t know how this classifies as a ‘landmark incident’ – the birth of one David Beckham. Oh, and by the way, the very first Lotus Esprit was officially launched.
Today, David Beckham is a household name, the disposable razor is a household necessity, and, well, every household in the world seems to have a computer with Microsoft software on it. And, yeah, today – or at least at the Paris Motor Show this year – the new Lotus Esprit will be making its official launch.
You’re probably wondering why we’re making all these references to 1975 and 2011? To be honest, we don’t know either, but Lotus seems to think that going back in time would be a cute way to promote the Esprit’s up-coming release. We’re certainly not arguing with their motives or intentions, but if the new Esprit is indeed one of the four new vehicles Lotus is planning on bringing to Paris in September – and all signs are certainly pointing to that – then we’ll definitely see whether the new Esprit will live up to the ‘iconic’ label Lotus gave to the very first model that was released back in 1975.
Lotus has announced some very good and eyebrow-raising news today: the 2010 Paris Auto Show will mark "The dawn of a new era!" In exactly 100 days starting today the company will "unveil the future evolution of an iconic British brand."
A while ago, a Lotus insider said the next Esprit would be "the ultimate expression of the brand." We also have to remind you that there were rumors stating that the new Esprit would get the same 4.8 Liter V10 from the Lexus LF-A supercar producing 550 HP. There are also rumors saying the entry level will be powered by a 3.5 Liter V6 from the Evora that produces 300 HP. In any case, the next Esprit will sprint from 0 to 60 MPH in about 4 seconds and will be capable of a top speed of around 200 MPH.
After months of "to be or not to be" it’s finally official: the Lotus Esprit will indeed have a successor. Lotus seven year product plan key reveal that the new Esprit will be revealed in 2012, but will carry a different name.
The company is aiming at a power-to-weight ratio of between 275bhp and 325bhp per tonne, meaning that the future Esprit will can easily compete with most of the German sports cars.
According to a Lotus insider the next Esprit will be "the ultimate expression of the brand." It will be a third model tier with the four-cylinder Elise/ Exige and Europa as the first tier and the Evora V6 as the second tier.
Also the same insider reveal that the Evora ’s Versatile Vehicle Architecture (VVA) can be adapted to create almost any type of vehicle, from a sports car to an SUV.
The upcoming Lotus Evora will surely be one of the English automaker’s greatest products of the company’s recent history. The Evora better enjoy the limelight while it lasts, because in 2012 the legendary light weight sports car builder will be bringing back a legend: the Esprit . The mid engine sports car was a huge success from 1976 thru 2004; and the next generation model should not be any different, competing head to head with models like the future Ferrari F450 , Lamborghini Gallardo and the Audi R8 V10 .
The new Lotus Esprit will get be powered by a range of engines: the entry level version will get the same 3.5 Liter V6 making 300 HP from the Evora, the next rung on the ladder will be a 414 HP 5.0 Liter V8 from the factory hot rod Lexus IS-F , but the big news surrounds the top of the line Esprit, powered by the same engine as the Lexus LF-A super car , a 4.8 Liter V10 making 550 HP. No matter which power plant you choose, they will all be mated to six-speed semi-automatic paddle shift transmissions.
The lightweight nature of any Lotus, combined with the awesome power of an endurance racing super car will ensure that when it finally does arrive, that the next generation Esprit will be a world class sports car. Only fitting of such a high performance machine is that it will sprint from 0 to 60 MPH in than 4 seconds, while hitting a top speed of around 200 MPH should not be difficult.
The English sports car maker Lotus has a history of using Toyota power plants in their light weight, high performance machines. Just like the Elise was powered by the same 1.8 Liter VVT-i four cylinder found under the hood of the Celica , for 2012 the new Esprit could be powered by the same V10 that will go into the future Lexus LF-A super car. This means that the next Lotus Esprit will be competing with $100,000+ vehicles like the Lamborghini Gallardo.
For the rest of us, Lotus is preparing a version that will make use of the 5.0 Liter V8 that makes 417 HP in the Lexus IS-F . There is even talk of a 300 HP entry level version that will use a direct injected Toyota V6, tuned by Lotus. The way this is going, it wouldn’t be surprising if Lotus found a home for the new 1.8 Liter hybrid engine from the Prius in an eco-friendly Esprit.
However, none of this will see the light of day until Lotus puts the Evora on sale, because Lotus’s 2+2 chassis will be the starting point for the future Esprit. Either way, the English automaker will need to sell a few models and put away a few pounds before they can get to work.
The weight conscious sports car builder Lotus is very busy with the development of their new Elise and Esprit models. The smaller Elise is set to debut in 2011 and will be an even more developed version of what we see on the road today.
While on the other hand, the Esprit, set to be unveiled in 2012, is dependent on how well the automaker does selling their Evora model. The Esprit will be a longer, wider version of the new Evora powered by a V8 mounted in the mid-ship position.
Lotus hopes that by 2012 they will be moving anywhere from 4000 to 5000 units per year. But the future looks a little dim for the English company, as the deal with Abarth to produce a future sports car has been canceled and the Europa-based Dodge Circuit electric car also taking a dirt nap Lotus hopes that their new Evora will help them weather these hard times.
The next Esprit is already a few years into development, and it’s the only Lotus left we haven’t gotten a good look at yet. But that doesn’t stop the world from speculating, like with this new rendering.
As usual the best things come to those who wait. Rumors peg the 2011 Esprit to possibly use a V8 engine sourced by BMW . This engine could make between 500 and 550 hp, which would make for strong competition in Lotus’ traditionally lightweight cars. This kind of set up would make sense in the Esprit. Although the original car started life in 1975 with a 2.0-liter four cylinder, the car had grown to accept 3.5-liter twin-turbo V8 by the time it took its final bow in 2004.
Lotus was supposed to unveil the Esprit ’s successor by early 2010, but latest reports from the company said the launch will be delayed until early 2011 as the car will be totally redesigned. Also there are very big chances for the car to get hybrid, using a mix of Lotus and Toyota technology.
Company boss Mike Kimberley said he wants to offer “guilt-free, high performance motoring” and admits the company is “working on something”.
The future Esprit (he name is not actually confirmed yet) will be built on the same chassis platform as the new Evora , and will be made wider and longer and with a new rear structure designed to accommodate a longitudinally mounted engine.
Also the company is working on more versions of the newly launched Evora, including a two-seater, a convertible and an automatic. And work is also advancing on S3 versions of the Elise and Exige.
Autocar caught testing the 2010 Lotus ’Eagle’ GT, a model that will be powered by a 4.4-litre V8 supplied by BMW.
The engine was first used by BMW in the newly launched X6, but by 2010 will have been used in a number of other BMW models including the X5 and the 7-series. Lotus will probably re-work the engine management and extract a Nissan GT-R- and Porsche 911 Turbo-rivalling power figure in excess of 500bhp.