On your marks, get set, GO! McLaren and Aston Martin are charging forward with their respective supercars, but a new leader in the race for Britain’s fastest supercar is emerging and it’s none other than Lotus . According to Automotive Express, sources are stating that the British manufacturer is preparing a flagship Superleggera version of their next generation Esprit . The new Superleggera is set to be released in late 2013/early 2014 and will be the fourth model in the Esprit lineup - next to a coupe, a convertible, and a glass-roofed Targa edition.
The Esprit Superleggera will be powered by an upgraded version of the 4.8-liter V8 engine mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch semi-automatic gearbox with rapid shifts. This configuration will be capable of producing 612 HP at 9,000 rpm which will be highlighted with a special aluminum body that will be even stronger and lighter than the body used in the current model. This type of powerful and light combination will ensure the supercar charges from 0-60 mph in under three seconds with a top speed of 212 mph. Drooling yet?
Lotus is so confident about their new Superleggera model that Chief Technical Officer, Wolf Zimmermann, even took a stab at McLaren’s new MP4-12C: "This car will not be like the McLaren MP4-12C. It will be cooler – there will be more emotion."
Lotus is definitely shaking things up and moving in a direction reminiscent of their high performance origins. They have already planned the next five models spanning out in the next five years and they have recently announced they would be building their own engines. These seem to be pretty hefty plans for a company that has been in the shadows since the release of the Elise. Will they crash and burn, or will they come out on top?