2014 Lotus Esprit

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The legend is back! Lotus has unveiled today the new Esprit sports car. Described as the "ultimate Lotus," the new Esprit will go into production at the end of 2012, with first deliveries beginning in late 2013, early 2014. Lotus announced an estimated price of £110,000 ($175,000 at the current rates).

At the unveiling of the Evora S model in San Jose in June 2011, Lotus Cars USA PR boss, Kevin Smith, confirmed that the Esprit supercar would be getting Lotus’ in-house V8 engine and both a manual and a dual-clutch transmission. This V8 engine was originally said to deliver between 550 - 570 HP, but actually achieved 570 HP at around 9000rpm and 398 lb-ft of torque at a bit higher than 3000rpm. Lotus Chief Technical Officer, Wolf Zimmermann, says this engine can reach up to 630 HP at 9,400 rpm and 424 lb-ft of torque between 5,500 and 6,000rpm. The V8 weighs in at about 375 lbs, which is about 176 lbs lighter than the original 5.0L V8 Lotus was going to borrow from Lexus. It will be used for both the Esprit and, as confirmed by Smith, an even more exotic Elite.

"One has to be very careful when taking on the challenge of reinventing such an iconic classic as the Esprit – everyone has an opinion. There’s a fine balance between acknowledging the greatness of the past whilst at the same time rapidly leaping forward to the future and ensuring that this car not only does the name Esprit justice but also the Lotus brand. I think we’ve managed to find the balance and in doing so created a new icon, a car people will find hard to resist."

UPDATE 11/21/2011: Lotus officials has confirmed that the next generation Esprit will be powered by a 4.8 liter V8 engine. This new engine will deliver a total of 570 HP in standard version, but the company will be also offering a higher-tuned variant with an output of 620 HP. (Autoblog)

UPDATE 12/12/2011:New details about the future supercar revealed that the Esprit will, in fact, be offered in two versions. A base model will combine a 100 HP electric motor to a normally aspirated V8 engine and a more powerful version will drop the hybrid system and focus on weight-saving measures. (AutoCar)

UPDATE 10/04/2012: According to Lotus Forums, the Esprit has officially been axed. leaving the Elise, Exige, and Evora as the only standing models on the company’s new era lineup.

Press release after the jump.

 

Latest Lotus Esprit news and reviews:

Petrolicious Tells The Story Of Spencer Canon And His Lotus Esprit: Video

Petrolicious Tells The Story Of Spencer Canon And His Lotus Esprit: Video

British sports car gets a modern-day makeover

One of the things I love about Petrolicious is how it can tell the story of a car and its owner the way no other series has ever done it. It’s kind of like Humans of New York, but instead of photographs and written stories of the subjects, it’s done in a more personal manner that really captures the essence of what it means to be a passionate car owner.

The latest episode tells the story of bicycle builder Spencer Canon and his Lotus Esprit. Despite all the perceived misgivings people had for the Esprit, the bicycle builder from Ritte Bicycles knew what he had when he got the car, or at least what was left of it. Canon himself admitted that the car was in terrible shape, but instead of letting it die a slow and painful death, he took it upon himself to make it whole again — even if it involved redesigning elements of the Esprit to give it some modern flair.

So Canon drew from his experience as a designer and went to work, modifying the Esprit in subtle yet effective ways like replacing the power windows with pull straps and changing the body color to the color scheme of his company’s bicycles. The result looks great even though not everybody was on board with the perception that he robbed the Esprit of its authenticity. But, Canon remained undaunted by the backlash, knowing full well that what he was doing was giving the car a modern twist while retaining some of the heritage.

The result is incredible because the Esprit, modifications and all, looks about as fresh as any car from the 80s could be. It may still not be as recognizable as some of the Ferraris and Lamborghinis of that era, but that hardly matters to Canon. All that matters to him is that he rescued this car from despair, gave it some much needed love, and gave it a whole new lease on life.

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Forza Horizon 2 Gets NAPA Chassis Car Pack

Forza Horizon 2 Gets NAPA Chassis Car Pack

Another month has come and gone, so Turn 10 and Playground Games are now bringing us another downloadable car pack for Forza Horizon 2. This one carries the title NAPA Chassis Car Pack, and it comes with six new machines to roll around in. In traditional fashion, the cars cover a wide variety of driving styles and ages. There are two supercars, a pair of classics, a 500-plus-horsepower wagon and a similarly powerful luxury SUV.

The actual cars in the pack are as follows (in handy chronological order no less): 1970 Buick GSX, 1988 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Super Sport, 2002 Lotus Esprit V8, 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Supercharged. 2015 Audi RS6 Avant, and 2015 McLaren 650S Coupe

The AWD and incredible power of the Audi Avant should make it a great all-round choice for players looking to try something different, and the incredible 650S from McLaren will likely find lots of garages to call home. I like seeing Forza still focus on great cult cars like the Lotus and Buick, and dropping in something a little different for those off-road races with the Range Rover seems pretty inspired to me. After reviewing the Supercharged Range Rover myself, I feel like it certainly deserves a slot on the Forza roster.

The pack is available to download today for all Xbox One players, and it carries a price of $5. If you are the proud owner of the Season Pass, these cars are all free. If you just want to try out one of these new cars, the Lotus is available as a separate download all on its own for the low sale price of free.

You can check out a little more info about each car as well as a video showing off all the new machines in action after the break. Be sure to hit those comments with which one is your favorite from this list.

Click past the jump to read more about Forza Horizon 2’s new NAPA Chassis Car Pack.

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Lotus Could Still Build the Esprit Supercar

Lotus’ on-again, off-again stance on the production of the since stalled Esprit V8 supercar has seen its fair share of fence-jumping.

But recently, a high-ranking Lotus executive brought new life to the Esprit V8, even if he stopped short of confirming that the company was going to build it.

Speaking to Motoring Australia during the recent launch of the 2014 Exige S Roadster, Lotus brand manager for Australia and New Zealand, Alastair Manihera, hinted that the company hasn’t completely abandoned the Esprit V8, or at least not to the extent that has been reported in the past.

"Contrary to popular belief the factory is keeping its options open," Manihera said, before adding that no timetable has been set on when or where the super car is going to be built.

While that’s far from a confirmation, Manihera did leave out the possibility of Lotus eventually building the supercar and that’s more than you can ask for given the spate of ever-changing directions the company has been having in the past few years.

What we do know is that there’s interest, both within Lotus and fans of the Esprit to see the supercar return for the first time since 2004. It’s no secret that the Esprit, specifically the concept version that was shown at the 2010 Paris Motor Show, has a future in the industry as a car that could be a nice alternative to more high-priced models out there.

So even if there’s still no commitment coming from Lotus regarding the fate of the Esprite V8, the mere fact that one executive is still optimistic about its chances is good enough for us to keep hoping and praying that the concept that wowed us in Paris back in 2010 will finally get to strut its stuff on the road.

Click past the jump to read more about the Lotus Esprit Supercar.

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Tesla CEO Buys 007's Lotus-Based Submarine and Has Big Plans for it

Tesla CEO Buys 007’s Lotus-Based Submarine and Has Big Plans for it

For fans of "The Spy Who Loved Me," you are likely very familiar with the Lotus Esprit turned submarine — yes the irony of a Lotus model being underwater is hilarious — in the old James Bond flick. Well, like most other movie cars, that one recently crossed the auction block, and the news just come out that the buyer who paid the £616,000 ($996,560) just so happened to be Tesla’s Elon Musk.

That’s big news in itself, but what’s more important are Elon’s plans with this submersible sports car. He plans to bring the car back to its road-going roots, but with the powertrain of a Model S in tow. That’s right, he is taking a car that cost nearly $1 million and stripping it of the majority of why it was so expensive.

Sure, the creativity is out of this world, and an electric-powered Esprit with somewhere between 302 and 416 horsepower in tow in fantastic, but to drop that kind of dough, then change the whole car seems rather wasteful. He could have just snagged up any old Esprit for a fraction of the price he paid for this iconic sports car.

Then again, Elon Musk likely found that scratch between the seat cushions of his couch...

Click past the jump to read more about this awesome Lotus

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If Produced, Lotus Esprit will Feature F1-Inspired KERS Technology

Last month, we reported that Lotus’ future was safe and that we may see a new Esprit on the roads. Today, British magazine, AutoCar, is offering a few more details on the rumored British supercar, including some insight on its powertrain.

AutoCar is reporting that the Esprit’s production is effectively complete, but there are still some lingering problems. Those problems are that Lotus is camshaft-deep in legal battles and unpaid bills, and lacks consistent management.

Rumor has it that if — and we stress if — the Esprit hits production, it will feature a 5.0-liter gasoline engine that works in unison with an F1-style KERS system. So what’s so great about that? Well, that will be good for a whopping 650 ponies beneath the Esprit’s sexy hood — 20 horsepower more than the initial rumors.

These 650 ponies are all well and good, but if it’s priced like the 918 Spyder, only a select few may actually be able to afford one. Lotus has your back there too, as Autocar is also putting out there that the Esprit will be closer to the price of a top-line 911, which is roughly £100,000 — around $160,000 at the current exchange rates.

Not only are we anxious to hear that Lotus still has some fight left in it, but we are also ecstatic to hear that the Esprit may return in impressive form and at a relative bargain. Stay tuned!

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Lotus future is safe; Esprit will make it to production

A few weeks ago, it was rumored that the new generation Lotus Esprit had been axed. Many were upset upon hearing this, but that sadness may be short-lived. During an interview with British magazine AutoExpress, chief operating officer of DRB-HICOM, Aslam Farikullah confirmed that Lotus’ future is safe and that we will indeed see a new Esprit on the roads.

The problem is that the Esprit will be the only model to be produced, while the other four models previewed at the 2010 Paris Auto Show have been axed. He didn’t confirm when the Esprit will be launched because the company is now focusing on getting the quality right on the current Elise, Exige, and Evora models.

"We have to be realistic and get the basic fundamentals of the business right. Then we will look at the next products. We are excited about the future and plan to grow the business."

He also confirmed that all Lotus models will still be produced in the UK, despite the company’s new Malaysian owner.

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New Lotus Esprit is officially axed

Lotus hasn’t exactly had the best run in the past few months, so it’s not surprising that the company is canceling its plans for all future models, including the one model that was thought to be the sole survivor of Bahar’s plans: the long-rumored new generation Esprit.

The new Esprit was previewed by its concept version back at the 2010 Paris Auto Show, while the company was still in the hands of the controversial Dany Bahar. Now that Bahar is gone, and DRB-Hicom is running the show, most of Bahar’s concepts have been given the heave-ho. All that is supposedly left now is the Elise, Exige, and Evora. These models were originally on the list of axed models, but have since received a reprieve. At least for now.

The Evora is the only relatively new model in Lotus’ line-up, having just been launched in 2008. The Elise and Exige have been on the market ever since 1995. This means that Lotus’ new plans to drop the Esprit will begin the company’s new era with an old lineup. Hopefully, they have plans in place to change that.

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Lotus Rubbing Salt in Bahar's Wound by Auctioning off His Custom Executive Car

Lotus Rubbing Salt in Bahar’s Wound by Auctioning off His Custom Executive Car

It’s two days short of a month since we last mentioned Dany Bahar and Lotus in the same sentence, but we knew the silence couldn’t go on forever. While we await the outcome of the potential wrongful-termination lawsuit Bahar is allegedly planning, Lotus continues to rid itself of any signs of Bahar.

This de-Bahar-ing of Lotus began with the scrapping of all but one of his concept cars, much to the joy of Lotus purists, and has now moved into an almost personal attack. Lotus is now auctioning off Bahar’s company car, which so happens to be a fully restored and customized 2002 Esprit V8.

It features a custom pearlescent white paint job, Nova OZ wheels, center-exit exhaust, custom rounded taillights, and a Final Edition Esprit rear wing. The interior is bespoke too, featuring leather and SuedeTex throughout.

The front brakes feature 4-piston AP Racing calipers, while the rear brakes are Brembo-built. The engine and transmission were both rebuilt less than 1,000 miles ago, despite only having 36,000 miles on them to begin with. On top of the Sport350 “High Boost” ECM mod, we suspect that both the engine and transmission have some internal modifications, so it likely punches out much more than the 350 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque it did from the factory.

This entire restoration was commissioned by Bahar and carried out in a Lotus factory, likely on Lotus’ dime – surprise, surprise. Is it any wonder why the company is in such a financial hell right now?

Anyways, in an effort to raise a little capital, Lotus is now auctioning off this rig to the highest bidder via its UK dealerships. NADA lists a high-retail value of $60,300 on the 2002 Esprit, but we assume this one will fetch closer to the $80,000 range with all of its custom work.

We’ll keep you updated on the final auction results.

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Lotus Scraps Almost All of Bahar's New Model Plans

Lotus Scraps Almost All of Bahar’s New Model Plans

When Lotus chose to pull out of the 2012 Paris Motor Show, the same show that the struggling car company released five new concepts at two years ago, we had a sneaking suspicion that this was the calm before the model-trimming storm. It looks as if our suspicions were true, as according to reports, Lotus has cut out all of Bahar’s brainchildren, with a possible exception being the revamped Espirit.

As we always say, sports car lovers are a fickle bunch. They know what they like and do not deal well with changes. Ferrari and Lamborghini lovers want fat sports cars with even fatter engines, whereas Lotus lovers want svelte and nimble machines that they can toss around at will. The models that Lotus has axed were very fat, by Lotus standard, and were not warmly received by enthusiasts.

Also scrapped in the process was the crazy notion that Lotus would produce its own engines for these new models. If the consistent lapping of Lotus-powered vehicles in INDYCAR isn’t enough of a deterrent for Lotus building their own engines, the sheer cost of the project is.

This is all clearly a cost-controlling measure by DRB-Hicom and Lotus to try and save the failing company, but it does have a bit of the undercoating of a jab to Bahar’s ribs. Regardless of the possible shot at Bahar’s ego, this is just one of the many necessary evils that Lotus has to go through to get back to being a profitable business.

Another necessary evil is the fact that Lotus will have to lay off 50 contractors hired to work on these new projects, which were part of Bahar’s “Five-Year Plan.”

Lotus and DRB-Hicom have submitted a new business plan to their creditors in hopes of getting some leeway in their debts and maybe freeing up some loan money to help inject some life into Lotus. We certainly hope to see Lotus back near the top of the boutique automaker list and we’ll keep a keen eye on this situation with many more updates likely coming your way.

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2004 Lotus Esprit by Cam Shaft

2004 Lotus Esprit by Cam Shaft

It’s going to take a while before Lotus finally drops the new generation Esprit on the market, but until then, the previous generation Esprit is still getting tons of attention. The V8 version produced between 1996 and 2004 delivered a total of 354 HP and was capable of hitting a top speed of 175 mph. It was limited to only 1237 units, and one of those units caught the attention of Cam Shaft.

The tuner started with tweaking the V8 engine, adding adjustable cases by Forge inside the turbo compressor pumps, a self designed compressor cooling system, and two 100-cell structure catalysts. As a result, the V8 engine now delivers a total of 492 HP and can hit an impressive top speed of 189 mph. The 0 to 60 mph sprint time has been improved, from the standard 4.9 seconds to 4.3 seconds.

The transmission is also new: the old 5-speed gearbox by Renault has been replaced by a new 6-speed Dog-Engagement gearbox equipped with a longer total ratio. The car was also equipped with a new breaking system for 350 sport models (from 2000 series) with AP racing 4-bucket device and perforated brake discs with a 330 mm diameter to match the speed-up.

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Lotus acquires sufficient funds to restart production

With Lotus having to cease production completely for the past 60 days as a result of its sale from Proton and acquisition by DRB-Hicom, production has finally resumed. Fingers crossed; this could be the start of a much needed recovery for the ailing brand.

Even though we knew production would resume eventually, we are very surprised that it’s happened so soon, especially after reports surfaced just days ago that DRB-Hicom was already looking for a Chinese buyer to take Lotus off their hands.

Up to this point, Lotus has more than $316 million in debts and in order for these debts to be overcome, Lotus has to decrease production costs significantly and increase output. If these two strategies cannot be met, then we can’t see how Lotus can be a viable business in the future.

Autocar is reporting that production will restart at the beginning of May, when Lotus hopes to pump out no less than 44 cars weekly with the Elise, Exige, and Evora all being produced yet again. The most exciting news to come out of this revelation however, is that development of the upcoming Esprit supercar should resume including development of the brand new V-8 engine it’ll feature. This new V8 is being developed completely in-house and will deliver between 550 - 570 HP.

Finally, Dany Bahar confirmed that DRB-Hicon is not actually looking to sell the flailing brand off to the Chinese stating, “It’s just not true,” he says. “There is no fire sale, no selling process and no bidding. If there were, lots of strange people would be here doing inspections and due diligence, but there is nobody. Besides, I have no authority to sell the company. That’s a job for the shareholders. I am just an employee.”

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Lotus Lockdown: Future models put on hold

When Proton announced they may sell Lotus to a large Malaysian industrial
 conglomerate (DRB-Hicom), everyone knew the future of the Esprit supercar would be in danger, and everyone was right. During a recent interview with British magazine, EVO, Lotus boss Dany Bahar announced that development of all future models, including the Esprit has been suspended.

As a result of the sale, Lotus is taking an NBA type break with a three month "lockdown" - meaning that only normal trading activities could be continued. Translated, this means that the production of the current models will continue at a reduced level, but the development of the future models has been delayed. This decision obviously affects customers because the official market launch of the new Exige S and Evora GTE have been delayed, and we won’t get to see the production Esprit until early 2014.

"This difficult period for Lotus finishes at the end of March and that’s 
when we will know then whether DRB-Hicom will want to continue with our 
business plan," said Bahar. "I really hope they will but I cannot call it at the moment, it’s still 50:50."

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Latest Paris Motor Show:

Proton may be forced to sell Lotus; Is the new Esprit worth the gamble?

Thirty years ago, when James Bond pulled up in an Esprit S1 in The Spy Who Loved Me and an Esprit Turbo in For Your Eyes Only, Lotus execs had big, shit-eating grins on their faces. When the famous spy dropped the contract with Lotus, these same execs began scrambling to figure out their next step. That next step came with a buyout from Proton in 1996, but things haven’t gotten much better and Proton may be ready and willing to snip the cord and let Lotus become someone else’s problem.

It took Proton 15 years and zero profit to come to terms with the fact that the Lotus purchase wasn’t a highlight of their business plan. After all, Proton builds sedans and taxis, while Lotus builds sports cars and wants to compete with makers like Ferrari and Porsche, so the oil and water scenario comes to mind. Now Proton is in trouble itself, and investors such as Gan Eng Peng say selling Lotus may just be what they need to get back in gear, but they’ll have to find a buyer first.

As of right now, no one has stepped up to make an offer, which isn’t all that surprising considering Lotus doesn’t stand to make a profit until the new Esprit comes out in 2014. Lotus Chief Executive Officer Dany Taner Bahar (formerly a Ferrari executive) backs up that statement saying he’s confident Lotus can become profitable by 2014. Of course, that will be really hard to do unless they get some financial backing sooner rather than later.

Does anyone have millions of dollars they would use to bet on the success of the new Esprit?

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Base Lotus Esprit will be hybrid; powerful versions will be lighter

Base Lotus Esprit will be hybrid; powerful versions will be lighter

Lotus seems to be taking their "five-year, five model plan" very seriously and the new generation Esprit set to be released at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show will be the model to set that plan in motion.

New details about the future supercar revealed that the Esprit will, in fact, be offered in two versions. A base model will combine a 100 HP electric motor to a normally aspirated V8 engine and a more powerful version will drop the hybrid system and focus on weight-saving measures.

"There will be no hybrid system, the engine will have more power, but the major performance gains will come from losing weight," said Bahar. "The ‘Racing’ versions of each model will always be pure, driver’s cars. There will be never be anything unnecessary on them, and we will use materials such as carbon fiber."

Sales for the new Lotus Esprit will begin in Europe in Summer 2013.

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2014 Lotus Esprit

2014 Lotus Esprit

The legend is back! Lotus has unveiled today the new Esprit sports car. Described as the "ultimate Lotus," the new Esprit will go into production at the end of 2012, with first deliveries beginning in late 2013, early 2014. Lotus announced an estimated price of £110,000 ($175,000 at the current rates).

At the unveiling of the Evora S model in San Jose in June 2011, Lotus Cars USA PR boss, Kevin Smith, confirmed that the Esprit supercar would be getting Lotus’ in-house V8 engine and both a manual and a dual-clutch transmission. This V8 engine was originally said to deliver between 550 - 570 HP, but actually achieved 570 HP at around 9000rpm and 398 lb-ft of torque at a bit higher than 3000rpm. Lotus Chief Technical Officer, Wolf Zimmermann, says this engine can reach up to 630 HP at 9,400 rpm and 424 lb-ft of torque between 5,500 and 6,000rpm. The V8 weighs in at about 375 lbs, which is about 176 lbs lighter than the original 5.0L V8 Lotus was going to borrow from Lexus. It will be used for both the Esprit and, as confirmed by Smith, an even more exotic Elite.

"One has to be very careful when taking on the challenge of reinventing such an iconic classic as the Esprit – everyone has an opinion. There’s a fine balance between acknowledging the greatness of the past whilst at the same time rapidly leaping forward to the future and ensuring that this car not only does the name Esprit justice but also the Lotus brand. I think we’ve managed to find the balance and in doing so created a new icon, a car people will find hard to resist."

UPDATE 11/21/2011: Lotus officials has confirmed that the next generation Esprit will be powered by a 4.8 liter V8 engine. This new engine will deliver a total of 570 HP in standard version, but the company will be also offering a higher-tuned variant with an output of 620 HP. (Autoblog)

UPDATE 12/12/2011:New details about the future supercar revealed that the Esprit will, in fact, be offered in two versions. A base model will combine a 100 HP electric motor to a normally aspirated V8 engine and a more powerful version will drop the hybrid system and focus on weight-saving measures. (AutoCar)

UPDATE 10/04/2012: According to Lotus Forums, the Esprit has officially been axed. leaving the Elise, Exige, and Evora as the only standing models on the company’s new era lineup.

Press release after the jump.

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Lotus dismisses Lexus: Will use homegrown 4.8L V8 for Esprit

Lotus is on the verge of tackling the supercar market with their very own high-powered V8 engine fitted underneath the hood of the future Esprit. The British company has been working on this 4.8L V8 engine at its headquarters in Hethel, Norfolk where engineers have achieved 570 HP at around 9000rpm and 398 lb-ft of torque at a bit higher than 3000rpm.

But that’s not where the story ends. Lotus Chief Technical Officer, Wolf Zimmermann, says this engine can reach up to 630 HP at 9,400 rpm and 424 lb-ft of torque between 5,500 and 6,000rpm. The V8 weighs in at about 375 lbs, which is about 176 lbs lighter than the original 5.0L V8 Lotus was going to borrow from Lexus. The Lexus engine ended up being too heavy so Lotus engineers took to the drawing table to create their own modular engine. This engine will be matched up with a forged aluminum wishbone suspension and electro-hydraulic power steering. The vehicle will be made entirely of aluminum with hopes of not surpassing 3,220 lbs.

Lotus CEO, Dany Bahar, thinks the future Esprit will be a new icon. He states, "There’s a fine balance in acknowledging the greatness of the past while rapidly leaping forward to the future and ensuring that this car not only does the name Esprit justice but also the Lotus brand.

"I think we’ve managed to find the balance. The design is aggressive. You have to see it to appreciate how low and wide the proportions are, but it still retains a level of dignity, of class and, most of all, exclusivity."

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2015 Lotus Esprit Superleggera

2015 Lotus Esprit Superleggera

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?

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Lotus will build its own V6 and V8 engines

Lotus is doing a bit of rearranging in their kitchen now that plans for the Elan sports car have been placed on the backburner. Apparently, the British manufacturer is using the money that had been set aside for the Elan to develop their very own lineup of engines.

During an interview, Project Boss Dany Bahar said: "This is a big [financial] hit because it’s expensive to do 
an engine," says Bahar. "But 
because the Elan is not happening now we have got capital expenditure headroom 
for engine development."

The first engine cooking is a V8 that will set up the competition for Ferrari’s V8 engine as seen in the 458 Italia. The new Lotus V8 will deliver between 550 - 570 HP and will undergo testing in July 2011. It will be dropped in the new Esprit model. After that, Lotus will go forth with a new V6 engine that will be used for a production version of the Eterne. Both of the new engines will be combined with an all-new aluminum platform that will be spectacularly light.

As for the Elan, Lotus says that the vehicle’s design was just too close to the Esprit so it would not be making its appearance on the lineup until the closer to the end of the company’s five year plan.

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Lotus drops plans for Elan; Moves forward with other models

Lotus drops plans for Elan; Moves forward with other models

At the 2010 Paris Auto Show, Lotus unveiled the impressive Elan concept with the full intention of bringing it back in production form by 2013. Be it blind passion or just a mere oversight, Lotus failed to notice that their new concept bared a strong resemblance to their Evora model, so the company is putting the concept on hold indefinitely.

This may sound a little familiar considering we had already heard that the Elan was headed back to the drawing board for looking too much like the Esprit Concept revealed at the same auto show. This begs the question as to whether or not the Esprit will also be delayed because of the same issue, but apparently that is not the case. The Esprit and the Elite will share many of the same components, including a V8 engine that is rumored to deliver around 550 horsepower. This engine will be mated to either a standard dual-clutch transmission or an optional manual.

However, before those puppies are born, Lotus will be working on updating the apparently inspiring Evora with some aesthetic changes and new trim levels to align it with the rest of the "Lotus New Era" range. The Elise and Exige will also be seeing the light of day, but will do so with newer versions "more usable for every day". The production Exige will finally be revealed at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show.

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Lotus goes back to the drawing board with the Elan and Esprit

Lotus goes back to the drawing board with the Elan and Esprit

What’s with automakers bringing out two concepts of the same car all of a sudden? First with the FT-86 and the FT-86 II and now Lotus with its Elan and the Esprit concepts. Both concept vehicles were presented at last year’s Paris Auto Show, so one would think that the next logical step would be production models for those vehicles. Not so.

It seems that Lotus is tossing the two models back and starting fresh from the drawing board because the two concepts just looked too similar. Now, it’s up to Head Designer, Donato Coco, to work on a more optical differentiation between the two sports cars, which makes darn good sense considering the Esprit supercar is powered by a 5.0-liter V8 engine and the Elan sports car only gets a 4.0L V6 engine.

The next generation Lotus Elise is also getting bad feedback due to its enormous weight gain. The current generation weighs only 876 kilos (1931 lbs), but the next generation model will weigh up to 1,100 kilos (2425 lbs). Lotus has yet to decide the fate of the Elise, but the Elan and Esprit will have to undergo some massive changes before getting launched onto the market in 2013.

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Lotus prepares two new engines and three new sportscars

Lotus prepares two new engines and three new sportscars

Lotus announced the production of a new generation Esprit earlier this year at the Paris Auto Show, with details surrounding the vehicle being limited to the car’s design. Don’t get us wrong, we love to hear and see these beautiful models take shape before our very eyes, but we would rather know just how powerful these cars are going to be. Thankfully, Lotus is ready to divulge a bit of information surrounding the car’s future engine, and we are very ready to listen.

In an interview with Autocar, company boss Dany Bahar said that Lotus is not only preparing a new Hethel-engineered V8 for the Esprit, but also a V6 engine for the Elan and the other models in the line-up: "We have done three engines for other manufacturers; why not do it ourselves? The engine is the heart of a sports car; we should do our own product."

Some more Lotus good news is that they are also preparing three mid-engined sports cars that will be based off of the Esprit and will include the same platform, brakes, suspension, and electrical systems.

The final decision on the two new engines and the new sportscars will be made in January 2011, so we’ll be back with that confirmation once we get it.

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Lotus Esprit the only Lotus past development stage

Lotus Esprit the only Lotus past development stage

Remember all those snazzy cars Lotus paraded at the Paris Motor Show? Yeah, you do? Well here’s an interesting piece of news that should come as a disappointment to anybody that got a little too excited about those cars.

According to Lotus CEO Dany Bahar, of all those cars we saw at Paris, only the 2013 Esprit is on its developmental phase. So, what gives? Turns out that with new and higher expectations, a higher amount of work and dedication follows suit.

Lotus has already made it clear that they’re ready to step into the ring with the big boys, leaving behind the small sports cars and focusing more on high-end performance vehicles that will come with a price range north of six figures.

With this new approach, Lotus has decided to develop all these cars one at a time, with the Esprit getting first dibs. The car is scheduled for a release in 2013 so it’s pretty much a giveaway that we won’t expect to see any of the other models earlier than that.

While we’re not going to hide our disappointment, we understand the move made by Lotus to slowly bring in their new models one at a time. As a brand that’s just starting to enter the high-end performance segment, building one car at a time ensures that you put all your time and effort into that one car, leaving little margin for error.

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Lotus will bring new Esprit and Seven to Paris

Lotus will bring new Esprit and Seven to Paris

Lotus is preparing to wow the Paris Auto Show. The company has already announced two newspecial edition Evoras for the show, but this is not the only surprise Lotus has for Paris. We will not only be seeing these two special editions, but we will also see the new Esprit (which we knew about already) and a new generation Seven. And there’s more; Lotus will also be debuting two groundbreaking hybrids. The only downfall to this avalanche of Lotus models is that none of them will be going on sale until at least a year and a half after the fall show.

The new Seven will be a heavier and more comfort-oriented front-engine, rear-drive, open-topped car. The big news is that this new model will be built in Spain and will be priced at around $100k.

As for the new Esprit, you already know everything there is to know about it. There will be a turbocharged, mid-engine V8 engine and an extensive use of carbon fiber and aluminum.

Another big surprise will be the two hybrid models coming in the form of a four-door hatchback in Porsche Panamera style and a two-door coupe, which could be further developed as a convertible at a later date. The only thing known at the moment is that both of them will be based on the Evora 414E hybrid concept.

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Lotus' new Esprit ad is a blast from the past

Lotus’ new Esprit ad is a blast from the past

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.

Press Release after the jump.

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Lotus will bring new Esprit at Paris Motor Show?

Lotus will bring new Esprit at Paris Motor Show?

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."

Since the new Esprit is a car that has been a long time coming, we can only hope that the Esprit is exactly what Lotus is talking about with that tagline! And if it is then the Ferrari 458 Italia, Lamborghini Gallardo, and Audi R8 V10 better watch out!

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.

Press release after the jump.

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Lotus Esprit replacement gets green light

Lotus Esprit replacement gets green light

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.

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2012 Lotus Esprit rendered

2012 Lotus Esprit rendered

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.

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Future Lotus Esprit could get Lexus LF-A engine

Future Lotus Esprit could get Lexus LF-A engine

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.

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Lotus Esprit to be launched in 2012

Lotus Esprit to be launched in 2012

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.

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2011 Lotus Esprit new rendering

2011 Lotus Esprit new rendering

Yesterday we reported on the Lotus Evora getting fitted for a supercharger. From that post we could tell Lotus was going to be pretty busy for the next few years, and now we know why the re-birth of the Esprit was delayed until 2011. But don’t think we’ve forgotten about it.

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.

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Next generation Lotus Esprit delayed until 2011

Next generation Lotus Esprit delayed until 2011

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.

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2010 Lotus Esprit to be powered by a BMW engine

2010 Lotus Esprit to be powered by a BMW engine

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.

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2009 Lotus Esprit - spy shots

2009 Lotus Esprit - spy shots

Autocar’s Magazine last issue features a spy photo of the future Lotus Esprit. It was caught inside Lotus’s Norfolk HQ by a snarh-eyed snapper from outside the factory gates.

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1995 Lotus Esprit S4S

1995 Lotus Esprit S4S

Lotus unveiled the Esprit S4S in 1994 at the British Motor Show. The new Esprit had a 300 horsepower engine, modified suspension, and a new wing, wheel and tire package.

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1974 - 2002 Lotus Esprit

1974 - 2002 Lotus Esprit

1History1
1972 Esprit Concept car unveiled The November Turin Motorshow in Italy saw the unveiling of the Lotus Esprit concept car on Giorgio Giugiario’s Ital Design stand. Colin Chapman had seen the potential for a future mid-engined Lotus to replace the ageing Europa, and brought the car back to Hethel after the show to start the development process. Mike Kimberley and Tony Rudd led the M70 project, and the prototype work for the project took place at the recently purchased Ketteringham (...)

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2010 Lotus Esprit spied on the road

2010 Lotus Esprit spied on the road

Lotus is currently working on a replacement for the Esprit sports car built from 1976 to 2004. The initial release date was 2008, but current assumptions within the company imply that the actual release date will be December 2009. The 2010 Esprit will be priced at $130.000 (est).
The new Esprit will be built around a new aluminium structure, which Lotus plans to adopt for other cars, too. The exterior design has been signed off; the aerodynamics are being scrutinised in the wind tunnel. At (...)

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2010 Lotus Esprit

2010 Lotus Esprit

Lotus is currently working on a replacement for the Esprit sports car built from 1976 to 2004. The initial release date was 2008, but current assumptions within the company imply that the actual release date will be December 2009. The 2010 Esprit will be priced at $130.000 (est) and will compete with models like Ferrari F430, Lamborghini Gallardo, Audi R8 and Porsche Turbo.
One of the three models from Lotus due in the next few years, it will be built at the Lotus headquarters at Hethel in (...)

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