New Lotus Esprit on track for 2013 but Elan is delayed

May 24th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Lotus sure came out swinging at last year’s Paris Motor Show, it revealed a gang of five different concept cars and spoke of grand ambitious for the coming years. The five concept vehicles that were revealed include the striking new Elan (pictured), Elise, Elite, Esprit and Eterne. Not much has been heard since until fresh news out of Lotus with updates on two of them.

Of all the concepts it is the new Esprit halo car which is receiving Lotus’ main attention. The new flagship model is still on track to arrive in production form by 2013. By comparison, the new Elan has been severely postponed and may not be seen before the end of 2016. Why? The fault may lay with the Lotus Evora.

Lotus had planned to shut down Evora production so that it could give way to the Elan but now, company management has decided that the Evora will receive a longer “traditional model cycle” with the possibility of a second-generation. If the Evora does continue into its next generation, it will put the Elan’s entire existence into question. Continue reading “New Lotus Esprit on track for 2013 but Elan is delayed” »

Next Lotus Esprit could be Lexus V10 powered

August 31st, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Lotus is ready to go big at the 2010 Paris Motor Show on next month.  The English automaker is set to reveal its new Esprit, the new Seven and two hybrid vehicles built on the modular chassis concept the automaker showed off in Geneva earlier this year.

The company is pushing on with its five-year plan to completely update its model range and with sales of the Evora strong it’s now all about the new models. While little is known about the replacement for the Seven the new Esprit has attracted much attention and speculation.

In terms of powertrains Lotus’ relationship with Toyota will come into play once more and could see Lexus-sourced engines fitted to the new Esprit. Apparently a choice of three Esprits will be available, including a 300hp version using Toyota’s direct injected V6, a 417hp model that would use the Lexus IS F’s 5.0-litre V8 and for the top range Esprit, a V10 500hp motor lifted from the Lexus LF-A supercar.

The partnership between Lotus and Toyota could also mean more eco-friendly motoring for Lotus fans. The English automaker has repeated said that lightweight platforms and fuel-efficient drivetrains are a top priority. With that in mind, an “Eco Esprit” could be available with a reworked version of Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive.

The Evora will provide the basis for the next Esprit, and considering the quick turnaround for the Evora to shift from concept to production, Lotus has the ability to bring the new Esprit to market rapidly. If the Evora keeps selling well, then the new Esprit could be tearing up European roads by 2012, but it’s not going to come cheap.

Lotus ready to make new Esprit

November 12th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Lotus Esprit fq

Lotus is currently in the best financial position it’s experienced for years, with its debts about to be cleared and production at full capacity. Focus is now turning to the future and one of the most exciting part will be a new-generation of the Esprit.

According to a recent report, Lotus has finally given the green light to a new Esprit. It’s no secret that Lotus has set its sights on the top level performance marques, with its new CEO Dany Bahar working on restoring the company to a level of competing directly with the world’s greatest supercars.

Bahar is set to announce a new seven-year plan for the company later this year but insider leaks have already divulged some of its key elements.

Apparently the new Esprit may not carry the original name and that it’s being designed as a halo model for the brand.

Lotus’ previous CEO Mike Kimberley had revealed that new Esprit is being developed together with “a very well respected prestige automaker.” Most people thought that BMW would supply one of its V8 engines for the new Esprit but Lotus’ close workings with Toyota, could see advanced Lexus engines used instead.

The 552 horsepower V10 engine, which is set to debut in the 2011 Lexus LFA supercar next year, would probably be reserved for a range-topping Esprit, but a mid-spec model could get the IS-F’s 420 horsepower V8 and an entry-level model could use a 300 horsepower version of the 3.5-litre Toyota-sourced V-6 from the Evora.

To keep costs down it’s likely the new Esprit will likely share its chassis with the bonded and extruded aluminum unit developed for the Evora. Rising development costs and changing requirements, however, have reportedly pushed back the original 2010 release date to 2012. The extra time should allow for both coupe and convertible models, Lotus had originally planned to launch a hard-top only.

Lotus Esprit successor may use Lexus power

May 28th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Lotus Evora eagle f

Lotus has very interesting times ahead as the company pushes on with its five-year plan to update its entire model range, including successors to the Elise and Esprit. Lotus has already debuted its new Evora, but rather than sitting still with this car, work on the new Elise and Esprit is already progressing at the company’s UK headquarters.

While the future Elise may be seen as early as 2011, of more interest is the flagship Esprit successor, which recent reports state could come with an optional V10 engine sourced from Lexus. While this is unconfirmed at this stage, Lotus CEO Mike Kimberley has revealed that the new car is being developed with “a very well respected prestige carmaker.”

Most people thought that BMW would supply one of its V8 engines for the new Esprit but Lotus’ close ties with Toyota, from which it already sources engines, could see advanced Lexus motors being used. The 500hp (373kW) V10 engine, which is set to debut in the Lexus LF-A supercar next year, would be a fit for the range-topping model. Other potential powerplants could be the IS-F’s 420hp (312kW) V8 and a 300hp (225kW) version of the 3.5L Toyota V6 from the Evora.

To keep costs down and speed up its development, the new Esprit will likely share its chassis with the aluminum unit underpinning the Evora. Rising development costs and changing requirements, have reportedly pushed back the original 2010 release date to 2012. So stay tuned for more updates on the new Esprit.

Lotus bringing back the Esprit for 2012

May 15th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Lotus Evora eagle f

Recent reports state that Lotus is picking up the pace with the development of the much rumoured new Lotus Esprit. The new Esprit will join the new Elise in reaching the market sometime in 2012. The 2012 Lotus Esprit will be developed based of the upcoming Evora (pictured), but it will offer more generous dimensions and have a mid-engine layout. At this stage opinion is varied on what engine will power the 2012 Lotus Esprit, but it will most likely be a chunky V8.

The launch of the new 2012 Lotus Esprit isn’t a certainty yet and remains dependent on whether or not the Evora generates sufficient sales to help fund the development of the new version. If the business environment in the automotive industry improves dramatically, the new Lotus Esprit could see the showroom floor even sooner than the Evora convertible. Stay tuned.

Lotus ‘Eagle’ (Esprit?) to be publicly unveiled at the British Motorshow

July 16th, 2008 by Darren Cottingham

lotus-eagle-fq

Eagerly anticipated and making its official global debut at the British Motorshow in London on July 22nd, the first all-new car from Lotus since the iconic Elise in 1995, will enter the sportscar market as the only mid-engined 2+2 in production.

The new car, which is known only by its project name ‘Eagle’, is a more holistic offering than the Elise and Exige models that have been so massively popular with track day enthusiasts. The car, the name for which (Esprit?) will be announced at the British Motorshow Lotus press conference, is designed for people who desire exotic sportscar characteristics of stunning design, exclusivity, dramatic proportions and performance. Project Eagle also offers real-world usability and a unique sense of occasion.

Powered by a 3.5-litre V6 producing 280 PS, the new car employs innovative lightweight chassis technology to ensure visceral all-round dynamic performance, in keeping with the great Lotus tradition. Even in the very early stages of development testing, Lotus ride and handling engineers report that it is considerably faster around the famously demanding Nürburgring circuit than the Elise and more stable at speed than the Exige.

Deliveries of Project Eagle will begin in Spring 2009, and with only 2000 of the hand crafted cars planned each year, this exclusive and unique car is creating a real stir with  enthusiasts around the world.