Lotus: the next five years
21 June 2006

New Lotus CEO Mike Kimberley has outlined his plans for the Norfolk firm in an exclusive interview with Autocar’s Steve Cropley.

Chief among Kimberley’s aims is a doubling of annual production from around 4000 cars to 8000, to be achieved through the expansion of the current Elise and Europa line-ups and the introduction of a new Esprit, due in 2008.

The new Esprit (pictured here in our artist’s impression) is tipped for launch late next year. Like its predecessor, it will be a mid-engined supercar blending serious performance with luxury, but this time it will use a BMW V8 and a new form of extruded aluminium chassis.

Alongside an expansion of its own models, Kimberley also said that Lotus was ‘certainly interested in new projects along the lines of the Lotus Carlton’. The 176mph super-saloon might not have been a huge sales success (it was a victim of the early ’90s recession), but like the Lotus Cortina and Talbot Lotus Sunbeam before it, it emphasised the depth of Lotus’s engineering know-how.

Which modern car would you like to see Lotus breathe on? Join the debate in our forums now, and read the whole interview in this week’s magazine, out now.

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