Plans for five new sports cars are torn up as Group Lotus submits a “much more realistic” proposal

Group Lotus has submitted a new business plan that significantly scales down its previous ambitions under sacked CEO Dany Bahar, according to media reports in Malaysia.

Under Bahar, Lotus planned to launch five all-new sports cars powered by the company’s own engines and gearboxes. But the plan was put on hold when Lotus’s parent company, Proton, was sold to Malaysian automotive investor DRB-Hicom at the start of the year.

DRB-Hicom has now taken over day-to-day running of Lotus following Bahar’s sacking last month, with Aslam Farikullah installed as chief operating officer.

Citing banking sources, the business media in Malaysia claims that a new business plan has been submitted to Lotus’s six main creditors.

Sources describe the plan as “much more realistic” than Bahar’s plan, which was described as “basically unworkable”.

No details have been given of the plan’s contents, and neither Lotus nor DRB-Hicom would comment on the reports.

It’s possible that the new Esprit supercar will survive the axe, given that it was the only one of the new models in development. But it’s unlikely to retain a costly Lotus-developed engine and gearbox.

Launching a new Esprit but scrapping plans for the other four new models would still give Lotus’s recently overhauled range a flagship supercar. It is also a sector in which Lotus has experience — unlike luxury saloons and hybrid GTs, which Bahar’s plan contained.

The first evidence of the scaling back of plans is Lotus’s laying off of 50 contractors, who were understood to be working on new projects rather than existing models.

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25 July 2012

Hey, This car is so neat and elegant。it seems that this Lotus garnered our attention.

25 July 2012

So,now Lotus are going the right way, no more promises of new cars that they were never ever going to have enough funds to design let alone build, i hope they succeed this time.

25 July 2012

Dont do it please i liked the old ideas but whaever you do dont lose the new esprit

25 July 2012

When from what I have read most of the development work has been done and presumably most of the expenditure outlayed.


A real shame if reports of its output, charachter, compactness and lack of weight were accurate.

Mr Zimmerman does have some pedigree - AMG V8s, suckers or blowers, garner almost exclusive praise,

25 July 2012

I'm sure there are many armchair experts saying exactly that!   It was obvious that the plans were far too ambitious for even a large company such as Ford or Opel then why would a shed in Norfolk be able to design and develop 5 new cars?   (wasn't it six at one point?).

Hopefully this means that we get one truely great car.

As for engine, with all the emission legislation that it has to comply with, and be shown to comply with, it is a huge and expensive task.   It would be better to buy a great engine from another supplier and use it.   Even if it's only as a base with extra bits added such as a super charger.

Having a great engine is essential; having a Lotus engine less so.

25 July 2012

I hope Lotus keeps its own V8 engine although its not essential. What is esential is having a brilliant gearbox mated to whatever engine they decide on. Id like to see the new range slimmed down to Esprit, Elan/Evora and Elise.

My dream would be for Gordon Murray and his financial backers of GMD to buy Lotus and design the next range of Lotus sports cars.
I cant think of anyone more suitable to steer Lotus towards a brighter future

25 July 2012

also thought bahar's plan were a bit fanboy'ish...bring back intelligent lightweight..cant imagine proton selecting someone from the job when their own organization is all over the place...want a lotus esprit? go get an mp4-12c

26 July 2012

Such a pity - the full model range plans were always ambitious, but I get the feeling now that even the Esprit may be cut, and the whole operation flogged off.


26 July 2012

One could assume that the Esprit will go ahead, but as we all know it's the tooling etc which really costs the money.  They're a long way down the development road but not so far that they can't cancel it.  (Just look at how far the last NSX replacement got before it was canned).

Personally I hope the Esprit goes ahead - Lotus desperately need new, exciting product.  My worry would be the replacement for the Elise.  That car's getting very long in the tooth and the management shake-up means another delay in replacing it.

27 July 2012

If VW really do buy Proton, Lotus will have plenty of engines to choose from.


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