Lotus has revealed more details of its new mid-engined 2+2 sports car due to go on sale in 2009.Known thus far only by its internal codename 'Project Eagle', the official name of the GT is yet to be confirmed, but Lotus CEO Mike Kimberley has confirmed that it will be priced between £45,000 and £48,000. Autocar can also reveal that the all-new Lotus will be first show at the London motor show in July 2008, allowing the British public to be the first to see it in the metal.The Eagle will use a transverse mounted Toyota V6 engine and go on sale with an optional paddle-gearbox. A convertible version will follow soon after the launch-model coupe; that much will be key for the car's acceptance in the USA. The Eagle's main reason for being is to broaden the appeal of the Lotus marque, to provide a more practical showroom option for wannabe Lotus owners, and to make the brand more acceptable to the lifestyle-oriented market, as well as to the driving purists it currently serves.
New Esprit to storm in by 2010
A year after the launch of the Eagle, the new Esprit will arrive in the UK. Based around the same architecture as the GT, the Esprit will be more inline with the current Lotus philosophy of lightweight performance and focused dynamics, but also more spacious and capable of much higher top speeds than either an Elise, an Exige or a Europa.The Esprit is a huge project for Lotus, not least because it must stand up to the reputation of its predecessor, but also because the predicted price tag of £80,000 puts it in competition with the likes of the Porsche 911.The finished items may be very different from the illustrations shown in our gallery, but whatever their final appearance, Lotus will be a bigger, more varied and more powerful brand by the end of the decade.