Currently reading: Reborn Lotus Esprit spied testing for the first time
All-new sports car is expected to arrive with hybridised V6 and develop more power than the Evora
Tom Morgan, deputy digital editor
News
2 mins read
18 March 2020

The spiritual successor to the Lotus Esprit, which will use a V6 powertrain and be priced above £100,000, has been spotted testing for the first time ahead of its 2021 debut.

Development prototypes of the upcoming Ferrari-baiting sports car have been seen close to Lotus's headquarters in Hethel, Norfolk, disguised by Evora bodyshells that have been widened to accommodate the modified chassis.

Although these early prototypes don't give any clues towards the new car's styling, it's widely expected to adopt the design language seen on the 1973bhp Evija electric hypercar.

Exclusively revealed by Autocar earlier this year, the reborn Esprit will be the first all-new Lotus production car for twelve years.

It's set to use a V6 powertrain sourced from Toyota, supplemented by a hybrid system developed in-house that could push power north of 500bhp. In that case, it would eclipse the 410bhp Evora GT410, although the car is expected to sit above it in the Lotus line-up rather than replace it outright.

The Esprit should have a mid-engine layout and a two-seat cabin instead of the 2+2 layout found in some Evora models.

The new car will be the last to use Lotus' extruded aluminium platform, ahead of an all-new design arriving alongside a greatly expanded model range that could include a reborn Elan to compete with the Porsche 718 Boxster.

It's currently unknown whether Lotus will choose to reuse the Esprit name or give the car an all-new title.

Lotus currently sells around 1500 cars per year but is in the process of expanding its Hethel base to enable it to build 5000. This is part of the British brand's five-year plan that will include the introduction of its first SUV, as well as the Evija and more mainstream sports cars, thanks to investment from new Chinese owner Geely.

READ MORE

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m111 19 March 2020

What are they testing?

What tests would you conduct for a new sports car on a dirt track?

Peter Cavellini 19 March 2020

Needs to be.

 Needs to be a tad longer and lower roof line too, I know this is a mule for testing, I do hope the Esprit if it ever happens, doesn't look like the Evora.

Sitikchai 19 March 2020

Good to see Esprit back but it won’t be a real contender coz....

I love the old Esprit V8. It looks great and it has that super-compact V8. The new one is long overdue but no matter how good the handling or design or performance it still won't be a real Ferrari or Porsche or McLaren fighter because of one thing, The Toyota engine. Real supercars need bespoke engines. Not one sourced from Toyota. Sorry Lotus. This one will still fail.

jonboy4969 19 March 2020

Seriously - you actually put

Seriously - you actually put that drivel ito words - LOL, that is seriously funny, when you consider that Toyota have built engines for F1, Touring Cars, WTCC, Rallying and many many MANY more inbetween, and all being successful along with their own range of sports cars having great and potent engines, Toyota have been supplying engines to Lotus for 10-15 years, and no-one moans about how quick the Elise, Exige, Evora and the other cars have been, or how fast at pulling away, 0-60, 0-100 etc, so, before you make a complete ladies mammory of yourself i suggest you shush.I suppose the Mercedes AMG GT-R is also one of the cars you consider not to have a "proper" engine as they also make 1.0 litre engines for their little cars, or Lamborghini becasue they use Audi based engines and products, and so on and so on.I am sure one the brand gets fully re-established for its new full 7 car range in the short to mid term, that they may well consider building their own, but at the moment, the Toyota powerplants are more than capable, and successful, and reliable, so why lose that for an unknown at this early stage.

Sitikchai 19 March 2020

And if those engines are so good

jonboy4969 wrote:

Seriously - you actually put that drivel ito words - LOL, that is seriously funny, when you consider that Toyota have built engines for F1, Touring Cars, WTCC, Rallying and many many MANY more inbetween, and all being successful along with their own range of sports cars having great and potent engines, Toyota have been supplying engines to Lotus for 10-15 years, and no-one moans about how quick the Elise, Exige, Evora and the other cars have been, or how fast at pulling away, 0-60, 0-100 etc, so, before you make a complete ladies mammory of yourself i suggest you shush.I suppose the Mercedes AMG GT-R is also one of the cars you consider not to have a "proper" engine as they also make 1.0 litre engines for their little cars, or Lamborghini becasue they use Audi based engines and products, and so on and so on.I am sure one the brand gets fully re-established for its new full 7 car range in the short to mid term, that they may well consider building their own, but at the moment, the Toyota powerplants are more than capable, and successful, and reliable, so why lose that for an unknown at this early stage.

Phillip Coleson 20 March 2020

Jonboy you are so right

Toyota makes great engines and that is why it's flagship Supra sports car uses BMW engines?

Toyota makes great engines and that's why Lotus uses them and not because Lotus is struggling to break even and has no money to make their own engines?

Toyota has a great track record in racing and they have won F1 and Le Mans how many times?

Nobody complains about how quick Lotus cars are but nobody buys them either. That's why Lotus is on life support and has to be bought out by the Chinese eh mate?

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