All-new sports car is expected to arrive with hybridised V6 and develop more power than the Evora
Tom Morgan, deputy digital editor
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.

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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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New Lotus Evija sold out for 2020

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Comments
13

18 March 2020

and should be kept, like Porsche did with the 911. Just paste the best-looking butt of one of the concepts that Dany Bahar left behind on the new Esprit, and be done with it.

18 March 2020
voyager12 wrote:

and should be kept, like Porsche did with the 911. Just paste the best-looking butt of one of the concepts that Dany Bahar left behind on the new Esprit, and be done with it.

The Evora does not look like a 80k car. I won't be sad to see it go.

18 March 2020

It's not what you do it's how you do it.Be anything you want to beIt's not what you got it's how you use itYou be you and I'll be meIt's just a matter of styleYou can fake itMile after mile feeling freeIf you got the soul you can make itMove-em outLet 'em rollFrom sea to shining seaCannonball

18 March 2020

Esprit S4s was launched in 1995 at just under £53,000, which in today's money is around £102,000. Does that look like a car worth so much? That £80,000 for an Evora was worth around £41,000 in 1995. I love the Esprit, but it can't be denied that it was always a bit "kitcar", and compared to the Evora, pricey.

18 March 2020

Geely investment is really evident with those caravans for the newly recruited engineers at Hethel

18 March 2020

That made me chuckle JCarter, bet the caravan's better built as well!

18 March 2020

Kudos for Tom to not refer to this Lotus as a 911 baiter, that makes a refreshing change. But realsitically neither will it be a Ferrari baiter. Now the caravan on the other hand.........?

19 March 2020

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.

19 March 2020

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.

19 March 2020
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.

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