22 September 2004

Engineering work is well under way on a replacement for Lotus' Esprit (above), according to sources in Norfolk. Prototypes of the mid-engined machine are being tested at night on the roads around the company’s HQ.

Observers say that engineers completed a series of standing-start tests recently, suggesting the car will be fitted with a launch-control system.

Like the original model, the new Esprit (right) will be mid-engined and powered by a powerful V8 engine – this time probably sourced from Toyota. Company designers are said to be putting a big emphasis on interior space and all-round cockpit accessibility.

The new car is unlikely to be shown before spring 2006, when it will probably be the star of the Geneva Motor Show.

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