Firm reveals more details about its plans to move upmarket at the Paris motor show
Steve Cropley Autocar
23 July 2010

Lotus has officially confirmed that it will show a concept for an upmarket supercar at the Paris motor show in September.

In the latest of a series of cryptic statements, the Malaysian-owned, Norfolk-based sports car company reveals its new show car will be “perhaps even more” than a replacement for the mid-engined Esprit supercar — which it pointedly reminds us was first unveiled as a Giugiaro-designed concept at the Paris show exactly 35 years ago.

See Autocar's Lotus Esprit rendering, plus the firm's latest teaser

Lotus has been working for at least three years on various iterations of an Esprit replacement, but the company’s latest management, led by ex-Ferrari commercial boss Danny Bahar, has signalled a decisive move upmarket for all future products, apparently into Ferrari-Aston territory.

Lotus spokesmen are hazy about future product, but agree that the new concept is an accurate guide to their future intentions for production models.

Read the full story on Lotus's radical new direction

When sales ended in 2004, volume of the old Esprit — which lasted 18 years through a dozen different models — amounted to 10,700 cars.

Steve Cropley

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Comments
28

20 July 2010

Interesting to see where the Lotus Esprit will sit next to the McLaren MP12-C.

20 July 2010

[quote BulletTrainMcKane]Interesting to see where the Lotus Esprit will sit next to the McLaren MP12-C.[/quote]

Behind it...

Lotus are not in a position to get close to the MP4 12C, but there is plenty of room in the market between say 80-120k. I just fear if they throw away the, simplify and add lightness ethos they will find it hard to compete with Porsce and the like. I really hope Lotus can make a go of it as it is a great brand that deserves its place in the market. If they made the right product and its good enough (oh and if i could actually afford one) I would buy a lotus over a Porsche any day.

20 July 2010

Oh, a new Lotus! How exciting!*

* If it's not based upon the Elise again....

20 July 2010

I guess they learnt about the "death of the middle class" and are adjusting their model lineup accordingly. Suddenly Lotus went from (from me) the most revered car maker to the most despised. No Lotus in my future plans that is for sure. We can all go all childish about the cars on these pages but (face it) they will remain dream cars for 99% of us. Now a sports car for around 30k is another story. Sadly they are almost gone now.

20 July 2010

BTW The second picture here. Are they on acid up there in Norfolk?!

20 July 2010

[quote MarkusMorelli]Now a sports car for around 30k is another story. Sadly they are almost gone now.[/quote]

Unfortunately true.

20 July 2010

Lotus need to do this to survive. But it will only work if they can approach their key rivals (Porsche et al) for build quality, ergonomics, reliability,etc.

Personally I'm OK with this, so long at they replace the Elise with another similar car for the same price.

20 July 2010

[quote MarkusMorelli]I guess they learnt about the "death of the middle class" and are adjusting their model lineup accordingly. Suddenly Lotus went from (from me) the most revered car maker to the most despised. No Lotus in my future plans that is for sure. We can all go all childish about the cars on these pages but (face it) they will remain dream cars for 99% of us. Now a sports car for around 30k is another story. Sadly they are almost gone now.[/quote]

People need to stop getting their knickers in such a twist! Lotus have said that there will always be a place in their range for the small, affordable, lightweight sports car. They're just expanding their business. Get over it!

As for the rendering shown here, there's something familiar about it. Especially the shoulder-height air intakes. MurcieLotus, anyone?

20 July 2010

This will never happen, it takes tens if not hundreds of millions to get to a position to try and take on the establishment, most people will love Lotus to succeed, but until as stated above they produce a car that is as good as a Porsche, Ferrari, Aston Martin, with the same levels of customer service, they will not be taken seriously.

The cost of getting to those levels is prohibitive in the current climate.

How much did Ford pour into Aston, Jaguar, Land Rover, Volvo to get them to the current levels, and how long did it take. The PAG group had to be sold to keep at a loss to keep Ford afloat.

Do Proton have the same commitment?

20 July 2010

[quote TStag]build quality, ergonomics, reliability,etc[/quote]

TStag - you've hit the nail on the head there - no-one will fork out £60 - £100 K on a "Fred in the shed" car nowadays - TVR, Noble et al are consigned to the historical rubbish bin.

There isn't the spare cash aroung for car buyers to gamble on something less that top quality in all areas - no more excuses like " well I know it stinks of glass-fibre resin and bits keep falling off - but it doesn't half go round corners well ..."

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