Currently reading: Paris motor show 2010: Lotus stuns Paris with six new models
A new Elise, Elite, Espirt, Elan, Eterne saloon and city car all revealed at the Paris motor show
Steve Cropley Autocar
2 mins read
1 October 2010

Last week’s Lotus Elite news bombshell has turned out merely to be the beginning of an extraordinary Lotus product explosion which will, company bosses say, put six brand new Lotus models into the market by 2016, establish a new design style for all future models and bring an end to the company’s 15 years of accumulated losses.

At today’s Paris motor show, Lotus has unveiled six full-size models models which, if successful, will move the company’s image and prices into Aston Martin, Ferrari and Porsche territory.

“Our plan is to change Lotus from its present position as a niche sports car company to a builder of a range of premium sports cars”, says CEO Dany Bahar, architect of the company’s new five-year plan.

A couple of the six new Lotus concepts are intended for production even sooner than the front-engined V8 Elite hybrid revealed as a styling model last week and proposed for 2014.

The new cars, whose launch is being accompanied by developments costing many millions to Lotus’s factories, design facilities, test track and motorsport activities, and there is to be a new museum and heritage centre. The work, which has already started, will involve “fully funded” expenditure running to £770 million over the next decade.

The models include a replacement for the Elise, an all-new Esprit, the Elite and a larger Eterne saloon based on it, a new Elan and even a new city car co-developed with parent firm Proton.

The whole project is being underwritten by Malaysian-based Proton, Lotus’s parent, which decided 18 months after a radical change of management (and management policy) that it had only two stark options with Lotus’s future: to hold an immediate fire-sale or develop the company to the extent of its potential. That was when the new Proton team began talking to Dany Bahar, then a sales and marketing chief at Ferrari in Maranello, and the plan took “maybe three months” to devise.

The new Lotus models, which Bahar insists will employ the purist engineering principles of lightness and simplicity pioneered by the earliest Lotuses by the company’s founder, Colin Chapman, will take the company from annual production of around 2700 sub-£40,000 cars, to between 6000 and 7000 cars costing between £80,000 and £120,000. Even the Elise replacement, by the time it reaches production in 2015, will have an entry price approaching £40,000.


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30 September 2010

Ok so baring the 4 door and the (hideous) city car, the other 4 ALL LOOK THE BLOODY SAME!!!????

30 September 2010

Hmmm, certainly ambitious!

I think the Elise concept is by far the best resolved concept here. It looks lithe and agile with decent proportions.

IMO everything else looks extremely bland. Generic styling exercises that get less convincing in proportion to their increasing cost. I think they'd be better sticking at what they know with a new Elise and creating a true Espirit successor in the 911 bracket.

They should leave the city cars, £100k GTs and four door saloons to others.

30 September 2010

I fear the beginning of the end of Lotus.

30 September 2010

[quote Vidge 123]ALL LOOK THE BLOODY SAME!!!????[/quote]

Indeed...especially the Elan and Esprit from the front. Elite and Eterne are understandable since they are based on each other - but they also look quite similar to the Elite, Esprit Eterne. They don't look bad, but I somehow expected more; especially the Esprit. However, I would like to see side-view pictures too. Interiors seem nice though.

The Eterne has a few hints baout AM Rapide; as for the City Car Concept (what an ingenious name...) - please, don't do it. (At least it isn't based on a car that costs much less than it, like the Cygnet...)

30 September 2010

A city car that doesn't make me feel sick! They'll never build it!

The four-seater deserves to stay on the drawing board.

I'd love to see a modern take on the Europa.

30 September 2010

Well done,

Lightweight, 911, Supercar, California and Rapide - all the bases covered.

I sell and love superlight cars, but the market does not. I have two large Germans for real life and two super lights for the track and fun - but I am a complete obsessive and buy cars that are absolutely fit for purpose - BMW 5 series touring diesel for towing and lifestyle (I have driven it 250k in the last three years), V8 Merc for relaxed high mileage trips and the two superlights for track, race and drifting fun - sadly all of us car geeks do not understand the reality of the market. BUT

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE use the profits to build specials for us car Geeks - 340r, One eleven etc

I think that this plan is absolutely on target to sell cars in the real world - If Lotus can transfer the magic steering, flow and balance to these then we should all celebrate.

30 September 2010

Amazing and revolutionary stuff from Lotus to have a massive rebrand all in one. The cars do look amazing.

WOW, not expecting a rebrand on this level from the bloody car industry of all places!

Cant wait for the 2015 elise, Esprit looks/sounds great too. Not sure about the CC or saloon, but we will see......

30 September 2010

[quote bentleyboy]I fear the beginning of the end of Lotus.[/quote] You're not the only one. What a reckless show if irresponsibility, like having a 5 years old as CEO - maybe that's why it's called the 5-year plan. I wonder how Mr Bahar convinced the Malaysian management about the viability of this, probably his track record has helped him. Compared to this guy, Morchionne seems conservative and defensive... As mentioned before the design language is bland, the models are indistinguishable, and have some pretty odd features like the narrow headlights (unless it's LED, but can Lotus and the traget group afford it for the Elise?).

30 September 2010

You should wait for the real pics, all these renderings make the cars look bad.... They all look pretty good, even the Elite in fact.

30 September 2010

Mind you, an entry price of 40k for the elise? That is a shame. I guess the >Evora will have a short life and be replaced by the Elan and the Esprit will be rouply equally priced with the Elite at above 100K?

The elise thing is a real shame though, get people into the brand at 28k and keep them there! at 40K its already a different league....


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