Lotus Hints At New Esprit Ahead Of Paris Photo:
lotus_exige-elise_successor_or_new_elise_spy-photos_01.jpg Photo: tmr
lotus_exige-elise_successor_or_new_elise_spy-photos_02.jpg Photo: tmr
Mike Stevens | Jul, 20 2010 | 2 Comments

British sports car company Lotus announced late last month that it will unveil an all-new concept at the upcoming Paris Auto Show, and a cheeky new press release today suggests we may be mere months from seeing an all-new Esprit.

" ... 1975 was the year we saw Jaws encourage people to stay out of the sea, Margaret Thatcher become the first female leader of the Conservative party (in Britain) and the future face of British football emerge as David Beckham first drew breath," the release reads.

"1975 also marked the birth of another British legend when the Lotus Esprit was officially launched at the Paris Motor Show in October."

The release restates the company's earlier announcements that it will bring "something breathtaking" to Paris, teasing "perhaps it will be a new Esprit, perhaps not. Or perhaps even more?"

The 2010 Evora, Lotus 2
The 2010 Evora, Lotus 2

While little is known about the concept, AutoExpress (the UK automotive press's equivalent of a gossip rag) reckons it will sit alongside a new roadster concept and a new front-engined GT car.

Of course, it remains to be seen if there's any truth to these reports and it will likely be September before any further details are known.

Lotus is known to be focusing its energies on breaking into the cashed-up luxury performance market, with an ultimate goal of tripling sales from around 2000-2500 cars per year to 7000.

Lotus has offered little else on what we can expect to see at Paris, describing its new concept as "the future evolution of an iconic British brand".

Spy photos obtained late last year offer some idea of what might lay ahead, with a Elise/Exige-based mule spied testing in the UK with massively enlarged bolt-on guards at each corner - indicating that if nothing else, the new Lotus will feature a significantly wider track.

A month before these spy photos surfaced, Britiain's Autocar magazine ran a report that Lotus had green-lit the development of a successor to the much-loved Esprit.

There has been speculation that the new model, Esprit or not, will utilise a V8 engine. If those reports are to be believed, the mule seen here may in fact be a brand new Elise/Exige.

A Lotus insider reportedly told Autocar last year that the new Esprit would have a power-to-weight ratio of between 205kW to 245kW per tonne.

Rumours earlier in the year suggested the new Esprit will be based on the Evora’s alloy platform, sporting longer and wider dimensions and boasting a V8 engine mounted amidships.

While this may all be speculation for now, one thing is for sure: the already-quite-new Evora is set to gain a new stablemate in 100 days.

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