Lotus CEO: New Esprit will be more ‘authentic’ than 458 Italia, MP4-12C

Lotus Elise

Lotus has been hard at work as they seek to expand their offerings. From axing the familiar Lotus Elise and Lotus Exige from the current lineup, to working on replacements for the latter and a new Elan, the future of the small British sports car make is under heavy development, especially since their image heavily rests on their latest halo car, the traditional Esprit mid-engined sports car. Although the Esprit debuted at last year’s Paris motorshow, Lotus has been providing small updates in terms of the research and development.

In the latest press conference with Lotus’s CEO Dany Bahar, he promised that “the new Esprit will offer a more authentic driving experience than the Ferrari 458 Italia and McLaren MP4-12C.”

The new Esprit is scheduled for a 2013 launch along with five other new models including the new Elan and Elise/Exige replacements, which Bahar says will “always be around to please the Lotus’s existing customer base.”

“It (the new Esprit) will have the character and emotion that the McLaren lacks and rolling chassis are now complete with running prototypes scheduled for testing by November,” Bahar continued.

The new Esprit will be developed at both the industry standard’s Nurburgring Nordschliefe, Spain’s Idiada racing circuit, and Lotus’s own Hethel HQ. It will also feature Lotus’s first all-new V8 that should be good for about 570hp and will be 80kg lighter and 40% smaller than the Toyota-sourced V8 originally chosen for the Esprit.

Bahar also said that in order to keep the “authentic” feel of the new Esprit, Formula 1 KERS-style technology will be used to only add to the driving experience and there will be minimal use of electronic driving aids.

Also in the works are the next generation Exige and the new 2-Eleven, which are rumored to use Lotus’s new lightweight modular platform made completely from aluminum.

“That’s what we’re working on,” he finished in some closing remarks. “We have some nice plans for the 2-Eleven. But at the moment it’s doing very well so there is no need to change it. It’s a fun car; it’s selling. We have something in mind.”

– By: Chris Chin

Source: AutoCar