Lotus’s future has been up in he air for quite sometime. And just when plans seemed to be solidified, things took a slight turn for the small British make.
Lotus has had a longtime partnership with Pacific Rim manufacturer, Proton. And because Lotus is seeking on expanding its company, they will be releasing a new model that’s practically a rebadged Proton hatchback. But to make way for the new Lotus City Car Ethos mini hatchback, the Elan has to be delayed.
“It will be built in Malaysia, but the Lotus version will most likely be sent to finishing school in Norfolk,” said Lotus’s chief executive, Dany Bahar. “It will be able to go on sale as early as 2014.”
Planning on making a small number of them per year, 1,500-1,800 to be exact, the Lotus Ethos will start around £30,000 and will be en electric vehicle or a hybrid.
“The new Ethos, part of our tweaked plan to launch five new cars within the next five years, will be tuned to Lotus’ spec and deliver the dynamics and style you’d expect of a Lotus,” Bahar continued.
Bahar also began elaborating on the Elan plan saying that it has been delayed until at least 2017, when the Evora is due for replacement. That said, the Evora will stay in production until the aforementioned 2017 year date with several variations most likely.
Additionally, since part of Lotus’s restructuring was becoming independent from its engine supplier, Toyota, Lotus is designing and building its own 4.8L flat-plane V8 in Norfolk. It is destined to be about 80kg lighter than the original Toyota V8 chosen, will feature a dry-sump lubrication system to help the internals stay nice and lubed during hard cornering, will produce 570hp and rev up to 9000rpm. Blimey. And if that’s not enough, an R version producing 620hp will also be revealed later on.
The V8s use will be in Lotus’s flagship, the 2013 Esprit with a small appearance in the Elte 2+2 as well. For the Elise successor, the V8 will be chopped in half to make a 2.4L four-banger.
“We are speaking to OEMs but we’re finding most high-output four-cylinders from the likes of Renault will no longer be built by 2015 because of emissions laws,” said Lotus’s engineering chief, Wolf Zimmerman.
Lotus City Car Concept:
– By: Chris Chin