All-new Lotus Esprit will deliver an authentic driving experience

Article by Christian Andrei, on June 18, 2011

Lotus CEO Dany Bahar said that the driving experience on the new Esprit will be more “authentic” than that of the Ferrari 458 Italia and McLaren MP4-12C.

The new V8 supercar is slated to be launched in the spring of 2013, which means that it is the first of a handful of new Lotus models displayed at the 2010 Paris motor show to reach production. Bahar asserts that the Esprit will “have the character and emotion” that’s lacking in the McLaren.

He disclosed that the rolling chassis has been completed and that fully running prototypes would be prepared by November. The car will be developed at the Nürburging and Idiada (Spain) circuits. It will also have a portion of its development at Lotus’s Hethel headquarters, where a project for a new test track is nearly complete.

The Esprit is the first Lotus to be powered by the company’s new V8 engine, which has an output of 570bhp. The Lotus V8 weighs 80kg lighter and is smaller by 40% than the Toyota-sourced V8 initially meant for the Esprit.

This model is also expected to be using Formula 1 KERS-style technology; however, Bahar said that these electronic systems would not be used to aid the driver but only for boosting the driving experience.

Bahar explained that the track-orientated Exige and 2-Eleven in the new lineup, together with the Elise, will stay around to gratify Lotus’s current customer base. It’s not clear if the next-gen Exige and 2-Eleven will switch to Lotus’s all-new lightweight modular aluminum platform. Bahar is vague and would only say that as models evolve, their performance will improve too.

The new Lotus Esprit displays a style that reflects a strong performance by making use of bold lines all through the low and smooth body. Its proportions and mass are symmetrical, contributing to a powerful appearance. This is truly the best example when it comes to the new design DNA of Lotus. Powering this supercar is the pressure-charged 5.0-liter V8 engine capable of maximum output at 620 PS.

By utilizing a distinct lightweight design, the Esprit makes sure that it has that exceptional performance to guarantee that it is the supreme expression as it relates to owning a Lotus supercar. The Esprit is expected to redefine a number of qualities like comfort, exclusivity, handling, ride, and performance. Indeed, it is the symbol of what it means to drive an exclusive supercar. It does not only give a statement about its superiority, it also makes use of and even exceeds the legacy of the models before it. In fact, for Lotus Group Chief Executive Officer Dany Bahar, the Esprit is his very own statement as to his plan and vision for the company.

According to CEO Bahar, it is truly the ultimate supercar as unlike in the past, people would often associate Esprit with movies like Basic Instinct, Pretty Woman, or the James Bond franchise. This time around though, he continued, it is the car that is finally the star. He added by saying that with the Esprit being an iconic classic, one of the difficulties it needed to hurdle was the fact that in reinventing this, people will always give an opinion. There was a need to balance between honoring the past and moving forward to the future in order to make sure that the new model does justice to the Esprit name and the Lotus brand in general.

Bahar believes that the company has managed to do just that and resulted in making a new icon, a supercar that people will find very difficult to resist. Bahar shared that the Esprit has both excellence in both design and performance. By utilizing lightweight materials, the company has managed to retain the core principles of performance and by making use of excellent engineering and future technology, guarantee that the new Esprit will be the head of the pack, he revealed. The design is indeed aggressive, he said, but one will truly appreciate the wide and low proportions as it continues to have that class, dignity, and of course, exclusivity. Bahar ended by stating that he is indeed proud of the new Esprit.

Topics: lotus, sports car

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