Lotus green lights the replacement for the Esprit

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 29, 2010

Lotus is believed to have approved a proposal to build a replacement for the Esprit, a model that is slated to have an essential role in boosting the Hethel firm's brand image.

Gradually, reports are coming out about the key elements to the Lotus strategy weeks before new CEO Danny Bahr is scheduled to announce his seven-year plan for the company.

According to the Lotus source, the new supercar would be an essential brand image builder and a high-status purchase. The car is referred to as Esprit internally, but it's possible that it would be given a different name.

Lotus is aiming for a power-to-weight ratio of 275-325bhp per ton for its new flagship. This is comparable to an Audi R8 V10 that has 319bhp per ton.

The source further revealed that included in the plans is a three-tier line-up, with the four-cylinder Exige, Elise and Europa grouped together and the bigger V6 Evora in the other.

Talking about the Esprit-like car, the source said, "It will be the ultimate expression of the brand." With regards to another aspect of its business plan, Lotus has been offering the Evora platform technology to other companies.

The Versatile Vehicle Architecture (VVA) can be adapted to build almost any type of vehicle, from a sports car to an SUV.

As proof of VVA's flexibility, Lotus gave an illustration of the Evora platform with an electric powertrain. However, the source asserted that the company would not be building an electric car.

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