Lotus at the 2010 Paris Motor Show

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 31, 2010

For this year’s Paris Motor Show, Lotus will showcase four all-new models that the company is relying on to help define its identity, according to sources. Lotus’ high-risk concept-car display will include two groundbreaking hybrids. Fans have to be patient though since none of these new models will go on sale until at least a year and a half after the fall show.

A modern-day Seven is considered to be the most risky but surprisingly, it will also be the first to be released. Sources said that this model is much heavier and offers more comfort features than the original Seven.

For instance, it features performance-reducing air conditioning. Notably, the car has its origins -- not from Lotus's base in Hethel, England -- but on a stillborn Spanish sports-car concept.

It’s possible for this front-engine, rear-drive, open-topped car to be built inSpain. Dealers hint that this car will have a target price of $100,000.

Included in the concept models to be revealed is the reborn Esprit, a rear-drive supercar that Lotus has been developing on and off for six years. Former CEO Mike Kimberley put this project on hold to fast-track the more urgent Evora program.

This turbocharged, mid-engine V8 Esprit will use carbonfiber minimally and instead, will be using bonded aluminum. As a result, it will weigh more than the traditional Lotus supercars.

But what is expected to awe visitors at the Paris show and at the production level are a couple of heavyweight front-engine Lotus hybrids. One is a four-door hatchback that has similar styling as the Porsche Panamera, The other is a two-door coupe that could be developed later as a convertible.

These two cars will be based on the modular-hybrid concept chassis that Lotus debuted at this year's Geneva motor show for its own Evora 414E hybrid concept and Proton's Giugiaro-designed hybrid concept.

The concepts from Geneva made use of hybrid systems based on the Lotus-developed three-cylinder, monobloc "Omnivore" engine, which was designed specifically to supply energy for electric-drive series-type hybrids.

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