Lotus Esprit to come back for 2006?
Posted by: Justin on Monday, March 22, 2004 - 11:26 PM PST
There's a distinct love affair between the car enthusiast and Lotus. Time and time again, customers return to the brand simply because they're one of the best when it comes to ultimate driving thrill. Aside from older Morgans, the Lotus 7 is a design that's still in heavy use today as the basis for many a kit car. The Elise is the car to beat for lightweight thrills, and the company itself has worked on countless projects as a consultant for ride and handling. Currently owned by Proton, and with only two cars in their lineup (based off one car), Lotus is under a great deal of pressure to introduce a new model into the company to keep the marque in the green financially. What better place to start than with the widely celebrated Esprit that passed earlier this year?
This computer-generated Esprit predicts what the next generation of Esprit will look like.
While the photos of the car pictured here are pure speculation by British magazine Autocar, the idea and concept are well alive. Expect to see a powerful sports car powered by a 450 or 500 horsepower V8 motor. Whether or not Lotus will continue their ties with Toyota for motors (see Elise and Exige), or create a new motor or utilize the same 3.5 liter V8 that they made for the Elise is unclear, however from a logical standpoint Toyota's 4.3 liter V8 with VVTL-I makes sense as the driving force behind the new Esprit. To keep with Lotus' lightweight tradition, the curb weight of this project has been set at around 1300 kg - on par with the current Esprit V8.
More powerful motor to be inserted into a car that weighs about the same. Sounds like a recepie for success.
One remarkable thing about the original design of the Esprit is that it aged very well. Despite the numerous facelifts and mild changes, it still looked fresh until the day the last one rolled off the assembly line. The new car, from these images takes on a look very similar to Lamborghini's Gallardo. Its stature is short, and wide and very, very low. Here, you'll find standard headlamps mounted behind clear lenses as opposed to retractable units and a retractable spoiler. Other complaints that Lotus has addressed are a need for greater interior room and a more rigid body. With Lamborghini's Gallardo, Porsche's 911 GT2, and Ferrari's F360 Modena as its sights, expect to see the Esprit being sold at a price tag of around €120,000 ($200,000 CAD, $150,000 USD). We reckon that with this kind of performance, Lotus ought to be able to sell 1500 units a year. Later on, the Elise will be backed with a smaller mid-performance model to be sold with a lesser asking price.
-Click for Larger Images.
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