The new CEO of Lotus Cars, Mike Kimberley, has ambitious plans for the British marque, including doubling production in the next five years.

In an interview with Autocar, Kimberley said he's aiming for annual production of around 8,000 units, roughly twice current levels, based on anticipated sales growth for the current Elise and Europa models, and introduction of the much-anticipated new Esprit late next year.

Like Lotus' current models, the Esprit will be mid-engined, but targeted at the luxury supercar market. A BMW V8 is said to be the powerplant of choice, and the Esprit will showcase Lotus' expertise in extruded aluminum chassis manufacturing (as used in the APX concept car).

The interview also suggests that we may see more "Lotus-tuned" cars from other manufacturers, following in the footsteps of the Lotus Cortina of forty years ago (shown at top right with the legendary Jim Clark at the wheel), and the Vauxhall-based Lotus Carlton of the early '90s (lower right).

[Source: Autocar]