• Jun 21st 2006 at 7:07PM
  • 6
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]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 9 Years Ago
      lotus needs to be very careful expanding. just because demand is outstripping supply right now doesnt mean that it will in the future. when your still paying off your fancy new factory and inventory is stacking up on dealer lots, you risk total catostrophic bankruptcy which would be a shame. better to follow harley davidsons business model, when demand is high let the waiting list grow and when your product isnt trendy anymore your still small enough to survive. if your always trying to grow you open yourselves to risk. do you want to cash in now or have a job 10-15 years from now?
      • 9 Years Ago
      I'm old enough to remember when I saw that photo of Clark back in the sixties and I still remember the heartbreak of learning that he had been killed, and in a Formula 2 race of all things.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Esprit targetting luxury supercar market? Sell-out.
      • 9 Years Ago
      now that lotuses will be more popular by the time i'm in the market for a new one, they won't be as exclusive and i won't be such a trendsetting rebel
      • 9 Years Ago
      Tuning other brands is an ok way to make some cash but I think this time around Lotus needs to be a little more particular about what clients they take on. Tuning junky cars isn't going to help their image, it might make the car but not Lotus.

      • 9 Years Ago
      I had an Isuzu Impulse Turbo, with handling by Lotus. Wasn't a bad car at all!