Lotus Evora Type 124 Endurance Racer - click above image for high-res gallery

When most people think of Lotus, a few different thoughts tend to enter their head. One is of little teeny Toyota-powered Elise/Exige track toys buzzing around a racetrack. Another is of an underwater submarine piloted by none other than James Bond (albeit Roger Moore). And then -- maybe -- some of you might think of the racing success Lotus used to enjoy, back in the day, a long time ago. Well, according to Autocar, Lotus' new CEO Dany Bahar is seeking to change all that.

"Lotus was mentioned in the same sentence as Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati in the 1970s-1990s," said Bahar. "Then, it got closed into a corner. We believe it's the right time to bring Lotus back to where it was." Not only that, but Proton Group (they own Lotus) managing director Datuk Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir (must make for one hell of a business card) says that the new Evora, Lotus's first new car since 1995, is "a turning point."

Bahar is making returning Lotus to a place of prestige a top priority for the Malaysian-owned company. The ex-Ferrari exec claims to have have a business plan to return Lotus to the same plane of existence as Ferrari within five years. Of course, to accomplish this, the Camry-powered Evora just ain't going to cut it. Which more or less guarantees the return of the Esprit, which very well might have a Lexus V10 perched out behind the driver. All of which gets our octane lovin' hearts all aflutter. Also, let's not forget about racing – serious racing. We'll keep you posted.

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