• Nov 1st 2010 at 1:00PM
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Lotus Esprit Concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

We were a bit surprised when Lotus rolled out a total of five new concepts at this year's Paris Motor Show. Lotus unloaded its lightweight guns in an effort to showcase the automaker's future direction, but the question on our minds concerns which of these concepts will actually see the light of day. According to Autocar, only one of the five concepts is actually undergoing engineering work: the Esprit.

Autocar quotes Lotus insiders who say that the future range-topping Esprit is the only vehicle being fully developed at the moment. The Esprit would be the first of the next-generation Lotuses to grace our presence, sometime around 2013. The Esprit will reportedly adhere to the Lotus mantra of lightness and simplicity, with a curb weight of around 3,300 pounds motivated by a 550-horsepower supercharged V8. No, 3,300 pounds isn't exactly lightweight by any means, but with 550 supercharged horses on deck, the power-to-weight ratio will still be what we've come to expect from Lotus.

The Esprit is part of Lotus's plan to increase sales from less than 3,000 units per year to about 7,000 vehicles. That's a substantial jump for a company the size of Lotus, and one that becomes more difficult when you consider that the next round of sports cars will be a bit more expensive, too. The UK-based automaker plans to feature pricing in the £80,000 ($128,000 USD) to £120,000 ($192,000) range, up from about £40,000 ($64,000) on average.

Photos copyright ©2010 Drew Phillips / AOL

[Source: Autocar]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      If Lotus wanted to increase sales they should introduce more affordable models same like Lambo did.
        • 4 Years Ago
        They already have the Elise at the bottom of the range, with an MSRP of just under $50,000. How much more affordable are they supposed to get? While it's out of reach for the common man, it's still very affordable given the market it plays in.
      • 4 Years Ago
      As the rich get richer, maybe they are smart to move their cars into higher pricing brackets.
      • 4 Years Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      The best cure for the national economy would beeconomy. www.tombeads.com
      • 4 Years Ago
      Does anyone know if that V-8 is a toyota motor?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yes, to be more specific, its a supercharged version of the 5.0 liter Lexus V8.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @TC, no, its a modified version of the IS-F's 5.0 liter V8.
        LFA uses a 4.8 liter V10, not a V8
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yes, sourced from the Lexus LF-A if I remember correctly.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm surprised the Elise isn't the first car being developed considering it's the highest volume seller. Speaking of the Elise though, what motor will go in it since the 1ZZ is no more? I'd hope for a K20 but the new motor will have to be from Toyota. The 2AZ? (2.4L in the tC & Corolla. It's bigger and heavier, but then again, so are all these new cars).
      • 4 Years Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      Well color me...well not really shocked at all. They bit off a little more than they could chew, it seems.
        • 4 Years Ago
        It would be nice if they could spare a few hours to put the Toyota V6 (the one in the Evora) in the Exige/Elise. If these guys can do it with next to no modifications, Lotus should be have no problems:


        A 340 HP Exige with tons of torque and a better sound would sell quite well. Lotus, why don't you do this?

        Oh, and while I'm wishing: please give the Esprit some possibility of a manual transmission.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I don't think they bit off more than they could chew, I'm sure their showing of 5 concepts was designed to give shareholders and investors a boost and preview of their potential. The Esprit was always going to be first, and I would imagine the the new Elise will be the last one put into production. They need to make that Lotus Elite at some point though, I would consider a second mortgage for that car!
        • 4 Years Ago
        "hope that this car does not cost $128,000 for the entry price. Who would purchase this over an R8 or 911 Turbo?"


        anyone wanting something rwd with the engine in the right place? for starters.

        anyone wanting something light? This car weighs 450lbs less than the R8 with more power and 200lbs ligther than the 911 turbo with more power.

        anyone wanting something different than EVERYONE else. Go drive around any market with exotic car dealerships, porsches are a dime a dozen (yes even turbos

        What kinda bizzaro perspective are you coming from? Do explain why on earth would you hope this car doesn't cost $25,000 less than the R8 V10 and $5,000 less than the 911 turbo? Why wouldn't any car enthusiast want something lighter, faster, more powerful, and better balanced for less?

      • 4 Years Ago
      Not a huge surprise. It falls in line with the release dates they set when they showed the concepts (Esprit early 2013, Elan late 2013, Elite early 2014, Elise late 2014, and Eterne early 2015). Of course they're going to work on the Esprit first. Given the size of the crew and resources at the Hethel facility, they're just focusing their efforts on the next deliverable.

      Now, whether or not they can complete such an aggressive timeline, that's another story.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Lmao, no sh!t Sherlock. Does Ferrari develop a half dozen cars at once? Lamborghini? Anyone? No. Supercars are developed one by one and released in steps. I'm giddy to learn the esprit is first. Awesome!
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