Lotus Esprit all but ready to go, but held back by management issues
The bad news is that former company owner Proton couldn't stay independent long enough to see through the company's ambitious five-concept-car assault – led by then-CEO Dany Bahar who was hired explicitly to lead such a campaign – and was swallowed up by Malaysian auto supplier DRB-Hicom. For a brief spell Lotus had to shut down production for lack of funds. Then the new owner cleaned house, sweeping out Bahar and, according to the Financial Times just one month ago, the Esprit and every other concept with it. Just after the FT piece came out, Lotus denied the Esprit had been canceled. Still, according to Autocar, the management whirlpool is keeping the Esprit "far from becoming a production reality."
If we're honest with ourselves, we'll keep in mind that the Esprit has been slipping into and out of a terminal ether for what seems like decades. None of us knows what is going on inside Hethel HQ, but the fact that there really is a lightweight, twin-turbo, 650-hp Lotus Esprit finally ready to be produced has to be, in spite of all else, very good news.
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