Lotus planning 2+2 for London '08, Esprit replacement in '09

In an interview with EVO, Lotus CEO Mike Kimberley let it fly that two new projects are on their way, and the financial woes that have troubled the niche automaker are finally beginning to dissolve.
We were already aware that a new Esprit had been under development for the past few years, and that the launch would come before the end of the decade. Kimberley confirmed that we could expect to see the next-gen Esprit in late 2009, with power provided by "a very well respected prestige car maker." The initial speculation was that BMW might be tapped to supply an engine, but several signs now peg Aston Martin as being the power provider. The £70,000 supercar has already been sent back to the drawing board once, and Kimberley is confident that the new Esprit will be the dynamic masterpiece expected from Lotus.

More intriguing was the revelation that Lotus is in the process of developing a 2+2 coupe, codenamed Project Eagle, which is designed to slot in between the Elise/Exige/Europa and the forthcoming Esprit. EVO was privy to a brief glance of the concept and described it as a, "Bertone-bodied Dino 308GT4 with a modern Lotus twist." The chassis won't be derived from the Elise platform, but instead will incorporate an aluminum tub accompanied by fiberglass-composite panels. Power is likely to come via a Toyota-sourced V6, mounted amidships, and sending 300+ horsepower to the rear wheels. Lotus will take the wraps off the concept at the London Motor Show next year, with sales expected to begin early 2009.

[Source: EVO]

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