The original Lotus Esprit was one of the most iconic sports car shapes ever penned and remained in production through various refreshes for 28 years. An all-new Esprit has been anticipated by Lotus fans for some time and most recently was expected to debut in 2010. The latest plan for the Esprit was to derive it from the platform of the new Evora but with significantly more power. Most of the powertrain rumors revolved around using BMW's 4.4L V8 or possibly the 5.0L V10 from the M5. The latter is unlikely since BMW is moving toward smaller turbocharged and direct injected powerplants.

The Esprit has now reportedly been pushed back by a year (to 2011), which is probably a good thing given the problems that other high end cars are currently having in the marketplace. The delay is believed to be cause, in part, by Lotus adding a hybrid drive to the Esprit. If Lotus is indeed planning to use the BMW 4.4L turbo V8 from the X6 and new 7 series, the most likely scenario would be for the British company to use the mild hybrid system that will debut in the 7-series and the Mercedes S-Class this summer. The mild hybrid adds relatively little weight while providing start-stop capability, reduced parasitic losses and a bit of electric boost and regenerative braking.

[Source: World Car Fans]

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