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.