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With its 60th anniversary rolling around the corner, Lotus isn't about to coast down the straightaway. After years of relying on Elise derivatives – including the Exige, 2-Eleven and Europa – the world-renowned gurus of handling are preparing two completely new models: the Eagle – a new 2+2 GT – and the return of the Esprit – the hardcore, Ferrari-battling supercar.

After many fits and starts over the last fifteen years, a replacement for the iconic Lotus Esprit finally seems to be nearing reality. Spy photos of various prototypes have been cropping up with increasing frequency in recent weeks, but this is the first shot of the latest prototype on the road, probably somewhere in Norfolk.