Lotus is certainly getting the reaction they wanted in the lead-up to the Paris Auto Show, with rumors continuing to swirl. In fact, it’s quite possible the Lotus display will be the biggest news out of the major automotive event.
According to a report by AutoWeek, the British sports car maker will debut a modern version of the Seven, a successor to the Esprit and two hybrids.
The modern Seven (a concept) will be a vast departure from the original with more comfort features than one might expect – including air conditioning. It is rumored to be based on a Spanish sports car and not designed or engineered by the folks at Lotus.
As for the Espirt, most recent reports have indicated that it will use the Lexus 5.0-liter V8 as well as an optional 4.8-liter V10 from the LFA. But now we’re hearing that it could use a twin-turbo V8.
Both hybrids models will be extremely unconventional for Lotus as both feature a front-engine layout. The first will be a four-door hatchback much like the Porsche Panamera, while the second will be a coupe. The powertrains will be based on the same setup found in the Evora 414E Hybrid shown at the Geneva Auto Show earlier this year.
In the hybrid Evora, a 1.2-liter 3-cylinder gasoline engine is mated to two electric motors and a lithium-polymer battery pack to make 400-hp. It works like the Chevy Volt, with only the electric motors powering the wheels, while the gasoline engine kicks in afterwards to deliver extended range. Lotus claims 35 miles of emissions free driving, while the gasoline engine allows for a total of 300 miles. Lotus has designed the car to put the power down independently through the rear wheels, as a result each rear wheel is capable of 204-hp and 295 ft-lbs of torque. That’s enough to propel the Evora 414E Hybrid to 60 mph in just 4.0 seconds. Lotus has equipped this range-extender engine with a single gear transmission, but it has designed transmission software to create seven imaginary gears for ideal performance driving.
If these reports are true, expect a large display from Lotus, with the Evora S and Evora IPS Automatic also scheduled to debut.
Apart from the Evora S and IPS Automatic models, don’t expect to see production versions of any but the Esprit in the next 12 months.