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After stealing the show in Paris a few months back, Lotus brought its “New Era” roadshow to America and the LA Auto Show. With five brand new concept vehicles, Lotus is looking to generate interest in the brand and its new direction.
First to market will be the Esprit, with an on-sale date set for the Spring of 2013. With a body made entirely of carbon fiber it will be a true exotic, using a supercharged version of the Lexus 5.0-liter V8 making 542-hp in standard trim and a whopping 612-hp in R-spec trim.
Following the Esprit will be the Elan, launching in the Fall of 2013 as a coupe, with a convertible model set to follow. As a competitor to the Porsche 911 it will use a 4.0-liter version of the Toyota-sourced V6 found in the Evora, the Elan will be 200-lbs lighter. An R-Spec model will also be offered, boasting 450-hp. Both it, and the Elise, will use a combination of aluminum and composite materials to keep weight to a minimum. In addition, Lotus will offer both the Esprit and the Elan as a hybrid.
The flagship for the new Lotus will follow six months later in the Spring of 2014, with a standard trim making 612-hp. A hybrid option will be offered and this grand touring exotic comes exclusively with a retractable hardtop.
Spring of 2015 will see the launch of the second-generation Lotus Elise. Gaining size and weight over the current car the new Elise will come in at under 2,400 lbs. Power will come from a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder with forced induction (either a turbocharger or supercharger), making a total of 316-hp. That should be enough to deliver a 0-60 mph time of 4.4 seconds. Plus, those in search of a fuel efficient sports car will be able to get it with the new Elise as Lotus also plans to offer a hybrid option. Unlike the rest of the hybrids in the Lotus lineup, the Elise will be a mild hybrid (like the Honda system) and feature start-stop technology.
Completing the new Lotus lineup is the Eterne 4-door sports sedan. Again, based on the same architecture, its designed as a rival to the likes of the Porsche Panamera and Maserati Quattroporte, but wont hit the market until the Fall of 2015.
The goal with the five concepts shown is to expand Lotus production and sell between 7,500 and 8,000 vehicles annually.