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Last year, some American car companies looked to their government for financial help to keep them afloat and use the money to develop new products. Some of them have actually used the money properly and produced some decent new models.
Over in the U.K., Lotus is looking at the British government to help out in the same capacity. Lotus is saying, that unless the government backs them up, they will have to resort to looking at producing vehicles outside of the United Kingdom.
This will not only affect jobs in its homeland, but would also mean that future products, like the highly anticipated new Esprit (above) will be built in either Austria (Magna) or Finland (Valmet).
Lotus is asking for a chunk (although no official amount is known) from the Regional Growth Fund, a program designed to help local industry and businesses. The decision will be announced by the early part of April. We’ll keep you posted on this developing story.
Lotus fans can rejoice as the automaker has now officially confirmed that the Esprit project will go ahead. This halo car will be a part the company’s upcoming seven year plan, that will be laid out by new CEO Dany Bahar in the upcoming weeks.
The car isn’t actually likely to get the Esprit name, but that is what Lotus is referring to it internally as. Previous reports have suggested that it would use an elongated version of the Evora’s Versatile Vehicle Architecture (VVA) platform, with the potential to use either the 5.0-liter V8 in the Lexus IS-F or the 4.8-liter V8 in the LFA. The use of a Toyota motor only makes sense, as the Elise and Exige are powered by a Toyota-sourced 1.8-liter 4-cylinder, while the Evora uses a 3.5-liter V6 from the Toyota Camry. An inside source at Lotus was quoted by the U.K.’s AutoCar statign that the new Esprit would be, “the ultimate exression of the brand.”
With all the uncertainties, one this is for sure: if we know Lotus, the car will be extremely light weight and an absolute hoot to drive.