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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
 |  Feb 25 2014, 8:32 AM

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The world’s largest collection of James Bond cars is up for sale for a cool $33.25 million.

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 |  Aug 12 2013, 7:02 PM

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Royal Mail has released its “British Auto Legends” special stamps, celebrating the best in British automaking.

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 |  Jun 29 2013, 1:02 PM

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As if a standard Lotus Esprit crossing the auction block isn’t rare enough, this one is a definite one-of-a-kind after starring in the James Bond 007 flick The Spy Who Loved Me.

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 |  Nov 20 2012, 7:07 AM

After rumors of the Esprit’s death were debunked, Lotus has charged ahead and according to inside sources, the brand’s newest sports car is all but ready to be built.

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 |  Oct 04 2012, 4:10 PM

Contrary to what we reported on AutoGuide earlier today, Lotus has informed us that the cancellation of Esprit production is simply a rumor. 

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 |  Sep 25 2012, 1:30 PM

Ten Paris Show Reveals



It’s the time of year when automakers go on a wonderful vacation to Paris and show off the latest and greatest vehicles. The Paris Motor show is here, and there are quite a few vehicles that are slated to be revealed this year.

Since the show comes around every-other year, some automakers use it as a great excuse to show off the latest concepts and production vehicles. This years show features a ton of great looking vehicles like Peugeot’s Onyx Supercar concept (seen above.)

Here’s our list of the Ten Paris Motor Show reveals from the past few years that are worth a look back on.

Check out AutoGuide’s coverage of the 2012 Paris Motor show here. 

 |  Aug 24 2012, 9:01 AM

Clearly, Lotus wants to rid itself of anything that has to do with former-CEO Dany Bahar. The British automaker is now selling Bahar’s custom 2002 Esprit V8.

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 |  Dec 20 2011, 2:25 PM

Every year an automaker is chosen to be celebrated at the Goodwood Festival of Speed with an artistic installation directly in front of the historic Goodwood house in West Sussex, England, and a host of classic and shiny new cars on display. For 2012 it will be the iconic English brand Lotus.

This acknowledgement comes at important time in Lotus’ history, both when looking into the future and consulting the past. In 2012 Lotus will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Elan sportscar, the 40th anniversary of the Espirit supercar concept unveiling, the 35th anniversary of the 78 ground effect Lotus F1 car competing for the first time and the 20th anniversary of cyclist Chris Boardman winning a gold medal at the Barcelona summer Olympics while riding the type 108 bicycle developed by Lotus. Next year will mark a big year in the company’s history as well, when the new 2013 Espirit supercar is finally unleashed.

The Goodwood festival’s chosen Marque is always an honor that is bestowed upon a company the organizers feel have had a major influence on car culture and automotive history. Some of the companies that have been celebrated include Jaguar, Audi, Alfa Romeo, and Land Rover just to name a few.

The 2012 Goodwood Festival of Speed begins on June 28 and should be a great celebration of Lotus’ past accomplishments and future endeavors.

 |  Dec 15 2011, 4:15 PM

Lotus has plans to release their new next-generation Esprit at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show and more details were recently released on their next sports car. The base model Esprit will be a hybrid, sporting a 100-hp electric motor and a naturally aspirated V8 engine.

Other variants of the Lotus will be more race inspired, ditching the electric motor and hybrid tag for more weight savings and additional horsepower. More details on the other models weren’t released, but we can expect a more pure driver’s car and everything “unnecessary” will be removed from them, as well as an abundant use of carbon fiber. Unfortunately no specs were released on the naturally aspirated V8 powerplant either.

The new Lotus Esprit will go on sale in Europe starting in Summer of 2013 and will mark the beginning of Lotus’ five-year, five-model plan.

[Source: Topspeed]

 |  Sep 15 2011, 11:32 AM

After decades of borrowing powertrains from Ford, Renault, Toyota and other OEMs, Lotus has revealed some of the first pictures of a working engine, designed and built in-house.

From the photo released on Facebook, the engine appears to be a DOHC V8 with a racy looking intake plenum and airbox setup, similar to an Italian supercar engine. No word on whether individual throttles, direct injection or any sophisticated technologies will be employed.

Expect to see the engine in products like the upcoming flagship Esprit, assuming those vehicles actually make it to market.

[Source: Facebook]

 |  Jun 24 2011, 9:28 AM

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Lotus recently announced its intention to build an in-house V8 engine for its upcoming line of exotic sports cars. Making as much as 570-hp from a displacement of just 4.8-liters the sophisticated powerplant may be joined by an equally high-tech automatic transmission.

Back in January of last year it was revealed that Lotus was working on a 7-speed dual clutch transmission and now, according to Lotus Cars USA PR Boss Kevin Smith, there’s a very good chance the Esprit will be the first model to use the unit. “We’d like to do a manual and a dual-clutch transmission for the Esprit,” he remarked during the recent launch of the Evora S in the US, “and now that we’re dong our own engines there’s a better chance.”

Adding to the possibility is the fact that Lotus has delayed the Esprit by one year as it develops its own engine for the car. Look for the production model to arrive, likely at the Geneva Auto Show in 2013, with an on-sale date later that year or early in 2014.

GALLERY: Lotus Esprit Concept

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 |  Jun 10 2011, 4:13 PM

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The new Esprit will make it to market, but not as early as Lotus had hoped. Speaking at the launch of the new Evora S model in San Jose, Lotus Cars USA PR boss Kevin Smith confirmed that due to a decision by Lotus to produce its own engine for the car, it won’t make it to market until late 2013 or even early 2014.

“The cars shown at the Paris Auto Show with the Lexus IS-F V8 will get our own V8 engine,” said Smith. Those models include the Esprit, as well as the even more exotic Elite. Smith also confirmed that development of the in-house V8 engine was already underway, and indicated that other engines are a possibility.

Making additional remarks, Smith let slip details of just how much Lotus expects to charge for these new models, and it’s a huge increase from the $76,000 Evora S. Speaking generally, he said that, “cars in the $170,000 to $200,000 range should have their own engine in them.” No clarification was given about the projected price and while $170K is certainly a huge bump over the Porsche 911 Turbo, it would be significantly less than some of the Italian exotics the Esprit would be targeted at as well.

Details about the new V8 have not been released, but there’s a strong chance it will be available with a dual-clutch transmission. “We’d like to do a manual and a dual-clutch transmission for the Esprit and now that we’re dong our own engines there’s a better chance,” said Smith. Lotus has filed a patent for a 7-speed dual-clutch unit already, so look for that to arrive in the Esprit in just over two year’s time.

GALLERY: Lotus Esprit

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 |  Apr 14 2011, 3:07 PM

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Lotus may build their next generation Esprit sports car outside of the United Kingdom after its request for a $50 million loan to build a new factory was rejected by an investment arm of the British government.

The loan was intended for a new factory in the Norfolk area of Britain, which would employ 1200 people and build models like the new Elan and Esprit. Other automakers have been given loans by the government, and Lotus released a statement saying “following this decision Group Lotus is currently exploring all available options including the possibility of submitting an updated bid for round two of the RGF, which is set to close on July 1.”

If a British facility cannot be procured, Lotus may build the new cars as Valmet’s factory in Finland or Magna-Steyr’s plant in Austria, where the Porsche Boxster and Aston Martin Rapide are respectively built.

[Source: Auto Express]

 |  Mar 26 2011, 7:46 AM

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.

[Source: Pistonheads]

 |  Dec 26 2010, 3:37 PM

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The Lotus story continues to intrigue with plans to deliver five all new cars over the next five years. After debuting all five concepts at the Paris Auto Show, Lotus then brought its traveling road show to the LA Auto Show. Now the storied British brand is keeping the hype alive by releasing a selection of stunning photographs of its concepts.

There aren’t any new pics of the Eterne 4-door concept (easily the most unrealistic of the group), but Lotus did snap some nice glam shots of the Esprit, the Elan, the second-generation Elise concept, the the flagship Elite.

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.

GALLERY: Lotus New Era

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See after the jump for a video of the new Lotus concepts from the LA Auto Show:

Continue Reading…

 |  Dec 16 2010, 7:51 AM

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While the upcoming Lotus Esprit has been announced using a supercharged version of the Lexus IS-F’s 5.0-liter V8, that may all change when the new high-powered exotic comes to market in 2012.

Lotus CEO Dany Bahar, in an interview with AutoCar, commented that the storied British sports car maker is now examining the possibility of building its own V8. “The engine is the heart of a sports car; we should do our own product,” said Bahar.

One of the main factors in pushing Lotus towards this decision was customer feedback. “In the mind of sports-car enthusiasts, Toyota power might not be good enough,” he admitted.

Still, Lotus has yet to move ahead with a costly engine development program and won’t make any decision on if it will do so until January with Bahar commenting that the decision would be purely financial.

Recently Lotus announced it would run cars powered by its own engines in the 2012 Indy Car season, despite the fact that it currently does not build any of its own engines.

GALLERY: Lotus Esprit

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[Source: AutoCar]

Lotus engineering chief Wolf Zimmerman also revealed that the planned three-strong family of mid-engined Lotuses that will start with the Esprit will share a common platform, brakes, suspension and electrical systems.

 |  Nov 01 2010, 6:47 AM

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While Lotus created a lot of buzz at the Paris Auto Show by unveiling an entirely new lineup of sports cars, only one is actually in the development stage. According to AutoCar, just one of the five vehicles (the Esprit) has any serious engineering behind it. That may cast some doubt on the sincerity of Lotus’s plans, but it shouldn’t.

As we previously reported, the Esprit is the first Lotus set to debut, with an on-sale date in the Spring of 2013. So it only makes sense that it would be the first vehicle to be fully developed. Besides, with all five concept vehicles (from the Elan to the Elite) being based on the same versatile vehicle architecture, it’s generally true that all of the car’s are partially in the works.

Powered by a Lexus 5.0-liter V8 and mated to a supercharged, the Esprit will make 542-hp and 61-hp in R-spec trim. The body will be made entirely of carbon fiber.

We can’t wait for 2013!

GALLERY: 2014 Lotus Esprit

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[Source: AutoCar]

 |  Oct 01 2010, 5:29 AM

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Yesterday Lotus Cars began what the storied British automaker is calling a “New Era” launching an entire lineup of vehicles at one auto show. A total of five new models graced the Lotus stand, including the new Esprit, a second-generation Elise, the flagship Elite and even a 4-door model called Eterne. Details were scarce, but Kevin Smith, head of publications for Lotus Cars USA has shed some light on each of the five models.

Smith says the automaker is confident it will bring all five models to market, based on the same versatile vehicle architecture used for the current Evora and with a funding commitment from Lotus parent company Proton.

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. As Lotus Cars CEO Dany Bahar said at the introduction of the Esprit concept, “The icon is back.”

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, Smith guarantees it will be a true rival. Using 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 hybird.

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 between 2,300 and 2,400 lbs and Smith promises will be easier to get into than even the new Evora model. 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. And while Lotus looks to expand and grow as an automaker, it also wants to retain its core customers with the next gen Elise, with Bahar commenting at the Lotus press conference that it would retain its, “cheaky charm.”

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.

In addition to these, Lotus is also considering a city car, but that is very much up-in-the-air at this point says Smith. The goal with the five concepts shown is to expand Lotus production and sell between 7,500 and 8,000 vehicles annually.

Often production models don’t live up to the hype of the concepts, but Smith reassured us that the models on display in Paris are 90 to 95 percent representative of the planned road cars.

 |  Sep 30 2010, 1:18 PM

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Lotus unveiled an entirely new product range today, with 5 new cars that mark a complete 180 for the brand. The most significant product for the company will be their Esprit flagship, which will set the tone for future cars as they prepare to do battle with Italy’s best.

With a 5.0L V8 displacing 620 horsepower, the Esprit can hit 205 mph and accelerate to 60 mph in an estimated 3.5 seconds. The Esprit will also offer a KERS system, similar to Formula 1 cars, that captures kinetic energy under braking and allows the driver to hit a button for an electronic overboost.

Hit the jump to read the official press release

Gallery: Lotus Esprit

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 |  Aug 31 2010, 8:30 AM

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.

[Source: AutoWeek]

 |  Aug 27 2010, 1:33 PM

Lotus will leverage their partnership with Toyota be equipping a variant of their new, flagship Esprit with the hand-crafted V10 used in the Lexus LFA.

This exclusive version would have some stiff competition from the “base” Esprit – said to be powered by the 5.0L V8 from the Lexus IS-F. Lotus cars in the past have used engines taken from more pedestrian cars like compact Fords, Renaults and Toyotas. The shift to serious high-performance engines comes as CEO Dany Bahar seeks to move Lotus from being a niche sports car maker into a legitimate rival to companies like Ferrari, Lamborghini and Aston Martin.

Since the Esprit is likely to cost far less than the LFA’s $375,000 sticker price, the theoretical V10 Esprit could be the cheapest way to get a bit of that Formula 1-inspired magic. We’ll know more when the car is unveiled at the 2010 Paris Auto Show.

Check out our Paris Auto Show preview page here

[Source: Inside Line]

 |  Jul 19 2010, 11:12 AM

With 73 days until Lotus unveils it’s “New Era” at the Paris Auto Show, the British sports car maker has once again teased us with a possible successor to the iconic Esprit. In a press release that looks back at the year 1975, Lotus recalls the movie Jaws, the birth of David Beckham and…. the launch of the original Lotus Esprit at the Paris Auto Show.

Now if that’s not a hint we don’t know what is.

But that’s not all. The press release issued by Lotus comments that, “35 years later, something breathtaking will happen once again. Once more in Paris. Once more at the Motor Show. Perhaps a new Esprit? Perhaps not. Or perhaps even more?”

We’ve got our money on the new Esprit and more as Lotus is tipped to reveal four new concept cars in Paris, including the Esprit concept, two new front-engined GT cars and a new roadster.

The newly released Evora rides on a chassis that was designed to be used for the Esprit successor as well. As for a roadster, it could easily be a top-down version of the Evora. Then, we have to think Lotus is also looking to unveil a V6 in the Exige, as the automaker recently dropped the 1.8L engine in Europe, and the 1.6-liter just isn’t suitable for the more hard-core version.

We won’t know for sure until the Paris Auto Show this fall. But we do expect several more teasers from Lotus in the coming weeks and months.

Official release after the jump:

Continue Reading…

 |  Jul 09 2010, 7:07 AM

Details of what exactly the “New Era” for Lotus will entail have begun to slip out with reports that the automaker will show-off four new concept cars at the Paris Auto Show this Fall. According to some reports the vehicles will include a successor to the Esprit, two new front-engined GT cars and a new roadster model. It’s not clear if one of these new models will be the Exige, but Lotus is expected to announce the release of a V6 powered Exige soon. Several spy shots of the car have been taken and considering recent emissions regulations put an end to the 1.8-liter engine (in all its forms) for the European market, Lotus is left only with an underpowered 1.6-liter.

The announcement will come as part of a larger restructuring at Lotus has also announced that it is cutting free its entire European dealer network as it plans to move forward as a serious competitor to Ferrari, Porsche and Aston Martin.

[Source: AutoExpress]

 |  May 10 2010, 4:28 PM

Picture 1Remember how fast we thought the Lamborghini Countach, BMW M1, and Porsche 928 GTS were? Remember hanging posters on our walls, idolizing the wedge-shaped awesomeness and iconic styling of the DeTomaso Pantera or the Ferrari 308? How can we forget?

After all, every time we see a Countach out in the wild, we drop what we are doing, watch, and listen to it go by, remembering those posters. But one thing we may have forgotten is how fast they actually went? Or, more importantly, how slow they are by today’s standards. Yes, it’s been 30 years and cars have come a long way. But we still think of a Countach as a fast car, right? Not when you consider the fact that a 2011 base, V6 Mustang will outperform it in most areas.

Jalopnik was nice enough to dig up a 1981 issue of Popular Mechanics, where legendary racers Phil Hill and Stirling Moss put 16 of the wildest 1981 production cars through their paces on the track to find out who was the performance king, with somewhat surprising results. Because we’re awesome, we’ve included the results table for you, but check out the entire article via Google Books. For the record, Dragtimes reports the 2011 V6 Mustang as running a 13.7 @ 102 mph.

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[Source: Popular Mechanics via Google Books Page 112]