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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.
Ever since the Lotus Esprit V8 went out of production in 2004, Lotus has been exclusively using Toyota engines for its cars. While these motors have provided power and reliability, many customers of the brand feel that the company should have its own engines. After all, can you imagine a Ferrari being powered by anything other than their own engines?
Dany Bahar, CEO of Lotus agrees and wishes to develop engines bespoke for its automobiles. Since Lotus is delaying the Elan, the funds earmarked for that car can now be used towards developing new engines.
Bahar said, “This is a big [financial] hit because it’s expensive to do an engine. But because the Elan is not happening now we have got capital expenditure headroom for engine development.”
The work on these new engines has already began, and the first prototype V8 should breathe into life by this July. Power output is expected to be around the 570-hp mark, to compete with the likes of Ferrari.
The push for these new engines came from an internet survey Lotus conducted in which 10,000 people took part. The majority favored Lotus to put their efforts behind their own engines.
The plan is to design a modular V8 which can spawn a four-cylinder engine also for use in the next Elise. However, if that doesn’t work out, they will continue using Toyota engines.
Expect the first of the new breed of Lotus road cars to hit the streets by 2013.
Oh Lotus, you think you’re just so clever don’t you? With rumors flying that the British sports car company will be unveiling the next generation Esprit at this year’s Paris Auto Show, Lotus has just released these photos of company CEO Dany Bahar’s personal Lotus Esprit.
Along with a thorough detailing, Bahar’s Esprit received a fresh coat of Ice White Pearl. And…. well, that’s it.
While nothing has been confirmed you can bet Lotus will show the all-new Esprit in Paris. They even went to far as to point out that Bahar’s Esprit is a V8 model – suggesting the new Esprit will also sport a V8 (possibly the 5.0-liter from the Lexus IS-F). In addition, look for the new Evora S, a V6-powered Exige and two front-engine models.
GALLERY: Dany Bahar’s Lotus Esprit
[Source: Zer Customs]