The original Lotus Esprit was started way back during the 70’s when it has began to become an iconic cult among petrolheads. Back in cinema in 1977, apart of seeing Luke Skywalker flying off the X-wing into Deathstar in the original Star Wars that shocked audiences, I bet cinema goers will remember the white Lotus Esprit that can become a submarine driven by 007 in the movie “The spy who loved me”
Until the last Esprit rolled out from Hethel back in 2004, there has been plans for replacement but it was not possible due to Lotus poor financial situation to develop new cars (please don’t ask Proton why). All these has changed until the appointment of new CEO, the charismatic Dany Bahar, and 770 million pounds from investment groups ( please don’t ask me if it is from Proton or from the Malaysia gov), Lotus is determined to bring back its former glory. It’s mission? To become a major supercar player just like Ferrari and Porsche.
Lotus shocked the world in the recent Paris Int Motorshow by announcing 6 new models within the 5 years time frame and that includes the new Lotus Esprit featured on this article now. Scheduled to be launched in 2013, it’s styling was penned with soul and passion by Donato Coco (former head designer from Ferrari). This also brings Lotus into a entire new design direction, which brings Lamborghini designs on my mind on first impression. Italian styling magic perhaps? (look at the italic words on this paragraph please…..)
It will be powered by a mid engined 5.0-liter pressure charged V (sourced by Toyota from the Lexus LFS, since Toyota has supplied engines to its Elise, Evora and Exige models) with 550+HP expected. This brings the new Esprit into the supercar league which competes directly with the Ferrari 458 Italia and Lamborghini Gallardo.
Lotus’s main philosophy “Simplify but add lightness” was emphasized by its founder the late Colin Chapman. The thing is with added powertrain, electronic complexity (KERBS and hybrid are options in plans) which resulting into carrying more weight, we not sure if the new Lotus will able to continue what Colin Chapman always wanted each time his creation is rolled out from Hethel.
Regardless what has been a saving grace of KLIMS 2010, which i shall put a overall event review soon, is the display of the new Lotus Esprit to the eyes of Malaysians. It is indeed a stunning beauty, and I’m sure I can’t wait for the Stig to drive it into the Top Gear test track, well if there a new Stig to be found for Top Gear in 2013-2014.