Lotus gives us high five
Lotus takes on Ferarri, write Paul Gover and James Stanford
ACTORS, a model and guitarist almost overshadow the cars at the biggest event of the 2010 Paris Motor Show. Movie hero Mickey Rourke, supermodel Naomi Campbell, former Queen guitarist Brian May and actor Stephen Baldwin help generate excitement around five stunning new models.
Lotus is heading into a new era, directly confronting Ferrari.
All five models— Elite, Esprit, Elan, Elise and Eterne — are shown at Paris, along with the Evora, but none is a production car on-sale date estimates range from three to five years.
The born-again Esprit supercar was rumoured to be first into action but has been overtaken by the Elite.
Still, the question of how a tiny company that currently has only a handful of models and a small budget will be able to develop so many highperformance models is not answered in Paris.
The most enticing of the cars presented is the Esprit, which is also the most likely to make it into a showroom near you and is due in 2013.
A remake of the former wedge-shaped classic, the new Esprit will take on Ferrari with a mouth-watering and mid-mounted 5.0-litre V8, which is pressure-charged and even has an optional KERS hybrid assistance system. The combined power output is 456kW.
All the other models presented share the Esprit’s sharp front-end styling and wedge-body design, including the Elan, another remake of a Lotus classic. It is a two-seater with a pressurecharged 4.0-litre V6 that produces 331kW and weighs 1295kg, the same as the Esprit. It’s due at the end of 2013.
The Elite is a grand tourer and has the same engine as the Esprit, but it is front-mounted and the car is due in 2014. It has a retractable hardtop and weighs 1650kg.
Lotus also presents a new lightweight Elise, which is not due for another five years, which takes up the same styling cues as the other new concepts.
Lotus also rolled out the Eterne, a four-door model aimed at the growing four-seat grand tourer market. This model, also five years away, runs the same V8 as the Esprit and Elite, but is available with an optional all-wheel-drive system.