Lotus Esprit Will Finally Make a Comeback in 2020
Legendary sports car model returns with the familiar Lotus formula – simplify and add lightness!
We last saw a production Lotus Esprit way back in 2004, when the much-beloved sports car took its final bow. And then, briefly, ex-Lotus CEO Dany Bahar teased us with the gorgeous Esprit concept (pictured) at the 2010 Paris Motor Show. Sadly, that modernized Lotus never made it to production, perhaps thanks to Bahar getting canned shortly thereafter. And with that, the dreams of a reborn Lotus Esprit promptly died.
Or did they? In a recent article, Autocar reports that a reborn Lotus Esprit is in fact on the docket for 2020. Thanks to an injection of capital from Lotus’ new owner, Chinese automotive manufacturer Geely, things are beginning to look up for the British manufacturer. Which enables them to take the leap and bring back one of the most iconic nameplates in the brand’s storied history.
The new Esprit will slot “in an upper segment, above the Evora,” current Lotus boss Jean-Marc Gales told Autocar. He also revealed that the new, lighter platform will “take the Evora a step further,” focusing on the brand’s commitment to three tenets: “lightweight, aerodynamic and handling.”
The Evora GT430 already sports carbon fiber front and rear bumpers, front access and roof panels, tailgate, and rear wing. The Esprit figures to add even more carbon and/or lightweight components to bring weight down even further. The goal of the project, as Gales notes, is to beat the competition with “efficiency, aerodynamics, agility and braking working together in balance.”
So the only remaining question is, what will power the reborn Lotus Esprit? Gales admits using Geely powerplants in the future is on the table. But it looks like Lotus will continue employing Toyota engines for the foreseeable future. That means the new Esprit will probably use a supercharged V6 of some sort, like the 3.5-liter in the Evora. Albeit tuned to surpass the GT430’s 430 hp.
The return of the Lotus Esprit, at this point, seems way overdue. Now, the automaker appears to finally have its financials under control. So it looks like that former pipe dream can finally become a reality!