The Future Esprit
There is much speculation at this point about what, if anything, will replace the Esprit now that the current production has ended.
I can tell you that recently, Tony Shute from Lotus Cars, LTD. invited
several of us to a seminar with the Lotus design team. The goal was to
discuss the design issues for the future Esprit replacement. All attendees
were required to sign non-disclosure agreements and no cameras were allowed.
However, I can say that the Esprit replacement program is well under way and
that there is already at least one test mule running on the track at Hethel.
The test mule is using a modified Esprit V8 body for camouflage but with a
much wider front and rear track. A new engine supplier has already been
chosen and we were shown a preliminary 1/6 scale clay model of the car. I
can't say much about the shape of the new car except that the wedge styling
is still there (for those who feared a larger scale Elise). and is a blend
between a Gallardo and the current Stevens Esprit. We were invited to cast
our votes on various names for the new vehicle. Although there is the
possibility Lotus will reuse the Esprit name, another name may be chosen.
Some of the suggested names were rather interesting.
There is no official word on when the replacement will be available; but the current speculation is that a new car will be released at the Paris Motor Show in 2011 in time to celebrate the 35th year anniversary of the introduction of the original Giugiaro design. Recently, several magazines have been quoting leaked information claiming that the Esprit replacement will be built in Malaysia which is the home of parent company, Proton. Lotus official deny this is atrue at this point.
Once more data is officially released, this site will updated to reflect