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Future models - Lotus - Esprit

Esprit fires up

Flagship starship: the next Lotus Esprit will take on Lamborghini and Ferrari.

Lotus is set to replace one of its most enduring models

31 Mar 2006

MORE information is emerging out of Europe about Lotus’s new-generation Esprit.

According to UK magazine, Autocar, the sportscar is currently undergoing crash testing and final engineering and will be launched in early 2008.

The magazine quoted Lotus chief designer Russell Carr as saying the engineering work was progressing at a good rate. Mr Carr has released initial sketches of the car but further details remain top secret.

Visually the Esprit is said to look similar to the Lamborghini Gallardo and, like the Gallardo, the Esprit will be a rear-engined two-seater.

The Esprit will be bigger and more refined than either the Elise or Exige.

Although Lotus is not revealing too much detail about the car it is tipped to come with a twin-turbo V8 mated to a six-speed sequential transmission.

The V8 is rumoured to be sourced from either BMW or Toyota’s Lexus division.

The Esprit is tipped to be priced around $160,000 when it goes on sale with a production estimate is 2500 cars a year of the aluminium car, which is believed to be the first production Lotus to use the company's Variable Vehicle Architecture (VVA).

The car was originally going to be built at Proton’s Malaysian facility, which owns Lotus, but will now be built at Lotus’s Hethel operation in the UK.

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