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Offline AshSimmonds

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http://www.autocar.co.uk/News/NewsArticle/Lotus-Esprit/234236

Quote
Lotus won’t replace the Esprit until early 2011, company boss Mike Kimberley has said. The British supercar is being totally redesigned after Lotus put it on the back burner to fast-track the new Lotus Evora.

Now there are hints that the range-topping Esprit could be offered as a hybrid, possibly using a mix of Lotus and Toyota technology.

Kimberley has said he wants to offer “guilt-free, high performance motoring” and admits the company is “working on something”.

With Lotus’ long-held expertise in lightweight structures, it has a wide-ranging engine development and alternative propulsion programmes on the go.

Kimberley is pretty scathing about early versions of the Esprit, which were under development before he returned to Lotus in 2006. “I lost it three times,” he said of its handling. “I also burnt out the clutch four times. Its engine wasn’t free-revving enough either.”

The new Lotus Esprit - there’s no word yet on whether this famous name will be revived – will use the same chassis platform as the new Evora, made wider and longer and with a new rear structure designed to accommodate a longitudinally mounted engine. It will also make use of the Evora’s compact double-wishbone suspension.

Besides this flagship Esprit, Lotus is working on additional versions of the Evora - there will eventually be six - including a two-seater, a convertible and an automatic. And work is also advancing on S3 versions of the Elise and Exige.

Kimberley claims that Lotus itself is in better shape since he arrived. The engineering side of the group, which the previous regime was thinking of closing down, has been rejuvenated. Lotus is currently working on 340 projects for 147 clients, Kimerley explained. “That’s not a record,” he said, “but not bad considering it was going to be rolled up.”

The company now has engineering centres in Detroit, Shanghai, Kuala Lumpur as well as project in Abu Dhabi and India. Last year it made a modest £2 million profit after several years of losses, and that should continue to grow this year.



Offline mhh

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£2m profit on all that capital employed?  Lotus is a basket case.  How the f*#@ do they manage to keep trading?



Offline Aircon

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£2m profit on all that capital employed?  Lotus is a basket case.  How the f*#@ do they manage to keep trading?

i could live on it!

I love my car. Buy your own



Offline mhh

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Offline cjay


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At least they made a profit ;)

What was Fords loss this 1/4? US$8.7 Billion!! :eek:  Makes Lotus look in great shape :)

PS   If anyone has a spare £2 mill my Elan's still up for grabs,  $32K and it's yours   :bump:  :)  Maybe Kimbers will buy it  :scratchchin:



Offline ACP

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£2m profit on all that capital employed?  Lotus is a basket case.  How the f*#@ do they manage to keep trading?

It appears they spent a lot in the 12 months acquiring a couple of companies and setting up new engineering facilities plus developments costs of the new Evora. If they weren't sold into the US I think Lotus would be long gone. I am amazed that they can actually survive at all. I would like to see someone like VAG take them over but I can't see it as today Lotus cars are relatively cheap and not produced in very high volume.



Offline AshSimmonds

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The Elise took forever to get to the US - I remember the septics carrying on about this amazing new Lotus coming out... yeah - like 8 years after everyone else had it! :p

Some interesting insights in the first couple paragraphs of this article from 2004 - the rest looks kinda readable too:

http://www.sandsmuseum.com/cars/elise/information/press/magazine/magazine2004/europeancar.html

Quote
It would be inaccurate to describe life at Lotus as being a rollercoaster ride. The Lotus business cycle doesn't leave room for gradients; everything is just a peak or a trough. Last time I visited the HQ at Hethel in Norfolk, I was banned from talking to the production staff because 15% of them were about to lose their jobs. Today, scarcely 6 months later, the place is buzzing again as Lotus prepares to introduce the Elise into the U.S. market.

The importance of the Federal Elise project, code name "Croft," shouldn't be underestimated. The Esprit will be dead by the end of the year, so the new model is crucial to Lotus maintaining a U.S. presence and its 38 dealers. The volume implications are also crucial to its longterm survival.

At present, Lotus builds around 2,200 of its own cars each year, of which 1,300 are sold in the UK. The company is confident of selling 2,200 Federal Elises in the first year, which would double annual production. Solid sales of its homegrown products should also help diminish the company's reliance on consultancy work, which is notoriously reactive to the prevailing economic conditions. Every one at Hethel is aware that the company must remain viable-parent company Proton will not prop it up ad infinitum.

I'm led through reception and into a conference room, where I'm introduced to Nick Adams, the vehicle development manager, and Malcolm Powell, Lotus' chief engineer for manufacturing projects. This pairing has been responsible for federalizing the Elise concept and preparing it for the U.S. market. To some extent, at least, the success or failure of the project rests on their shoulders.

"The Elise was never conceived as a U.S. car," explained Adams, "so we had to establish new objectives. These were to enhance the performance, while adding safety and comfort." The most obvious problem facing the engineering team was the choice of engine. The Rover K-series used in the existing Elise is belt driven and would therefore be outlawed under 2006 U.S. emissions legislation. It's also not sold in any capacity in the U.S. so parts and expertise would be difficult to source. Clearly, an alternative had to be found.

........



Offline waz356


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I would like to see someone like VAG take them over

VAG are too busy being taken over by Porsche.



Offline Aircon

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VAG are too busy being taken over by Porsche.

VAG-INA mess?
I love my car. Buy your own



Offline mondi

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Is there a thread on the new Esprit??? I think these photos have been around since 2007?

Quote
It's been about 4 years since Lotus discontinued the Esprit V8 and a new Esprit has been a long time coming. It will now be a littler longer time in coming.

It appears Lotus has delayed the debut of the new Esprit, which was due for launch this year, until 2011.

Speculation is that Lotus is working on a hybrid version of the Esprit, which has been said will be powered by BMW's 4.4 liter V8. The 4.4 liter, bi-turbo V8 with 400 hp is already employed in the BMW X6. The Esprit may be taking that engine to about 500 hp. Possibly, also as part of a hybrid marriage with an electric motor.

Details are few on the enviro-friendly intentions of Lotus for the new Esprit. But Lotus has been laying the ground work lately for its push into new propulsion technologies. It recently announced development of an electric Lotus with extended range capabilities through a petrol-powered generator. It is also developing a hybrid drivetrain for motorsport in a partnership with Honda based on the Civic hybrid technology.

The Lotus Esprit is meant to compete with models such as the Ferrari 430 and the Lamborghini Gallardo. Having a hybrid supercar on the market would give it a competitive edge, but it must get the new Esprit to market first.



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