The 2013 Lotus Esprit is to be the first of a new-generation of luxurious sports cars from one of the most renowned performance marques in the industry. Styled under the watchful eye of former Ferrari designer Donato Coco, the new Esprit has already been previewed in concept form and is destined to hit the market in the spring of 2013 complete with a bespoke V-8 engine designed in-house by Lotus and its engineering team.
With its limited resources, many believe Lotus is incapable of pulling of such a feat but the automaker is determined, even pulling funding from other projects and reducing its current lineup to just one model in order to ensure its Esprit supercar flagship remains on track.
Speaking with Autocar recently, Lotus CEO Dany Bahar reaffirmed the automaker’s plans for its new Esprit, boasting that it will feature a more “authentic” driving experience than its targeted rivals, the Ferrari 458 Italia and McLaren MP4-12C.
Bahar said engineers had finished work on the car’s rolling chassis and were now working on a V-8 engine that could produce as much as 570 horsepower, which puts it right in line with its intended competition in terms of output. However, the engine would be a lightweight, with claims that it will be 176 pounds lighter and 40 percent smaller than the original 5.0-liter V-8 Lotus had planned to source from Toyota and which it showcased in its Esprit concept car.
The first working prototypes are expected to start testing this November and will be hitting the notorious Nurburgring in Germany as well as the Idiada circuit in Spain. Of course, development will also take place in and around Lotus’ headquarters in Hethel, UK.
The platform that will underpin the new Esprit is a modular aluminum structure flexible enough to accommodate the mid-engine Esprit and other planned mid-engine models like a successor to the Elise. However, there’ll be front-engined versions, too, like the Elite grand tourer due in 2014.
Finally, Bahar also revealed that a Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) was planned, though it will be used strictly to enhance the driving experience rather than act as a driver aid.
For more on the Lotus Esprit concept car, click here for our previous post.