Perhaps the best news to come out of the Paris Motor Show is the announcement that Lotus, for the first time in the marque’s 58-year history, will be a full-line brand. Over its history Lotus has been primarily a manufacturer of niche models, all predicated on the basic proposition that light weight and exceptional agility triumph over every other aspect of high performance.
And while this certainly made the cars big fun to drive, it hasn’t always resulted in cars that were particularly reliable, or for that matter, ergonomically friendly. Try getting into a current Lotus Exige if you’re six feet tall—you’ll immediately come to appreciate this last point.
Now, this all seems poised to change.
With the announcement, just days before the show, of the new agreement Lotus has with Toyota, as well the Lotus dream advisory team featuring the likes of Bob Lutz and Tom Purves, indications are strong that Lotus is becoming a mainstream player.
In January of 2010 the company hired Donato Coco, former chief designer at Ferrrari, to guide the look of future Lotus products. His first designs for the marque, shown at the Paris Motor Show, have given unifying themes to Lotus automobiles, providing them with instant familial resemblance. Here's a look at the future Lotus lineup, as announced at the Paris Auto Show: