The Paris Auto Show is always a showcase for some of the most impressive, desirable luxury and performance cars each year. This year, it looks like Lotus will be adding to the mix with a full trio of new concepts ahead of plans for 2012 and later launches.
Lotus has already confirmed at least one new car will be coming to Paris, and speculation that it's the new Esprit is already rampant. A new report out today says three new cars are expected: the all-new Esprit, a new roadster, and--breaking from the Lotus mold--a front-engined grand touring car. While the roadster may fit the Chapman profile of light-yet-quick sports cars, the Esprit and the new GT are expected to reflect a new strategy.
Lotus insiders often joke that the brand's name is actually an acronym, meaning "Lots Of Trouble, Usually Serious." Those days are largely behind the company thanks to the brilliant Elise and Exige models, but despite the good work the Toyota-powered models have done for the Lotus brand image, the company is planning to move away from its hardcore, lightness-focused performance duo and more toward luxurious, full-featured cars.
Why? To target the luxury market rather than solely the performance market, where there are more buyers with more cash to spend--and where cars are purchased more frequently. The ultimate goal is to drive total production up from the current 2,000-2,500 cars per year toward the 7,000-car mark--roughly tripling total sales.
We'll have to wait until Paris this October to see if the reports prove true, but we await the date with mixed feelings: excitement over three new Lotus models, but trepidation over what they may become.