Lotus Esprit concept
Lotus is in the process of developing two new sports cars and an SUV.
The sports cars will come first and one of them is tipped to be an Elise replacement. The other, Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales revealed to Autocar in an interview published Tuesday, will be a proper supercar along the lines of the Esprit that ceased production in 2004. It will be the flagship of the expanded Lotus range and is said to be coming in 2020.
Gales also revealed in the interview that the supercar, naturally, will benefit from low weight and that it will use an extruded, bonded and riveted aluminum chassis just like Lotus' current lineup of cars. Carbon fiber and other composites will likely play a role, though, such as for the body panels and possibly the front subframe.
Lotus came close to launching a modern Esprit earlier this decade, including rolling out a concept at the 2010 Paris auto show and developing a bespoke V-8. The project was axed in 2014 after Gales was brought in to save the company from financial ruin.
Lotus is on a very different footing these days thanks to new owner Zhejiang Geely. The Chinese auto giant, which also owns the Volvo, Polestar and Lynk & Co. brands, is committed to rebuilding Lotus' image after decades of malaise by renewing the lineup and taking the brand racing.