Lotus has taken the wraps off five new concept cars that it brought to the 2010 Paris Motor Show. The first one is the 2014 Lotus Elite, which we already covered; the other four are all new or totally revised models. We told you that a new flagship designed to run with the Lamborghini Gallardo and Ferrari 458 Italia was on its way from Lotus. The new Lotus Esprit Concept will see production for the 2013 model year and will cost somewhere near $175,000 to $200,000. It is powered by the 5.0-liter V-8 engine from the Lexus IS F, which has been placed behind the passenger’s cabin and supercharged to 620 hp. The two-seat 3,190-pound car can accelerate 0–60 mph in 3.5 seconds and on to a top speed of 205 mph. View more pictures of the Lotus Esprit Concept here.
Another car that is set for 2013 production is the Lotus Elan. Where the Lotus Esprit will compete with some of the most sought after cars this world currently has to offer, the Elan will go a little more downmarket and be priced at $118,000 to compete against the amazing but more everyday exotic offerings like the Porsche 911 Turbo and Maserati GranTurismo S. It weighs a skimp 2,849 pounds, is powered by a 450-hp supercharged 4.0-liter V-8, and switches gears via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. The two-seat car can accelerate 0–60 mph in 3.5 seconds—same as the Lotus Esprit Concept—and on to a top speed of 193 mph—a bit less than the next flagship Lotus. View more pictures of the Lotus Elan Concept here.
The Lotus Elise Concept was the third new offering on the Lotus stand. It brings the least-expensive Lotus model to a whole new level of refinement and excitement. Besides its new sexy skin, the Lotus comes equipped with a 320-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine moving 2,409 pounds through either a six-speed manual transmission or paddle-shifted automatic. Lotus says it will go from a standstill up to 62 mph in 4.3 seconds. The Lotus Elise may see production as soon as 2015. View more pictures of the Lotus Elise Concept here.
The last new Lotus concept was the Eterne sedan. Offering seating and easy access for four people, the Eterne follows the Porsche Panamera and Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG Aston Martin Rapide into the four-door coupe marketplace with a price of $190,000. It is powered by a 620-hp 5.0-liter V-10, also found in the Lotus Esprit concept. Running through either the rear wheels or, as an option, all four wheels, it is good for 0–60 mph in 4.0 seconds and on to a top speed of 196 mph. A hybrid powertrain will be offered as an option. View more pictures of the Lotus Eterne Concept here.
If these concepts do move into production, it will spell a whole new era of expansion for the brand. It will allow the eccentric manufacturer to better compete against its more conventional rivals. It will also punish the Lotus faithful as they watch their once beloved nameplate move to more ergonomic and user-friendly offerings. What the new Lotus lineup could lose in out-of-this-world performance, extremely light weight, and panache it will make up for with more everyday usability and more widespread appeal.
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