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Lotus Esprit cancelled?

Posted Oct 4th 2012 6:59PM

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2010 Lotus Esprit concept - front three-quarter view

Two years ago, we were gobsmacked when humble Lotus shocked the automotive world by wheeling out no fewer than five new models – admittedly in various stages of development – at the 2010 Paris Motor Show. The ambitious onslaught of new sheetmetal came at the behest of then-CEO Danny Bahar who aimed to broaden the British marque's appeal by dramatically expanding its portfolio. Bahar was later thrown out by new Malaysian owners DRB-Hicom in a management shakeup that seems to still be, well, shaking out. Bahar was deposed over accusations of financial wrongdoing and the controversial executive has fired back with a $10.6M lawsuit.

Against this chaotic background, a cornerstone of Lotus' revival plans hinged on the rebirth of its Esprit supercar (shown in 2010 concept form above). According to new reports, however, the Esprit has been cancelled, a victim of the company's uncertain finances and direction. Depending on which rumor you choose to believe, the two-seat coupe was slated to receive a house-built V8 and possibly turbocharging or hybrid power. That may all be moot now, however, as DRB-Hicom is reported to have scrapped Bahar's plans wholesale, a development that apparently includes killing off the mid-engined Esprit, too.


Lotus Exige S at the Madrid Auto Show 2012

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