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Lotus Esprit Concept Debuts in Paris

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On: Fri, Oct 1, 2010 at 2:51PM | By: Chris Weiss

Lotus Esprit Concept Debuts in Paris

It's been an exciting couple of days in the auto world thanks to pre-Paris and Paris auto show debuts all over the place. The most exciting part of the show's first day has got to be the all-new Lotus Esprit. We've been waiting for it for months and it's finally a reality--or at least a conceptual reality. While the current iteration is just a concept, Lotus has production plans for this one, with a spring 2013 production debut being quoted.

Rumors of a V10 engine are officially dead, as the new Esprit goes for the more historically accurate V8 engine--a mid-mounted Lexus IS F 5.0-liter V8 engine, to be exact. However, the new engine is more powerful than any Esprits in the past, storing 620 ponies in those 8 cylinders. Lotus also says the car is pressure charged but hasn't specified if that means turbo or superchargers. We'll just assume they'll go with turbochargers, which were used in the last Lotus before its wind-down in 2004. That engine works in tandem with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

Performance figures given by Lotus include a 3.4-second 0-to-62 mph time and a 205 mph top speed. As an aside, if those numbers look painfully familiar, it could be because they're the exact same as the plug-in hybrid Jaguar C-X75 concept that we saw yesterday. That just makes us love the Jag concept even more. But back to the Lotus--

The new Esprit welcomes the new decade with a variety of modern updates. It's styling is more modern, with a variety of striking inclusions like the glass engine cover, slit eyes, center-mounted exhaust and flowing windshield to glass roof. Inside, the two seats will be surrounded by premium trim.

Another modern part of the Lotus is the KERS system that will be available as an option.

CEO Dany Bahar describes the precarious balance in resurrecting a legend: "One has to be very careful when taking on the challenge of reinventing such an iconic classic as the Esprit — everyone has an opinion. There's a fine balance between acknowledging the greatness of the past whilst at the same time rapidly leaping forward to the future and ensuring that this car not only does the name Esprit justice but also the Lotus brand."

The concept will be launched as a 2014 model. Early pricing estimates are putting it in the $110,000 to $175,000 range, and it seems likely that it will be closer to the higher figure.

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