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New Details On Lotus Concepts Emerge

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On: Thu, Sep 2, 2010 at 9:28AM | By: Chris Weiss

New Details On Lotus Concepts Emerge

We got an official sneak preview of the Lotus Evora S and Evora IPS coming to the 2010 Paris Motor Show earlier this week, and we now have a not-so-official preview of the four concepts that Lotus will be debuting at the show. The concepts are expected to showcase a new paradigm for Lotus, a shift from the smaller, lighter, cheaper ethic that has guided it for the past several years onward toward a heavier, cleaner and more performance oriented direction.

We've been hearing whispers about an Esprit revival concept and three other concepts, and a report yesterday in Autoweek shed some light on exactly what those other concepts might look like. The report cites the ever- simple "sources" as to where it derived the information.

First things first. The Esprit revival is expected to be similar in powertrain and body to the last generation Esprit, featuring a mid-mounted turbocharged V8 engine and rear-wheel drive orientation. Disappointingly, the car is expected to be heavier than traditional Lotus supercars and will use only token amounts of lightweight materials like carbon fiber. A previous report indicated that the new could be "perhaps even more” than an Esprit revival, so it remains to be seen exactly what Lotus has up its sleeve.

Another Lotus of yesteryear is expected to make its grand comeback in Paris, and it will be reaching a little farther back into the Lotus stockyards. The Seven, a roadster that was produced between 1957 and 1973, will be the inspiration behind the concept. The concept will feature modernized styling of the old-fashioned roadster and will include new creature comforts like air conditioning and a more comfort-oriented interior. It's expected to be heavier than the original Seven and carry a price of around $100,000.

While the new Esprit and Seven looks will certainly excite Lotus traditionalists, Lotus will also have something for the new generation. It will debut two hybrid concepts--a coupe and a four-door hatch--that make use of the same hybrid powertrain used on the Evora 414 E Hybrid. Debuted at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show, the 414 E utilized two rear-mounted electric motors and a range-extending 47-hp three-cylinder engine generator. The engine fed electricity to the 17 kWh lithium polymer battery, while the two motors combined for a total output of 408 hp. The 414 E was said to offer up to 35 miles of all-electric driving, 300 miles of range and a 0 to 60 mph time under 4 seconds.

The two new hybrid concepts are expected to gain some weight, so we don't expect a replication of the 414 E's impressive numbers.

While we're slightly disappointed that Lotus didn't translate some of its emphasis on lightweight design into the new concepts, we can't wait to see what the 2010 Esprit and Seven concepts look like. And the future of Lotus production hybrids should be pretty interesting too.

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