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I may be completely bonkers (and probably am!) but I think that there is a market for a new Esprit. A true GT car for the 2010's and 2020's. Probably £120k's worth but surely it would be attractive to UK and US buyers ahead of the Italian jobs? Supercar luxury...

@The Pits I hear what you said...

I tempted fate...now my Esprit V8 IS in bits...(sob)

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That engineering partner of Toyota also had a flat 12.      

Not looking too shabby at breakfast club this morning

Years gone by......  

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  • 3 months later...
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I've been swotting up on the Esprit ahead of my meeting with @BP81 and his gorgeous V8 this weekend. It got me thinking about as to "what if" Lotus brought back an Esprit.

One thing I find quite interesting is that many things Lotus previously did that might have been seen as "less desirable" are now de-rigeur. There was a time you simply couldn't sell a sports car with less than six cylinders if you wanted certain markets to take you seriously. Now the flagship Ford GT is going to be a V6! AMG are making 2L 4-pot turbos and everyone is now shouting from the rooftops that certain parts of their cars are composites to save weight!

So, ignoring the Dany Bahar car-that-never-was, if a new Esprit came out now, what might it look like, what would you want it to be like? I'm curious.

For me, the Esprit MUST be a 2 seater. It must also sit above the Evora, realistically. Because the Evora's a 2+2 it could exist alongside. In my mind, the Lotus architecture would probably mean it isn't too difficult to lengthen the Evora's chassis, but then turn the engine around so it's longitudinal and therefore can have a proper gearbox attached.

I've heard the Toyota V6 is good for 500bhp+. If that's the case I don't see any big problems with using that engine - although it'd be nice to have a V8 in there I am not sure how easily that can be made to work, particularly with ever-tightening emissions restrictions. I would love Lotus to keep things relatively simple - offer a manual six-speeder if they can, or a dual clutch alternative if they must. A more bespoke, higher-end interior than the Evora, possibly a small boot in the front as you'd be losing the luggage space behind the seats to fit in the engine... then you're good. I would say price it around £125-£150k to compete with the entry level R8, 911 Turbo, that kind of thing.

Just me dreaming... what do you guys think? SHOULD Lotus build a new Esprit?

I think in reality a new Elise/Exige will happen first, but stilll...

James Martin (JayEmm)
Director of Photography & Car Enthusiast

Follow my Lotus adventure online! www.jayemm.com

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Massively wide rear tyres, wide as possible and lower than the Elise. That should just about do it for me.

 

Buddsy

 

"Belief is the enemy of knowing" - Crrow777

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The Elise is a damn low car, I don't know if they'd be able to get away with the same entry/exit difficult for their supercar. Mind, getting in/out of a McLaren 650 is not exactly smooth sailing.

I reckon the current Ferrari line-up is arguably as wide as you can go, possibly even too wide for many UK roads.

James Martin (JayEmm)
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Needs to set itself apart. Absolute cutting edge but not a hypercar vanity project.

Carbon chassic and shell, absolute top spec running gear...... mentally tuned high revving turbo'd 4cyl engine.

Sub 1100kg's Sub £100K

Build on what was created in 1976, because that was special.

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Build on the original S1 shape but bring it up to date for interior and exterior looks and practically and keep it low and wide to really drive home road presence. Do not sell it in the US so we don't have to put those stupid £3 Raleigh cycle wheel reflector thingies on the side!  

Use the current Toyota V6, add a supercharger and turbo for full rev range grunt and must have 500bhp. Anything less don't bother.

Needs to weigh 1100kg tops, with fluids.

2 seater only - no friggin' baby seats, wet-one wipe dispensers, baby monitors in the back or anything else like that shit.

Manual gearbox only (a real attraction to real drivers and they will only be looking to sell say 150-200 cars a year in most markets anyway)

Lots of carbon, composites and aluminium - and pair this with leather/alcantara in the inside.

Price it at £110k - £125k

Must have a 550bhp lightweight GT (1000kg) version with carbon buckets, built in lap timer, data logging etc. to completely and utterly flook all over the Challenge Stradale / Superleggero Trofeo / GTRS brigade.

Price this at £110k plus optional extras like on-board hydraulic lifters (for wheel changes at the track, not speed bumps!), carbon ceramic brakes, 4wd system, harnesses; onboard in built fire extinguisher, track pack (full roll cage, cutoff swtiches, harnesses, etc etc etc), Carbon wheels, Aero pack (full carbon aero pack - extreme but practical) etc. SO if you want you can spec to £140k+

etc.

Now something like that, I would give up women, alcohol, drugs, food, and just about about everything for. As long, as it looked the part and was wowser too.

So, I'm not asking for much, but I think it would pretty much blow anything else, apart from a real racing car, off the road and track everywhere.

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Alcohol. Sex. Tobacco. Drugs. Chocolate.  Meh! NOTHING in this world is as addictive as an Evora +0. It's not for babies!    

The first guy to ride a bull for fun, was a true hero. The second man to follow him was truly nuts!   

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As far as I know @C8RKH the current engine is capable of 500+bhp with not major work - wouldn't even need a turbo, just the wick turned up on the supercharger, maybe forged internals. It would need a proper gearbox though, but if you mounted longitudinally that should be easy to accommodate.

An Esprit "clubsport" is definitely a good idea. The market for mega track day cars has to be a huge money spinner now, much more so than it was ten/fifteen years ago.

James Martin (JayEmm)
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For R&D - extrapolate an original design brief that echos both what the car was intended to be and how it actually turned out. Then reconstruct it using modern materials/processes  (so bonded alu and carbon/Kevlar weaves or whatever). So now you have an S1 Esprit that notionally weighs say 8-900kg and a little room to give it all mod cons. 

Give that car to Giugiaro to decide what his original design should look like in the present day. Cause let's face it, it'd be rude not to. The aesthetic elements would be clearly traceable back to the original car.

So there would be an inline engined car (I'd love a 5 cyl) and a V engined full grown car. The only thing I'd add to what C8RKH said is it should be a decent GT car too.

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I think the easiest thing to do construction wise is take an Evora, lengthen it, widen it, lower it. Remove the back seats, turn the engine around, turn the wick up, maybe have carbon fibre body rather than fibreglass? Or have it as an option? It's a buzzword now so even if the weight saving isn't much people want it.

Andy's right with the price, maybe £120kish base price, then do a Porsche and charge loads more money for the stripped out hardcore version. The hacks would lap it up if you built a proper modern manual gear box old-school supercar. Would make a very tempting alternative for guys looking at the base level Macca/Fezza

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James Martin (JayEmm)
Director of Photography & Car Enthusiast

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32 minutes ago, JayEmm said:

is take an Evora, lengthen it, widen it, lower it. Remove the back seats, turn the engine around, turn the wick up

I think they could do all of that without having to start with an Evora! 

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88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

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14 minutes ago, Bibs said:

I think they could do all of that without having to start with an Evora! 

You know what I mean, take the basic architecture - ie. the aluminium tub tech

James Martin (JayEmm)
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Follow my Lotus adventure online! www.jayemm.com

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Lotus have VVA - Versatile Vehicle Architecture which can be used to make all sorts of size of cars. Had a read of this...

http://www.automotivemanufacturingsolutions.com/process-materials/putting-the-vva-voom-into-lotus-cars

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

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Or was it not Lotus Tech that they did for Aston?

Alcohol. Sex. Tobacco. Drugs. Chocolate.  Meh! NOTHING in this world is as addictive as an Evora +0. It's not for babies!    

The first guy to ride a bull for fun, was a true hero. The second man to follow him was truly nuts!   

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Yeah, that's what I mean, didn't Aston buy the idea/rights/whatever off Lotus for their own vehicles?

Although I have to say I did laugh when Aston went to great lengths telling people how light the new Vanquish was - bonded aluminium tub this, aluminium that, carbon fibre here, etc... and the thing still weighed 1800kg

James Martin (JayEmm)
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Follow my Lotus adventure online! www.jayemm.com

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  • 2 months later...

Ok, the Noble has pretty much passed me by before in the supercar stakes. But looking at the M600 I don't understand why Lotus aren't competing in this space? After all, they are the very best in automotive technology, have the best handling, suspension and engine performance knowledge of most car manufacturers? So why has an upstart like Noble got a march on Lotus in what should be an easy picking market for them? Shouldn't a new Esprit be at least equal to one of these?

:mellow:

 

 

I tempted fate...now my Esprit V8 IS in bits...(sob)

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7 hours ago, swindon_alan said:

Ok, the Noble has pretty much passed me by before in the supercar stakes. But looking at the M600 I don't understand why Lotus aren't competing in this space? After all, they are the very best in automotive technology, have the best handling, suspension and engine performance knowledge of most car manufacturers? So why has an upstart like Noble got a march on Lotus in what should be an easy picking market for them? Shouldn't a new Esprit be at least equal to one of these?

:mellow:

 

 

I agree completely! I saw a Noble M600 up close at a show last year, and was very impressed. To me it looked like a modern incarnation of the Esprit: a pure drivers car, similar layout, manual gearbox, functional interior without gizmo's like an ipad fixed to the dash...

Only disappointment was the lack of a rear luggage space, so it can't rival the Esprit as a practical supercar for the daily commute. Ooh, and then there's the small matter of the price...

It may be far out of my reach, but it would be great to see Lotus develop a similar model in the form of the new Esprit. With that heritage, it is bound to get a lot more publicity and credit.

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I have made many mistakes in my life. Buying a multiple Lotus is not one of them.

 

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  • 1 month later...

I agree about the Noble M600. The first thing I thought when I heard of it and the concept behind it was LOTUS and then Esprit.

I also agree the best direction for a modern Esprit would be a modern take on the S1. The most beautiful sports car ever designed IMO. Similar to what Ford did between the GT40 and GT. It could work weel with the S1.

It would need to be light weight. Although I'm not sure about as light as possible. Somebody mentioned the Alfa 4C and I have heard rumors the car is very dangerous in rain and at higher speeds in strong wind because it's just too light. I think 1100kg would be a great number for a modern Esprit. But to get it that light and with some luxury it would make it very expensive. Not sure Lotus could afford it. The Elise is easy to do since it has nothing inside.

Engine I don't think it must be a 4 pot to fit the Lotus concept. Today you probably can have a V6 lighter than the original 4 pot right? This is what matters. The weight of the engine. Not the displacement. This is the reason the 4 cyl. cars handle better than the Esprit V8.

How much did the original 2.2 N/A weigh? How much the V6 in the Evora?

A V6 with at least 500HP (otherwise don't bother) and same or lower weight than the original 2.2 would be a killer.

A V12 though would just be wrong. It's impossible to make a light enough V12. Maybe even a V8 light enough. But a V6 is different. That could be light and high power. I like the idea of the inline 5 as well.

Edited by Straightbend
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I really don't think it needs 500bhp to be frank. I not sure what the obsession is with HP - but both of the esprits which I've owned old cars are lightening fast as it is.

id much rather a nice balance between power, weight and handling......

Only here once

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Yes, there are different ways to extract speed out of a car and it's engine. But Being the Esprit, it would have to be faster than their other offerings. So, 500Hp in comparison to other brands offerings, and a soon to be diversity of Electric cars, would be suitable. And then an out an out race version. The new Sport300, thanks.

Kind regards,

Jacques.

Nobody does it better - than Lotus ;)

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