- The Lotus that wasn't

Lost stories: Lotus presents 5 concept cars!

An unsuspecting public, a french background and the unlikeliest of show stoppers.

2w ago

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Many stories are lost in the history of the car. Events that are overshadowed by other stories or are simply forgotten over time. Today we take a look at a moment in history, when Lotus claimed the spotlight at the Paris Motor Show.

Lotus Evora

Lotus Evora

The year is 2010 and Lotus has not been able to achieve the successes it would've liked with the Evora. Lotus decided to look for a new CEO and they found it, in the form of Dany Bahar. Dany has been able to sharpen his craft in the world of Formula 1 in recent years and then at Ferrari as head of marketing. He presents an aggressive 5-year plan to position Lotus well in emerging markets such as Saudi Arabia. Despite the changing of the guard, few people expect a big change from the small Norfolk brand.

Paris motor show 2010

Imagine the suprise when Lotus does not come with 1 or 2, but 5 differnet concept cars! The car industry is completely baffled by the wash of concept cars that Lotus is bringing to the Paris motor show in 2010. The small British brand, best known for small light sports cars, is generating so much publicity that the other brands can only watch, as Lotus steals the show.

Lotus Elise

Lotus Elise concept '10

Lotus Elise concept '10

The most famous name of these concept cars is the Lotus Elise. A model that until then can be called the purest of the Lotus models, given its low weight. However, the concept shows a more mature model with a glass roof and a larger and more modern look. The Elise concept would form the basis for the Lotus brand, with a clean but recognizable line throughout the entire line-up.

Lotus Elan

Lotus Elan concept '10

Lotus Elan concept '10

A well known name from Lotus history is being revived with the Elan. A model that would replace the not so popular Evora. With the same sharp looks and clean lines of the Elise, the Elan would be competing against the 911 Carrera models.

Lotus Esprit

Lotus Esprit concept '10

Lotus Esprit concept '10

The model that put Lotus on the map in the 1970s was the Lotus Esprit. As a concept, this model was the most developed one of the 5 proposals and would bring Lotus back to the top of the supercars. With a launch planned for 2013, the Esprit would come with a 5.0 liter V8 with 620 hp. This would take the Esprit from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.5 seconds and have a top speed of 330 km/h!

Lotus Elite

Lotus Elite concept '10

Lotus Elite concept '10

The Elite is presented as the GT option within the Lotus brand. With a 2+2 lay-out and a metal folding roof, the Elite would be a close competitor to the Ferrari California and Aston Martin DB9 convertible. Despite the different lay-out in the Grand Tourer, the resemblance to the other models is definitely there.

Lotus Eterne

Lotus Eterne concept '10

Lotus Eterne concept '10

In order not to miss out on the emerging market of luxury sports limousines, Lotus comes with a Hybrid sports sedan, the Eterne. With the same block as the Esprit, coupled to a KERS system, a top speed of 315 km/h would be possible. However, only a painted model of the Aston Martin Rapide competitor could be seen on the exhibition floor.

Cinderella story

The 5 concept cars provided Lotus with a huge amount of publicity, but unfortunately that is where the fairy tale would end. The plan to raise the necessary capital with the concept cars didn't work out. None of the 5 concept cars would make it into production and in 2012 Dany Bahar left the company. Another attempt that was made with the Ethos, a hybrid city car that could be sold for £ 30,000 also fell through. And so we would have to wait until 2019 when Lotus would come up with a new concept, the Evija. This 2000 hp fully electric sports car would once again give Lotus a lot of publicity. Let's hope that this time it will be more than just a concept.

Lotus Evija '20

Lotus Evija '20

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Comments (8)

  • They all have lots of styling cues from lots of other brands and nothing cohesive. Lotus tried to patent the original espirit shape and was rejected (rightly so).

    Lotus’ problem is they yo-yo from one design to the next and it doesn’t help people warm to the brand, if the only thing linking them with their past is a name then what’s the point.

      19 days ago
    • Especially the Elise was quite a step away from the original design. But I think it's probably just the design of that era. I genuinely couldn't tell you that the Evija has some typical Lotus styling cues, except if you look really closely...

      Read more
        19 days ago
    • Fully agree, what exactly is a lotus design cue these days? I can’t really think of any.

        19 days ago
  • Dont think any of them suit Lotus. All look a bit American.

      20 days ago
    • They mostly remind me of the New Honda NSX and McLaren's that were coming out around that time.

        20 days ago
  • It's a shame these never got made. And it's the first time I've seen the pictures of the Elite and Eterne concepts. I loved the Turbo Esprit and Esprit V8 of 2002-2004 most, but these gave me that feeling that I just never got with the Evora.

      19 days ago
  • I got the Esprit confused for the Tesla Cybertruck 😀

      19 days ago
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