Lotus' third, high-end performance model will be called the Esprit, according to Lotus boss Mike Kimberley during an exclusive interview for PistonHeads.
The Hethel-based hasn't officially announced the name of the old Esprit's replacement yet even although everyone outside the company's been calling it the Esprit. But Kimberley let it slip during the fascinating interview, which we'll be publishing in full soon.
Kimberley said: "For Lotus to be successful we need a three model line-up and the jewel in the crown is the Esprit; it always was." PistonHeads' interviewer noted that the PR man cringed and reminded Kimberley that what he meant to say was 'the mid-engined sports car', as no decision has officially been made about the name yet.
Kimberley also defended Lotus' decision to produce the Europa. "Some people are criticising the Europa but the fact is that there are a lot of people out there who want a sports car they can drive every day – to not do the Europa would be to deny Lotus access to a market five times bigger than the one we're currently in."
I think people are criticisng the Europa S for its styling, not for the concept and market it's aimed at. I don't doubt a large market exists for a more comfortable mid-range sportscar. I am just disappointed they haven't been more adventurous with the styling, especially as the M250 thing was so well received. What has come out looks like a Proton version of an Elise.
cross-eyed-twit04 Aug 2006
I think we all knew it would be called the Esprit ...
Agreed about the styling of the Europa (in pictures) but I believe it is much more aggressive and in keeping in real life. You have to see it in the flesh to judge. My dealer has a demonstrator coming soon. I think it was assumed that Elise lovers wouldn't like it but then it wasn't aimed at them in a marketing sense. It is designed to capture another segment of sports coupe drivers such as Boxter/S2000 etc (I think) that needed a more practical car than an Elise. It will get Lotus into a bigger market and that is a very good thing.
I do agree also about the M250 which was a stunner.
cathalm04 Aug 2006
Saw the europa at the motor show, it looked pretty good in the flesh and the interior while styled the same as in the elise is obviously bolted together better and made of thicker better quality mataerials, quite fancy one now. Especially as it has the GM engine instead of that reedy toyota motor.
Craig Armstrong04 Aug 2006
cross eyed twit said:
It is designed to capture another segment of sports coupe drivers such as Boxter/S2000 etc (I think) that needed a more practical car than an Elise.
They lost me as a potential purchaser with the styling. I might save some pennies for the new Esprit though, if I don't stay loyal and wait for the NSX replacement.
Edited by Craig Armstrong on Friday 4th August 10:55
LooseCannon04 Aug 2006
II do agree also about the M250 which was a stunner.
Yep, wish the Europa had looked like that. Any car that takes its inspiration from a Stratos has to be a winner :-)