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2015 Geneva motor show: Lotus planning more hard-core models

By Toby Hagon, 06 Mar 2015 News

2015 Geneva motor show: Lotus planning more hard-core models

Lotus is planning more hard-core models including a successor to the track-only 2-Eleven after releasing a more powerful, faster version of the Lotus Evora sports car to date

Lotus reveals a faster, more powerful version of its Evora sports car and says more hard-core models are on the way

LOTUS is promising renewed excitement from its model revisions and new models over coming years, kicked off by the new Lotus Evora 400 that rivals the Porsche Cayman in terms of size, performance and price.

The Evora 400 – named after its 400bhp (298kW) output – is the fastest Evora to date, with a 300km/h top speed and 4.2sec 0-100km/h time. 

Yet it's only the beginning of Lotus rebuilding following years of controversy and financial difficulties, with the current Elise and Exige models the foundation of its future line-up. Both cars will continue with the now 20-year-old aluminium chassis for some time yet.

“We’ve got more plans to do things around […] that chassis [Elise and Exige],” Lotus design chief Russell Carr said. “They have a very strong benchmark in the market.”

He said there would likely be a successor to the Exige-based track car, the 2-Eleven.

“We’ll have to wait and see what the other things are – there will be lots of exciting things,” he said, referring to yet-to-be-unveiled model derivatives.

According to Carr, there would be significant design tweaks to the Elise and Exige, and new or revised engines could be part of it.

Carr said the five future models – including a revised Esprit – that were unveiled at the 2010 Paris motor show would now not be used. The ambitious plan was proposed by then-Lotus CEO Dany Bahar, who was ousted from the company in controversial circumstances in 2012.

“We would do something quite significantly different,” Carr said.

The Evora 400 is the biggest indication so far of the Hethel, UK-based company's approach.

It gets fresh styling front and rear, and various design touches including slimmer mirrors and a heavily revised engine bay that looks more technical and neater when peering through the rear bonnet cover. Weight is down by 22kg, too, to 1415kg.

Inside, the Evora gets some noticeably different styling, with new Sparco seats, fresh switchgear and revised door trims, designed to make it easier to get in and out – and feel more comfortable once you’re in.

The Lotus Evora 400 is expected to be on sale in Australia in early 2016, with prices to be confirmed closer to launch.