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Lotus leaning on KERS technology to breathe life into Esprit super car

Lotus Esprit

Lotus has been going through some tough times lately. At the 2011 LA Auto Show, it unveiled an all-new lineup, which would be considered ambitious for any automaker and especially so by such a small volume niche automaker like Lotus.

Having been recently purchased by Malaysian conglomerate DRB-Hicom, Lotus denied rumors of internal issues with CEO Danny Bahar earlier this year. Weeks later, Lotus sacked Bahar and its new vehicle lineup was seemingly halted.

Autocar is reporting, however, that the all-new Esprit super car flagship vehicle is nearly ready for production — only needing a few more tweaks.

Constructed of carbon fiber and aluminum and powered by a 5-liter twin turbocharged V8, the Esprit will produce 650 horsepower and will feature a seven-speed transmission controlled by flappy-paddles behind the steering wheel. Excitingly, the Esprit is expected to feature Formula One-style KERS technology and will be priced around the Porsche 911 mark, just shy of $100,000.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with ingenious KERS (kinetic energy recovery system), it’s a flywheel mounted within the drivetrain that captures energy during the slowdown process and stores it for use during acceleration for improved performance.

If Lotus is truly ready to put the Esprit into production it would signify that things are on the up and up at the company and that —  perhaps — it is back on its hugely ambitious track.