Lightweight and full of life: Lotus’ V8-powered Esprit might not be dead after all

The Lotus Esprit was a fixture of the supercar community from 1976 to 2004, which is an incredible run. Since the replacement Esprit concept first debuted in 2010, the iconic car has been in development hell, with the car eventually being cancelled … or maybe not.

In a recent interview Lotus’ brand manager for Australia and New Zealand, Alastair Manihera, said that the return of the Esprit is still on the table. According to Australian enthusiast site Motoring, Manihera stated that, “Contrary to popular belief the factory is keeping its options open … It’s extremely exciting – we’d love to see it.”

This comes as a sharp change of pace from earlier reports. The Esprit concept’s debut generated a lot of excitement, but Lotus’s poor financial straits led the company to be taken over by Malaysian DRB-Hicom before the car could go into production. Since then the company has been on a tight leash, and focusing on returning to profitability.

Apparently that focus has paid off because Lotus is seeing injections of capital both from its Malaysian parent company and from the British government in the form of development grants. This may mean that they have the time and resources to go back to the stalled Esprit and put it into production. If that’s the case, it would be very exciting.

The new Esprit would be targeted at the likes of the Ferrari 458 or the new Lamborghini Huracán. Unlike other Lotus vehicles, powered by tuned Toyota engines, the new Esprit would get a bespoke V8, which was being developed along with the car. Purportedly capable of putting out 600 horsepower and revving to 9000 rpm, the V8 sounds like something that belonged in an F1 car.

Even better, it will supposedly going to be designed on modular architecture, so that six- and four-cylinder versions could also be produced, potentially powering the whole run of Lotus production cars.

Besides, just look at it. The new Esprit captures a lot of the best features of its predecessors, but with a modern context. And unlike a lot of newcomer supercars, there is no unnecessary flash or gaudy trim; it just looks fast and exciting.

So while the report from one brand manager doesn’t necessarily prove that the Esprit is back for real, it is at least encouraging to hear that it is not dead and buried.

So here’s hoping that Lotus’ parent company ponies up the dough.

Product Review

Mercedes-Benz updates the timeless G-wagen for the modern world

For decades, the G-Class has been an outlier in the Mercedes-Benz portfolio, a body-on-frame brute with the soul – and driving manners – of an off-road pickup. With the all-new G550, Mercedes seeks to smooth out some of the rough edges.
Wearables

Focals succeed where Google Glass fumbled (but do we really need smartglasses?)

It’s been seven years since Google took the wraps off Google Glass. Now, we’re finally getting a modern-day equivalent we want to wear. North’s Focals combine subtle style with an intuitive interface to craft smartglasses you’ll…
Mobile

OnePlus breaks into the top five among U.S. smartphone companies

We've been impressed with the value offered by OnePlus phones for years, but in 2018 the Chinese manufacturer really stepped things up. After impressive sales, OnePlus broke into the top five U.S. smartphone companies in the high-end…
Mobile

Samsung teases it will reveal its foldable phone during the Galaxy S10 event

Samsung has been showcasing bendable display tech for a few years and now a folding smartphone might finally arrive. The Galaxy X, or perhaps the Galaxy Fold, may be the company's first example. Here's everything we know about it.
Cars

Honda’s Urban EV is shaping up to be a high-tech, high-style electric city car

Honda will travel to the 2019 Geneva Auto Show to unveil a close-to-production prototype that previews an adorable, city-friendly electric car. The Urban EV will offer about 155 miles of range, and its interior is a tech lover's dream come…
Cars

Audi’s Geneva-bound Q4 E-Tron concept will give us a glimpse of the future

Audi has released a trio of teaser sketches to preview the Q4 E-Tron concept. Scheduled to make its debut at the 2019 Geneva Auto Show, the design study takes the form of an electric SUV with a muscular design and a tech-filled interior.
Product Review

The 2020 Volvo V60 Cross Country is a do-it-all Swedish army knife

Volvo laced up its smallest station wagon in hiking clothes to create the V60 Cross Country. It's a lifted, all-wheel drive wagon that laughs at icy roads while coddling its occupants. We travel to Sweden to try it out.
Cars

Tesla’s Dog Mode lets good Samaritans know that Fido’s A-OK

Tesla's latest over-the-air software update adds two features called Sentry Mode and Dog Mode. Sentry Mode records footage and alerts the owner if someone breaks in, while Dog Mode runs the A/C so owners can safely keep their dogs in their…
Cars

Rock out in the carpool lane with Singing Machine’s Carpool Karaoke microphone

Carpool Karaoke fans can count down the days till summer. That's when Singing Machine's Carpool Karaoke microphone will be available. Connect the Carpool Karaoke Mic to your car radio to make your next road trip a mobile karaoke party.
Cars

Bentley Bentayga Speed surpasses Lamborghini Urus as world’s fastest SUV

The Bentley Bentayga Speed has wrested the title of world's fastest SUV from its cousin, the Lamborghini Urus. But the Bentley is just 1 mph faster than the Lamborghini. It requires 626 horsepower to achieve that top speed.
Emerging Tech

With CabinSense, cars will soon know who’s riding in them and respond accordingly

What if your car could know who's riding in it and customize the entertainment and safety options accordingly? That’s what's promised by the new CabinSense in-car Occupancy Monitoring System.
Outdoors

General Motors cycles into a new market with its first-ever ebikes

When General Motors launched a public campaign last year to name its new ebike brand, many wondered if Bikey McBikeface might win out. But it didn't. Instead, it's called Arīv, and the two bikes are up for pre-order this week.
Cars

The Polestar 2, Sweden’s answer to the Tesla Model 3, begins taking shape

Volvo sister company Polestar has released a teaser image to give us our first look at the 2, its second model. Polestar tells us the 2 will arrive as a four-door fastback with a 400-hp electric powertrain and about 300 miles of range.
Cars

2020 Kia Soul and Soul EV continue to think inside the box

The 2020 Kia Soul is the third generation of Kia's boxy curiosity. The Soul maintains its signature look, but gets tech and powertrain upgrades. The all-electric Soul EV returns as well.