An all-new Esprit may not be dead after all, but it'll depend on financing.
It’s been some time since we’ve heard any realistic updates regarding the future of Lotus. As a brief recap, the UK sports car company fell into hard times for a variety of reasons, such as sluggish sales and a lack of financing. CEO Dany Bahar, the one who envisioned an expanded Lotus lineup that included an all-new Esprit, was fired by parent company Proton due to improper spending practices. Then Proton was bought out by DRB Hicom, who put Bahar’s plan on hold. That meant no new Esprit.
But today there appears to be some signs of hope the car may still happen. In an interview with Australia’s Motoring, Alastair Manihera, brand manager for Lotus Australia and New Zealand, stated that "contrary to popular belief the factory is keeping its options open (regarding a new Esprit). It’s extremely exciting – we’d love to see it. But as far as what happens and when, we still need to find out from the factory where they’re going to go." Development on a new Esprit, including its new 4.8-liter V8, was in an advanced stage when DRB-Hicom halted all work. Aside from great customer interest, "there is a long-term view with the plan and products that are coming through." So there’s still hope.