( Worldcarfans ) - Mike Kimberley, CEO at Lotus, has talked with the British press recently and revealed a few plans for the future of Lotus. First, Lotus is developing an Elise with a detuned to 220 hp Exige engine, secondly a new, more luxurious Europa is in the works, thirdly the upcoming Exige SR which will feature the 2-Eleven Concept's variable traction control and fourthly Lotus is working on California-spec versions of the Elise and Exige.
But more interesting news is to follow. At next year's London Motor Show in July Lotus will be presenting their new Lotus Eagle. The Eagle is a 2+2 tourer powered by a mid-mounted, transverse Toyota V6 and competitively priced between GBP 45,000 and GB 48,000. There will be five versions ranging from a convertible to one with paddle shifters, a previous absolute no-no according to Lotus, but Lotus has listened to their Japanese and American customer base and will feature paddle-shifters on the car. The Lotus Eagle is set to go into production late 2008 and should go on sale early 2009.
Sometime later in 2009 Lotus is going to announce the next Lotus Esprit, although it may not be called the Esprit, and will be powered by 'a very high brand-image engine' according to Mr Kimberley. But it will not be a V12, Lotus claims not to need a V12 in order to achieve the kind of performace they are after. Mr Kimberley was quoted to say: "I sent it back to Engineering. It didn't have the Lotus DNA, and wasn't true to the Lotus heritage.", so plenty of work is still to be done on this project but we feel confident that it will be a stunner. There will be five or six versions with a starting price of around GBP 80,000.
Note: the image is a rendering dating back to 2003. Lotus has not revealed any teaser sketches or images of the Eagle or new Esprit.