For all of its existence, Lotus cars has been a relatively small, fringe sports car maker. Originator of the brand Colin Chapman was more interested in F1. Of recent times, the Elise got Lotus some decent sales numbers, but not profitability. The new plan is to have more models and go more upmarket, where the profits are to be made.
Current owner Proton has decided to go for broke with the marque. So the new range will be pricier, low on emissions, a new styling identity based around the front 'mouth area', better interiors, technically superior and bigger. They will retain lightness, good power to weight ratios, performance oriented and handle really well.
The current range is the Elise, Exige, Evora and 2-Eleven. (The Europa came and went quickly). The new models are as follows:
Esprit V8 (2013)
Eterne 4dr (2015)
I must say it all seems like they are trying to make up for lost time. The hectic schedule will make pulling it off all the harder. Going from just over 2,000 sales to 10,000 per annum is a big ask in a short time frame. Making sure the cars are designed and engineered well, production issues sorted and larger distribution networks in more markets.
How will they do it? Proton are looking at a tie up with Renault Nissan so whether they can assist with the distribution time will tell. It all seems a big risk to move so quickly but the cars look sharp and will drive well.
What it means to me: A big gamble because of the speed in which Lotus plan to execute five new models.