We knew Lotus would be cresting the "dawn of a new era" prior to the Paris Motor Show, and information about its product plans is slowly making its way online. Information from two blogs from Southeast Asia, however, may have given us the best clue yet as to a raft of new small cars based on the Proton EMAS concept displayed at the Geneva Auto Show.
Malaysian automaker Proton, which owns Lotus, is preparing a small hatchback to compete with the likes of Toyota's iQ city car. We knew that they would likely be powered by small, turbocharged engines, with the possibility of a plug-in hybrid on the menu. The pictures shown here are the clearest indication so far of what we might be able to expect from Proton and Lotus in the near future.
The EMAS (which stands for Eco Mobility Advance Solution), according to the photos, will be produced as both a three-door and a five-door hatchback. The three-door, badged a Lotus in these photos, stays true to the three-door concept shown in Geneva, and will compete with city cars like the aforementioned iQ and Smart ForTwo. The five-door, badged a Proton, is also very similar to the concept shown in Geneva. Both models highlight wheels pushed out to the corners and heavily styled fender flares, as well as the extensive use of glass on the bodywork. We haven't yet found any images of the interior, though.
By the looks of the enormous brake calipers in the image of the Lotus, we can glean that it's likely more track-oriented than the Proton version. We'll know more in the days leading up to the Paris Motor Show.
Could a Lotus three-door hatchback (or a five-door Proton) make a solid business case alongside the sinuous Evora and Elise in North America? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.