Those dismayed at the Lotus' wildly ambitious five-car future plan can breathe a sigh of relief, as Autocar is reporting that expansion strategy -- like former CEO Dany Bahar -- is gone.
While Lotus gets by in the U.S. market by selling variants of the Evora, the automaker has endured some tumultuous times. After Lotus' parent company Proton was bought by DRB-Hicom, the British brand’s CEO, Bahar, was suspended for "conduct." The new future plan for Lotus submitted to the company's six primary creditors is "much more realistic" than before, Malaysian media report. Lotus has laid off 50 contractors who may have been working on new projects, Autocar says.
The original plan involved a new Esprit, a mid-engine V-8 supercar that could have used a revised version of the Lexus IS F V-8 before the brand decided to build its own engines. A front-engine platform and two V-8s would be shared by the two-door Lotus Elite and four-door Lotus Eterne, while the company also planned a new Elan and Elise.
We hope the Lotus Esprit survives in the company's new future plans but, at this point, anything is possible. While a Lotus SUV might be antithetical to the company's original philosophy, such a vehicle could be just the thing to boost the automaker's profits -- just ask Porsche, Bentley, or Lamborghini. Whatever happens, enthusiasts everywhere are likely hoping Lotus will have any long-term future at all.