Geneva 2012: Lotus Racing, Not Road Cars, Take Center Stage

There’s quite a bit of new sheetmetal present on Lotus’ Geneva show stand – but only if you’re counting racing cars. The automaker’s display places three race cars, including an F1 car; a new Le Mans-bound, Lola-based prototype race car; and the Evora GTE racer. Look closely, and you may even catch a glimpse at the new the rally-spec Exige coupe lurking in the background.

That’s great news for racing fans – but where are the production cars that will support the company off the track? Geneva saw two new production cars – the Lotus Exige S Roadster and the Evora GTE – debut, but what caught our attention was what wasn’t present on the show stand. Where are all the new road cars, which were first presented at the 2010 Paris Motor Show?

We understand those models are still under development, but you’d think Lotus would still be interested in drumming up interest in models that ostensibly will support the brand’s future – especially considering most were supposed to launch within the next three years. A new Elise and the Eterne sedan were scheduled for 2015, but a new Elite and the Elan (an Evora by another name) were due in 2014, and the revived Esprit was promised for the 2013 model year. That seemed like a long ways away back in 2010, but that deadline is now only a year away.

Then again, maybe there’s some breathing room after all: new reports suggest product development is on a temporary lockdown while the Malaysian government seeks a new owner for Lotus’ parent company. As such, expect that new Esprit to be pushed back to the 2014 model year.

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