I was gonna save today’s post to rave about Audi’s awesome Quattro concept. Trouble is, Lotus went and ROCKED the Paris Motor Show today, so I decided to go with this one right here: The (new) Lotus Esprit.
Oh man, it was love at first sight with this one. Just look at it! Sure, it’s a bit conservative compared to its main rivals the Ferrari 458 and the Lamborghini Gallardo, but you have to agree it’s a heck of a lot better than that McLaren MP4-12C! I don’t know exactly how to put my finger on it, but I think the Esprit is just damn beautiful. Even better looking than the Gallardo and, dare I say it, the 458? Oooooooh, I don’t know about that one. I think it’s a close tie between the 458 and this as far as looks.
So, some hard facts. It’s got it’s engine mounted in the middle behind the driver, like a proper supercar should. And that engine is a 5.0L V8, which is lifted from the IS-F courtesy of Toyota. And for added measure, it’s been supercharged to the tune of 620HP. Just for reference that annihilates the 458s 572HP and the Gallardo’s 560HP, and even bests the MP4-12Cs 592HP. This results in a 0-60 time in under 3.5 seconds and a top speed of 205MPH, which is…….right there with the rest of them predictability. However, the Esprit utilzies a Formula-One style KERS system, which basically stores energy expelled by braking and let’s you use that stored energy for a power boost with the push of a button (ala MORE NAWWWZZ!!!).
Of course, straight-line speed isn’t everything, and the Esprit will ultimately be judged by the overall driving experience. And to this end, we have no idea what will come of this, because remember this Esprit is still a “concept”. But remember this IS a Lotus. So do we really need to worry about driving-feel? I mean really??
I have to say that Lotus’ showing at this year’s Paris Auto Show has me hugely impressed. In case you missed it, they revealed five new car concepts, including of course the Esprit here as well as the Elan, the Elite, the Eterne, and the Elise. And I have to say, overall I like the direction Lotus is taking. To me they’re showing that they’re not afraid to (finally) take it to the big-boys. Of course, you may complain that they’re straying from their roots, and to that argument I really don’t have a counter-point. It is a shame in a way. But still, technology is what rules the car industry now days and if you want to stay afloat, all companies if they want to be successful are forced to sell-out (just look at BMW). Sure, fan-boys may cry foul, but who cares about fan-boys anyway? They’re just whiny little SNOTS in my honest opinion. Personally, I’m loving the way the future is looking for the supercar, and Lotus has built which is possibly my favorite one yet. Of course, this is still premature because this thing is still years off of production. But still, again, just look at it (the Esprit). The future, it can’t come soon enough!