Lotus Esprit replacement delayed to 2011, hybrid on option

Lotus’ limited resources were apparently tapped out by the fast-tracking of the new Evora, so the Esprit replacement has been delayed until 2011. According to Autocar, the new Esprit will be based off the same chassis as the Evora, but it will be widened and stretched to fit a longitudinal engine mounted amidships. But what kind of engine? Lotus boss Mike Kimberley says that he wants to offer “guilt-free, high performance motoring” and Autocar maintains that to reach that goal, the new Esprit could be fitted with a hybrid drivetrain based on a mix of Lotus and Toyota technology.
Lotus has its hands full with several other projects, including six different versions of the Evora – ranging from a convertible to an automatic variant – as well as developing S3 versions of the Elise and Exige and working on 340 different projects for 147 separate companies. For the first time in several years, Lotus posted a profit, and if the automaker continues its trajectory, more money and compelling products are on the way.