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Spy Shots: ’08 Lotus Esprit


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The British sports car maker Lotus — owned by Malaysia ’s Proton — is developing a new mid-engined Lotus Esprit, due for launch in 2007.

 

These photos show a first mule in high-speed testing at the Nürburgring. It has wider fenders and a big rear wing than the current car. More important is what will be underneath: the next Esprit gets a 32-valve, 4.8-liter V-8 engine from BMW delivering 367 hp. The engine will be surrounded by a newly developed extruded aluminum chassis and an all-around independent suspension. The supercar’s top speed is estimated at around 180 mph.

U.S. sales for this new Esprit have priority; Lotus will build between 1000 and 2000 units in the company’s home base in Hethel in Great Britain.

 

These photos include a computer-drawn artist’s impression of how the new Esprit might look upon its release.

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