The 2013 Lotus Esprit is no longer a light, simple car. It's a complicated and extremely fast one, reaching 205 MPH flat out. Unfortunately, that means its now got a lot of competition.
The new Esprit weighs 3,200 Lbs and is powered by the same forced-induction 5.0-liter V8 that's in the Lotus Eterne super sedan. That means an 8,500rpm redline, 612 HP and 530 Lb-Ft of Torque. Ditching Toyota power is clearly one of the upsides of the new, more complicated Lotus.
The Esprit will be rear-wheel drive only and is only available with a dual-clutch flappy paddle gearbox. Something good for enthusiasts and something bad for enthusiasts. Regenerative braking will be optional.
What's all this mean? Well, a seriously fast car for one; 0-62 MPH will take just 3.4 seconds and the top speed is 205 MPH. Unfortunately it also means a very expensive one. At current exchange rates, Lotus says the Esprit will start at $173,000. All this also ads up to a car that's virtually identical to every other mid-engined supercar out there, and there's a lot of them.
The Lamborghini Gallardo, Audi R8 5.2 FSI, Ferrari 458 Italia and McLaren MP4-12C are all pretty much the same thing as this Lotus. So why buy one? Lotuses of old were known for being different, for taking the philosophical high road of light weight at the expense of outright power. Sure, they were flawed cars, very flawed in most cases, but they were special. Is yet another me-too Gallardo really a worthy successor to Colin Chapman's throne?