At the 2010 Paris Motor Show, Lotus went nuts and introduced five new concept vehicles that were supposed to be introduced over the next six years. And at the 2011 LA Auto Show, Lotus announced they would enter IndyCar in 2012 as a new engine supplier.
Now, Lotus has reportedly fired 50 engineers behind four of those cars. There are also rumors that they are cancelling the IndyCar program, which is down to a single car.
The cancellation of all projects except the Esprit leaves Lotus with a business plan that is "much more realistic" than previous CEO Bahar's "basically unworkable" ideas. Lotus has also reportedly shelved plans to build its own engine and gearbox for the new Esprit and will instead source it elsewhere.
As for IndyCar, there has been nothing but negative PR for the company since they entered the championship. Development started well after competitors and a smaller budget led to an underpowered engine. What started off as a five car program now has one driver, as the other teams defected to Honda or Chevrolet power. One team is even suing Lotus because of the relationship. Results have been atrocious and speeds at the Indy 500 were so slow that the cars were black flagged after a handful of laps.
They aren't confirmed to be leaving quite yet, but it'll probably be best for both parties if they bowed out gracefully.
The good news is that Lotus can continue focusing on developing the new flagship Esprit as well as the Evora, Elise, and awesome Exige S.