At this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans, there was an LMP2 car badged as a Lotus, but it was actually a Lola with Lotus plastered on the side. Now, a car that is kind of actually a Lotus could be on the track in 2013.
Under Dany Bahar's leadership, Lotus built a bunch of concept cars that became vaporware and started a lifestyle clothing line. Pretty much the only good thing that came from his time at the helm of was the return of the fabled name to motorsports, even if it was just through sponsorship of other teams.
The new car isn't an in-house Lotus project, since they're strapped for cash. Instead, Kodewa (a race team) is licensing the Lotus name and having French-led German company ADESS design the car. ADESS is made up of former F1 designers, so that's a plus.
It's intended to run in LMP2 starting in 2013 and will be able to take a Judd V8 which will also be badged as a Lotus. In the future they hope it can accept engines from a variety of manufacturers, like Honda, Toyota, and even Mazda.
On the face of it, we gotta say, it looks great. The traditional black and gold paint scheme, blacked out LED headlights, shark fin engine cover, and closed cockpit all look sinister and menacing.
There is also the chance that the car will be able to move up to LMP1 in the future, as it's been designed with the 2014 regulations in mind.
ADESS says the car will hit the track in January. Our fingers are crossed that actually happens. We have reason to have our doubts.
Photo Credit: Le Mans