Being a huge James Bond nerd, this latest teaser for whatever Lotus has planned for the upcoming Geneva Motor Show next month should have me very excited. Except I’m not, because if it’s what I think it is, it’s practically irrelevant already.
Here’s the tweeted tease, of which I had a brief moment of excited panic towards after being sent to me by a colleague before realizing whatever Lotus is cooking up is probably going to be lame:
I know it may seem unfair to some of you for me to be so quick to assume that whatever is happening is going to be underwhelming, or dare I say irrelevant, but hear me out.
Based on the tease, I’d say Lotus is suggesting that they are planning an Evora modeled in homage to the famous submarine Lotus Esprit (which you can see is the model car on the table), which featured in 1977's James Bond flick The Spy Who Loved Me, and reappeared in For Your Eyes Only. The great thing about the Esprit is that it has an appeal all its own, which is only enhanced by the fact that the suavest of James Bonds drove it off a pier. Also, Elon Musk bought it.
But if Lotus is indeed planning to take a modern Lotus Evora, paint it white and somehow try and lie to me that it’s an homage to an iconic piece of movie history and cultural phenomenon, I’m probably not going to like it.
Enthusiasts have been begging for a new Lotus shaped in the mold of the original Esprit, leading to one of the most exciting (at the time) concept cars in 2010 — a concept that still looks prime for sale in a field of today’s competition, if a bit generic. The problem is that the 2010 concept came among a wave of Lotus concepts that never made production.
If you’re going to play the James Bond card, Lotus, I’m going to need you to earn it. I’m going to need the Esprit nameplate back, and not just for some special edition Evora. A The Spy Who Loved Me homage is irrelevant if you don’t go all in.
It also doesn’t help that the James Bond franchise doesn’t have a lot going for it right now, either. If you pulled a stunt like this, say, back in 2012 at the peak of current James Bond actor Daniel Craig’s popularity in the role, it probably would have been a brilliant move. But now the Bond franchise is in limbo, with Craig possibly not returning, no distributor for future movies signed on, and a production studio that recently announced it’s seeking out other properties.
Just go ahead and build your crossovers, Lotus. That way maybe you can fund a new Esprit and we can all return to happy times. Whatever this Evora will be, and it will be somehow related to the Esprit and its James Bond history in all likelihood, it will be quickly forgotten and brushed aside as an irrelevant footnote in a Geneva Show roundup.
Unless it can actually drive underwater. Then that’d be fucking cool.