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Lotus Cancels Nearly All Of Dany Bahar's Future Lotus Cars

Illustration for article titled Lotus Cancels Nearly All Of Dany Bahars Future Lotus Cars

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.

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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.

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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.

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Unfortunately, there is still no word on if the revised business plan also calls for the fire bombing of the warehouse where they keep lifestyle clothing.

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DISCUSSION

DennyCraneDennyCraneDennyCrane
DennyCraneDennyCraneDennyCrane

I've posted this before, but Lotus: Seriously, here's your business plan:

1: Keep developing your lightweight cars

2: Develop one luxobarge. Make sure it's lighter and handles better than the other cars in its class. Preferably based on one of your existing cars.

3: Partner with other automakers, develop chassis for their cars.

4: Make a concept off-roader. Light weight, simple, rugged.

4B: If that concept works, make it and top the line with a Luxury SUV based off it. God knows why, but those things sell.

5: Make a hot hatch. Simple, cheap, practical and fun. May not be particularly profitable, but it's essentially advertising your brand, and reminding people you exist. You need that at this point.

I love you, Lotus, but you have to survive to keep making cool cars...