Lotus Aims to Better Ferrari’s 458 Italia and McLaren’s MP4-12C with New Esprit

Lotus has lofty aspirations for its all-new supercar, the Esprit, which was presented as a concept at last year’s Paris motor show along with four other concepts. According to the company’s CEO, Dany Bahar, the new supercar will be launched in 2013 and will offer a “more authentic driving experience than both the Ferrari 458 Italia and the McLaren MP4-12C”. Bahar revealed that development of the the new Esprit is already under way, with prototypes up and running. The Esprit will be the first to use an all-new, Lotus-developed engine instead of the 5.0-litre Toyota engine that also powers the IS-F and was initially destined for the Lotus supercar. The British company’s own engine is both lighter and smaller than the Toyota V8 and is expected to deliver around 570-horses, offering “the character and emotion that the MP4-12C lacks”, at least according to Bahar. It will also feature F1-derived KERS technology, which Bahar insists will add and not detract from the driving experience. It seems that the Hethel-based company has set the bar very high, since both the 458 Italia and the MP4-12C are quite magnificent to drive. Via Autocar