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Malaysian-owned British marque Lotus will be forced to scrap its plan to introduce five new models over five years due to viability issues.

Industry journal Automotive News Europe reports that a source close to DRB-Hicom, which took control of Group Lotus’ parent company Proton in January, does not believe the five-car plan is a viable one for the small UK-based manufacturer.

More likely is the development of just one of the original five cars unveiled by former Lotus CEO Dany Bahar at the 2010 Paris motor – the Lotus Esprit (pictured top). According to the source, we could see the mid-engined two-seater sports car in 2014.

Lotus Esprit Concept - 2

Bahar’s plan was for Lotus to expand its range to included the new Esprit, an Elite grand tourer, a modern-day Elan sports car, a larger Eterne four-door sedan, as well as a bigger Elise. The hope was to increase annual sales from about 2000 to 10,000 vehicles.

Before being fired in June 2012, following an investigation into his conduct, Bahar’s plan already took a hit when he told CarAdvice in September 2011 that his original five-car plan had been reduced to four due to delays associated with the Lotus Elan (pictured below).

Lotus Elan Concept - 1

If it in fact reaches production, the new Espirit would join the existing line-up of the Lotus Exige, Lotus Evora and Lotus Elise.

Just two years after Lotus announced its five-car plan in Paris in 2010, the brand has pulled out of this year’s 2012 Paris event.




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