Expected to debut in the first half of 2021, the unnamed model will be built on the same extruded aluminium chassis underpinning as the current Evora, and will be the last Lotus to use the manufacturing technique before all models move to a brand new rivet-bonded chassis.
Despite its shared architecture, the new model will reportedly sit above the Evora in the Lotus line-up, thanks largely to a hybrid V6 powertrain that should output “well in excess” of 375kW – blitzing the 306kW on offer in the supercharged V6 Evora GT 410 variants.
Pictured above and top of article: the company's last go at a new Esprit, revealed in 2013 under the fateful leadership of sacked boss Dany Bahar
The mid-mounted V6 engine is said to be a Toyota-sourced unit, however, Lotus will not utilised Toyota hybrid technology – despite the Japanese marque having already created a V6 hybrid system for use in its Lexus LC500h, a version of which is also likely to be seen in the upcoming hybrid LandCruiser.
AutoCar says the hybrid system will be produced in-house using “similar” technology to what is implemented in hybrid applications of Geely-owned sister brand Volvo.
Signalling its intent as a supercar rival, the new model will not adopt the 2+2 seating configuration offered in the donor Evora, instead offering only a two-seat cabin design.
Alongside the new model, Lotus is also reportedly planning an SUV and a possible reboot of the Elan as the marque aims to increase annual sales from 1500 to 5000 cars.