Despite all the righteous indignation regarding Lotus and their legendary outburst – which I still maintain is a brilliant PR stunt to get their message out and subvert the armchair-racer blogger cartel – it appears that the British sportscar shop has made a real world class sports car under the leadership of Dany Bahar, the supposed Antichrist for “real enthusiasts of the marque”. The kind who may be able to buy an Isuzu Impulse with Handling By Lotus.
Writing for Pistonheads, Chris Harris dubs the new Exige S, which mates the Exige with the 3.5L Supercharged V6 from the Evora S, as “…fast, capable and very desirable.” “At last, from within the madness,” he continues, ”Lotus has produced a world-class sports car.”
While arguments on both sides have been endlessly beaten to death, I am still not willing to write Lotus off just yet. As TTAC contributor and Elan owner Ronnie Schrieber has pointed out in the past, Chapman himself was an astute marketer and his cars got heavier and more luxurious as he advanced in age. EVO Magazine also seems similarly impressed with the new Lotus direction, stating (perhaps a tad prematurely) that the new Esprit may be better positioned to fight the Ferrari 458 than even the sublime McLaren MP4-12C.
I hope that the British press is right. Not only do I want to see Lotus survive and thrive, but I want to see all of the self-appointed marketing and engineering experts and other outlets eat a giant plate of crow when their prognostications turn out to be totally wrong. Vindictive and facile? Perhaps. But anyone who knows Anthony Colin Bruce will tell you that he was no saint either.