The Truth About Cars » lotus esprit http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Fri, 12 Sep 2014 16:56:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » lotus esprit http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Elon Musk Buys 007 Submarine, Will Attempt To Make It Functional http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/10/elon-musk-buys-007-submarine-will-attempt-to-make-it-functional/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/10/elon-musk-buys-007-submarine-will-attempt-to-make-it-functional/#comments Fri, 18 Oct 2013 13:42:45 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=626753 Elon Musk, the real-life Tony Stark of our times, has quite the extensive résumé: Founder of PayPal, SpaceX, and Tesla Motors; billionaire investor of projects and businesses such as SolarCity and the preservation of Nikola Tesla’s lab; inventor of the Hyperloop rapid mass transit concept; 007 cosplayer… Yes, you read that right: Musk is a […]

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800px-TSWLM-LotusEsprit

Elon Musk, the real-life Tony Stark of our times, has quite the extensive résumé: Founder of PayPal, SpaceX, and Tesla Motors; billionaire investor of projects and businesses such as SolarCity and the preservation of Nikola Tesla’s lab; inventor of the Hyperloop rapid mass transit concept; 007 cosplayer…

Yes, you read that right: Musk is a huge fan of the man who loves his martinis shaken and his women to have double entendre naming schemes. So much so, in fact, that he now has one of Bond’s most awesome vehicles ever conceived.

In a double exclusive with our friends over at Jalopnik, the secret buyer of the Lotus Esprit Mk I-cum-submarine from the 1977 Bond film “The Spy Who Loved Me” was Musk himself, who paid nearly $900,000 for the privilege of owning one of the most famous vehicles in the history of film, beating out another bidder in a duel worthy of a Bond film (or so we would hope). The star car — or, rather, the star submarine — was originally lost in storage limbo, then discovered, spruced up, and put up for auction by Canadian auction house RM Auctions in early September of this year.

Alas, Musk was a bit disappointed that all the Esprit did was look pretty and float, but since this is Musk we’re talking about (via Tesla’s PR department)…

It was amazing as a little kid in South Africa to watch James Bond in “The Spy Who Loved Me” drive his Lotus Esprit off a pier, press a button and have it transform into a submarine underwater. I was disappointed to learn that it can’t actually transform. What I’m going to do is upgrade it with a Tesla electric powertrain and try to make it transform for real.

If his SpaceX can successfully dock with the International Space Station, and his Tesla can make EVs cool (the first was based off the Lotus Elise, no less), then Musk can make this impossible dream possible. We look forward to seeing his car arrive at San Diego Comic Con 2014 via Pacific Beach in all of its glory.

Click here to view the embedded video.

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SHO Powered Lotus Is All Go http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/11/sho-powered-lotus-is-all-go/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/11/sho-powered-lotus-is-all-go/#comments Thu, 08 Nov 2012 17:05:55 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=466277 In honor of Skyfall‘s opening tomorrow, we bring you one of the better Frankensteins we’ve seen in some time; a white Lotus Esprit, in the same hue as Roger Moore’s own ride in The Spy Who Loved Me, with a heart transplant from a Taurus SHO. The later era BBS wheels are a little incongruous, but […]

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In honor of Skyfall‘s opening tomorrow, we bring you one of the better Frankensteins we’ve seen in some time; a white Lotus Esprit, in the same hue as Roger Moore’s own ride in The Spy Who Loved Me, with a heart transplant from a Taurus SHO.

The later era BBS wheels are a little incongruous, but the swap itself appears to be nicely executed, and the gleaming chrome intake plumbing is a lot more attractive than the turbo 4 previously in there. The downside? Whether you use the Esprit’s Renault gearbox or the MTX from the Taurus, both choices aren’t exactly the last word in refinement or shift quality. Check it out over at Bring A Trailer.

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This Week In Auto “Journalism”: Reports Of The Esprit’s Demise Are Greatly Exaggerated http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/10/this-week-in-auto-journalism-reports-of-the-esprits-demise-are-greatly-exaggerated/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/10/this-week-in-auto-journalism-reports-of-the-esprits-demise-are-greatly-exaggerated/#comments Fri, 05 Oct 2012 15:01:49 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=462777 With no less than three outlets reporting on the supposed death of the Lotus Esprit yesterday, one could be forgiven in thinking that Lotus was jettisoning the last of the Danny Bahar era and returning back to its roots as a maker of pure, uncompromising sports cars. It turns out that the reputable news outlets that reported […]

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Click here to view the embedded video.

With no less than three outlets reporting on the supposed death of the Lotus Esprit yesterday, one could be forgiven in thinking that Lotus was jettisoning the last of the Danny Bahar era and returning back to its roots as a maker of pure, uncompromising sports cars. It turns out that the reputable news outlets that reported on the matter failed to do any fact checking with Lotus. Also, I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

The story was disseminated by Romanian auto site AutoEvolution, with just a blurb of text and no citation. Even the greenest auto “journalist” knows that a story like this is great if all you want to do is get clicks for your site utterly worthless. That didn’t stop multiple outlets from running with the story, until Lotus put a stop to the stupidity by releasing a statement clarifying that this is a baseless rumor.

The best part? The blogs in question get to run another story clarifying the matter, and get even more pageviews and clicks. Ain’t the blogosphere grand? Of course, any of the bloggers could have told you that at this point, the development of the car is past the point of no return, and that the need for economies of scale means that the Esprit is going forward and it will underpin everything else in the Lotus pipeline, but that would require industry knowledge that interferes with important tasks like posting pictures of press cars on Facebook.

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Junkyard Find: 1978 Lotus Esprit http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/09/junkyard-find-1978-lotus-esprit/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/09/junkyard-find-1978-lotus-esprit/#comments Tue, 11 Sep 2012 13:00:46 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=459807 In all my years of crawling around in high-turnover self-service wrecking yards, not to mention old-timey slow-turnover wrecking yards, this is the first Lotus I’ve found. And it’s not just some boring Eclat— it’s a genuine mid-engined Elite! Granted, it’s been picked over pretty thoroughly… Someone with a Sawzall got most of the fiberglass body, […]

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In all my years of crawling around in high-turnover self-service wrecking yards, not to mention old-timey slow-turnover wrecking yards, this is the first Lotus I’ve found. And it’s not just some boring Eclat— it’s a genuine mid-engined Elite! Granted, it’s been picked over pretty thoroughly…
Someone with a Sawzall got most of the fiberglass body, but you can see hints of Lotus-ness here and there.
Thanks to all the valueless Jensen-Healeys out there, the Lotus 907 engine isn’t difficult to find these days. However, the transaxle in this car might be worth pulling.
Veglia gauges with what I assume are Lucas Electrics components— such a reliable combination!

17 - 1978 Lotus Esprit Down On The Junkyard - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 01 - 1978 Lotus Esprit Down On The Junkyard - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1978 Lotus Esprit Down On The Junkyard - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1978 Lotus Esprit Down On The Junkyard - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1978 Lotus Esprit Down On The Junkyard - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1978 Lotus Esprit Down On The Junkyard - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1978 Lotus Esprit Down On The Junkyard - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1978 Lotus Esprit Down On The Junkyard - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1978 Lotus Esprit Down On The Junkyard - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1978 Lotus Esprit Down On The Junkyard - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1978 Lotus Esprit Down On The Junkyard - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1978 Lotus Esprit Down On The Junkyard - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1978 Lotus Esprit Down On The Junkyard - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1978 Lotus Esprit Down On The Junkyard - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1978 Lotus Esprit Down On The Junkyard - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1978 Lotus Esprit Down On The Junkyard - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1978 Lotus Esprit Down On The Junkyard - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

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Dany Bahar’s Lotus Esprit For Sale http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/08/dany-bahars-lotus-esprit-for-sale/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/08/dany-bahars-lotus-esprit-for-sale/#comments Fri, 24 Aug 2012 16:21:02 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=457806 Perhaps the final nail in the coffin for the Dany Bahar-era of Lotus; the company is auctioning off his 2003 Esprit, which was restored with a fresh engine, paint job and interior. A Brembo/AP braking system, a center exit exhaust and a bigger spoiler are among the unique touches on this 36,000 mile cream puff. […]

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Perhaps the final nail in the coffin for the Dany Bahar-era of Lotus; the company is auctioning off his 2003 Esprit, which was restored with a fresh engine, paint job and interior. A Brembo/AP braking system, a center exit exhaust and a bigger spoiler are among the unique touches on this 36,000 mile cream puff. For a man with such questionable judgement in business, his taste in cars is quite good.

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Lotus And Mansory Team Up In World’s Most Vulgar Alliance http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/lotus-and-mansory-team-up-in-worlds-most-vulgar-alliance/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/lotus-and-mansory-team-up-in-worlds-most-vulgar-alliance/#comments Tue, 27 Mar 2012 15:25:11 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=436639 A year ago, I penned a passionate defense of the new direction that was being taken by Lotus. In the piece, I chastised enthusiasts for their armchair criticism of Lotus management and their resistance to bringing out new vehicle to replace the nearly two decade old Elise (which would hit that mark by the time […]

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A year ago, I penned a passionate defense of the new direction that was being taken by Lotus. In the piece, I chastised enthusiasts for their armchair criticism of Lotus management and their resistance to bringing out new vehicle to replace the nearly two decade old Elise (which would hit that mark by the time a replacement rolled around in 2015) and their lack of faith in the stewardship of CEO Dany Bahar, the man who helped Luca di Montezemolo turn Ferrari around. Now it looks like I’ll have to retract those words and admit I was wrong.

Lotus and Mansory, an infamous “styling house” based in Germany are teaming up to produce customized vehicles in a bid to appeal to those with excess wealth and a dearth of taste. Mansory is far from your average aftermarket company. They’ve created some of the most gaudy, offensively brash vehicles crawling the roads of Moscow and Abu Dhabi – and I say this having defended even the Bentley EXP 9F.

For anyone unfamiliar with Mansory’s wares, here’s an example of one of their “customized” Mercedes SLS AMG models.

For the record, I still take issue with the legions of fanboys who decry Lotus abandoning its “brand values”, which are really just made up narratives created by suits to sell cars (and more importantly, merchandise). I still maintain that the new model lineup is important and good for the company, and that the diminishing sales of the Elise and Exige threaten the company with irrelevance of something new isn’t released soon. But the concepts, despite all the criticism weren’t bad cars. They may be derivative, or a bit lacking in panache or worse, used to project your own personal insecurities onto the bespoke-suited Dany Bahar, but they were not offensively tasteless like the Mansory cars are.

This collaboration is a naked ploy to sell cars in emerging markets where flash and wealth are treasured above discretion, taste or ability. While Bentley has diluted their brand by churning out a hundred million Continental GTs, there is still a real mystique with Lotus cars that gives them substantial brand equity (shoot me for using that term). An Evora is a Ferrari for most of the uneducated masses, and an Elise or Exige looks like something extraterrestrial, especially when painted in a signature bright hue like orange.

The 2015 (or whatever year it may be) Esprit would have been enough to stop traffic on its own. Even if it was a pastiche design like the newest McLaren, it looked exotic without being over the top – maybe that was the problem. I still think that the allure of Lotus and the low-slung profile would have been enough to draw the oligarchs and shiekhs to the showroom, but evidently someone in Hethel or Kuala Lumpur didn’t. Lotus cars have always been just the right side of outrageous – a lime green Exige S, the kitschy Esprit Turbos of the 80′s, festooned with gold decals and mesh wheels, the Europa’s bizarre, insect-like styling. But it was always tempered by the Elan, the Elite, the tasteful British Racing Green and yellow badges

That legacy is now gone with the Mansory lineup and cheap tie-ins with third rate rappers (who was once dubbed by a Wu-Tang member as “The Black Adrian Brody”). The press release proudly states how one Mansory collaboration, the Evora GTE “…has already prompted around 250 orders and leads between China and Europe and we expect it to have a very successful future as the top of the range Evora.” I’m not naive enough to think that Lotus should build the Elise in perpetuity and abandon new markets during a volatile economic era. I think change is a good thing. But this is too much change, too fast, in the wrong direction. It makes me fear that this is all just a diversion to distract from the fact that the real meat, the new product, is not going to come out on schedule – or at all.

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Lotus Suspends Development Of New Models Due To Pending Proton Sale http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/lotus-suspends-development-of-new-models-due-to-pending-proton-sale/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/lotus-suspends-development-of-new-models-due-to-pending-proton-sale/#comments Tue, 13 Mar 2012 16:49:43 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=434843 As one of the few people who doesn’t hate the direction Lotus is going in, the news that development of Lotus’ entire lineup has been suspended is disheartening. It seems that the Malaysian government is looking to unload their stake in Proton, parent company of Lotus. Malaysian takeover laws stipulate a three month “lockdown” on […]

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As one of the few people who doesn’t hate the direction Lotus is going in, the news that development of Lotus’ entire lineup has been suspended is disheartening. It seems that the Malaysian government is looking to unload their stake in Proton, parent company of Lotus.

Malaysian takeover laws stipulate a three month “lockdown” on any company that may change hands, ostensibly as part of a “due diligence” period. That means that car production can continue, but Lotus cannot do any real R&D work. CEO Dany Bahar is apparently flying to Kuala Lumpur once a week to keep Proton brass in the loop regarding their five year plan for the British sports car marque.

Bahar told Evo magazine

‘This difficult period for Lotus finishes at the end of March and that’s 
when we will know then whether DRB-Hicom [which owns 49.7 percent of Lotus -ED] will want to continue with our 
business plan,’ Bahar admits, ‘I really hope they will but I cannot call it at the moment, it’s still 50:50.’

While we’ll have to wait until the end of March to find out about DRB-Hicom, it will take even more time to see what happens with the sale of the government’s remaining stake in Proton. The launch of the Esprit will now be pushed back to 2013, while the Exige S and Evora GTE are delayed with no time table specified – Lotus already has 400 orders for the Exige S, and a setback like this is the last thing the company needs. Lotus will continue their motorsports and marketing efforts, with a new company store set to open in June on London’s Regent Street (Bahar, after all, helped Ferrari become the branding and marketing powerhouse it currently is under the tutelage of Luca di Montezemolo).

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