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Lotus drops new car plans

2013 Lotus Elise S Club Racer.

Lotus has been led by managers at Malaysian conglomerate DRB-Hicom since early 2012 and since then we’ve heard little on the progress of the British sports car manufacturer.

DRB-Hicom previously said it was committed to keeping Lotus as well as keeping production of Lotus cars in the UK, but stopped short of stating whether we’d see any new models in the near future.

One hope had been a new Esprit supercar, the only model from the six-car lineup Lotus’ previous CEO Dany Bahar had envisioned. However, getting the Esprit into production will take hundreds of millions of dollars, money Lotus just doesn’t have and which DRB-Hicom, understandably, may be reluctant to provide.

Speaking with Business Times, DRB-Hicom managing director Tan Sri Mohd Khamil Jamil said his company had spent the previous year settling Lotus’ financial issues and other commitments and that it has a new three-year plan. Unfortunately, that three-year plan won’t see any new models launched but rather updates of existing cars.

"We are coming out with the variants based on existing products--variants with improved technology, improved performance, improved quality as well as improved costing," he said, adding that those will be based on the Evora, Exige and Elise.

The first of these has already been launched in the form of the 2013 Lotus Elise S Club Racer, a stripped-out version of the Elise designed for the track.