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BBC Autos

The Roundabout Blog

Fast times at Lotus

About the author

Editor of BBC Autos, Matthew is a former editor at Automobile Magazine and the creator of the digital-only Roadtrip Magazine. His automotive and travel writing has appeared in such magazines as Wired, Popular Science, The Robb Report and Caribbean Travel + Life. He lives in Los Angeles with his wonderful wife and four-year-old daughter.

 

Photo of the day: Fast times in Hethel

(Lotus Cars, via Newspress)

At Lotus Cars’ factory in Hethel, England, the production line for the supercharged V6-powered Exige S is humming.

The whole company is humming, in fact. Flush from an infusion of £100m ($155m) by its new Malaysian owners, the investment group DRB-Hicom, the British sports car maker has embarked on an ambitious recruitment drive. Lotus is currently hiring more than 100 employees, including more than three dozen specialised engineers.

Looking forward, it seems clear that the five-models-in-five-years plan championed by former Lotus chief Dany Bahar has been scrapped. But his most ambitious vision, that of Lotus battling Ferrari, Porsche and McLaren with a new Esprit flagship, is likely to carry on under the company’s new management. Development of the Esprit, which is expected to pack a gasoline-electric hybrid V8 powertrain producing upwards of 620 horsepower, has continued apace since the car’s debut at the 2010 Paris motor show. With luck, a production version will debut at next year’s Paris show.