The Lotus Esprit could be making a comeback after years in limbo. The iconic brand would feature a power-to-weight ratio similar to top contemporary German sports cars.

The Lotus Esprit replacement has apparently been given the green light. The last official Esprit came off the production line in 2004. As in previous years, brand owners Proton, plan to elevate the Lotus name with the likes of Ferrari and Porsche, and a new Esprit is the key.

As a company focused on lightweight sports cars, the British marque is said to be aiming at a power-to-weight ratio of between 275bhp and 325bhp per tonne which is comparable with some big German products. The car would be a third model tier with the four-cylinder Elise/ Exige and Europa as the first tier and the Evora V6 as the second tier, according to Autocar.

Another encouraging development happening at Hethel is the promotion of the new Versatile Vehicle Architecture (VVA), a platform engineered to suit almost any vehicle type, from sedan to SUV and anything in between. Although rumours claim Lotus is working on hybrid and electric projects for outside entities, there is no indication of in-house alternative powertrains. It is however trying to sell VVA to other small automakers as a strong but cost-effective niche solution.

2012 is the anticipated year for the launch of the tier three supercar, which will most likely not be called Esprit.


Gallery: Lotus's Seven Year Product Plan Key Details Emerge - report