Lotus is planning a radical shake-up of its heritage as it pushes upmarket to take on Porsche, Ferrari and Aston Martin as part of what it is calling "the dawn of a new era".
The radical restructuring includes dropping founder Colin Chapman's 'lightweight and simple' ethos for all new cars, instead using more complex, more expensive and more upmarket manufacturing techniques.
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The average car will cost £80,000-£110,000, the prices being justified by the use of technology including seven-speed twin clutch transmissions, active aerodynamics, continuously variable dampers, hybrid and range extender systems, heads up displays, and the option of more alternatively-fuelled variants.
Because that's what you do when you make a killing selling the Elise for ten years to people who adore the traditional and unique design philosophy: throw it away and do what everyone else is doing!
While Lotus has refused to divulge its vision for the company's future until the Paris motor show in September, company owner Proton has held a briefing in Malaysia outlining its plans to make Lotus profitable within five years. Lotus has not made a profit for Proton since it bought it in 1996.