The sorta funky looking Lotus Evora you see above isn’t really an Evora at all. In fact, it’s a mule for an upcoming new Lotus in the spirit of the Esprit, which, rumor has it, will be introduced in the first half of 2021. It may even be called the Esprit, reviving the name of one of the company’s most recognizable and well-loved nameplates, though that has yet to be confirmed by the British automaker.
Power is expected to come from a Toyota-sourced V6 engine, as is the case with the Evora. But instead of the Evora’s 2+2 seating configuration, the reborn Esprit would be a two-seater. While we aren’t privy to the automaker’s engineering offices, it seems the space vacated by the vestigial rear seating area might be used to hold some battery packs, as the upcoming car is going to be a hybrid.
The 2020 Lotus Evora spins 416 horsepower out of its supercharged 3.5-liter V6; the hybridized Esprit is rumored to pack over 500 ponies, buoyed by an electric motor and lithium ion battery pack that’s thought to be cribbed from the Volvo parts bin. That makes sense, as Lotus and Volvo both fall under Chinese automaker Geely’s umbrella. The Evora offers the choice of six-speed manual or automatic gearboxes, but we’ll have to wait and see if those choices are shared with the Esprit.
The mule seen above is sporting some mismatched Evora bodywork — seemingly sprayed black in haste, judging by the specks of blue and yellow at the front and rear along with the lone green pop just ahead of the rear wheels — that has been widened with some tacked on wheel arches. The production version is expected to crib styling elements from Lotus’ range-topping electric Evija. We can’t wait to see how it all turns out.