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The cars of 2013: No shows

  1. Lotus Esprit

    In September 2010, then Lotus CEO Dany Bahar outlined to TopGear his detailed and comprehensive plan calling for an October 2012 launch of the Esprit. It was already designed, a mock-up was unveiled at the Paris show, and it was to have a Lexus engine with standard and 620bhp R variants and optional KERS. Then he OK’d a unique Lotus engine. A wholesale redesign of the car was needed to fit that new V8. Then Lotus’s owner Proton was sold to another Malaysian conglomerate, DRB-Hicom. And Bahar fell out with them and was fired. The new owners slashed development budgets, and, it’s rumoured, put Lotus up for sale. And it all got very messy. We just asked Lotusto comment on the new launch date. It won’t say anything about the Esprit, and won’t comment on when it will be able to say anything. Or if. Unofficially, we hear the car’s basically on ice.

  2. Bugatti Galibier

    First shown to prospective owners in September 2009 as a concept. A cabin of gorgeous materials and unique architecture, propelled by an 8.0-litre, 16-cylinder twin-supercharged engine, made it a saloon of unprecedented luxury and power. But this very rarefied public said it needed more of both. A year later, Bugatti boss Franz-Josef Paefgen was replaced by Wolfgang Dürheimer, an ex-Porsche engineer. He wanted more changes, more grandeur to separate it from the Bentley Mulsanne. And now he too has gone, over to Audi, his job at Bugatti and Bentley taken by another engineer, Wolfgang Schreiber. He was the father of DSG at VW, then was drafted into Bugatti to solve many of the reliability issues that made the original Veyron prototypes unsellable. So he’s entitled to an opinion on the Galibier, and we gather he’s forming it. Which will take more time.

  3. Ford Mondeo

    It seems like this will be due a facelift by the time we get to drive it. The old Mazda-based Ford Fusion in the US was replaced by a new car that would also replace our Mondeo. But the US needed its car first. And in the States cars are shown ages before they go on sale. So, though we saw it in January 2012 at Detroit, it met customers there only two months ago. Meanwhile, our version was delayed because some of the trumpeted high-tech features, such as effective voice recognition, didn’t work properly. ThenFord announced that, in an attempt to turn around its £900m-a-year European loss, it wanted to close the factory in Genk, Belgium that was due to build it. By the time the production line is installed in Spain, we won’t get the car until late 2014 - almost three years after we saw it.

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