The story of Lotus’s hyper-ambitious reinvention project ought to be the subject of a film one day. Lord knows the 2010 Paris motor show already had the A-listers required. Mickey Rourke and Naomi Campbell unveiled concept car after concept car, revealing everything from a reborn Elise to a four-door Porsche Panamera rival and an uber-GT that’d take on Aston’s DB9 and the Bentley Continental GT.
Ex-Ferrari marketing chief and then new Lotus boss Dany Bahar’s message was, conversely, a simple one. If Lotus was to make its first-ever profit and become a long-term player in the fast car game, it needed to cease confining itself to lightweight track day fodder and diversify. Make luxury cars. Make supercars. Cars that would genuinely rival the best from Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche, and the then-unproven McLaren Automotive.