Lotus city car to cost around £29,000

12 Dec, 2011 5:10pm Steve Fowler

Sporty supermini to arrive in 2015 with EV or range extender power

Lotus’s rumoured city car will arrive in 2015 and will undercut sports car rival the Aston Martin Cygnet by around £2000. The baby Lotus is being developed alongside a new supermini from Lotus parent company Proton, which itself will go on sale in early 2014.

Lotus boss Dany Bahar told Auto Express, "There’s no point in trying to fight the MINIs, and the small BMWs and Audis unless you have a special offering. Our car will be an EV or range extended EV and will offer performance of no other small car."

Although the car will first be seen as a Proton, Bahar is insistent that it will be easily switchable to a Lotus and will fully justify the inflated price tag over the Proton version.

Bahar also confirmed that Lotus is on schedule with its ambitious five-year plan, with a new Esprit set to debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2013 and go on sale around four months later. According to Bahar, the base Esprit will always be a hybrid, as will the convertible version. However, performance versions will eschew hybrid tech for more power and less weight.

Bahar also confirmed that he’ll be at Lotus until 2015 having recently agreed to stay at Hethel for another four years – his deal was struck when Proton’s MD and HR Director visited Lotus for their staff Christmas party.

Disqus - noscript

I know it's a Lotus, but £29k? Really? And if "the car will be seen first as a Proton", how much will that cost? And will that share the Lotus's performance?
Since the major cost of EVs is the battery pack, a larger, more stylish car wouldn't cost that much more to produce and would appear to be better value for money.

EV's are years away yet.... we don't even have a reliable green method of producing the electricity they run on, your just moving the emissions somewhere else..... lets all waste vast amounts of money buying stuff like this to keep the big mouth enviroMENTALists quiet for five minutes.

If aston can rebadge a toyota and just add leather.....why not Lotus?

So Dany Bahar thinks that they'll switch an existing Proton to a Lotus? So, build it abroad then stick a badge on it to add value as a Lotus. At least MG's are screwed together in the UK, although they do look like the badge is an afterthought.
Is it just me, or does the "Proton" element not put people off? Their dealer network seems almost non-existent and their cars lose value quicker than RBS shares. I looked at a Savvy in 2005 but, thankfully, didn't commit. You'd really need to be very fond of the Lotus name to spend £29k on this. Perhaps the fact that it's cheaper than the Cygnet isn't the best justification for producing it. After all, a lot of other cars are too.

A Proton, rebadged as a Lotus.. Oh dear how the marque has fallen...No matter how much they do to the car, it is still a small city car.

Seems that everyone is jumping on this bandwagon of "green"! Yes, something has to be done but making a car seem green when in fact it has a carbon deficit larger than that of a standard supermini, due to the batteries! They will need replacing every three to five years and the disposal costs in carbon and money will make this an expensive car to run. Couples with the UK's dirty electricity...

I'll stick with my ultra clean BMW diesel, thanks..

If it is sold ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD with a Proton badge on it then NO-ONE will buy a Lotus version.

At least Aston has the sense to choose a well regarded small car from a quality manufacturer as the basis for its Cygnet.

Looking forward to the Bentley Up and the Rolls-Royce Matiz already

i dont think the lotus name carries as much cred as in previous generations....the days when JPS were ruling the F1 world are a distant memory..now just an also ran in the world on motor sport
need to realise very few are going to pay 29000 ...will it just fade away in a year or two

Granted this looks 1000% better than an Aston Martin Cygnet/iQ and is bound to be a better car too, but £29k... come on. A smart car does the same for less than £10k and has proven reliability and technology.

its the stupid EU playing their cards in trying to enforce car manufacturers to reduce their overall emissions across the range otherwise fund us to help run the EU in other words a fine. lets just hope the proton version looks very different to this.

Let me see now, for my 29,000 quid, what should I buy, the Little Proton, the BWM 3 series of the Evolution 10? Boy, thats a tough one!

The bright side of thing is that I love the Lotur/Proton Hybrid tech. This article does not do it justice, but the Lotus Range Extender engines, as they call it, is the most advanced system there is and was specifically designed for the purpose with a newly designed 3 cylinder engine. It achieves best performance yet seen in the industry. This tech in a proper car such as a proper upcoming Lotus Esprit is going to do extremely well without sacrifice to performance. The tech is indeed Green and unless you have done the research on it, you'll be uneducated and remain skeptical.

This is of course a complete spoof article and only the mentally disadvantaged would believe it, I hope.

Anyone who buys a Lotus City Car at that price has to be totally barmy.
Small Diesel wins.

Because there was no point in getting a Lotus carlton if you could get a standard Vaxhall Carlton for less.........Um yer right.

What is the current diesel obsession all about really? You pay a premium for a diesel engine, a premium for the fuel, and ok there is a fuel advantage in mpg terms, but for the avarage motorist doing under 10k per annum the savings on fuel will take years to outweigh the extra purchase costs, by which time the vehicle has been traded in and a new "economy diesel" purchased.... Will somebody out there please explain the logic to me!!

What a horrid little car the IQ is, not nice to drive, zero boot and you can't even adjust how the music sounds, no bass and treble, at least the doors close well. And whilst I agree about EV being ovber rated and not ready yet. If Aston can charge £32000 for a petrol IQ I think Lotus can easily charge £29000 for their City car. Also feel they should not sell it here with a Proton badge as the Lotus version will lose all kudos.

I agree with you about diesel. Unless you keep the car until it's done 60,000 miles it's false economy. Plus since the price of diesel over took petrol it's even less of a proposition. For me though the think that puts me off is the fact you cannot rev a diesel over 4,500rpm which means it always runs out of puff just when you need it!

I will consider the XF diesel though as I have been told it is silky smooth and the 188bhp 2.2 sport seems good. Does anyone know if it's rev max out at 4,500?

AEX 1330
For more breaking car news and reviews, subscribe to Auto Express - available as a weekly magazine and on your iPad. We'll give you 6 issues for £1 and a free gift!

Sponsored Links