NORFOLK, England-Group Lotus has announced that it is developing a new mid-engine sports car, to be manufactured at the company's headquarters facility in Hethel, England. Production will begin in early 2008. The new car will take the place of the Lotus Esprit, which went out of production in 2004.

For more than a year, Lotus has been working to improve the efficiency and flexibility of its Hethel plant, and the process will continue during rampup for this latest production effort.

"The decision to choose Hethel has not been taken lightly and was influenced not only by our past achievements, but also by firm future commitments to improve the efficiencies and flexibilities within our manufacturing facility," says Lotus CEO, Mike Kimberly. "We have a lot of work to do between now and the start of production and this will demand much commitment and hard work from us all at Lotus."