Proton orders Lotus to ditch lightweight ethos and head upmarket

Lotus will ditch its lightweight ethos and begin to produce more upmarket models as it attempts to challenge Porsche and Ferrari in the premium sports car segment.

That was the verdict in Malaysia this week as Proton unveiled an ambitious five-year business plan for the British manufacturer.

In an effort to return Lotus to profitability, the company will be forced from its current position as a builder of niche performance cars and adopt a strategy based on a new motto: ''Tomorrow's luxury sports car, today''.