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Elise XL or Esprit Short? Third Lotus model spied during test

JULIAN RENDELL
Posted Date: 2/1/05

Our spies in England spotted a prototype midsized, mid-engine $30,000 coupe that fits in the Lotus lineup between the Elise and a new Esprit.

Officially the project remains “under consideration,” but this trimmed-out mule is eerily identical to a design published in U.K. Patent Office journals last fall.

Insiders report at least six prototypes have been built, including one that has been crash-tested.

The car’s aluminum chassis, dubbed the Versatile Vehicle Architecture, also underpins the larger Esprit. The design is so flexible that front- and mid-engine models can be built off the same chassis.

Aimed at Porsche’s new Boxster coupe, this model is conceived as a more comfortable touring GT. Though likely to arrive as a Lotus, it could also be sold through Proton dealers, the Malaysian carmaker that owns Lotus.

Sources say a vestigial set of rear seats is under consideration, but chances of the car being a 2+2 are slim, thanks to a lack of rear access over its wide sills and access through its narrow doors.

Source: Autoweek



I've always been a big fan of Lotus, and a cheaper more affordable version would be a welcome in my book. I just hope that 30k price mentioned in the article isn't a typo because they mention how this car will slot in between the Elise (40k) and Espirit (93k). Keyword being "between" and not below. So something will have to give on the price there. I wouldn't care for a 60k version, but would seriously consider buying a 30k version if they were to keep the weight under 2k lbs and the performance wasn't too far off the Elise's.
 

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lets go with Porche/RX-8/Ferrari but i kinda like it lol :tu
 

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do they mean 30k pounds? cuz that would be perfectly b/w 40k and 90k...
 
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