||08-13-2005 12:26 AM
Lotus Elise XL / Esprit Short
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.
||08-15-2005 04:23 PM
i still LOVVVVEEE that oragne elise that was at the meetup. i'd take it over this xl thing or whatever
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