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New Lotus Coupe caught testing
By Alan Riley

(August 2, 2005)
Official Web site:
Lotus Cars USA

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"Add lightness". These words from Lotus founding father Colin Chapman are a cornerstone of the Lotus philosophy and have been most recently evidenced in the outstanding performance of the Elise.

Caught during testing, a new lightweight Lotus 2+2 coupe seeks to further the Chapman legacy. This as-yet unnamed model should slot between the Lotus Elise and a replacement for the venerated Lotus Esprit which is also currently under development. The 2+2, to be built in Hethel, Norfolk, should be priced near $60,000 and is meant to be a more luxurious model than the spartan Elise.

The car is built on Lotus' new chassis named Versatile Vehicle Architecture (VVA). The VVA is so flexible that both the 2+2coupe pictured here and the new Esprit will be based on it, and both front and mid-engined designs are within the realm of possibility for future models using VVA.

These pictures caught the new coupe during testing in Great Britain. The official launch is slated for the March 2006 Geneva Motor Show. The U.S. is on the delivery list, with some insiders predicting as many as 5000 units to be shipped to the American market. The powerplant is still under discussion, but given Lotus' association with Toyota for the Elise, likely choices could be a 3.0 liter V6 or perhaps even the 3.5 liter V6 that will be seen in the new Lexus IS 350.

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Lotus coupe testing in Great Britain

New Lotus Coupe 2+2 caught testing, Spy Photos

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