Spied: Lotus "Eagle" (i know, kinda pointless since its a Esprit mule)

Elmo187

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Courtesy of AutoCar

You?re looking at the first pictures of Lotus? new ?45,000 GT model. Codenamed ?Eagle?, the four-seat mid-sized coupe is the company?s most important model since the original Elise, and our spies caught it out in the open for the first time earlier this week.

Don?t be deceived by the familiar styling. This Eagle test mule is wearing old Esprit body panels to disguise its origin. Powered by a mid-mounted Toyota V6 thought to be developing around 300bhp, the car?s body structure is based on a stretched version of the Elise?s aluminium monocoque, with an extra row of seats squeezed into the rear.

Company boss Mike Kimberley has brought production of the new car forward because he feels this new coupe is vital to Lotus? rejuvenation. Sales will begin early in 2009, when the ?Eagle? will cost a Porsche Cayman S-rivalling ?45,000 to ?48,000.

The Eagle will be available with a semi automatic paddle-shift gearbox ? something that Lotus had previously ruled out offering on any of its cars. ?That?s what buyers want in the US and Japan,? says Kimberley.

Eventually there?ll be seven versions of the Eagle, including a convertible, and it?s widely believed that the new model will make the unpopular Europa obselete in Britain. The Europa may then be hived-off to a Chinese manufacturer. After the Eagle is launched, Lotus will focus on its lower-volume, range-crowning supercar, a successor for the Esprit, due in 2010.

While details on the Eagle?s looks remain a closely guarded secret, hence the old Esprit-bodied mule, inside sources suggest it may share similar styling with the M250 concept we saw back in 2000. Concerns have been raised over how Lotus will package a mid-engined 2+2 layout while maintaining sleek and elegant proportions. The M250 was originally canned after being deemed too expensive to engineer in this way.

711776249.jpg


did they just ruin a 350 Sport to build a mule and then take out the V8 and use a V6?
 

_HighVoltage_

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Eventually there?ll be seven versions of the Eagle
Since when did Lotus have enough cash to afford making so many models?
I don't like this expansion of their range of products - so we will eventually have Elise, Exige, Europa, Eagle and Esprit. I will not be surprised if they bring back the Elan as well. I think they should just stick to the Exige and the future Esprit.
 

Elmo187

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why wouldn't you like it? it means that Lotus will get ALOT more money in the long run and actually be around longer than the current British automakers (Marcos, TVR, Jaguar, Aston Martin).

oh and another thing....

the Elise IS the Exige. the Exige is just another level of the Elise.

Elise
Elise SC
Exige S

thats the way it goes.
 

Aiolos

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Well this follow the Lotus tradition of basically a racing interior or will this model possibly try to have, o I don't know, real cup holders?

*thinks of the velcro ones* :lol:
 

tigger

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that looks very 80'sish. like the looks
:lol: That makes sense, considering it's a car they started building in the '70s. Read:
Don?t be deceived by the familiar styling. This Eagle test mule is wearing old Esprit body panels to disguise its origin. Powered by a mid-mounted Toyota V6 thought to be developing around 300bhp, the car?s body structure is based on a stretched version of the Elise?s aluminium monocoque, with an extra row of seats squeezed into the rear.
 

LeMans GTR

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I really like the idea of a Lotus GT, just as long it has all the credentials of a GT and a sports car.
 

Viper007Bond

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Deanodriver

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They want to farm the Europa off to the Chinese? Personally, I reckon releasing it as a Proton would be interesting.

Agreed on there perhaps being too many models. I'm a bit worried that Lotus will start doing a Porsche (bringing out models which aren't what the brand originally stood for). Sure, Lotus has done four-door sedans in the past, but they're not bespoke cars (like, say, the Panamera), they're more hotted up versions of another manufacturer's cars (like the Lotus Carlton).
 

andyhui01

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They want to farm the Europa off to the Chinese? Personally, I reckon releasing it as a Proton would be interesting.

Honestly... I would prefer it being farmed off to Proton than the Chinese, they are really in need of a sports car, but it might not sell too well if its going to be sold at Lotus priced. But if proton is the major shareholder for Lotus, I guess it was their decision to farm off the car to the Chinese and not keep it for themselves.
 

cdbob

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I love Lotus but if they release that car, heads are going to roll.
 

thedguy

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Chopped together chassis to test out the engine and driveline. Sometimes they'll go as far as using an old/different body to test all the mechanicals + chassis of the car. Apparently Mercedes has a viper body on the new 300sl gullwing prototypes.
 

Elmo187

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alright if know one is going to ask i will..... what's a test mule?

its a test vehicle with the insides of the car they're developing but the body of an older car.

here are some examples:

Mitsubishi Evo X test mule:
10636_PRTXXMFDYQJDT.jpg


Ferrari test mule for an unknown front-engined entry level car:
w_ferraridinomule_priddy4.jpg
 
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