Hedge fund manager with a big bonus? Just exited a major private equity deal? Got some cash burning a hole in your pocket? How about this? Lotus makers of fine English sports cars and with a rich pedigree in Formula 1 motor racing in the days of my youth are bringing out their first major new model since the Lotus Elise in 1995. The new project is called Eagle and will be an all aluminum 2+2 sports car projected to run at just 2000 cars a year – so get your name down quick. Apparently Patrick Dempsey, the Hollywood actor, has already beaten you to it.
Why do we love Lotus? Because in the 1990’s they spearheaded the use of aluminum in the construction of chassis’ and bodywork, and in the process introduced many new methods of joining critical aluminum structures together that have now become adopted elsewhere in the automotive and wider engineering fields. Lotus have always been a pioneering business and building on their low weight philosophy, they brought out what has to be the most sexy electric car around (admittedly its not a very sexy field of competitors) the 135 mpg Tesla is capable of a much more interesting 130 mph top speed and cracking acceleration.
Unfortunately Lotus doesn’t give any performance details for the new Eagle yet beyond saying it will be powered by a 3.5 litre V6 Toyota engine producing 280 PS. The geeks at MetalMiner have been running some numbers comparing this to other Lotus vehicles. We reckon the new car will tip in at a little over a metric ton, may be 2400 pounds so its power to weight ratio should be around 250 bhp/ton by our calculations. Suggesting a top speed well in excess of 160 mph but probably limited to 150 and 0-60 acceleration probably sub 5 sec.
I can’t think of a better use for a 1000 pounds of aluminum can you?