British motoring rags are clamoring to reveal "exclusive"
details of the 2010 Lotus Eagle. Yesterday, CAR brought us the
first shot of the exterior of the new Lotus 2+2. Today, Autocar
brings us the first interior shots and details of the powertrain.
Even Lotus has gotten in on the act, issuing a press release that's
full of hints about future high performance and convertible derivatives.
All this is good for you because it means we can finally bring
you some real analysis of the facts surrounding the $90,000 car
that won't even be called Eagle.
Lotus EVORA Is Tiny!!!!
Powertrain: As we expected, it's a 280 HP 3.5-liter Toyota-sourced
V6. However, Lotus has breathed on the electronic engine controls
to make it more suitable for its new home powering a sportscar
that weighs around 3,000 lb (less than 1400kg). The Eagle also
uses a Toyota 6-speed manual transmission, but features a Lotus-engineered
clutch and gearchange. All this should give it a top speed somewhere
between 165 and 170 MPH, a 0-to-60 time somewhere in the low five
second range and track ability that will more than likely eclipse
rivals like the 2010 Porsche Cayman S.
even talk of a future high performance model and hints that it'll
achieve that increased performance using a supercharger.
Holding the car together is a an Elise-like bonded and riveted
aluminum chassis that in addition to being exceptionally light,
is also exceptionally strong, allegedly lending the Eagle crash
test performance that far exceeds expectations for a vehicle of
this size. Unlike the Elise, the Eagle uses a 3-part chassis;
the rear supports the engine and double wishbone suspension, while
the front part bolts on and off for relatively easy replacement
after a crash. It holds the double wishbone front suspension and
is designed to deform in an impact.
The Eagle's overall length is just 171 inches, 3 inches shorter
than a Porsche 911. Compared to the Elise, that gives the driver's
seat an additional 3 inches of travel and leaves room in the rear
for passengers up to 5-feet tall. A 2-seat model will be available
that swaps out those rear seats for more luggage space. Lotus
claims there's room in the "boot" for a set of golf
The first Eagle should reach its buyer in May 2009, but more than
likely won't be called an Eagle at all. Right now Lotus calls
this the "Eagle Project," but we're not expecting that
name to stick. Rather, we're told it will be some other 'E' name
that won't be decided until the very last minute. We have no idea
why they can't just crack open the dictionary now, it's not like
there's any surprises left. Lotus hasn't confirmed US sales, but
bizarrely and strongly hints that Dr. McDreamy himself, Patrick
Dempsey, will be getting one of the first vehicles, so we do expect
to see the vehicle come stateside, whatever they end up calling
Future: Lotus plans to keep the vehicle around for 8 years,
in that time launching several derivatives that will include the
aforementioned high performance model and convertible. Knowing
Lotus, we fully expect there to be up to a dozen inexplicable
models with the Eagle range. Production will take place at Hethel
alongside the Elise and Exige to the tune of 2,000 units a year;
bringing total Lotus production up to 5,000 vehicles yearly and
giving the diminutive company much needed financial liquidity.
For some reason, the company thinks that keeping the Eagle's real
'E' name under wraps until next Tuesday lends the model some air
of mystery. Regardless of what they call it, we know that we want
yeah, here's the press release:
New Distinctive, Mid-engined, 2+2 Sportscar from Lotus
Eagerly anticipated and making its official global debut at the
British Motorshow in London on July 22nd, the first all-new car
from Lotus since the iconic Elise in 1995, will enter the sportscar
market as the only mid-engined 2+2 in production.
new car, which is known only by its project name 'Eagle', is a
more holistic offering than the Elise and Exige models that have
been so massively popular with track day enthusiasts. The car,
the name for which will be announced at the British Motorshow
on 22nd July at an 11:30 press conference, is designed for people
who desire exotic sportscar characteristics of stunning design,
exclusivity, dramatic proportions and performance. Project Eagle
also offers real-world usability and a unique sense of occasion.
by a 3.5-litre V6 producing 280 PS, the new car employs innovative
lightweight chassis technology to ensure visceral all-round dynamic
performance, in keeping with the great Lotus tradition. Even in
the very early stages of development testing, Lotus ride and handling
engineers report that it is considerably faster around the famously
demanding Nürburgring circuit than the Elise and more stable
at speed than the Exige.
Project Eagle cocoons occupants with a sumptuous leather surfaces
juxtaposed with contemporary high-tech features. With driver focused
instrumentation the driver sits in cockpit-esque surroundings.
A beautifully appointed dash boasts tactile details such as flush-mounted
controls that glow with blue LED haloes and a stylised speedometer
and rev counter ensuring that controls are both attractive and
in-house by Lotus Design, the Project Eagle's sleek, sophisticated
and attention-snaring lines brilliantly disguise its ability to
accommodate passengers in the rear of the cabin, giving the car
the external characteristics of a small, nimble sportscar whilst
belying its internal space. As well as being sold in a 2+2 configuration,
the car will also be available as a purely two-seater, the space
in the rear being allocated to luggage storage. Other derivatives
are also planned for the future, including a convertible and an
ultra-high performance version.
of Project Eagle will begin in Spring 2009, and with only 2000
of the hand crafted cars planned each year, this exclusive and
unique car is creating a real stir with celebrity enthusiasts
around the world. Hollywood actor and car enthusiast Patrick Dempsey
is just one of the high profile collectors who are on the waiting
list for a test drive.
Kimberley, CEO of Group Lotus plc, had this to say about the new
model: "Project Eagle is the biggest milestone Lotus has
achieved since the Elise was born 13 years ago. We are currently
working at broadening the appeal of the Lotus brand through an
aggressive 5-year model plan of which this car represents the
first exciting step."
Eagle in detail:
Eagle is the first of three new models included in the CEO's (Mike
Kimberley) five year strategic business plan initiated in October
2006 to support Lotus' growth.
Designed in-house by Lotus Design, Head of Design, Russell Carr,
explains "Project Eagle's dynamically sculptured form and
dramatic proportions communicate visual drama, speed and agility
even when the car is standing still. Sportscars are primarily
an emotional rather than a rational purchase and so the design
must seduce with its beauty and distinctive character. However,
the modern customer also demands that the product offers real-world
usability as well as exotic imagery. Therefore every element of
the car's exterior and interior has been carefully designed to
create a product that offers comfort and convenience as well as
traditional performance car attributes."
design language of dynamic lines and fluid surfaces that flow
from the 'Lotus -mouth' and over the length the cars toned form
are unmistakably 'modern Lotus'. They instantly convey a sense
of agility and athleticism that is intrinsic to the car's driving
persona. On Project Eagle they are complemented by the distinctive
wraparound visor screen but have been subtly tailored to suit
the more sophisticated character of the car, optimise high-speed
aerodynamics and artfully disguise the unique 2+2 layout. The
cab forward proportion combines with muscular haunches and optimised
intake detailing to instantly inform the viewer that this is a
serious mid-engine sportscar. Elsewhere a Lotus philosophy for
combining function with beauty is evident in the downforce generating,
top exit radiator vent, rear diffuser and rear wing.
the car the forms echo the exterior with fast moving surfaces
that wrap around the cockpit cosseting the occupants, the contrast
colour band that flows from the instrument cluster and sweeps
around the cabin highlights this theme. "We recognise that
'touch' not only assists with driving enjoyment but also conveys
messages about quality and therefore great attention has been
paid to all the areas where the driver interfaces with the car."
Carr explains. Figure hugging adjustable sports seats and flat-bottomed
steering wheel instantly communicate the driving potential of
the car. Project Eagle employs premium quality material and finishes
to create an exclusive, British handcrafted ambience that is unique
in this price segment. Modern, precision-engineered aluminium
inserts and hi-fi quality, edge-lit switches are brilliantly juxtaposed
against the traditional contrast stitched leather panels.
convenience is catered for through ergonomically located touch
screen SAT NAV, remote release glove box, storage bins and integrated
In a world launch by partners Alpine, Project Eagle boasts a truly
cutting edge in-car entertainment and navigation system. The multi-media
system features a 7in touch-screen providing advanced audio, satellite
navigation, Bluetooth hands-free telephone and iPod® connectivity
functions; the screen also serves as a monitor for Project Eagle's
optional reversing camera. The satellite navigation element of
the system has a removable hard-drive, allowing you to programme
it from the comfort of your home or use it as a roaming satellite
navigation unit and MP3 player.
Alpine audio set-up is one of the most sophisticated automotive
systems in the world. Called IMPRINT and using MultEQ sound enhancement
technology, it is able to cancel out imbalances in the sound caused
by different areas of the cabin - window glass, for instance,
creates echoes, while carpets suppress mid-range frequencies -
resulting in amazingly crisp, clear, undistorted sound reproduction
wherever you are seated in the car.
bespoke progressive air-conditioning system developed by Bergstrom
is standard on all models, while on-board tyre pressure monitoring
will be either standard or optional depending on model and market.
And in deference to the American market in particular, a module
in the headlining will accommodate automatic garage and gate opening
space and accommodation
The rear seats of 2+2 versions of Project Eagle are intended for
children or smaller adults on short journeys. To maximise comfort
in the rear, there is foot-room under the seats in front, while
both back seats feature ISOFIX mountings for secure child seat
unoccupied, the rear seats provide a convenient stowage area for
briefcases and jackets, adding to Project Eagle's appeal as an
everyday car. The boot, which ingeniously features a fresh air
cooling system to reduce the effect of heat ingress from the engine
bay, will accommodate a set of golf clubs.
two-seater derivative of Project Eagle is planned and will have
a luggage shelf in the back replacing the two rear seats.
Lotus' Project Eagle conforms to all regulatory standards and
in addition boasts additional safety features; Lotus aluminium
chassis technology applied to Project Eagle's provides the car
with immense inherent strength, particularly in regard to side
impacts and a tubular steel seatbelt anchorage frame that also
acts as a rollover structure.
brakes are standard on all models, as are traction and stability
controls; these systems have been specially developed in co-operation
with Bosch to provide enhanced safety features whilst maintaining
Lotus continues its excellent working relationship with Toyota,
world leaders in engine development and manufacture and Formula
1 competitors. For Project Eagle Lotus has modified Toyota's 3.5-litre
V6, with dual VVT-i ('intelligent' variable valve timing) for
At the time of unveiling, full performance figures for the new
Lotus will not have been compiled on a production specification
car, however Lotus has a further 6 months of development time
to conduct these before Project Eagle is available to test drive.
for Lotus top speed is of less importance than stability at speed,
early indications suggest a maximum speed of 160 mph; the 0-60
mph sprint from standstill is estimated at sub 5 seconds (prototype