British sports car builder and chassis tuning legend Lotus yesterday celebrated its 60th birthday, and to mark the occasion treated itself to yet another special edition model.
Called the diamond anniversary Lotus Europa, this customised version of the Elise-based sports coupe flaunts enough bling to turn your average rap star green with envy. On the inside there's acres of oldschool-style quilted leather upholstery, while the gear knob and instrument panel are decked out with a substantial amount of tiny, tiny diamonds.
The Europa's exterior was also gussied up for Lotus's birthday bash too, with the glossy black paintwork being infused with glass flakes to give a diamond-like shimmer. Not only that, but the Lotus badge on the nose of the car has also been showered with - you guessed it - a fistful of diamonds. Real diamonds.
In fact, around ??111,100 worth of the shiny rocks are fixed to each diamond anniversary Europa by diamond specialists Winsor Bishop, which brings the RRP for the special-edition car to a whopping great ??150,000. For all that coin though, there's no performance boost from the Europa's 147kW 2-litre turbo four cylinder and the rest of the mechanical package is identical to that of a non-jewelled Europa. Style over substance? You betcha.
Virtually useless as a sports car then, you may say. Perhaps, but we've got a sneaking suspicion these gem-encrusted Europas may yet prove popular with the cashed-up fashionista set... or newly-minted Russian billionaires... or wealthy Arabian princes... or bling-hungry rappers...