Lotus have just released details of their latest concept car, the Hotwheels inspired Lotus which was a feature at the recent SEMA show in Las Vegas. Not your usual concept car, this one is a 1:5 scale model. A 1:64 scale version will become part of the Hotwheels toy car range.
Lotus have let on that the Hotwheels concept has been designed by the current Lotus Design team who are also working on the next range of Lotus vehicles, the first of which will go into production at the end of 2008. It is mysteriously named â€˜Project Eagleâ€™.
â€œWe are delighted to have worked with Hot Wheels, who share our passion and enthusiasm for all things automotive. Lotus Design has a global reputation and is responsible for the design of all Lotus cars, including Europa, Exige and iconic Elise and many designs for our engineering clients globally. The same design team who created this stunning concept is also designing our new range of cars, the first of which, codenamed Project Eagle, will go into production at the end of next year,â€ said Mike Kimberley, Chief Executive Officer of Group Lotus Plc
According to the design manager at Lotus Design, Steven Crijns, the Hotwheels concept needed to be instantly recognisable as a Lotus. This was achieved by taking elements from the Elise and Exige such as the headlight design, the Lotus â€˜mouthâ€™, the pronounced wheel arches and trademark bonnet graphics. In the spirit of Lotus the bodywork is â€˜shrink-wrappedâ€™ around the chassis to keep weight to a minimum.
Inside the car, the exposed centre spine is part of the structure and incorporates the switches and gear linkage and supports the rear wing. In addition, large side air intakes and an open rear end aid engine breathing while the top exit radiator at the front, a distinctive Lotus design feature, the rear diffuser and a large rear wing all provide down-force helping the vehicle stick to the road.
Somewhere along the way the guys at Lotus Design forgot that this was just a kids toyâ€¦