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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
...though should have been.





quote:[HR][/HR]
Lotus have really got the bit between their teeth now, and the news just gets better and better for fans of the marque. The Elise has been a major success, the radical 340R a great demonstration of their ability to produce a special car in a very short time, and here now the Lotus M250, an exciting concept car which could slot nicely into the Lotus range between the Elise and the Esprit.
Fans have been desperately seeking information on the new model for the last few months with sketches appearing in Autocar but detail thin on the ground. PistonHeads was delighted to be the first to reveal more about the car.
Mid Engined
250 bhp, 3.0 litre V6
6 Speed gearbox box
less than 1000kg
0-60mph in less than 5 seconds
0-100 in less than 11 seconds

Construction
For the M250, Lotus have developed the innovative chassis technology used to build the Elise. Although designed from the ground up it uses the same technique of extruded units of aluminium bonded together to give strength with lightness. Several options are being explored for body construction including the use of aluminium and composite materials, which would be incredibly light yet very strong.
Power
Keeping the weight down has been a priority, allowing a moderately powerful engine producing 250bhp to deliver the performance that should compete with cars costing twice as much. Top speed has been electronically governed to 155mph with efforts concentrated on delivering the best power delivery at lower speeds.
Lotus Car's Managing Director, Graham Peel:
"If we decide to build the M250, it will be the best handling car ever from Lotus. Throttle response will be superb and the car will feel agile and truly special to drive. It will sound great, have a first-rate gear change and excellent ABS-assisted brakes.
Styling
There are some obvious styling cues from the Elise and 340R, with the venting and headlights being the most obvious.
A wrap around windscreen similar to the visor on a helmet has been worked into the cabin forward design. Overhangs are short and the emphasis has been placed on a balanced aerodynamics rather than a very low drag coefficient, including careful management of undercar airflow. Large wheels are fitted to the concept car, with 18" at the front and an enormous pair of 19 inchers at the rear.
Russell Carr, Head of Styling and Design at Lotus, explains: "The M250 blends sensuous lines with contemporary, crisp design elements, to give it what we like to refer to as ‘attitude’."[HR][/HR]​



Featuring design and construction cues from the 340R and Elise, the M250 seemed every bit the great auto Lotus hailed it as. With greater room and power it would have been more of a daily affair than an Elise, let alone an Exige or 340R, while being a simpler and less costly drive than the Esprit.
Financial problems lead to the product being axed but I'm willing to bet the book hasn't been completely closed on the M250. Aside from Lotus applying technical experience gained from the M250 project - which should prove to be more than just a design and engineering exercise - to other cars under their brand or outsourced to others (R35 GTR, etc.) I can see MK3 Elise in this car. Primarily because the next Elise will likely experience a more drastic change from gen 2-3 than it had from gen 1-2.
The next Elise will need to fulfill a bigger role than the current car. With talk of near global car status and broader markets, a V6 has been mentioned. It's no secret that North America is a major target. That being the case (and "more = more") It would be difficult to move the required number of units with a relatively expensive, smallish, 4-cylinder car.
On a related note, what's the situation with the MK2 Elise in NA? Release date? Equipment? Has Lotus stated which engine will power it? Possibly the block slated to replace the K-series for the current car?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Re: M250: The Lotus That Never Was.... (vw_golf_vw)

quote:[HR][/HR]I like everything about that car except the rear end, what were they thinking with that design
[HR][/HR]​
Function. All about airflow.
 

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Re: M250: The Lotus That Never Was.... (A4Jetta)

I suppose the Elise's design came from this car, eh...
 

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Re: M250: The Lotus That Never Was.... (ASurroca)

quote:[HR][/HR]I suppose the Elise's design came from this car, eh...[HR][/HR]​
I think the Elise came first. IIRC, they dropped $43m on development of the M250.
 

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Re: M250: The Lotus That Never Was.... (Merc-MarkO)

The good news is that this project isn't dead, it's just delayed.
But Lotus recently got an infusion of cash and development on the M250 is back on. Now, what it will look like is anyone's guess, I would assume it would be pretty similar in style and construction but may be freshened up a bit more.
Also, nobody knows what engine they will be using.
But it will come, we just have to be (very) patient.
 

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Re: M250: The Lotus That Never Was.... (Rob)

The V8 Etna was from 1984 and was supposed to replace the Esprit which had been around since since 1976.

It's hard to imagine, but the Esprit has been around for 27 years.
 

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Re: M250: The Lotus That Never Was.... (ClownCar)

The Esprit is on its last legs BTW. For years the Esprit has been using an old Renault transmission, which Renault cannot supply anymore. Seeing future Esprit sales wouldn't defray the cost of replacing the box, the model will be discontinued.
I think, if Lotus had played their cards right, the Esprit could have become an undying icon like the 911 or the Corvette. But leaving the car exactly the same for year after year never pays. Oh well, R.I.P.
 

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Re: M250: The Lotus That Never Was.... (peppie cola)

quote:[HR][/HR]The Esprit is on its last legs BTW. For years the Esprit has been using an old Renault transmission, which Renault cannot supply anymore. Seeing future Esprit sales wouldn't defray the cost of replacing the box, the model will be discontinued.[HR][/HR]​
They allready stopped normal production. All cars build till december are for the US-market only.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Re: M250: The Lotus That Never Was.... (Rob)

quote:[HR][/HR]The good news is that this project isn't dead, it's just delayed.[HR][/HR]​
I hope so.

quote:[HR][/HR]But Lotus recently got an infusion of cash and development on the M250 is back on. Now, what it will look like is anyone's guess, I would assume it would be pretty similar in style and construction but may be freshened up a bit more.[HR][/HR]​
It would be nice if this project could morph into the next Esprit.

quote:[HR][/HR]Also, nobody knows what engine they will be using.[HR][/HR]​
Rover V6? Ford 2.5-3.0 (if they can get a 3L) Duratec?
Some M250 close-ups:
http://www.pistonheads.com/lotus/m250/m250-update2.htm
 
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