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Lotus 'Eagle' (2009): first pictures

By Ben Pulman

First Official Pictures

15 July 2008 19:00

This is the long-awaited new Lotus 2+2, with a 3.5-litre Toyota V6 and four apparently useable seats. It's the first new Lotus for 13 years and a pretty significant launch, due for its show debut at the 2008 London motor show later this month on 22 July 2008.

That's when we’ll find out the name of this new Lotus – codenamed Eagle – but in the meantime the company is teasing us with some new details. These include the car’s sub-five second 0-60mph time, its estimated 160mph top speed and the promise of convertible and high-performance versions. Read on for the full first details and analysis of the new Lotus Eagle.

Is it still called the Lotus Eagle?

For now, as that’s the car’s project name – but the production car will bear a regular Lotus 'E' name, predicted to be a short, pithy tag. This is a true Lotus at heart, after all; early prototypes of the Eagle running at the Nurburgring are considerably faster than the Elise, Hethel spokesmen claim, and more stable at speed than the Exige, too.

Of course the Lotus Eagle should be one of the quickest four-seaters around, with an aluminium chassis and a composite roof help to keep weight low in time-honoured Lotus fashion. Add in that 3.5-litre V6 Toyota engine equipped with dual VVT-i (‘intelligent’ variable valve timing) producing 276bhp and we wouldn’t expect anything less from Lotus. The torque figure should be at least 250lb ft, as CAR scooped the lowdown on the Toyota engine a few months ago.

The rest of the Eagle's spec is pretty impressive too, with 350mm four-pot AP racing brakes, Bilstein dampers and Eibach springs.

And the looks? We'll let you judge the design for yourself, suffice to say that this first official photograph had most at CAR recalling the M250 concept shown at the start of the decade; it was designed as a smarter Lotus to slot above the Elise but failed to meet global homologation standards and was subsequently parked. Much of its spirit seems alive and well in the new Eagle.

Click 'Next' below to read more about the first details and photograph of the Lotus Eagle

Click here to watch the Lotus Eagle spy video