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Despite being officially played down, work on the new Elise-based Lotus GT coupé – its planned £30k Porsche Boxster rival – continues at top speed. This spy shot shows a lightly-disguised prototype undergoing tests in the UK.

As well as pounding the roads of East Anglia, the GT is also said to be in final stages of component destruction testing at secret facilities in the UK. Sources say that Lotus engineers are currently running at least six prototypes.

Autocar can also reveal that the project is known internally as ‘Sepang,’ and that there is likely to be a mildly modified version sold under the Proton badge. This magazine revealed the project on 14 September, when pictures of a full-size styling model were uncovered after the company registered the design.

Lotus would only admit that it was considering a car that has more touring than track ability, and that it would be of a higher specification than the Exige or Elise. It added that the car would be sold across the globe and that the engine was ‘still under consideration’.

The car caught here seems to show a rear end with a noticeably wider track than an Elise or an Exige, almost certainly in an attempt to accommodate a six-cylinder engine. Although the Elise could take a Rover KV6 engine, the original project never progressed beyond the experimental stage.

This car, however, is designed to be more refined and more spacious, with a longer wheelbase, and easier to get into – the Elise’s high sill design has been reduced. A smoother and quieter six-pot engine would be desirable to make the most of the extra refinement. A Toyota unit – which would easily pass US emission regulations – is the current favourite, if Lotus can make the figures for an expensive motor add up.

One source says that Proton is mulling over plans to move some of the component manufacturing back to Malaysia, although final assembly would still take place in the UK.
 

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Size-wise, it looks like a standard Elise to me. Perhaps they're testing the next generation Elise with the Fed-compliant bumpers and headlights?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
With an unscientific overlay w/ p-shop, they (elise and prototype) appear to be the same size
 

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Randy Chase said:
....component destruction testing at secret facilities in the UK.
I know what he means here, but it still makes me wince.
 

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The car caught here seems to show a rear end with a noticeably wider track than an Elise or an Exige
LOL, yeah, clearly we can see that the rear track is wider from this picture. This MUST be a pic of the new GT, rather than a pic of an exige in disguise (which it surely LOOKS like, but can't be) and an idiot writer confusing it for a totally different car that Lotus is developing (which it CAN'T be, because the media never makes mistakes!)
 

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Although the Elise could take a Rover KV6 engine, the original project never progressed beyond the experimental stage.
No it couldn't... People tried to fit the KV6 and it's way too wide at the top to fit transversely, so you would have to do some very 'creative' cutting and modifying to get it in.. (and have one cylinder-bank breathing in your neck :) )

Lots of people looked into this initially as the KV6 would be a 'logical' upgrade, but it was too hard..

Good example of these 'well informed pieces of journalism'... Noooot :D

Mot sure if or how many actually running M250 test mules there were. This might be one of them..

The official story has always been that there will be an 'M260' for the world-wide market, which should be a 'mid range' car with a 6-cyl engine and more 'comfort oriented' than the Elise.

And there should be a new Esprit on the drawing boards, which will (again) have a V8 to function as the 'top of the line' model.

Bye, Arno.
 

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There goes my nipples again ... :D
 

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Arno said:
And from the back...
I wonder if those would also be the 2007 model's bumpers.
 

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If they put in GT40 type doors (that extend a bit into the roof) it would ease ingress / egress issues... Sorta like having an automatic gull-wing hard top. The type of door shown in these PICs would be easie to design an extension into the roof area due to how it opens and closes. A regular door can't extend to far into the roof area without running into rubber sealing issues since the door would approach the seals the wrong way if you think about it.
 

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****,
That avatar just doesn't do it for me man! Stick with Angelina!
 

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The M250 looks like it was to be a GT car, but doesn't look like it has a boot/trunk. It is a good looking car. I would take it even without a trunk. I really hope they don't build it, I don't need that kind of temptation :no:
 

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Derek said:
The M250 looks like it was to be a GT car, but doesn't look like it has a boot/trunk.
I think the trunk is in the front.
 

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Allan Gibbs said:
I wonder if those would also be the 2007 model's bumpers.
They used that sort of setup to try to downplay the rear overhang.

The M250 was one of the most stunning designs I have ever seen. IMHO, I'd take an M250 over a Liz anyday...
 
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