Supercar mystery

Discussion in 'European Cars' started by PandaBeat, Sep 28, 2007.

  1. Lotus Esprit? McLaren supercar? A new Noble? Help us identify this mystery sports car

    CAR has spotted this mystery sports car testing at a UK facility, but we can't pin down exactly what it is. And this is where you, our army of knowledgable CAR Online readers, come in. Do you know what it is? We need your help.

    Our first reaction when we saw this low-slung mid-engined supercar? We reckoned it was the new Esprit, although Lotus's next supercar - due in 2009 - won’t carry that name. But all our inquiries so far suggest that it isn't.

    - So what do we know about this prototype?
    As we say, it's mid-engined, and it's registered as having a 7.0-litre engine, probably a big US-spec bent eight. The Corvette Z06 engine fits the bill nicely, developing 512bhp and a tarmac-shredding 470lb ft. The Esprit, and indeed all Lotuses, have always relied on light weight and small-capacity engines for their thrills, suggesting this prototype doesn't hail from Hethel.

    Besides, last year CAR reported that the Norfolk-based company had signed a deal with BMW for a supply of engines; Munich doesn't make a 7.0-litre engine...

    - Haven't we seen this car before?
    We certainly have. A second right-hand drive version of this same car was spotted in Holland with Lotus paperwork visible in the cabin. So if it's not a Lotus, it has all the hallmarks of being developed by Lotus Engineering. They're a discreet bunch and work for dozens of manufacturers big and small, but rarely talk about their work.

    Could it be McLaren's new baby supercar? Possibly. The October 2007 issue of CAR Magazine has the definitive scoop on the new supercar from Woking, and the overall proportions are similar to this P11 'son of F1', but key details are different. So this probably isn't Ron Dennis's new road-car project.

    Is there a clue in its registration plate? This prototype is registered in Milton Keynes, suggesting that it could be linked to one of the Midlands manufacturers; Mercedes's UK base is in Milton Keynes, but its new supercar will surely be developed in Germany...

    - What else do the pictures show?
    Peer closely at the high-res photos and you can make out that this car is running Brembo brakes. It'll need them, if that 7.0-litre V8 is indeed nestling in the engine bay. Then there's that Audi R8-esque 'blade' over the mid cooling vents.

    Could this car be the new Noble? The M15 is long overdue, and the models we've seen so far look nothing like this prototype. Ascari is another name in the mix.

    - It does look very like a Lotus Esprit though...
    Yes, there's no getting away from the fact. Underneath that black cladding, you’ll find the traditional wedge shape but with a modern twist. And these shots show the car will look remarkably similar to our Esprit scoop pictures from last year.

    The car has also been snapped at the Nurburgring, and it’s been to Nardo in southern Italy for high speed testing. If it is the Lotus, we should know by next summer when the Esprit is tipped to debut at the 2008 London Motor Show, before going on sale in 2009.

    Words: Ben Pulman
  2. Looks like a lotus to me.
  3. READ THE INFO MOTHER#$%#ER <A BORDER="0" HREF=""><IMG BORDER="0" SRC="pitlane/emoticons/angry.gif"></A>
  4. Hmmm... A crude registration check says IT is a British car with a 7 litre engine. It was registered in 2006. <A BORDER="0" HREF=""><IMG BORDER="0" SRC="pitlane/emoticons/confused.gif"></A>
  5. Yep, and:

    "This prototype is registered in Milton Keynes, suggesting that it could be linked to one of the Midlands manufacturers; Mercedes's UK base is in Milton Keynes, but its new supercar will surely be developed in Germany..."

    so <A BORDER="0" HREF=""><IMG BORDER="0" SRC="pitlane/emoticons/confused.gif"></A>
  6. Something about a Spectre in the check as well.
  7. Shut it... its a Lotus <A BORDER="0" HREF=""><IMG BORDER="0" SRC="pitlane/emoticons/grin.gif"></A>
  8. "Perfect Union"
  9. It could be a Lotus doing chassis testing. The displacement would suggest otherwise, but maybe they're just using a high displacement LSx engine because they don't have their own ready for testing yet, and this one is similar to the output they're after.

    Who knows though. It's very Lotus from the back, but not so much from the front.
  10. MAYBE it is a Lotus and they're using an LS7 because it's one of the lightest engines in the world for it's power output... ZOMG.

    Ok, so not likely. However the weight of the LS could be more of a factor than it's power for testing purpose, because as you mention they might not have their engine ready. You could test the handling pretty well with an engine with comparable weight even if the power was higher.
  11. Doesn't really look like the Esprit I've seen in the other photos from the front.
  12. new esprit
  13. Spectrecars website does mention something about new cars being under development......

    Spectre's engineering partner is C2P Automotive Ltd, based in Tilbrook, Milton Keynes which is where said vehicle is registered to..

    Too easy.
  14. Couldn't it be a new Ascari???
  15. lotus r8
  16. Brabus TKX
  17. Ascari, Klaas Zwart already said in an interview that his next supercar project would have the ZO6 engine. It also explains why the car was seen in the Netherlands...
  18. I was thinking the same thing, lol
  19. Lamborghini SUV
  20. then where's the dark matter?

    i like the way it looks, but def a lotus.
  21. #25 Rigidreaves, Sep 29, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2016

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