Ex-McLaren designer plans £35k Lotus Exige rival
22 February 2008

Jim Dowle, a designer previously involved with the McLaren F1 and SLR models, has begun work on his own car – planned to be a two-seat sports car.Primarily, it must be an affordable, performance-focused coupe, but it is also intended to be a usable touring car, so the design must include decent luggage space and a comfortable cabin.However, with kerb weight predicted to be around 870kg that's not going to be an easy design task. The car will use a mid-mounted engine producing around 200bhp, though no details are available for where the engine is sourced from. Prices are expected to be around £35,000. That Dowle describes this as a competitor to the track oriented Exige, rather than Lotus' own two-seat Europa GT, is testament to the performance expected from this car. It's hoped that a running prototype will be ready within 18 months, so don't expect a production car until 2011 at the earliest.

Join the debate

Comments
6

22 February 2008

Very exciting project. A 200bhp, 880kg coupe/tourer sounds a blast and it's a hunky looking thing with the performance to match a current 200bhp Elise for £35k. If he can do it I'll bet on alot of customers being very interested.

22 February 2008

I've been reading Autocar for something like 25 years and, on average, maybe one in five British sports cars that are announced like this get as far as a prototype, one in 10 make series production, and around - well, let's name most of them - Ariel, Rocket, that bloke from Leicester whose name I've forgotten, and probably a couple of others last beyond a couple of years. But good luck, fella!

22 February 2008

Noble.

And you're bang on about small British sportscar manufacturers.

22 February 2008

It's sad but true, but I feel that this is maybe due to these cars being niche products. A bit like looking down the binoculars the wrong way round, somewhere at the bottom you have a nucleus of potential buyers who have an abundance of choice in what car to buy.

23 February 2008

Would you purchase this car if it had 100 percent more horsepower AND a 25 percent lower price? What about the Nurburgring in less than eight minutes? This alternative car seats two and has 620 liters of cargo capacity. It has a targa top fitted as standard. It has a top speed of 186mph, yet returns 38mpg (UK) when cruising on the motorway. The only penalty is about 50 percent more weight. This alternative car is neither a prototype nor a fickle machine of limited production. It is the current C6 Corvette.

25 February 2008

[quote Unsprung]Would you purchase this car if it had 100 percent more horsepower AND a 25 percent lower price? [/quote]

The estimated price of this car is £35000, the UK list price of the Corvette C6 is £47000, that's not 25% less, that's 34% more. And for sub 8 minutes around the 'ring you'd need a Z06, which costs £62000 in the UK.

I'm sure you can get a C6 for much much less in the US, but this car probably won't make it to the states so the US list price is less important than the UK price.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Citroën C3 Aircross
    First Drive
    17 October 2017
    It's got funky looks and a charming interior, but it's another small SUV, and another dynamic miss. Numb steering is just one thing keeping it from class best
  • Skoda-Karoq 2.0 TDI 4x4
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Diesel version of Skoda’s junior SUV is unobtrusive and undemanding, but we’d still go for the silkier petrol version of the Karoq
  • Audi Q7 e-tron
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Expensive and flawed but this understated diesel-electric Audi Q7 has a lot to offer
  • Citroën C3
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Is the third gen Citroën C3 ‘fresh and different’ enough to take on its supermini rivals? We spend six months with one to find out
  • BMW X3
    First Drive
    15 October 2017
    A satisfying rework of the X3 that usefully improves its handling, cabin finish, space and connectivity to make this BMW a class front-runner again