Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Lotus Etna

The Lotus Etna concept was wheeled out at the 1984 Birmingham Motor Show. It was to be the car that projected Lotus into the supercar big league; two years after Colin Chapman's death and with continuing low sales in post-oil crisis Britain, the development of the Etna heralded a sea change in the company's fortunes.
... but unfortunately it was not to be. With the struggling firm bought out by GM in '86, the Etna was relegated to the back burner, and the whole thing quietly dropped.

However, the Etna you see in these photos has been faithfully developed into a fully-functioning example - no mean feat when you consider the problems caused by the engine alone: Lotus had developed a new V8 for the concept, the Type 909, but they only ever built two of them. One of them powers this car.
Also, to get a car that's largely built from clay and has no suspension to be useable is quite a task. Nevertheless, it has been achieved, and the Etna lives as a unique glimpse of what could have been.
You can read all about it here.

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