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Saturday, June 6, 2015

One Jaguar Designer Wants to Create a Lotus Super Elise


In 1996, Lotus car designer Julian Thomson put the finishing touches on the original Elise Series 1. To this day, it remains an absolute head-turner, but as it turns out, Thomson – now Jaguar’s Director of Advanced Design – isn’t done with the iconic shape yet. 
In a recent tweet, Thomson revealed the sketches for what he calls a Lotus ‘Super Elise’, which will be featured in the UK’s Autocar magazine. Inspired by the likes of Singer Vehicle Design’s reimagined Porsches, Thomson hopes to actually build such a one-off Lotus. Given the specs he laid out, it ought to be quite the sportster.


Visually, the entire car gets a substantial redesign. The carbon fiber-bodied Super Elise sits just over one inch lower than its predecessor, and puffs out between three and four inches wider, now sporting a dramatically reworked fascia and rear end for optimum cooling and downforce. Peek in the rear and you won’t find a Rover K-series or Toyota four-cylinder engine, but rather a Honda VTEC powerplant connected to a sequential gearbox.
“Whenever I washed my own Elise, I was reminded of things that didn’t turn out quite as I’d have liked and I always wanted to put them right,” noted Thomson.

Since his days at Lotus, Thomson has gone on to contribute to some quite extraordinary automotive shapes, including the Range Rover Evoque, Jaguar C-X75 supercar and even the stunning 1989 Isuzu 4200R concept.