The Lotus Extreme Concept was unveiled at the Coventry University Design Show and the British International Motor Show. In conjunction with Lotus, the vehicle was designed and built by student Ted Mannerfeit. The design focuses on Lotus key beliefs that it should be fun to drive, lightweight, small, and a technology masterpiece. The two-seater with a fighter-cockpit interior drew its design inspiration from aerospace programs, boats, and motorcycles. According to Russel Car, he Head of Lotus Design, 'Lotus actively supports young talent and Coventry University has a reputation for the caliber of its students within the automotive industry. We have been happy to offer Ted facilities and advise and help him achieve his creation of the Lotus concept vehicle. The Lotus Extreme captures all the Lotus design principles and we are very excited by Ted's finished project.'
The chassis is aluminum with composite bodywork and carbon fibre. The tires are from a motorcycle. The gearbox is a six-speed sequential unit. The engine is a hybrid system comprised of an electric motor and a natural gas two-stroke engine. The result is ultra-low emissions with high performance suitable for highway use and capable of over 100 mpg fuel consumption. The 450 kg vehicle can race from zero-to-sixty in just five seconds with an estimated top speed of 150 mph. The suspension allows the vehicle to lean into turns just like a motorcycle.By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2005