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Project Eagle has landed

The Proton-owned company will officially unveil and name the mid-engined 2+2 coupe — the first all-new car from Lotus since the Elise in 1995 – at the British Motorshow on July 22.

The car will be powered by a Toyota 3.5-litre V6 with dual VVT-i (‘intelligent’

variable valve timing) developing 206kW, sitting on a lightweight chassis Lotus says aimed at ensuring “visceral all-round dynamic performance”.

Lotus ride and handling engineers claim that it is faster around the Nürburgring than the Elise and more stable at speed than the Exige.

The prototype is said to have a maximum speed of 257km/h and to hit 100km/h in less than five seconds.

The Project Eagle production car will be also be available as a two-seater, with the rear seat of the 2+2 given over to luggage space. Lotus says other versions are being planned, including a convertible and hi-po version.

The car’s interior features leather upholstery, and high-tech flush-mounted controls with glowing blue LED haloes.

Just 2000 cars will be built per year, with deliveries starting in 2009.

Penned in-house by Lotus Design boss Russell Carr, Project Eagle is the first of three new models on the Lotus drawing board, aimed at revitalising the company.

In the press blurb, Carr points to the dramatically sculpted lines of the car, cab-forward proportion, muscled haunches and gaping air intakes as cues that highlight its “serious” sportscar intent.

The fit-out includes sport seats, flat-bottomed steering wheel and touchscreen multimedia system with a removable hard-drive for the satnav function. The Alpine audio set-up sound enhancement technology to cancel acoustic imbalances caused by different areas of the cabin.

Lotus swears the boot will take a set of golf clubs, and both back seats feature child seat mounting points to strap the kiddies in tight while you’re exploring the handling boundaries.