Peter Stevens gave an interesting talk at Brooklands this week.
He showed images of a couple of Lotus mid-engined projects, which he referred to as “M200” and “M300”.
The silver “M200” (which is also used for an Elan M100 project) was a proposed Esprit successor which used “all the underpinnings of the Esprit”. I’d not seen that styling before (riding on Elan M100-like wheels).
According to Peter, the black “M300” dates from 1987 as was a 200mph project to sit above the Esprit. It would have a carbon/aluminium chassis, carbonfibre body and a mid-mounted Cadillac ‘North Star’ V8, most likely fitted with a Lotus-designed four-valve cylinder head.
When asked about his satisfaction with how his designs have transitioned to reality, Peter singled out the M100 as a disappointment, saying the final production car was “about 60% of what I wanted, mainly because the wheelbase turned out wrong and so did the track, which meant the wheels weren’t in the right place”. Conversely, the XJR-15 was a great success, being "like 95%” of what he’d wanted.
It was nice to be able to park my Esprit V8 alongside a lovely M100 outside the Clubhouse to represent some of Peter’s styling creations (V8 not strictly Peter’s but based on his 1987 Esprit “reskin”). No McLaren F1 in attendance, unfortunately!