Never mind all the spy photography - here's the first official look at the 2010 Lotus Eagle, the latest sports car emanating from the house that Chapman built.
Scheduled for an official unveiling at the British motor show on August 22, the Eagle, a 2+2 coupe, is the first all-new Lotus car since the 1995 Elise (the Elise-based Europa S, apparently, doesn't count).
Designed for enthusiasts who need a little more practicality, the Eagle includes a backseat, although, with provisions to anchor car seats, Lotus admits it's a kids-only zone. While the rear trunk was designed to fit a set of golf clubs, customers looking for extra storage space may opt for a two-seat model with a cargo shelf in lieu of the rear seats.
Though Lotus provided only one photograph, it can be seen that the Eagle's shape seems much more organic and proportionate than that of the Europa S. We note, however, that the styling is very derivative of the M250 concept, originally shown to the public nearly eight years ago in Geneva.
Like the Elise, the Eagle sources its engine from Toyota, but this time in the form of a 3.5-liter V-6. Essentially the same motor found in the pedestrian Camry sedan, Lotus tweaked the engine ever so slightly to yield 280 hp. No performance figures have been released yet, but Lotus claims the car is quicker and more stable around the Nurburgring than the Elise.
Production, expected to total 2000 cars per year, will begin in early 2009. Unlike the Europa S, expect the Eagle, in either 2+2 or two-passenger form, to eventually cross the pond into North America.