Lotus Once Tried To Copy The Ariel Atom, Only 8 Made It To The US

For Sale / Comments

And now one is up for sale.

Lotus cars don't get much lighter than this, which is no mean feat considering the British automaker is renowned for making lightweight sports cars like the Elise and the Evora. Back in 2000, Lotus created the 340R, a stripped-down, limited edition sports car based on the Elise designed to rival the likes of the Ariel Atom as the ultimate track toy. Only 340 examples were built in 2000, but this model spotted for sale via Bring A Trailer is even rarer because it's one of only eight left-hand drive 340Rs that were imported to America by Lotus USA.

To keep the car as lean as possible, the 340R uses a custom built bodyshell with no roof or doors and a minimal amount of body panels. Sadly, despite sharing the same aluminum chassis as the Elise, the 340R isn't road legal. Powering the 340R is a 1.8-liter, rear-mounted four-cylinder engine mated to a five-speed manual gearbox that packs 177 horsepower and 126 lb-ft of torque. That may sound like a paltry amount of power, but the 340R weighs less than 1,150 pounds, resulting in a 0-62 mph sprint time of just 4.4 seconds and a top speed of 133 mph. Being a driver-focused track toy, the 340R doesn't provide creature comforts such as a stereo, air conditioning or even carpets.

You do at least get blue Alcantara accents on the door panels, steering wheel, and seats, though. Listed with only 348 miles on the clock, this 340R has barely been used. The car has been listed for sale several times and this is the second time it's been listed publicly in just over a year. No price has been listed, but an eBay seller tried to sell the rare 340R for $63,000 last year.

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