Unlikely Lotus Creations

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The future for Lotus is looking bright after several years of struggling to secure its identity.

When you think of Lotus, what comes to mind? More than likely you envision a sleek and lightweight sportscar taking corners at crazy speeds. Chances are that you don't think of a compact city car with a hybrid powertrain or an F1-inspired speedster. The automaker started by Colin Chapman is now in the process of reinventing itself while still retaining it's most treasured philosophy: "Simplify, then add lightness." If you'd like to see what Lotus has in store for drivers in the future, then continue reading on.

The Lotus Esira was designed by Jack Lamburn for the year 2025. The Esira has the looks of a Lotus, but its technology is far advanced. Lamburn's design would be powered by a hydrogen fuel cell and would feature an impact-absorbing exterior made from "metal rubber."

Lotus drivers with a need for speed more than likely lost their minds earlier this year when the Lotus Exos 125 made its long-awaited debut. The Exos 125 is an F1-inspired racer with a 3.5-liter Cosworth V8 engine pumping out 650 horsepower. Only 25 Exos 125s were built, with each selling for a cool million.

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The Lotus Evora S Carabinieri is easily one of the coolest cop cars on the streets of Italy. The Evora S Carabinieri has a 3.5-liter supercharged V6 pumping out 350hp. The Lotus cop car also features an advanced voice recognition system dubbed EVA (Enhanced Vehicle Automation) and a small refrigerator specially designed to transport blood and vital organs.

The Ethos is an efficient micro-car designed to compete against the new generation of luxury small such as the Aston Martin Cygnet. Lotus' city car is a hybrid with a 53kW electric motor and a 1.2-liter 3-cylinder gasoline engine. The performance numbers aren't nearly as bad as they could be. The Ethos goes from 0 to 60 9 seconds and can top out at 106 mph. The Ethos is expected to be on dealer lots sometime in 2013.

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