The original Lotus 7 was a no nonsense, no frills kind of car. It was the epitome of Lotus founder Colin Chapman’s design philosophy, “Simplify, then add lightness.” The original Lotus 7 was a tiny little bugger. The Lotus 7 was powered by a small Ford-produced Inline 4 and it ranged in power from a meager 49 HP to a more robust 135 HP. The best part about the Lotus 7 was the fact that it weighed as much as a flea and it was astonishingly quick for the time, hitting 60 MPH in less than 7 seconds.
In 1973, Lotus sold the rights for the 7 design to Caterham who has been building it ever since. While Lotus has continued to build a number of small, lightweight cars, - the Elan and Elise come to mind - they’ve sadly never really had a true successor to the original 7. Diseno-art.com thought that should change though and they’ve designed what they dub the 2011 Lotus New 7 Concept to fill that void.
The Lotus New 7 Concept carries over much of the same design themes as the original Lotus 7, albeit with a bit more of a modern take. The New 7 Concept is slightly larger than the original 7, allowing the driver to have a bit more creature comforts then they would get in the Spartan original 7. The Lotus New 7 Concept is bathed in a handsome mix of black and white paint, with a black “7” painted on the side. The paint job does an excellent job of accentuating the retro design of the New 7 Concept, making it quite the looker. Accentuating the New 7 Concept’s black and white paint scheme are matte black wheels with big, meaty tires mounted on them, giving the Lotus a sinister edge.
A neat feature that Diseno-art.com designed into the Lotus New 7 Concept is removable body panels. This can allow owners to swap out damaged panels easily on their own. It can also allow the owners to customize their New 7 Concept for their needs. Say a New 7 owner wants to hit the track; they would simply swap in dedicated racing body panels and a long-range fuel cell. But what if it was also date night with the wife? The owner could then quickly and just as easily swap the body panels back, and configure it more for a Sunday cruise, then bombing around on the track. It’s quite a genius idea.
The Lotus New 7 Concept being a bare bones car has a pretty bare bones interior as well. While the interior in the New 7 Concept is certainly more luxurious than that of the original 7, that really isn’t saying much. The New 7 Concept’s interior doesn’t coddle its two occupants with creature comforts such as a stereo or air conditioning, but that’s not what this car’s about. The New 7 Concept is designed for someone who appreciates a simpler time, when the driver was more directly connected to the road; just man and machine. Only the necessities make their way into the interior of the New 7 Concept. You get two tan leather sports seats, and a striking aluminum surround over offset gauges. Basic yes, but honestly what else does a driver need?
The Lotus New 7 Concept is primarily designed for a small displacement naturally aspirated or turbo charged Inline 4, just like the original 7. However, the engine bay in the 7 Concept is modular. This means an owner theoretically could squeeze a larger engine into the svelte hood of the New 7 Concept. Not that we would though. Fitting a large engine into the New 7 Concept is missing the point; the New 7 Concept is supposed to be light, nimble, and quick, and a small displacement 4-cylinder engine is perfect for that. It isn’t meant to blow the doors off a Ferrari or Lamborghini at a stoplight drag; it’s meant to be a great companion while driving up and down twisty mountain roads.
The Lotus New 7 Concept is just that, a concept. Because of that, both production and pricing have not been announced. If the New 7 Concept did make it into production, pricing would probably be around $50,000-$60,000 range.
The Lotus New 7 Concept fits into a niche. It’s a small, lightweight, British roadster. The only true competition to the New 7 Concept (if it’s built) would be theAriel Atom 3 and the Caterham 7 Roadsport .
The Caterham 7 is probably the Lotus New 7 Concept’s biggest competition because it’s the car the New 7 Concept is based off of. A lot of people go by the mantra, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” So why would someone buy the new version over the original 7 that’s been built since 1973? That’s a legitimate question that someone in the market is going to have to grapple with when mulling over the decision of which car to buy. Coming in at $40,489, the Caterham 7 is also likely to be cheaper than the Lotus New 7 Concept would be if it were produced.
More of a match in terms of price is the Ariel Atom 3 at $49,980. However, the Ariel Atom 3 is a stripped-down, bare bones, and no-nonsense track day machine. The Ariel Atom 3 is focused strictly on performance. The seats even seem as if they’re an after-thought, just added because the designers realized, “Oh, we need those!” The Atom 3 even lacks door body panels. It’s a street legal Formula One car. It’s meant for driving fast and that’s about it. That’s where the Lotus New 7 Concept has the Ariel Atom 3 beat. Whereas both cars can be enjoyed on the track, the Lotus New 7 is the only one you would actually enjoy driving to and from the track. On the road, not the track, is where it ultimately all matters.
- Retro Styling
- Removable Body Panels
- Its simplicity
- It’s only a concept
- No set engine
- Potentially pricey