(from Lotus Press Release)
Lotus announce first Elise-based pickup
Lotus Cars is delighted to announce that its first light commercial vehicle rolls off the production line today.
The Lotus Elise 'Load Lugga' is an Elise-derived flatbed that seeks to secure a slice of the ever-growing worldwide market for sportscar-derived pickup trucks.
Utilising a Briggs and Stratton pull-start diesel engine, uniquely supercharged by Lotus's own engineers, the Elise 'Load Lugga' is the first Lotus to marry advanced 4-wheel drive technology with the Lotus design philosophy of 'performance through lightweight'. A useful 5kg payload, together with an optional towing hitch offering a further 10kg of load-hauling capacity, ensures the new Lotus will be equally at home carrying a small bag of sugar as an expanded polystyrene surfboard.
With carbon fibre roof rails and perforated aluminium bull bars ensuring the new Elise derivative looks the part without compromising performance, hopes are high that 0-60mph acceleration is less than 3 seconds, and will have flatbed fans reaching for their chequebooks.
An active payload management system, linked to the engine's oil pressure control module, optimises ride and handling round even the sharpest bend, while big chunky tyres increase ground clearance to an all-terrain-conquering 4 inches.
Trevor Houghton-Berry, Lotus Head of Commercial Operations looked to the future 'The Elise 'Load Lugga' is our first move into the lucrative LCV market and certainly lives up to the Lotus philosophy of 'change the rules'.
We like trucking and we like to truck!'
Mark O'Shaughnessy, Lotus USA Sales and Marketing Director commented, 'We can no longer ignore Lotus's big opportunity in the pickup market - we want a slice of the action and are gunning for a 0.0026% market share this year and 0.0027% next. The Elise 'Load Lugga' will be known as the F1.50 stateside and we are set to take the market by storm. 200 Lotus Elise F1.50's in the first year? Bring them on.........'