One of the most famous of all Lotus cars is the Seven, the marque's first true road car. Its lightweight and minimalistic approach has inspired every Lotus design since, although sacrifices were made to make the cars more suited for road use. After Lotus ceased production of the Seven in the 1970s, the production rights were sold to Caterham, who have been building replicas ever since.
When the Lotus Elise was launched at the 1995 Frankfurt Motorshow, many agreed that it was the Lotus closest in design to the Seven in years. Like the Seven did forty years before, the Elise brought racing car performance to the road. Lightweight materials were used throughout and little to no luxury was fitted, making it a pure driver's car. In an age where cars were getting increasingly bulky and heavy, Lotus managed to produce a car that, even though it complied with all the rules, with a dry-weight of no more than 690 kg.
In 1999 Lotus took the Elise design one step further, with the 340R. Technically it was very similar to the Elise, but it was further stripped of all but the bare essentials. Most of the bodywork was removed, giving the 340R a cycle-fender appearance, reminiscent of the Seven. Carbon fibre was used for the few remaining body panels, the wings and the fenders. The end result of the strict diet was a dry weight of just over 500 kg, which combined with the 177 bhp engine gave the 340R rocket-like acceleration. The power to weight ratio of 340 bhp / ton gave the lightweight car its name.
With next to no weather protection and a feisty engine, the 340R was best suited for track-day use. Despite its race car look and feel, it was fully approved and homologated for road use. When production ended, 340 examples were completed.
The featured example is seen here at the 2005 Palm Beach International, a Concours d'Elegance.
See it in action and you'll love it!!! What a beautiful car! Reduced to the max. That's what you need in the Black Forrest. small bending roads wherever you go. It's a must!
Successor to the seven?
Yoke Peter 13-5-2003
While this is an awesome car I do not think it could be a successor to the seven in the way suggested. The seven became legendary courtesy of its simplicity, light weight, small engine and low cost. This car qualifies in the light weight and small engine stakes, but not in simplicity or low cost. It is not a car which one would want to buy as a kit and put together in ones backyard, it uses materials like carbon fibre, which push up the cost, and the engine, while it may not be the most advanced engine, is already highly tuned, unlike like the original low powered but fast seven. It does not have the same capacity for modification at home - it would need professional engineers to modify the performance (although I do not know why you would want to), and only being built in limited numbers means that it will probably never become a kit or production car in the same way that the seven did. That said, its still awesome.
you had a ride in this..............
really. WOW! You must be some lucky fellow. I saw this car in the metal once and it is very beautiful like all lotus cars.