November 23, 2007 More images to hand from Lotus of its open-top two seat sports car concept produced for Mattel’s 40th anniversary Designer’s Challenge™, a competition in which leading manufacturers were invited to create an original vehicle for the company’s die-cast toy range.

Steven Crijns, Design Manager at Lotus Design and creator of this concept design explained some of the challenges associated with working on such a small scale: “Hot Wheels® cars are barely 75mm long, so specific attention went to create a bold shape that would work well at this scale. Another challenge was to create an exciting design that would work well as a toy. The car needed to be recognizable as a Lotus without having to turn it over to look at the badge underneath, so I took elements from the Elise and Exige such as the headlight design, the Lotus ‘mouth’, the pronounced wheel arches and trademark bonnet graphics. Bold aerodynamic aids are incorporated to achieve exceptional Lotus handling. The top exit radiator at the front, a distinctive Lotus design feature, the rear diffuser and a large rear wing all provide down-force helping the vehicle stick to the road.”

The obvious drawback is that the Concept is only a toy. On the bright side the team behind the Hot Wheels design is also designing Lotus' new range of cars, the first of which, codenamed Project Eagle, is slated for production at the end of 2008.

A 1:5 scale model was shown the world at SEMA in Las Vegas earlier this month and a 1:64 scale version of the design will become part of the Hot Wheels® product range in spring 2008.