Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
|Lotus Super Seven|
The Lotus Seven is a small, simple, lightweight two-seater open-top sports car, which have been called 'a motorcycle on four wheels'. It is characterised by extremely high acceleration (0 - 60 Mph in 3.1 seconds) and a mid-range top speed (155 Mph), handling is lively and the ride is 'uncompromising'. The drag coefficient is around 0.7, mostly because of the flat windscreen and the wheel arches.
The original Lotus Seven was launched in 1957, powered by a 40 bhp Ford Sidevalve 1172cc engine. The Lotus Seven Series 2 followed in 1960, and the Series 3 in 1968. In 1970, Lotus radically changed the shape of the car to create the Series 4, which was not widely loved.
In 1973, Lotus decided to try and shed its kit-car image in order to concentrate on its more up-market models. As part of this plan, it sold the rights to the Seven to Caterham Cars. Caterham had been a Seven dealer since the very early days, and at this time they were the sole suppliers. After a brief period producing the Series 4, they reverted back to the Series 3 car, and have been making, and refining, this car since as the Caterham Super Seven.
Since the design of the Lotus Seven is so simple, there a number of replicas and sevenesque cars have been built such as:
- Locost by Ron Champion
- Stalker V6 Clubman by Brunton Automotive
- Several models by Westfield Sportscars Ltd
- Raptor by Tornado Sports Cars
- Several models from Robin Hood Enginering Ltd
- Donkervoort from Netherlands with Audi-Turbo-Engines
- HKT from Germany also with Audi-Turbo-Engines
- Hauser from Switzerland with BMW engines
- Tiger Z100 from Z Cars Ltd
- MK Indy from MK Engineering (using Ford Sierra parts)
- ESTfield from RaceTech (using Lada parts)
- Esther 
- Dala7 (a taller and wider design using Volvo parts) 
The Series 2 car was featured in the opening credits of the television series The Prisoner.
- Jeremy Coulter. The Lotus and Ceterham Sevens. Croydon: Motor Racing Publications Ltd., 1986. ISBN 0947981063
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