The Lotus M90
Images of the 1984 Elan prototype
In March 1981, Oliver Winterbottom was brought back to Lotus to design a lower end sports car to compliment the Excel (derived from the Elite and Eclat, which he had designed) and Esprit, and bring profitability back to Lotus. But past a few models to project did not progress. After the death of Lotus founder, Colin Chapman, it was decided in 1984 to revisit the project and build a working prototype using the Toyota 4A-GE 1.6 L engine, the result was the M90 (although somewhat confusingly it was also given the code number X100). The prototype was produced to a high level of finish, with full interior, and painted two-tone silver-gray. However, the M90 was to go no further. By 1985 Peter Stevens was working on a front wheel drive Elan (M100).
The one and only M90 thus languished in a warehouse at the Lotus factory at Hethel until 1998 when Lotus Cars decided to auction of their Museum and related collection at the Coys Auction at the Silverstone International Historic Festival.
The car has been totally stripped to the unique bare chassis (which is now powder coated) and partially re-assembled after painting and interior refurbishment. The car was fully working prior to restoration, and is complete.
Hundreds of photographs document the restoration to date. Full documentation including: owners manual, test sales literature, original drawings, shipping documents (when it was shipped to Japan for testing by Toyota), etc.