To some, the Lotus 7 was the quintessential British sportscar. Its tires are pushed out to the corners to deliver the ultimate driving experience through a direct connection to the road. It didn't need a lot of horsepower to move it along because it was so light weight. It just went where it was told, kind of like the winning formula for today's Elise. The 7 was so popular in fact that after Lotus stopped making it, dozens of companies jumped in and started offering their own 7 kits. Although Caterham bought the tooling and rights to become the official 7 maker, there are still others building versions of this legendary car.
One of these is Westfield Sportscars. One of the things that sets Westfield apart is the use of fiberglass bodies and its own unique independent rear suspension. Well, Westfield Sportscars is about to gain another distinguishing characteristic when its finished developing a hybrid version of the 7 along with the University of Warwick's manufacturing group. Together they are expected to figure out a way to mate the 7 with an existing hybrid drivetrain, probably one from Toyota or Honda. The added torque of the electric motor should further reduce naught-60 times and fuel economy should likewise be stellar.
It's somewhat ironic that the new Tesla Roadster is seen as an electric Elise due to the involvement of Lotus in its development. This new Westfield hybrid Lotus 7 threatens to bring even more green to the Lotus name.
[Source: Westfield SportsCars via AB Green]