These days most of the news out of Lotus comes when it releases a lighter or faster version of the Elise, Exige or Evora. However, the stripped-out, Elise-based 340R might already show the logical conclusion of that concept, despite coming out in 2000. Now, one of the 340 made is up for auction on eBay Motors, and the seller in Fort Lauderdale, FL, claims that it's the only street-legal example available in the US.
Lotus founder Colin Chapman always had an obsession with making his vehicles as light as possible, and the 340R adhered to that adage about as closely as a street car could in 2000. These minimalist roadsters eschewed opening doors, windows and a roof in the pursuit of cutting the fat off the brand's hardly portly Elise. The company's engineers also trimmed away the fenders to give their creation a semi-open wheel design that looked as wild when new as today. For the interior, they installed two racing buckets, and the most of the rest was left in bare metal, including the pedals. All of the changes reportedly brought the 340R down to around 1,545 pounds.
Power comes from a 1.8-liter four-cylinder with a five-speed manual gearbox. The 340R is available with 177 horsepower or a tuned 187-hp version from that mill, but the seller doesn't specify which one this is. It's still a pretty fresh car, though, with just 3,577 miles claimed on the odometer.
There's still some time to put this rare, lightweight roadster in your garage because the auction ends on September 6. As of this writing, there are no bids, and the price sits at $75,500 with an unmet reserve.