The NEC Birmingham Motor Show
1984 Lotus Etna V8 Berlinetta operational concept car Styling by Giorgetto Giugiaro/Italdesign
Anyone who attended the 1984 NEC Birmingham Motor Show could never forget the star of the Lotus stand: the Italdesign-styled, V8-powered Etna concept car. Styled by Giorgetto Giugiaro's then top-of-the-world team, the Etna used his production Lotus Esprit as its basis, adding race-bred cutting-edge technology to present what could well have become the British industry's first genuine mid-engined 'supercar'.
With a claimed drag coefficient of 0.29 and Perspex upper body the Lotus Etna achieved huge and instant public relations success. 'Car' magazine's front cover headline declared: 'The magnificent Giugiaro-designed Lotus V8 sets out to show the world that Hethel can build a world-beater. Buy it in 1988!'
Lotus saw fit to modulate such public acclaim by explaining subsequently that it wasn't about to make bold claims for a mo