Back in the 80's a number of car enthusiasts began dreaming of a saloon with Lotus design principles. Not a heavyweight Lotus Carlton or alike, but a car built in true Chapmanesque style with a low weight body and a powerful engine. A car to take on the likes of AMG and BMW's M series but with clever thinking rather than brute force.
The car was eventually produced by the Brazilian manufacturer Emme with assistance from Lotus and so was born the Emme Lotus 422T.
Developed from the Volvo ECC (Environmental Concept Car) - hence the similarity to the S80 - the 422T was crafted using a body that was made using polymer compound with VexTrim, a technology previously untried by car manufacturers.
VexTrim made the car very light, robust (tougher than steel) and of course it was resistant to rust. A useful side effect of using this material was that it's also bullet proof!
Power was provided by a front mounted Lotus Esprit 910S engine, (4 cylinder 16 valve Garret water cooled turbocharger with integral wastegate) giving 264bhp and 261 lb-ft of torque. This was mated to a 5 speed Borg Warner transmission.
The car was first shown to the public at the 1998 Brazilian Auto Show. It also appeared in in Milan and at Monte Carlo.
The 422T was manufactured between 1997 and 1999 at Brazilian São Paulo state in the inland city of Pindamonhangaba. 87% of the car components were Brazilian sourced.
US$156 million was invested in the project yet less than fifteen cars were sold and it's believed that only three or four cars were licenced for the road. The project ran out of money and production stopped in December 1999.
|At the time of writing (Sept 2002), Julio Lopes informs us that he has four 422T's up for sale (in Brazil). He bought five of the cars and now plans to sell the surplus cars! All of them were produced in 1998 and 1999. Price is just $25,000 for each car - not bad value in the scheme of things. Give him a call on +55(11)578-2433 or +55(11)3452-7533.|