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The Lotus Esprit M70 concept car was first displayed at the Turin Motor Show in 1972, designed by Giugiaro from ItalDesign.

Work began on the car in mid-1971 and was completed before the end of the year, as a full-size mock-up. A second more advanced car which was based on the Europa chassis, followed in 1972.

It was originally dubbed as special-bodied Europa as it was built on a lengthened and widened version of the Europa’s steel backbone chassis with a longer wheelbase. The response from the public at the Turin Motor show was positive, so Colin Chapman decided to put the car into production.

The final design for the M70 was completed in the latter half of 1973. Many details of the Europa-based prototype remained in the final Lotus Esprit production car.