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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Lotus Europa Diamond Edition

HETHEL, England — The diamond-encrusted Lotus Europa on display at the automaker's birthday celebration on Sunday was a fake. Yes, the automaker commissioned a diamond-set special model valued at $268,000 to mark its 60th anniversary. But it noted in a statement that "for security reasons, the commemorative Lotus Europa has been fitted with replica diamonds whilst on display."

Still, the images of the real deal were an eye-popper and an invaluable wellspring of inspiration for punsters within the company who couldn't resist calling the vehicle "a real gem of a car."

The car was adorned with 164 round-cut diamonds with a market value of $198,454, said Lotus. The appearance package included high-gloss black paint modified with tiny glass flakes "giving the appearance the car has been showered with diamonds." The diamonds were scattered in such unusual spots as the exterior badge and the speedometer. Other cabin touches included quilted trim and a specially designed rev counter.

Diamonds are the traditional gift at a 60th-anniversary celebration.

What this means to you: Perhaps the most over-the-top, pimped-out Lotus Europa of all time.