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Archive for the ‘Lotus’ Category

PostHeaderIcon New Lotus Elise Sprint Edition Is Lighter, Quicker

Introduced in 1996, the Lotus Elise has been redesigned twice, with the most recent, Series 3 model launched in 2011. For 2017, Lotus upgraded the sports car in order to keep it fresh until the fourth-generation model arrives in a couple of years.

The facelift isn’t exactly spectacular on the outside, but the Elise does benefit from redesigned bumpers, new headlamps, and a host of weight-reducing elements. New features include carbon-fiber front access panel, roll hoop cover, and engine hood, a polycarbonate rear screen, and forged alloy wheels. Inside, the Elise received more attention. Lotus redesigned the center console, which now resembles the Exige, and updated the graphics of the instrument panel. The carbon race seats are also new, as is the open-gate gear select mechanism borrowed from the Exige Sport 350.

The Elise now comes with iPod and Bluetooth connectivity, while carbin sill covers, an Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel, and new Electric Light Blue upholstery are offered as options.

The Sprint Edition gets its juice from either the naturally aspirated, 1.6-liter or the supercharged, 1.8-liter, four-cylinder. The smaller engine cranks out 134 horsepower and 160 Nm (118 pound-feet) of torque in the base Sprint model, while the force-fed 1.8-liter pumps out 217 horsepower and 250 Nm (184 pound-feet) in the Sprint 220 version. More importantly, the drivetrain and chassis also benefit from new weight-saving measures, including a lightweight lithium-ion battery, AP Racing calipers up front and Brembo clamps to the rear. Optional two-piece brake discs are available.

Tipping the scales at 798 kg (1,759 pounds), the Elise Sprint Edition is 41 kg (90.3 pounds) lighter than the standard model and 26 kg (57.3 pounds) lighter than the Sport version. As a result, the Elise Sprint has a power-to-weight ratio of up to 168 horsepower per tonne, while the Sprint 220 comes in at 257 horsepower per tonne. Naturally, the sports car is quicker than ever before, needing 5.9 and 4.1 seconds to hit 60 mph from a standing start with the 1.6- and 1.8-liter engines, respectively.

The updated Elise carries over the same suspension setup as before, with fully independent double wishbone suspension and a front anti-roll bar, coupled with Bilstein high-performance gas dampers and Eibach coaxial coil springs front and rear. Being lighter than the preceding model, the spring rate was marginally increased in order to retain the classic ride the Elise is known for.

The Sprint Edition goes on sale in April 2017 from £32,300 (around $40,050 as of March 2017).

Continue reading for the full story.


PostHeaderIcon Lotus Needs To Find An Owner That Will Take It Seriously

If you look at Lotus on the surface, you’ll see a company that appears to be on stable ground. It’s never been an automaker that prides itself on the volume of vehicles it makes, but it has released its share of models, most of which have been universally praised for being some of the best handling sports cars in the segment. But if you dig deep enough, you’ll realize that the soil that Lotus’ foundation stands on isn’t as stable as you’d think.

Financial trouble. Mismanagement. Multiple bouts with near-bankruptcy. The list of ills run long within Lotus, and as news comes out that the automaker is reportedly on the verge of another ownership change, the question on whether Lotus can have a stable and supportive ownership group has never been as relevant as it is today.

Reports say that DRB-Hicom, one of Malaysia’s biggest conglomerates and the current owner of Lotus, is on the verge of selling the sports car brand to Chinese manufacturer Geely. Separately, Proton could also be in play with reported talks of the PSA Group gaining a controlling stake in the Malaysian auto brand.

Two potential deals are on the table, but for now, or at least in this space, we’re only going to talk about Lotus.

The issue here is the tenuous status Lotus has had for years despite producing some of the purest sports cars in the segment. It’s gone through numerous bankruptcy ordeals just to keep the company afloat. It’s also gone through numerous ownership changes, most recently in 2012 when its parent company, Proton, was fully acquired by DRB-Hicom. Now DRB-Hicom is reportedly looking to divest Lotus from Proton and sell it to Geely, a Chinese automaker that counts Volvo among its auto brands.

Oh, and let’s not forget about the many controversies the company has been embroiled in, most notably the ouster of CEO Dany Bahar in 2012 over allegations that he was misusing company funds for his own lavish expenses. The two parties eventually settled in 2014 after multiple lawsuits but the fiasco served as another stain in the company, whether it deserved it or not.

So what do we make of this reported sale of Lotus to Geely? According to multiple reports, the Chinese automaker is keen on taking on Lotus while the PSA Group, the parent firm of Peugeot, Citroen, and DS, would be taking over Proton, thus splitting the two brands that have been linked together since 1993 when Proton acquired Lotus. Negotiations are still ongoing, but if it does happen, Lotus could find itself with another new owner. Hopefully, Geely has serious plans to turn Lotus around and bring some stability back to the company.

It’s a crying shame that the once proud British automaker has never had an ideal ownership situation for close to three decades now, but with a new ownership group reportedly on the horizon, there’s at least hope of seeing brighter days ahead for the sports car brand.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.


PostHeaderIcon Lotus Evora Sport 410 "Esprit S1" Edition

For those of you who were old enough to have seen the 1977 James Bond movie The Spy Who Loved Me, you might remember the Lotus Esprit S1 from the film. It’s hard to forget considering that at one point in the movie, it turned into an actual submarine. It also carried torpedoes, water mines, and surface-to-air missiles. These features cemented it as one of the most iconic movie cars of all time, let alone one of the most famous cars James Bond has ever used. Fast forward to 2017, and we have Lotus releasing the Evora Sport 410, a one-off creation that celebrates the 40th anniversary of Bond’s Esprit S1 in a rather spectacular style.

Off the bat, it’s important to establish that taking the Evora Sport 410 on a dive into the ocean isn’t going to end well for the driver. So no, the one-off Esprit S1-inspired Evora Sport 410 does not have submarine capabilities. While we’re at it, the coupe also doesn’t have missiles or torpedoes, nor does it have a cement sprayer or a black dye slick. Better get those facts out of the way before somebody starts expecting the Evora Sport 410 to carry WMDs. We all know how that turned out the last time.

The good news is that Lotus did well for itself to justify the Evora Sport 410’s one-off status. The coupe is dressed heavily on special edition touches, thanks in large part to the involvement of Lotus Exclusive, the automaker’s very own personalization division. Beyond the cosmetics and aerodynamic touches on the coupe, the Evora Sport 410 retains one of its most imposing features: a 3.5-liter six-cylinder engine that produces 410 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. Combine those numbers on a coupe that weighs just 1,280 kg (2,820 pounds) and you have a sports car that pays homage to one of the most iconic Bond cars in history the proper way.

Continue reading to learn more about the Lotus Evora Sport 410.


PostHeaderIcon Lotus Exige Race 380

British sports car maker Lotus first introduced the Exige in the year 2000. The formula was simple – add a fixed roof to the hugely popular mid-engine, RWD, two-door roadster known as the Lotus Elise, and let the sales just roll in. Since its debut, the Exige has offered up three successive generations, plus a slew of special variants, including several track day specials. The last time we saw a race-only Exige was with the Cup R, a V-6-powered destroyer of supercars that dropped cover in 2013 at the Autosport International Show in England. Now, Lotus is offering a new one, and it’s called the Exige Race 380. Essentially a stripped down, simplified, and lightened version of the already stripped down, simple, and lightweight Lotus Exige Sport 380, the Race 380 swaps any semblance of road compromise for hardcore performance and competition-spec hardware. Improvements include updates to the gearbox, suspension, aerodynamics, and electrical systems, yielding a laser-sharp weapon that’s perfect for hunting apexes.

The Race 380’s road-legal equivalent, the Sport 380, debuted late in 2016, tempting enthusiasts with Lotus’ traditionally focused approach to performance. Unfortunately, the Exige doesn’t meet U.S. crash standards, which meant stateside speed lovers were left out in the cold.

Happily, federal regulations don’t really matter when license plates aren’t involved. As such, the track-only Race 380 will be sold on these shores, and although it’s ineligible for road duty, U.S. track rats are sure to scoop up their fair share of units.

So exactly how fast is this thing? To give you an idea, the Race 380 posted a time of 1 minute, 23.5 seconds around Lotus’ test track in Hethel, England, besting the Exige Cup R by an impressive 1.5 seconds. That’s the fastest time of any Exige ever at Hethel, so yeah, it’s quick. Read on for the specifics of what makes it so damn fast.

Continue reading to learn more about the Lotus Exige Race 380.


PostHeaderIcon Lotus Exige Sport 380

Lotus was undergoing a bit a crises when its current CEO, Jean-Marc Gales, came onboard in 2014. But after spending nearly forty years in the red, the British brand is back in the black and doing what it does best – making lightweight sports cars for adrenaline-hungry enthusiasts. And that’s very good news indeed, because it means we get machines like this – the Exige Sport 380. Framed as a follow-up to the Sport 350 unveiled late last year, the 380 takes the tried-and-true Exige formula to even greater heights, making for the lightest, most powerful, most downforce-generating, and flat-out fastest model to ever wear the nameplate since it was first introduced in the year 2000. Offered as either a coupe or a roadster, this new range-topper is a bona fide street-legal track terror, packed with OCD weight saving details and legendary handling refinement.

Lotus claims the 380 is aimed at “six-figure supercars,” and looking at the spec sheet, it certainly appears to have all the trappings of a giant slayer.

“We’ve saved something special for our last new car of 2016,” says Gales. “We have built upon the foundations of the excellent Exige Sport 350 and developed a perfectly proportioned, intuitive and attainable supercar for real roads. The cut in weight is drastic and, combined with the hike in power and its enhanced agility, we’ve created something exceptional – far greater than the sum of its parts.”

For the moment, there’s no official word as to whether or not the 380 will come stateside, but if I were to guess, it’s unlikely. That said, Lotus has expressed interest in redoubling its efforts in North America, so maybe there’s a chance yet.

Either way, this is a car that pays attention to the details, so let’s do the same, shall we?

Continue reading to learn more about the Lotus Exige Sport 380.


PostHeaderIcon Next-Generation Lotus Elise Coming In 2020

Lotus is planning to launch a completely redesigned Lotus Elise for the 2020 model year. That’s the word from Autocar, which claims that the British automaker can finally afford to fun an all-new version of its lightweight sports car. A third-generation Elise has been on the drawing table since 2010, when Lotus showcased a concept car at the Paris Motor Show, but the company opted to introduce a facelift in 2011 due to financial difficulties. With Jean-Marc Gales at the helm since 2013, Lotus finally has the finances to create a new-generation model.

When Gales took over as CEO back in 2013, Lotus was in a serious financial crisis that almost led to bankruptcy. Thanks to his turnaround plan that focused on improving the existing product range and brought a revised Evora, upgraded version of the Elise and Exige, and a new 3-Eleven, Lotus has reached a safer point where it is financially stable, a first since around 2000.

The new-generation Elise is part of a massive overhaul of the entire Lotus lineup that will include redesigned Exige and Evora models too, but production of new cars won’t commence until 2019, a plan that gives the company enough time to adjust as far as development and production goes. The new Elise will feature a redesigned bonded and extruded aluminum chassis and according to Gales, it will continue to tip the scales at under 1,000 kg (2,200 pounds). More importantly, the Elise is being developed for the U.S. market too, with North American customers to finally get another model besides the Evora.

The Elise is the company’s oldest nameplate in showrooms, having been launched in 1996 as a successor to the Elan. Sold as the Series 1 until to 2001, the Elise received its most comprehensive upgrade 15 years ago. The sports car was once again updated in 2011, but since then Lotus launched a wide range of versions and special-edition cars. A more track-focused variant, the Elise Cup 250, was introduced at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show. The Elise was last offered in the U.S. in 2011.

Continue reading for the full story.


PostHeaderIcon Lotus Elise 250 Special Edition

It seems like every month one automaker or another has a reason to celebrate and create some limited-run, special-edition model. Today, Lotus has announced its latest special edition that was designed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the company’s Hethel site. The car is called the Elise 350 Special Edition, and it is based on the Elise Cup 250 that launched just a few months ago. Powered by a supercharged four-cylinder, this thing delivers more than 240 horsepower and comes complete with lots of carbon fiber on the outside and a hand-finished interior. As Lotus put it, “It perfectly defines the quintessential British sports car in the celebration year.”

Outside of being quick thanks to that supercharged four-banger, this baby is also pretty aesthetically pleasing and can be had in a number of colors. On top of that, the car can also be personalized through the Lotus Exclusive Program, which means that each of the 50 units slated for production could turn out to be completely unique. For the record, Lotus claims this special-edition model can lap its Hethel test circuit in just 1 minute and 34 seconds – the fastest so far of any road-going Elise.

Jean-Marc Gales, the CEO of Group Lotus plc, said, “When we first introduced the Elise, it redefined how involving and exciting, yet civilized, a sports car could be. As the Elise was conceived, designed, engineered and is built at Hethel, we wanted a 50th tribute that’s even lighter than the fastest road-going Elise we’ve ever produced. The new Elise 250 Special Edition achieves that, so it’s supremely quick and agile, but it’s also wonderfully finished and stunning to look at.”

So, with that said, let’s take a good look at this special-edition Elise and see what all the hype is about.

Continue reading to learn more about the Lotus Elise 250 Special Edition.


PostHeaderIcon Lotus Evora 400 Carbon Pack

In 2014, following a disastrous year financially, Lotus embarked on a new quest to save itself from extinction with Jean-Marc Gales at the helm. One of the first products to relaunch the brand was the Evora 400, essentially a revised, lighter, and more powerful version of the sports car first introduced in 2009. The Evora 400 also marked Lotus’ return to the U.S. after withdrawing from the market following the previous Evora failing to comply with safety standards. For 2017, the British firm introduced the special-edition Evora 410, which features additional carbon-fiber body parts and lighter drivetrain components.

It’s been less than six months since the Evora 410 made its public debut, and Lotus is now offering another upgrade for the base model. Dubbed Carbon Pack, this new bundle adds a number of components already fitted to the Evora Sport 410 as standard, making the 400 lighter than what you get from the factory. Exhaust and battery upgrades are also available, shaving even more pounds of the Evora’s already lightweight design.

“The Lotus Evora 400 is already the lightest car in its segment, with super car performance, benchmark handling and the purity of the driving experience expected of a Lotus. We are now giving customers an opportunity to drive an even lighter and more responsive car,” said Lotus CEO, Jean-Marc Gales.

What’s more, alongside the Carbon Pack, Lotus also announced that the Evora 400 is getting new convenience features. But more about that, as well as everything you need to know about the new options bundle, in our detailed review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Lotus Evora 400 With Carbon Pack.


PostHeaderIcon Next Lotus Elise to Remain True to its Roots

Lotus has been rolling out all sorts of updates for the Elise recently, but it’s also working on a new iteration of the sports car. Essentially 15 years old as of 2016, the current Elise will get a replacement in 2020. That’s the word from company CEO Jean-Marc Gales, who also revealed that the next-generation model will remain true to its engineering roots.

According to gales, work on the redesigned roadster has already begun as Lotus is developing an extruded aluminum chassis around the same technology that debuted in the original Elise S1 back in 1996. The platform underpins all of the company’s cars today, but Gales thinks it can be substantially improved by 2020. This is the key to keeping the new Elise as close as possible to the original, especially when it comes to lightness and handling.

Autocar claims that Lotus aims for a curb weight of 900 kg (1,984 pounds), exactly 175 (386 pounds) more than the original model. Although it may seem like a lot of extra weight for a significantly newer car, we need to keep in mind that the third-gen Elise will have to comply with stricter safety requirements, especially in the United States. On the other hand, a 900-kg third-gen Elise would be lighter than the current Elise Cup 250, which tips the scales at an amazing 921 kg (2,030 pounds).

As far as design goes, the new Elise will remain true to the current styling. Although this means that many of the current features will be carried over, Lotus will redesign enough elements to give the sports car a fresh look. The car could be wider though in order to meet U.S. crash ratings.

Unless Lotus decided to that it’s time for a massive change in the drivetrain department, the next Elise will also feature Toyota-sourced engines and transmissions. We expect the third-gen model to benefit from up to 250 horsepower.

Continue reading for the full story.


PostHeaderIcon Lotus Elise Race 250

Now entering its second decade in production, the Lotus Elise is simply one of the most capable speed machines on the planet, as evidenced by the numerous platform iterations (Tesla Roadster, Hennessey Venom GT, etc.) and high-spec track day specials that have sprung up over the years. Now, Lotus is offering its most hardcore track-oriented Elise to date, and it’s called the Race 250. The number is a reference to the car’s blown 1.8-liter output figures, which are complemented by a slew of standard performance options, including a race-ready interior, full aerodynamics, adjustable suspension, and a fiber-rich diet. And, as luck would have it, it’s coming to the U.S.

According to Jean-Marc Gales, CEO of Group Lotus plc., “The Elise Race 250 is the fastest, most focused Elise we’ve ever produced and, judging by what it’s capable of on track, it looks set to become a favorite with our racers around the world.”

Backing Gales’ claim is the Race 250’s 1:33.5 lap time around Lotus’ Hethel test track, a time that bests the Elise Cup 220 R by a full half-second and secures the 250’s spot as the fastest racing Elise that Lotus has ever developed.

So what exactly makes this mighty little giant slayer so darn potent? Read on for the details.

Continue reading to learn more about the Lotus Elise Race 250.


PostHeaderIcon Lotus Production Facility Expected To Begin Construction Later This Year

Lotus’ plan to build an SUV isn’t exactly a tightly kept secret these days. In fact, Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales has repeatedly alluded to the company’s plans to have an SUV serve as its mass-market model to complement the range of sports cars it has in its portfolio. The latest news on this front comes by way of Bernama, Malaysia’s national news agency, which is reporting that Lotus’ new production facility is expected to begin construction by the end of 2016, essentially putting into motion the automaker’s long-term plan of launching the yet-to-be-named SUV by 2019.

The plant, which will be co-developed by Proton, Group Lotus and Goldstar Heavy Industrial, will be located in Guangzhou, China and will reportedly cost as much as $1.5 billion. Among other things, the site will eventually include a headquarters, presumably to be used by Lotus, as well as production facilities and a research and development center. Guangzhou Development and Reform Commission Deputy Director Wang Ke Si old Bernama that the site itself is still under development and will need the approval of “ministries, National Development and Reform Commission and other related commissions.”

It’s been said that Lotus is targeting China as the primary market for its SUV, although Gales also mentioned in the past that the model will hit other key markets all over the world, including the U.S. A design for the SUV is still currently being worked on and from past statements, Lotus is keen on coming up with a design that doesn’t exist in the automotive world yet.

For now, the primary objective is to begin construction of the production facility that will eventually be the production home of the SUV. All signs seem to point to the automaker receiving all the necessary approvals within the year, giving all relevant parties enough time to begin the construction of the facility by the end of 2016.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.


PostHeaderIcon Lotus Elise Cup 250

2015 was a busy year for Lotus. Not only did the Brits revamp the Elise and Exige with updated models, but they also launched a significantly upgraded Evora, the brand-new 3-Eleven, and announced plans to develop their first-ever SUV. Having already launched the new Lotus Exclusive customization program in January, the brand has just introduced its first new model for 2016 — the Elise Cup 250.

Essentially an lighter and more powerful version of the previous Elise Cup, the Cup 250 is the quickest road-going Elise ever from 0 to 60 mph as well as on Lotus’ iconic Hethel test track. As with most updates, the Cup 250 comes with new and revised features, extra options, and access to the company’s new Lotus Exclusive program. The Cup 250 joins the less track-oriented Sport and Sport 220 in the 2016 Elise lineup.

“The Lotus Elise has long set the benchmark in its class, yet we’ve been able to hone its straight-line performance and handling. Yes, it is capable of amazing things on a track, but it also retains its road manners and is perfectly composed for day-to-day driving. No rival offers this level of performance and accessibility,” said Jean-Marc Gales, CEO of Group Lotus.

The new Elise Cup 250 will go on sale in most markets from April 2016. Unfortunately, the sports car won’t cross the pond to the U.S., where Lotus can only sell the Evora 400 due to America’s strict safety requirements.

Updated 05/17/2016: Lotus dropped a very cool promo video for its latest Elise Cup 250. Called “Speed of Light,” the new video highlights the qualities of the Elise Cup 250 that make it the fastest road-going Elise ever. Hit “play” to watch it.

Keep reading to find out more about the Lotus Elise Cup 250.


PostHeaderIcon Lotus Elise Cup 250

2015 was a busy year for Lotus. Not only did the Brits revamp the Elise and Exige with updated models, but they also launched a significantly upgraded Evora, the brand-new 3-Eleven, and announced plans to develop their first-ever SUV. Having already launched the new Lotus Exclusive customization program in January, the brand has just introduced its first new model for 2016 — the Elise Cup 250.

Essentially an lighter and more powerful version of the previous Elise Cup, the Cup 250 is the quickest road-going Elise ever from 0 to 60 mph as well as on Lotus’ iconic Hethel test track. As with most updates, the Cup 250 comes with new and revised features, extra options, and access to the company’s new Lotus Exclusive program. The Cup 250 joins the less track-oriented Sport and Sport 220 in the 2016 Elise lineup.

“The Lotus Elise has long set the benchmark in its class, yet we’ve been able to hone its straight-line performance and handling. Yes, it is capable of amazing things on a track, but it also retains its road manners and is perfectly composed for day-to-day driving. No rival offers this level of performance and accessibility,” said Jean-Marc Gales, CEO of Group Lotus.

The new Elise Cup 250 will go on sale in most markets from April 2016. Unfortunately, the sports car won’t cross the pond to the U.S., where Lotus can only sell the Evora 400 due to America’s strict safety requirements.

Updated 05/17/2016: Lotus dropped a very cool promo video for its latest Elise Cup 250. Called “Speed of Light,” the new video highlights the qualities of the Elise Cup 250 that make it the fastest road-going Elise ever. Hit “play” to watch it.

Keep reading to find out more about the Lotus Elise Cup 250.


PostHeaderIcon Lotus Evora 400 Hethel Edition

Founded in 1952, Lotus Cars was originally situated in old stables behind the Railway Hotel in Hornsey, North London. The company moved to a purpose-built factory at Cheshunt in 1959 and in 1966 it began developing and building its cars at a modern facility in Hethel, Norfolk. In 2016, the British firm celebrates 50 years since moving to Hethel and it has created a special-edition Lotus Evora to mark the event. It goes by the name Evora 400 Hethel Edition and will be sold in limited numbers.

Offered in exclusive exterior colors and with a number of bespoke features, this limited-edition Evora won’t be the only vehicle celebrating Lotus’ move to the Hethel facility.

“The Evora 400 is the latest in a long line of world-beating sports and racing cars to have all been hand built in Hethel over the last 50 years. We are immensely proud to be part of the community and it is entirely fitting that this limited edition be dedicated to our home. We’re looking forward to celebrating our connections to Norfolk throughout 2016, and more Lotus Hethel Anniversary news will be announced soon,” said Jean-Marc Gales, CEO of Group Lotus.

There’s no word whether the Hethel Edition will cross the pond to the United States, but until Lotus reveals more information, let’s have a closer look at the brand’s latest sports car based on the quick and light Evora 400.

Continue reading to learn more about the Lotus Evora 400 Hethel Edition.


PostHeaderIcon Lotus Eyeing Detuned Version Of Evora In The US Market

After a short hiatus from the U.S. market, the Lotus Evora is expected to make a nice comeback, albeit in a slightly different form from the ones being offered in Europe today. A report from Automotive News is pointing at a May 2016 return for the Evora 2+2. The only caveat is that it’s going to be a detuned, entry-level version of the V-6-powered Evora 400. Before anybody starts slamming their fists on the table, it’s important to know that the decision to bring a detuned version of the Evora hinged primarily on Lotus having to meet America’s emissions requirements.

So it’s not all bad. Lotus is just trying to follow the rules, even if it comes at the cost of offering an Evora with less power. The upside is that it’ll have better fuel economy. Just as important, the Evora has since been updated from the last iteration that was sold here to ensure that it complied with the stricter airbag regulations.

Now, about that engine. Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales intimated to Automotive News the company’s goal of dropping its carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. by three percent per year over a five-year period. For Lotus to make that work, it would have to offer a detuned version of the Evora 400, which would entail dropping the sports car’s supercharger entirely. Doing so would reduce the V-6 engine’s power, but it would also improve fuel economy and in turn, help the company achieve that five-year emissions goal it placed on itself.

Granted, Gales admitted that the supercharger-less Evora is just one of the options he’s looking into. But it is a scenario that’s more realistic than removing the supercharged V-6 entirely and replacing it with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder. That door is less likely to be opened because the company doesn’t see the short- and long-term benefits it could have on the Evora.

For now, this news is a matter of taking the good with the bad. The good news is that the Evora’s vacation from the U.S. market is over. The bad news is that it’s really not going to be the Evora 400 that Europe and other markets currently have. But I’m sure American customers would learn to accept that, especially if the U.S.-spec Evora, especially if it comes at a much cheaper price than the $90,000 price tag of the Evora 400, and if it will also come with a roadster variant in 2017.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.


PostHeaderIcon Lotus Super Seven Takes The Spotlight In New Petrolicious Episode: Video

In a day and age wherein cars have become awash in technology, there’s something to be said for a classic road-going sports car that still catches people’s attention despite being more than 50 years old. I’m talking about the 1963 Lotus Super Seven Series II, a sports car so unpretentious it flies against everything we associate with the modern day sports car. You really need to look at it to understand how pure and simple it is. That’s also a big reason why Lotus Seven owner Geoff Wise loves his car so much.

In the latest episode of Petrolicious, Wise talks about his love affair with his Lotus Seven and how he came to own this beauty of a sports car. See, unlike most people who get featured on Petrolicious, Wise didn’t set out to build his Lotus Super Seven from the ground-up. On the contrary, he actually bought the car and disassembled it before converting it to be more of a road car. He did add some modern tech to complement the car’s bored and stroked 1.7-liter four-cylinder, which he claims makes 120 horsepower. It’s not the fastest car in the world by any means, but with the car weighing just over 1,000 pounds, those 120 horses makes it seem like it is.

This is a labor of love in every sense of the phrase and Wise feels vindicated knowing that his Super Seven gets plenty of attention wherever he goes. He says that adults admire it, but it’s really the kids that get a real kick out of the car. It’s hard not to imagine why it gets the attention it does, especially when you see it in the company of today’s cars. There aren’t a lot of things more gravitating than seeing a sports car from the 60’s run so smoothly, as if reminding us that there was a time when people loved to drive these cars, not because of the technology they had, but because it was just fun to do it. Looking at Wise’s face when he talks about his Super Seven, it’s easy to see why he loves his car so much.


PostHeaderIcon Lotus 3-Eleven Laps Hockenheimring Faster Than Hyper Cars

Lotus 3-Eleven Hockenheimring

You are probably familiar with Christian Gebhardt of Sport Auto magazine as we often feature his exploits here. The race car driver and road test editor has done pulled off something with the new Lotus 3-Eleven that has attracted the attention of the company, because even they didn’t except it.

What Gebhardt has done is lap the Hockenheimring short circuit in 1 minute 06.2 seconds. That puts Lotus 3-Eleven sports car above the likes of Porsche 918 Spyder, Ferrari 458, Corvette ZR1 and Gumpert Apollo in the rankings. Lotus also likes to boast that the car was on road tires and the weather was less than perfect, which makes the whole effort more impressive.

Jean-Marc Gales, CEO of Group Lotus plc said, “Christian set a fabulous lap in less than ideal conditions. We knew from the outset that we have created a simply phenomenal car that is capable of great things, and this lap record proves that beyond doubt. This is the ultimate embodiment of the Lotus design philosophy; it’s a beautifully engineered machine that doesn’t carry one ounce of excess weight. With 460hp on tap and race car handling at your disposal, this car is the ultimate giant killer”.

The post Lotus 3-Eleven Laps Hockenheimring Faster Than Hyper Cars appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon Sports Auto Sets Hockenheimring Lap Record With A Lotus 3-Eleven

They say that lap times are meant to be broken and the only surprise is what car breaks them. German auto magazine Sport Auto also knows a thing or two about setting fast lap times, having used the Hockenheim race track as its personal proving ground for some of the fastest production cars it has tested. Recently, Sport Auto took a Lotus 3-Eleven, considered as the fastest series production model from to come out of Lotus, to Hockenheim for a series of hot laps, not knowing that it would end up setting a lap record around the Hockenheimring short circuit with a blistering time of 1.06:2.

If that isn’t impressive enough, the 460-horsepower 3-Eleven managed to knock off the Porsche 918 Spyder (1.06:3), the Gumpert Apollo (1.07:2), and the Radical SR3 SL (1.08:1) from their respective places in the top 3. Those are three legitimate supercars and one of them (the 918 Spyder) has even been billed as a hypercar.

Sport Auto road test editor Christian Gebhardt took the wheel of the 3-Eleven and set the record lap time despite having to use standard road tires for the lap. Oh, and temperatures around the track didn’t push past eight degrees Celsius (46.4 degrees Fahrenheit), which meant that he set that record lap time in sub-optimal weather conditions.

But none of these ready-made excuses ended up slowing down the Lotus 3-Eleven, which now sits comfortably in the magazine’s lap-time chart around the Hockenheimring short circuit. It remains to be seen how long the track-spec racer holds that record, but for as long as it lasts, the 3-Eleven can lay claim to being the fastest around the German circuit against some of the fastest supercars in the world today.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.


PostHeaderIcon Official: Lotus Evora Sport 410

Lotus Evora Sport 410-0

Lotus Cars continues moving forward at a slow and steady pace, doing small things but doing them right. The new Lotus Evora Sport 410 is a case in point. It’s a slightly revised version of the Evora that is lightened and tarted up to become an even better driver’s car.

As the name clearly suggests, Lotus Evora Sport 410 packs a 410 hp and 410 Nm of torque version of the supercharged 3.5-litre 6-cylinder engine. So extra power is not really its winning card. That’d be the 70 kg weight loss it has achieved through the use of carbon fiber components in its build. Tipping the scale at 1,325 kg, the Evora Sport does 0-60 in 3.9 seconds and can reach a top speed of 186mph.

The main differences between a Lotus Evora Sport 410 and the regular version, in terms of looks as well as weight saving measures, include a carbon fibre tailgate (combining five separate elements into one), new lighter-weight door trim panels and the liberal addition of carbon fibre across the entire car. But this doesn’t mean the 410 is a stripped-out track car. The car is still very civilized for road use.

Other highlights of the Evora Sport 410 include front splitter, roof panel, tailgate, and rear diffuser as well as race-derived sports seats and a revised front access panel, Torsen-type limited slip differential (LSD), Lotus’ Dynamic Performance Management (DPM) with Sport and Race modes, and touch-screen entertainment system.

Lotus Evora Sport 410-1
Lotus Evora Sport 410-2
Lotus Evora Sport 410-3
Lotus Evora Sport 410-4
Lotus Evora Sport 410-5
Lotus Evora Sport 410-6

The post Official: Lotus Evora Sport 410 appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon Official: Lotus Elise Cup 250

Lotus Elise Cup 250-2

It was sad when Lotus gave up all their hopes and dreams of making plush super cars, but at leas they are back to doing what they do best, which is making fantastic sports cars. The 2017 Lotus Elise Cup 250 is the latest product of the Norfolk-based firm, and it’s a beast of a machine.

Replacing the Elise Cup 220, the new 250 brings new features to the table, such as a Lithium-ion battery which slashes 10 kg of the weight, carbon fibre seats, reducing the weight by 6 kg, and ultra-lightweight forged alloy wheels, saving a further 1.5 kg. Lotus Elise Cup 250 just gives a whole new meaning to the company’s ‘Light is Right’ philosophy.

Lotus Elise Cup 250-1

Weighing at 930 kg, the Elise Cup 250 comes as standard as a roadster but you can order a hard top as an option. Another option is a Carbon Aero Pack (consisting of front splitter, rear wing, rear diffuser and side floor-extensions) which shaves a further 10 kg off the weight of the car. Other improvement making the 250 a greater performance machine than its predecessor include re-calibrated ignition system, wider 195/50 R16 front tyres and more responsive steering.

Lotus Elise Cup 250-3

Limited to 200 units per year, Lotus Elise Cup 250 is powered by a 243 hp (246 PS) and 250 Nm of torque 1.8 liter supercharged four-cylinder engine. The car does 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds and has a 154 mph top speed. Eibach coaxial coil springs, AP Racing or Brembo brakes, Yokohama tires, Lotus Dynamic Performance Management System (with Sport setting), and Alcantara or leather interior are among the other highlights.

Price List:

UK (Pound Sterling) £45,600
Germany (Euros) €61,100
France (Euros) €61,620
Italy(Euros) €65,010
Japan (¥ Yen) ¥8.930m

The post Official: Lotus Elise Cup 250 appeared first on Motorward.

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