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Archive for the ‘Lotus’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Lotus History and Photo Gallery

Fast. Furious. Lotus. After taking one glance at a Lotus automobile racing down the road, it is unequivocally clear that there is something special about this type of vehicle.  Whether it is a Lotus Elise S1, a Lotus GT1 Road Car or anything in between, Lotus Cars have a reputation for being sleek, sporty, and above all, fast. The history of the Lotus vehicle began with a man by the name of Colin Chapman.

Originally, University College, London graduate and thriving engineer, Colin Chapman created the company under the name Lotus Engineering Ltd. in 1952. The Lotus Car Company was based at a former World War II airfield in Norfolk a British producer of sports cars and racing cars alike. Moreover, Lotus Cars also owns the famous engineering consulting firm titled Lotus Engineering, and is based in all of the following locations: the United Kingdom, the United States,Malaysia and China. Presently, the company is owned by Proton.

In 1948, the type one trials special was the first Lotus car built and it possessed quite definitive features. Based on a 1930 Austin 7 saloon, Chapman made sure that the car could withstand great distress, making the strength of the vehicle a vital element for all Lotus cars to come. The strength of the car was accomplished by guaranteeing that every single panel in the body of the vehicle was stressed so that it would be able to withstand strain and pressure without weighing down the automobile gratuitously.  Ultimately, this approach of ensuring a strong car body accompanied by a lightweight feel became a philosophy that has transcended throughout the Lotus tradition. Eventually, the Lotus Group of Companies was formed in 1959. This grouping of companies was comprised of Lotus Cars Limited and Lotus Components Limited, which focused correspondingly on the production of road vehicles and competitive car production.






The company has seen most of its success with the addition of the Lotus Formula One car. While Stirling Moss achieved success in the marque’s very first Grand Prix in 1960 by driving a Lotus 18, true acclamation came in the year 1963. With his foot on the pedal of a Lotus 25, Jim Clark landed Lotus a title for its first F1 World Constructors Championship. Unfortunately, Clark met a tragic fate in the very brand of car that won him a Championship title, as he crashed a Formula Two Lotus 48 while racing.






In 1992, Team Lotus launched Classic Team Lotus and continues to uphold and sustain Lotus F1 FIA in Historic Formula One Championship by keeping the business all in the family under the supervision of Colin Chapman’s son, Clive.






Lotus model cars include the Lotus Elise, Lotus Exige, Lotus Exige S, Lotus Evora, Lotus 2-Eleven and Lotus T125 Exos, most of which you can still buy in the condition of used cars.

It’s been only a few weeks since I started looking for some of these pearls; during a vacation trip I was searching for used cars in London and found a lot of these Lotus gems.

Grab one while you can!

 

The post Lotus History and Photo Gallery appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon Lotus History and Photo Gallery

Fast. Furious. Lotus. After taking one glance at a Lotus automobile racing down the road, it is unequivocally clear that there is something special about this type of vehicle.  Whether it is a Lotus Elise S1, a Lotus GT1 Road Car or anything in between, Lotus Cars have a reputation for being sleek, sporty, and above all, fast. The history of the Lotus vehicle began with a man by the name of Colin Chapman.

Originally, University College, London graduate and thriving engineer, Colin Chapman created the company under the name Lotus Engineering Ltd. in 1952. The Lotus Car Company was based at a former World War II airfield in Norfolk a British producer of sports cars and racing cars alike. Moreover, Lotus Cars also owns the famous engineering consulting firm titled Lotus Engineering, and is based in all of the following locations: the United Kingdom, the United States,Malaysia and China. Presently, the company is owned by Proton.

In 1948, the type one trials special was the first Lotus car built and it possessed quite definitive features. Based on a 1930 Austin 7 saloon, Chapman made sure that the car could withstand great distress, making the strength of the vehicle a vital element for all Lotus cars to come. The strength of the car was accomplished by guaranteeing that every single panel in the body of the vehicle was stressed so that it would be able to withstand strain and pressure without weighing down the automobile gratuitously.  Ultimately, this approach of ensuring a strong car body accompanied by a lightweight feel became a philosophy that has transcended throughout the Lotus tradition. Eventually, the Lotus Group of Companies was formed in 1959. This grouping of companies was comprised of Lotus Cars Limited and Lotus Components Limited, which focused correspondingly on the production of road vehicles and competitive car production.






The company has seen most of its success with the addition of the Lotus Formula One car. While Stirling Moss achieved success in the marque’s very first Grand Prix in 1960 by driving a Lotus 18, true acclamation came in the year 1963. With his foot on the pedal of a Lotus 25, Jim Clark landed Lotus a title for its first F1 World Constructors Championship. Unfortunately, Clark met a tragic fate in the very brand of car that won him a Championship title, as he crashed a Formula Two Lotus 48 while racing.






In 1992, Team Lotus launched Classic Team Lotus and continues to uphold and sustain Lotus F1 FIA in Historic Formula One Championship by keeping the business all in the family under the supervision of Colin Chapman’s son, Clive.






Lotus model cars include the Lotus Elise, Lotus Exige, Lotus Exige S, Lotus Evora, Lotus 2-Eleven and Lotus T125 Exos, most of which you can still buy in the condition of used cars.

It’s been only a few weeks since I started looking for some of these pearls; during a vacation trip I was searching for used cars in London and found a lot of these Lotus gems.

Grab one while you can!

 

The post Lotus History and Photo Gallery appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon Lotus Evora GT430 Sport – Specs and Details

While they still have no plans for a new product, Lotus are trying to stay relevant by constantly upgrading their current models. The latest of these efforts is this, the Lotus Evora GT430 Sport, which, they say, is designed to appeal to a wider range of customers.

This is, presumably, for those who find the Evora 400 and 410 a little too weak and believe an extra 20 hp would make a world of difference. In fairness though, Lotus Evora GT430 Sport does offer a wide range of choices including two body options and a choice of manual or automatic transmission. It also comes with a new carbon aero kit featuring a splitter, a large, profiled carbon wing and louvers on top of each front wheel arch which reduce pressure within the front wheel arches together with wider wheels and tyres. It’s a tad heavier than regular models, but downforce advantages are significant.






With a 3.5 liter V6 churning out 430 hp and 440 Nm of torque (automatic version: 450 Nm), Lotus Evora GT430 Sport has a 0-60 mph time of 3.6 seconds. Interestingly, the automatic is faster thanks to an optimised gearbox ECU for ultra-fast changes. Also standard on this model are Öhlins TTX two-way adjustable dampers, J-grooved and ventilated brake discs – paired with AP Racing four-piston calipers all round, a Torsen-type limited slip differential (LSD) and an adjustable traction control system. As for creature comforts, you can have some leather and Alcantara inside plus an infotainment screen with iPod connectivity and Bluetooth functionality, satellite navigation and reversing camera.

The post Lotus Evora GT430 Sport – Specs and Details appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon Lotus Strikes Gold With Its Special Edition Models

You would think that an automaker is asking for a death knell if it pinned its business and financial hopes on the strategy of flooding the market with special edition models. it’s a completely unorthodox strategy that will more than likely lead to despair, and yet, stranger things have happened in the auto industry. Well, prepare yourselves for a doozy of a reversal of fortune because, after years of bleeding money, Lotus has finally turned in a profit. A pre-tax one, sure, but still, a profit nonetheless. The British automaker said as much when it announced its financial returns from the 2016 – 2017 financial year, indicating pre-tax profits amounting to $2.6 million. Normally, that kind of financial report would lead to heads rolling at an alarming rate, but considering that the company lost $21 million pre-tax from the previous financial year (2015 – 2016), this is cause for celebration.

To be clear, the company is still in the red some $14.5 million after taxes and other expenses. It still has a ways to go before it can return to self-sustaining status, but again, perspectives matter. In this case, a loss of $14.5 million in 2016 – 2017 is a remarkable improvement from the $53.5 million it lost in the 2015 – 2016 financial year. According to Lotus, this incredible financial turnaround was largely because of a number of significant reasons, including an expanded dealership network, financial security from new owner Geely, and a revamped product portfolio that really flexed its muscles the past year, thanks in large part to the high number of special edition models the company released in the last 12 months.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Lotus Evora GT430

Feast your eyes on this beauty. This is the new Lotus Evora GT430 and it’s the fastest, lightest, and most powerful road-going Lotus ever made. That’s a lot of superlatives right there, and for good reason. No other production Lotus in the company’s long and proud history can match wits with the Evora GT430, and that includes the Evora 410, the predecessor to the GT430 that also held all those titles before the Evora GT430 came along.

There are a lot of reasons to get excited about Lotus’ new baby, not the least of which are the distinctions that it already has. In addition to that, though, this two-seater sports car is also going to be a lot more exclusive than any special edition Lotus Evora before it. Only 60 units are planned for the model. Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales calls the Evora GT430 “a true track-and-back sports car,” and there’s really no reason to argue those sentiments. It looks like an all-conquering roadster, has a surprisingly posh interior, and packs enough power to reach speeds in excess of 190 mph. Really, what more do you want out of a Lotus that the Evora GT430 doesn’t provide?

Continue after the jump to read more about the Lotus Evora GT430.

PostHeaderIcon Official: Lotus Evora GT430

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Well, granted, this is not an entirely new product and we’re starting to feel Lotus will never again make an entirely new product. But the new Lotus Evora GT430 limited edition has something else going for it and that is the fact it is the most powerful road-going Lotus ever. 

Packing 430 hp and 440 nm, hence the name Lotus Evora GT430, from a 3.5-litre V6 supercharged and charge cooled engine, this aggressive looking sports of which only 60 copies will be made is pretty quick with a 0 to 60 mph time of 3.7 seconds, and atop speed of 190 mph (305 km/h). That is not all down to the power. Weight also comes into focus here, or rather lack thereof. The GT430 is only 1,285 kg, which is remarkable considering it has one of the largest aero kits ever fitted to a road going car.

That aero kit, featuring a new carbon fibre splitter, air blades and louvers positioned on top of each front wheel arch, one-piece carbon tailgate, carbon diffuser and large rear wing, guarantees the legendary Lotus handling at high speed by generating 250 kg of downforce. But again, it’s not just aerodynamics that gives Lotus Evora GT430 its housefly-like reflexes. Other contributing factors include Lotus-tuned, Öhlins TTX two-way adjustable dampers, six-speed manual gearbox features a low-inertia, single-mass flywheel, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres, and  AP Racing four-piston calipers all round for optimum stopping power.

Lotus has not yet revealed how much this exquisite piece of machinery costs.

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The post Official: Lotus Evora GT430 appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon Lotus Elise Cup 250 Specs and Details

Lotus Elise Cup 250

There have been many different versions of the Elise over the years, but with this last one Lotus claims they have made the best one yet. That has to do with the British company’s obsession with light weight, since this new Lotus Elise Cup 250 tips the scale at just  884 kg. 

And if you think that is remarkable wait until you hear about the lightweight options they offer, bringing that weight down to 864 kg. Given that Lotus Elise Cup 250 packs 243 horsepower that means the sports car has a power to weight ratio of 283 hp per tonne, which is how it achieves its 0 to 60 mph time of 3.9 seconds. Better than the straight line performance, though, is the way this thing corners, which is like a fly!

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Among the main performance highlights of Lotus Elise Cup 250 there is the revised dampers and ultra-lightweight forged wheels with Yokohama Advan A048 LTS tyres – 225/45 ZR17 at the rear and 195/50 ZR16 at the front, six-speed manual gearbox, a carbon fiber aero package capable of generating 125 kg of downforce at 140 mph (top speed is 154 mph), fully independent double wishbone suspension and a front anti-roll bar, coupled with Bilstein high-performance dampers and Eibach coaxial coil springs front and rear.

The extra weight saving measures include Lithium-Ion battery, Lotus’ hand crafted carbon race seats, ultra-lightweight motorsport forged alloy wheels and a polycarbonate rear screen, plus carbon components including face-level vents (-0.3 kg), HVAC surrounds (-0.1 kg), and sill covers (-0.8 kg) for the interior.

The post Lotus Elise Cup 250 Specs and Details appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon Lotus Finally Gets A New Owner!

For the longest time, Lotus seemed like the most under-utilized car company in the industry. At the very least, it ranks high on the list of automakers that have failed to live up to its potential. Fortunately, things are now taking a turn for the better for the beleaguered British automaker as Hong Kong-based automaker Geely acquires a 51-percent share in Lotus from its parent company, Proton.

In addition to the 51-percent stake in Lotus, Geely is also acquiring a 49.9 percent stake in Proton itself from the company’s parent firm, Malaysian conglomerate DRB-Hicom. The movement of all these chess pieces means Lotus is free from its struggling past ownership and under the watchful eye of Geely, the fledgling Chinese automaker responsible for reviving Volvo. Geely’s assumed goal to do the same for Lotus, which is largely credited for introducing some of the best handling, lightweight sports cars back in its heyday. It’s been a while since Lotus was a relevant name in the auto industry, but with Geely now in charge, there’s a lot of optimism in the air.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.


PostHeaderIcon Get Your Simplified Lightness On With The Lotus Exige Cup 380

Lotus has been pumping out successively quicker iterations of the Exige for several years now, including the Sport 350 unveiled in 2015, and the Sport 380 that dropped early last year. The latest is this – the Exige Cup 380, a car Lotus is calling the “ultimate track-and-back street-legal Lotus.” Essentially an even more focused iteration of the Sport 380, the Cup 380 once again strives for that tried-and-true Lotus performance philosophy, striking a balance between street-legal road car and track-burning race car. It’s a lithe supercar killer sporting revised aero and even less weight, making for a spec sheet absolutely worthy of the green and yellow badge glued to the nose.

The big selling point here is the car’s power-to-weight ratio, with 355 horsepower available to motivate 1 metric ton (2,205 pounds) of curb weight. That means it’ll hit 60 mph in as little as 3.4 seconds, while top speed is rated at 175 mph. But, in addition to lots of straight-line performance, the Lotus also offers lots of stick, generating as much as 200 kg (441 pounds) at speed thanks to an extensive rework of the exterior wings and spoilers. That’s an increase of 43 percent compared to the Exige Sport 380, and combined with more rubber in the rear, the Cup 380 should be an absolute riot on the track. Read on for more info.

Continue reading for the full story.


PostHeaderIcon The Lotus Evora Sport 410 GP Edition Brings the Iconic JPS Livery to the U.S.

Redesigning the Evora is one of the best decisions Lotus has made in recent years. Now equipped with everything it needs to be road-legal in the U.S. once again, the Evora returned with new looks and a more powerful engine. Making things that much hotter, Lotus also launched theEvora 410 with additional carbon-fiber parts and ten extra horsepower for a higher power-to-weight ratio. The standard model was followed by several special-edition models, including the classic-inspired Esprit S1. Now, Lotus is paying tribute to its glorious racing past with the Evora Sport 410 GP Edition.

Developed specifically for the U.S. and Canada, the GP Edition is a throwback to the company’s Formula One cars from the 1980s. Although it had significantly more successful periods in the 1960s and 1970s, winning seven constructors’ championships, Lotus turned to the 95T, 97T, and 98T race cars from the mid-1980s for inspiration. What’s so special about them you ask? For starters, they ere driven by legendary pilots such as Nigel Mansell and Ayrton. Second, and more importantly in this context, all these cars sported the now iconic John Play Special livery in black with gold accents.

Just like the F1 cars, the GP Edition is finished in black with certain elements highlighted by gold. The bright color can be seen in the form of stripes on the beltline and side skirts, on each side of the front hood bulge, and on the C-pillars and the engine cover. The wheels have matching accents, while the “Evora 410 Sport” lettering on the rear fascia is also in gold. Other than that, the GP Edition is a standard Evora Sport 410, but this livery should be enough to get enthusiasts excited. I know I’d order one if I had the dough…

And the Evora 410 is nothing to sneeze at either. Fitted with numerous carbon-fiber elements on the outside, including the front splitter, roof, rear diffuser, and tailgate, the 410 is not only more aerodynamic, but lighter than the Evora 400 too. Overall, Lotus shaved 154 pounds off the standard model, while increasing output from 400 to 410 horsepower and 302 pound-feet of torque. Able to hit 60 mph in just 3.9 seconds, the Evora 410 is the first of its kind to do so in less than four clicks. It’s also quicker around the Hethel test track too, reducing the Evora 400’s benchmark by three seconds. The Evora 410 is also six seconds faster than the Elise Cup 250, essentially a full-blown race car.

Plenty of reasons to add a Formula One livery right?

Continue reading for the full story.


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.


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