Lotus Evora is now enjoying the success Lotus was hopping for, so the company is looking for solutions to improve its sales. The latest solution found was the addition of a new "Sports Racer" package that was inspired by the Evora GTC that enjoyed a huge success in the MSA British Endurance Championship.
The model is further improving the mid-engined 3.5 liter V6 sports car and will be offered in both naturally-aspirated or supercharged versions. According to the official announcement the new Evora Sports Racer delivers "phenomenal performance, exclusive style, incredible excitement and genuine affordability." The model will be offered with an exclusive exterior color scheme and comes comes fully loaded with all the technologies currently offered by Lotus.
On the British market the new Evora Sports Racer is priced at £57,900 - round $94,300 at the current exchange rates for the naturally aspired version and at £65,900 - $107,300 - for the supercharged one.
Hit the jump to read more about the new Lotus Evora Sports Racer.
There had been some reports floating around that DRB-Hicom was seeking a strategic partnership from a Japanese automaker lately, and we just received word that a deal is now in place. Proton will be teaming up with Honda to develop technology enhancements and a new product lineup, as well as share platforms and facilities.
For the most part, Proton builds cheap econoboxes for the UK market, so the direct team up is really not too inspiring. However, peeling back the skin a little bit, you reveal that this deal will likely include its subsidiary, Lotus. While Lotus would benefit greatly from having the technology that Honda has to offer and some financial relief by building certain components together, we are mostly interested in what this deal could potentially bring Honda.
Honda really doesn’t need Proton, as its econobox lineup is stout, but it is lacking a sports car, ever since the S2000 fizzled out in a fit of torque-lacking rage. With Lotus’ expertise being in the lightweight sports car realm and both Honda and Lotus looking for ways to build sports cars without taking on 100 percent of the risk, a team up between the two would be equally beneficial.
We all heard rumors about the S3000 a few years ago, and Lotus has the perfect line of 3.5-liter, V-6 engines sitting in its Evora lineup. So why not team up on a shared model?
According to reports, DRB-Hicom will be laying out Proton’s business plan next month, which will likely include Lotus updates, so we will keep an eye out for this new business plan, and how Honda and Lotus are involved.
Lotus may be struggling, but it certainly hasn’t given up on producing high-level sports cars in an attempt to regain the edge it once held in that realm. With much of the dead weight cut from the company, Lotus is ready to move forward and we certainly hope to see big things from it, whether it be under the control of DRB-Hicom and Proton or some other company altogether.
The last new models to successfully reach production phase under the Bahar reign were the Evora and Evora S, which debuted for the 2010 model year. Last year, the models were expanded to include an all-new automatic transmission that could be shifted from auto to manual almost instantaneously. For the 2013 model year, Lotus is expanding the lineup again by including this transmission as an option on the Evora S.
Now that it is four years into its production life, is the Evora S still up to the task of taking on some of the best sports cars the world has to offer?
Click past the jump to read all about the 2013 Evora S and find out if it is on the decline or positioned to spearhead a revival of the Lotus brand.
Okay, so as we all know, the automotive rumormill has a habit of bouncing back and forth before finally resting on the truth. Back in August, we heard a rumor that the Alpine would be built in a joint venture between Renault-Nissan and Caterham. Then just days later, we started exploring the possibility of the Alpine and Infiniti Emerg-E being a Renault-Nissan and Lotus project, given the Emerg-E was already built on the Lotus Evora platform and it would be simpler to build both the Emerg-e and Alpine on the same platform.
Well, it looks as if the Lotus and Nissan talk is done with, as Caterham appears to have swooped in and all but completed a deal with Renault Nissan. Sky News is reporting that Caterham boss, Tony Fernandes, is just about to put ink to paper on a $400 million production deal that will join Caterham and Renault-Nissan at the hip on the Alpine project. The deal would involve a 50-50 split in cost and profits between Renault-Nissan and Caterham.
There is no mention as to whether this will also affect the Emerg-E’s production plans, but chances are that the Emerg-E will remain a Lotus and Renault-Nissan project, since both companies are already so deeply entrenched in the deal.
This also effectively eliminates the chances that the Emerg-E and Renault Alpine will share any significant DNA. It is very doubtful if Lotus would be willing to lend its platform to Caterham for a project that it back-doored from the already struggling sports car builder.
We’ll keep a close eye on this situation because it could boil over into something a little more, as the two rivals compete to snag up a little extra business. The deal is expected to be reviewed on Monday and approved in just a few weeks.
When the Emerg-E popped onto the scene during the Geneva Auto Show, us automotive folk were amazed at the technology and potential behind this car. We were also amazed to see a rather familiar platform looking back at us, as the Emerg-E is built on the same platform as the Lotus Evora.
Lotus is no stranger to lending out its platforms and bodies for various performance applications (see: Hennessey Venom GT), but it has never gotten into the actual building phase of these cars. Infiniti has yet to confirm that the Emerg-E for production, but its sister company, Renault, has already announced that the Alpine will go into production, in one form or another.
Since Renault has also made it clear that the Alpine will not be much like its concept and the Emerg-E is already based on a Lotus concept, why not save a little scratch and build both models on the same platform? There is really no reason not to and there is absolutely no way that Lotus would refuse this deal, as it sorely needs a little extra money these days.
Sure, the production level may be low and the income may be limited, but it would at least help put Lotus back into the sports car conversation. In addition to getting its foot back into the sports car door, with the Evora and Emerg-E being range-extended electric vehicles, this could carve Lotus a real nice and potentially profitable niche.
We’ll have to wait and see what comes of this, but the connection is already there, it just needs a little push in the right direction.
Despite the multitude of problemsLotus has been having recently, you have to give their racing division some credit for soldiering on with the continued expansion of their motor sports branch. Following in their involvement with Formula One, Indy Car, and Le Mans, among others, Lotus is venturing into new frontier with their entry into the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series.
The American racing series is organized by the same folks behind NASCAR and Lotus is coming in with the intention of being a contender right off the bat. They even have a car that’s primed and ready for action to any racing outfit looking for a ride: the Evora GX.
The Lotus Evora GX is a race-spec model of the sports coupe that has been customized specifically for the rigors of Grand-Am racing. Among the notable new features of the Evora GX include carbon fiber doors, a roof and engine cover, plexiglass windows, and tinted headlights. The car also comes with a new race-spec aero kit with new parts being fitted in including a new front splitter an bumper, a series-required rear wing, and a new set of wider wheels wrapped in Continental racing tires.
Meanwhile, the interior has been stripped of pretty much everything in favor of all the race-spec requirements, particularly the bucket seats, the roll bars, and the race steering wheel.
One other thing about the Evora GX is the noticeable absence of traction control and ABS, which makes racing in it all the more challenging for the driver. At the very least, though, these guys can rely on the car’s 440-horsepower 4.0-liter V6 engine and its Xtrac sequential transmission to make the drive that much more interesting.
Interested teams looking to use the Lotus Evora GX in their Grand-Am exploits will have to shell out $335,000 for one car.
Lotus hasn’t seen a great share of luck in recent years, but in the past few weeks, its luck has taken a slight turn for the better. First came INDYCAR’s approval of desired changes to its IRL engines. Now Lotus is now extending this run of decent luck a little more by announcing that its running prototype for the Evopra 414E hybrid is ahead of schedule and ready for dynamic testing.
Lotus first unveiled the prototype at Geneva in 2010, but it was just that, a prototype. It had no engine or motor driving it; it was essentially just a shell. No one in the automotive world expected anything from Lotus in the next year or so, as it seeks a new CEO, fights a rumored lawsuit from its former CEO, and attempts to right this sinking shop.
It looks like we were all wrong, as Lotus just sent out a press release detailing all of the Evora 414E’s main specifications. So, we did what we do best and used our speculative abilities to put together a review for you to use to make an educated shopping decision, if you are lucky enough to be in the market for this type of car.
Lotus Racing has announced the new Evora GTC that will compete in America’s Grand-Am road races: the Rolex Sports Car Series. The car will be driven by British drivers Richard Adams, David Green, and Martin Byford.
The new Evora GTC is based on the Evora GT4 from which it borrows most of the components. However, the GTC is a much lighter model thanks to its new carbon-fiber doors, roof, and engine cover in fiber glass, as well as Plexiglass windows. The car has also been equipped with traction control, BOSCH Anti-Lock Brakes, and a new set of 18" wheels mated to 27/65-18 tires at the front and 30/65-18s at the rear.
Under the hood, the Evora GTC gets the usual 4-liter V6 engine with an output of 450 HP and 324 lbs-ft of torque, linked to an XTRAC six-speed sequential paddle-shift.
"The GTC is quicker than the GT4 Enduro even though the Powertrain remains the same. We’ve managed to reduce the weight, and added ABS and traction control. Wider wheels mean customers now have a much greater selection of tyres they can use, the flared wheel arches accommodate this, which gives the car its visual definition and makes it look more muscular without hampering the aero," said Louis Kerr, senior motorsport engineer, Group Lotus.
The standard Lotus Evora GTE made its debut last year at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, with an announcement stating that only Europe would be receiving at the moment. With a pout and foot-stomp, the rest of us were left without Lotus’ most powerful road-going model ever. China’s temper tantrum was short-lived, though, as they are now getting their own model: a special Evora GTE China Limited Edition which was revealed at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show.
Lotus’ eminent chassis engineers have adapted the GTE to suit Chinese roads, and the interior comes with more leather and carbon fiber to make it more luxurious inside, without compromising performance at all. Under the hood, Lotus has kept the usual 3.5-liter supercharged V6 engine that delivers a total of 444 HP.
Only 118 examples of the limited edition will be put on sale, making it all the more exclusive and collectable. Each car features a numbered plaque inside, marked with the China Limited Edition insignia.
When Proton announced they may sell Lotus to a large Malaysian industrial conglomerate (DRB-Hicom), everyone knew the future of the Esprit supercar would be in danger, and everyone was right. During a recent interview with British magazine, EVO, Lotus boss Dany Bahar announced that development of all future models, including the Esprit has been suspended.
As a result of the sale, Lotus is taking an NBA type break with a three month "lockdown" - meaning that only normal trading activities could be continued. Translated, this means that the production of the current models will continue at a reduced level, but the development of the future models has been delayed. This decision obviously affects customers because the official market launch of the new Exige S and Evora GTE have been delayed, and we won’t get to see the production Esprit until early 2014.
"This difficult period for Lotus finishes at the end of March and that’s when we will know then whether DRB-Hicom will want to continue with our business plan," said Bahar. "I really hope they will but I cannot call it at the moment, it’s still 50:50."