> 
Lotus

Lotus cars

Our spy photographers recently caught the new Lotus Exige hidden under a very strange looking camouflage testing, and now Lotus has announced that they will celebrate the end of production for the renowned North American bound Elise and Exige models with three special editions: the Elise SC, Exige Matte Black, and Exige S260 Final Editions. The Lotus Elise SC Final Edition will be limited to only 15 units and will carry a price tag of $57,500.

For those of you outside North America, don’t worry, both the Elise and Exige models will continue to be available in other markets around the world. The reason for the termination of production in North America is that there was a lack of continued availability for the 1.8-liter 4-cylinder Toyota 2ZZ engine that powers all North American Elise and Exige models. Therefore, the production of this model will cease for North America by the end of August 2011.

But hey, at least it can go out with a bang, so hit the jump to get full details on the 2011 Elise SC Final Edition.

We have heard rumors of a new Lotus Exige for quite some time now, but the car has finally been caught testing. This may be one of the ugliest camouflages we have ever seen, but if Lotus thought that would keep our spy photographers away, then they were very, very wrong. The new Lotus Exige will make its world debut in 2012 at the Geneva Motor Show.

The prototype seen in these spy shots reveals a new nose inspired by the one from the Evora and a completely different rear end, both of which make the car appear much longer. The roofline is also different from the one in the current model. The mules previously caught testing where all wider so we suspect that the new Exige is also slightly wider than the current one.

Under the hood, Lotus will place the same engine as in the Evora : a 3.5 liter V6 producing 280 HP in the normal version and 350 HP in the S version. The prototype also gets bigger brakes, another indication the model will deliver better performance numbers.

A week after a forgettable fourth episode , Top Gear bounces back with a pretty entertaining penultimate episode that featured a review on the new Jensen Interceptor , a track day for Jeremy Clarkson with the Lotus Exos Type 125 race car , Bob Geldof as the guest celebrity, and a military house destruction challenge.

Comparing it to the previous show, the content for this week was a lot better, but in a weird twist, the show only had 59 minutes on it - the regular slot usually lasts for 62 to 63 minutes - because, apparently, BBC wanted to show the MotoGP race exactly on time.

That became a running gag during the whole episode as Hammond and May kept speeding up Clarkson in order to fill out the entire episode in the 59 minutes they were given.

In the end, the military destruction challenge proved to be the most entertaining segment of the episode - we’d argue that it’s the best one all year, too - filled with child-like shenanigans from the three hosts that make us love the work they’re doing.

Some people might slam them for wasting their precious time on something so inane, but if you were walking in their shoes, you’d be having a ball of time using military vehicles in trying to put down a cement house.

Details on Top Gear Season 17: Episode 5 after the jump

Posted on by Thomas Nelson 5
Lotus Elise S

My father had a habit of pointing out "it’s always the one ya least suspect." If you asked the public what they thought the Lotus Elise’s reliability was, the answer was a resounding "very good." However, now this Rembrandt of the racetrack has a small smudge and is now under investigation for a possible mechanical deficiency concerning the oil cooler.

The 2005-2006 Lotus Elise is at the center of this investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration(NHTSA). This problem centers on the right front oil cooler which can potentially come loose and spray inside the wheel well and the engine bay which can lead to a fire. This problem is described as" .. [Complaints centered on] an oil cooler line [that] had failed causing oil to spray within the engine compartment area, and/or near one of the wheel or brake assemblies." It is important to note that no one was hurt due to this malfunction although one person’s car did catch fire. That being said, the NHTSA has received 17 complaints and have calculated that around 4,400 Elises may be affected due to this malfunction.

An important distinction to note is that although this investigation is ongoing, a recall has not been issued for the Elise.

If you were considering a Lotus and now are suddenly running like Usain Bolt towards another sports car, think again because all of us here at TopSpeed would still love to have this pocket racer in our garage. Its combination of incredibly reliable Toyota innards and speed make the Lotus Elise a must have for any car enthusiast. Take this complaint for what it is; a small bump in the road for a great vehicle.

Source: NHTSA

Bad guys i Italy will have serious reasons to fear as next to a Lamborghini Gallardo Police Car the Carabinieri in Rome have just received a new Lotus Evora S for their police fleet. The Evora S models will be made available to the units based in Rome and Milan. The new police car will be used to provide a crucial service to the public.

This special Evora S will be equipped with some of the very latest voice recognition technology including the EVA (Enhanced Vehicle Automation) system. A special portable refrigeration compartment has been fitted behind the front seats which will allow for the rapid transport of vital organs and blood required during medical emergencies.

The Evora S is powered by a supercharged Toyota -sourced 3.5-liter V6 engine that will deliver a total of 350bhp and more than 300lb ft of torque. This means a sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 5.0 seconds and a top speed in excess of 172mph.

Hit the jump for the official statements from the Group Lotus Chief Executive and Carabinieri spokesman.

Remember the BMW M-Zero concept unveiled by Maël Oberkampf back in 2008? Well, let us introduce you to its bigger and more luxurious brother; the Lotus Ephemer Concept. This new concept takes its inspiration from a number of big names in the auto industry such as Aston Martin , Peugeot , and TVR models, as well as some natural design elements found in manta rays and sharks.

Those big menacing wheels and smooth contoured lines found on the exterior of the Ephemer concept are combined with what the designer says is an interior that offers the latest technologies and creature comforts needed for long rides. No details were given to back that up, but all of the information we need is in the 500 HP engine found under the hood. With this engine, the concept is said to top out at 186 mph. Be it a hybrid motor or a conventional engine, this concept delivers all of the power and performance needed to rival the best of sports cars. The only problem is that we may never see it make the production line.

Lotus Evora

The gang over at Lotus has been putting in its hours lately with tons of new projects and ideas scheduled for production. We thought they would be done what with their five revamped models and the production of their new engines, but now we find out there may be more. It seems Lotus is also planning a new top version of the Evora model inspired by the GT racer car .

While there aren’t many details on the upcoming model just yet, we do know it will be placed above the Evora S model. The first rumors suggest it will be powered by an upgraded version of the 3.5-liter supercharged V6 engine that will deliver around 400bhp.

Before the Ultimate Evora arrives, however, we’ll get to see the revamped Lotus Evora and its "147 improvements" including higher-grade cabin materials, a sportier exhaust note, and sharper gearbox. Lotus boss, Dany Bahar, says that Lotus’ priority is to "improve the quality, to give the car a soul." This refreshed model is scheduled to be unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show and will then be followed by a convertible version in about a year and a possible plug-in hybrid concept in two years.

Full story after the jump.

Source: AutoExpress

On your marks, get set, GO! McLaren and Aston Martin are charging forward with their respective supercars, but a new leader in the race for Britain’s fastest supercar is emerging and it’s none other than Lotus . According to Automotive Express, sources are stating that the British manufacturer is preparing a flagship Superleggera version of their next generation Esprit . The new Superleggera is set to be released in late 2013/early 2014 and will be the fourth model in the Esprit lineup - next to a coupe, a convertible, and a glass-roofed Targa edition.

The Esprit Superleggera will be powered by an upgraded version of the 4.8-liter V8 engine mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch semi-automatic gearbox with rapid shifts. This configuration will be capable of producing 612 HP at 9,000 rpm which will be highlighted with a special aluminum body that will be even stronger and lighter than the body used in the current model. This type of powerful and light combination will ensure the supercar charges from 0-60 mph in under three seconds with a top speed of 212 mph. Drooling yet?

Lotus is so confident about their new Superleggera model that Chief Technical Officer, Wolf Zimmermann, even took a stab at McLaren’s new MP4-12C: "This car will not be like the McLaren MP4-12C. It will be cooler 
– there will be more emotion."

Lotus is definitely shaking things up and moving in a direction reminiscent of their high performance origins. They have already planned the next five models spanning out in the next five years and they have recently announced they would be building their own engines. These seem to be pretty hefty plans for a company that has been in the shadows since the release of the Elise. Will they crash and burn, or will they come out on top?

Source: AutoExpress

The Hennessey Venom GT may not look the part of a Veyron-slayer, but we’ve always come to realize not to judge cars by their outward appearance.

This little monster is the perfect example of what we’re talking about.

The Lotus-derived, American-tuned supercar packs plenty of punch with its 6.2-liter LS9 V8 engine that produces an insane 800 horsepower. And if you just happen to be spending your time at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, you can get a chance to see the Venom in all its glory.

As a preview of the Hennessey madness that will befall all of us come Goodwood, the American tuning company has released a video featuring the Venom GT partaking some test runs to stretch its proverbial legs leading up to the Goodwood Hill Climb in just a few days.

In this video, the Venom GT is being driven by John Heinricy as he tries to corral a traction control-disabled 800-horsepower bullet on a wet track doing some cursory track time ahead of its Goodwood appearance. Enjoy the reel and make sure to mark your calendars for this weekend’s event!

Source: Hennessey

In the midst of all the changes in Lotus ’ neck of the woods is the development of an in-house developed V8 engine with a total output of 562 HP. This engine is being created for the future Esprit , but is also working double time as inspiration for a new 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that will be used for the Elise replacement set to be launched in 2014.

Why the sudden rush for engine development when they’ve never done it before? It could be the fact that Lotus was announced as one of three engine providers for next year’s Indycar series where they will be supplying a 2.2-liter turbocharged V6 developed alongside Engine Devel Devel opments. Another valid reason could be that Lotus heard the responses of an online survey where about $10,000 participants thought it would be better for the company to create their own engines instead of making their customers pay about $100K for vehicles housing Toyota Toyota engines. We don’t know what impresses us more; the fact that an online survey was taken or the fact that a big brand like Lotus paid heed to the suggestions made. Either way, Lotus is going full steam ahead on their engine development. Aside from the V8 and the four-cylinder engine, Lotus is also preparing a V6 engine that will be used for a production version of the Eterne .

As for the yo-yo vehicle, the Elan may end up making it to the production line after all, but not until late 2017 (talk about procrastination). Before that, Lotus plans on unveiling the "Ethos" city car in 2014.

Source: AutoCar

Back to top