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Lotus

Lotus cars

When it comes to small sports cars, very few in the business make it as good as Lotus . Make no mistake, despite their recent bad press, Lotus still knows what it takes to build these babies, and more importantly, race-spec versions of these aforementioned babies.

Take for example their latest toy, the Exige V6 Cup. Making their debuts at the Lotus Festival in Brands Hatch in the UK, the Exige V6 Cup has been touted as the most sinister version of the Exige line. Here’s the best part, the V6 Cup comes in two specs: Track Day and Full-On Competition Spec.

In order to make it about as race-spec as can be, Lotus fitted the Exige V6 with just about every race goodie they could get their hands on. Among the new features include the company’s exclusive Lotus Dynamic Performance Management system, a system that allows the driver to switch between a number of driving modes, including Race, Sport and Touring. From there, the car also gets a new rear diffuser and wing, an aero-optimized front splitter, a multi-adjustable suspension system, a removable steering wheel, HANS-compliant race seats, a choice of 4- or 6-point race harnesses, a racing roll cage, and a fire extinguisher that’s FIA-compliant.

Under its hood, the Exige V6 Cup is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 346 horsepower with a curb weight of 1,080 kg/2,381 lbs, a 0-62 mph of just 3.5 seconds, and a top speed of 170 mph.

Lotus announced that the Exige V6 Cup will be produced by the end of the year with a delivery time by March next year. It will an initial schedule of 20 models.


It is not a new concept that Caterham remains one of the most popular boutique sports cars in all of Europe, despite the fact that it only builds about 500 models each year. It is also not a shocker to know that England’s former boutique powerhouse, Lotus , has taken a huge hit in recent years, but still has an international presence.

Caterham’s flagship car, the Seven , is built with extreme care to keep the power-to-wight ratio as high as possible. This has worked so far, but Caterham needs to expand into other places, like the U.S., which only sees about 50 Caterham Sevens per year. Caterham is careful, though, and that’s what has made it the success it is today, so expansion needs to be carefully plotted out.

One thing that could help Caterham expand is to join forces with a like-minded car company to produce high-quality, lightweight sports cars that the American market would enjoy. One possibility is Lotus, which is sinking fast, but already offers up its lightweight bodies and chassis to other companies, like Hennessey , to build into lightweight monsters, so why not Caterham?

Combining the two could result in sweet profits for both, as Lotus could provide its lightweight chassis technology and its recognized name, and Caterham could provide its high-revving performance engine technology. With the Lotus name and body, and Caterham technology heading to the U.S., Caterham gains a stronger foothold in the U.S. and Lotus gets a chance to regain its presence in the states, all while sharing the cost and profits.

What’s even more telling is the fact that both Caterham and Lotus have been linked to the Renault Alpine and they have teamed up in the past. So there is the possibility that there are already talks between the two companies. This could also spill over into the anticipated manufacture of the Nissan-built Infiniti Emerg-E .

For now, this is all just a bit of speculation, but the writing is on the wall and the benefits are certainly there for all parties.

The Lotus Elite was Lotus’s first ever GT car and was what really launched Lotus into the forefront of racing. When it debuted in 1958, no one had seen anything like it. The Elite boasted a paltry curb weight, thanks to its unit-body construction that was 100 percent fiberglass, instead of the more typical fiberglass body-on-steel frame construction.

The powerplant was manufactured for Lotus by Coventry Climax, and varied in power, depending on the Elite’s options. This 1,216 cc engine pumped out between 75 and 105 horsepower, and threw power to the rear wheels via an MG -built 4-speed early on or a 4-speed ZF trans in their later years. That may not seem like much by today’s standard, but for a 4-cylinder of the late-50s and early-60s, that was amazing. Plus its lightweight body created a weight ratio ranging from about 10 pounds per horsepower to 20 pounds per horsepower.

The Elite’s body was a thing of beauty, as it looked very quirky, but boasted a 0.29 drag coefficient, which is better than even the 2002 Acura NSX with its 0.30. Its long nose and rounded cabin just added the the car’s character, but its backside just didn’t fit in with the rest of the car.

Regardless of the super-skinny wire wheels and tires, the Elite Series II actually handled pretty well. It can attribute this to its 4-wheel independent suspension, which was unheard of at the time, with dual wishbones upfront and Chapman struts on the rear. These are similar to MacPherson struts in construction, except that they use a drive shaft and light radius rod in place of a lower control arm.

Also revolutionary for the era was its use of 4-wheel disc brakes and inboard brakes on the rear. These inboard brakes help reduce the vehicle’s unsprung weight, keeping the spring and strut movement more stable.

Click past the jump to read about the Elite Series II’s pricing.


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.

Source: Autocar

The new Lotus Exige S made its world debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show, but the first unit has just left the assembly line today. With that, Lotus has also promised that the first customers will experience this exciting new Lotus very soon.

The new Exige S is powered by a 3.5 liter V6 engine that delivers a total of 345 HP. The sports coupe will go from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.8 seconds and up to a top speed of 170 mph. Unfortunately, US customers will only be able to take advantage of the track version of the Exige S.

"We are very proud of the Exige S. It marks the first step towards consolidating and then growing the company. I know that customers have been eagerly waiting for this car, and I assure them that it will be worth the wait. We wanted to be sure that we had a product that was absolutely ready before launching it. We are confident that the right time for the Exige S is now," said Lotus Chief Operating Officer, Aslam Farikullah.


DRB-Hicom and Lotus have officially shut down the five-year plan that Dany Bahar placed the compact sports car company on shortly before he was canned. In fact, DRB-Hicom flat out called the plan unrealistic and we agree. Now with Lotus hanging around with no real future in sight, could DRB-Hicom be ready to offload Proton and Lotus altogether?

If it is ready to cut the money pits named Proton and Lotus loose, there is a suitor ready and waiting, according to a report by Reuters. Volkswagen, the recent PAC-Man of the automotive world, tried once to snatch up Proton, but failed, and now it looks as if it is ready to try again for at least partial control.

Ideally, for VW , DRB would let go of controlling stake in both companies and sell them to VW on the cheap, so that the magical Volkswagen Volkswagen wand can heal Lotus and Proton Proton , much like it has with Audi. The connection is already there, as VW uses a DRB-Hicom facility to manufacture the Passat, so starting up the conversation of a buyout is as easy as pressing a speed-dial button on a cellphone.

Volkswagen, of course, isn’t saying a word about all of this and DRB-Hicom has been insisting that it is not selling Lotus or Proton. As we all know, car manufacturers will deny any type of news about selling companies or merging until they absolutely cannot deny it anymore, so we take all of this denying with a great big grain of Sodium Chloride.

We’ll keep you updated if anything else comes up on this front.

Source: Reuters

When Lotus chose to pull out of the 2012 Paris Motor Show , the same show that the struggling car company released five new concepts at two years ago, we had a sneaking suspicion that this was the calm before the model-trimming storm. It looks as if our suspicions were true, as according to reports, Lotus has cut out all of Bahar’s brainchildren, with a possible exception being the revamped Espirit .

As we always say, sports car lovers are a fickle bunch. They know what they like and do not deal well with changes. Ferrari and Lamborghini lovers want fat sports cars with even fatter engines, whereas Lotus lovers want svelte and nimble machines that they can toss around at will. The models that Lotus has axed were very fat, by Lotus standard, and were not warmly received by enthusiasts.

Also scrapped in the process was the crazy notion that Lotus would produce its own engines for these new models. If the consistent lapping of Lotus-powered vehicles in INDYCAR isn’t enough of a deterrent for Lotus building their own engines, the sheer cost of the project is.

This is all clearly a cost-controlling measure by DRB-Hicom and Lotus to try and save the failing company, but it does have a bit of the undercoating of a jab to Bahar’s ribs. Regardless of the possible shot at Bahar’s ego, this is just one of the many necessary evils that Lotus has to go through to get back to being a profitable business.

Another necessary evil is the fact that Lotus will have to lay off 50 contractors hired to work on these new projects, which were part of Bahar’s “Five-Year Plan.”

Lotus and DRB-Hicom have submitted a new business plan to their creditors in hopes of getting some leeway in their debts and maybe freeing up some loan money to help inject some life into Lotus. We certainly hope to see Lotus back near the top of the boutique automaker list and we’ll keep a keen eye on this situation with many more updates likely coming your way.

Source: Autocar

It was not announced at the time, but a report has surfaced that DRB-Hicom did receive an offer for faltering sports car company, Lotus . To buy a car company, even a money pit like Lotus, it takes millions of dollars, but the company that bid on Lotus didn’t offer anything near that. The bid was for all of ₤1. No, that’s not a typo... Just a single pound.

According to reports, DRB-Hicom, who inherited Lotus when it purchased Proton , will continue to attempt breathing life into the dying car company. The first necessary act of business, firing the cancer that is Dany Bahar, is already complete, so now it’s just a matter of getting the company back on track and making a few dollars here and there.

With Lotus pulling out of the 2012 Paris Motor Show , we have a feeling that a big-time change is afoot. With Bahar gone, DRB-Hicom can attempt to cut off the company’s plans to build supercars and revert back to the lightweight sports cars that made it famous in the first place.

We’ll see what DRB-Hicom has in store for Lotus in the coming years, but we certainly hope to see good things coming. The good thing is that DRB-Hicom can always hang its hat on the fact that someone is actually willing to pay for Lotus, even if it is just a single pound...

Source: PaulTan.org

Despite the multitude of problems Lotus 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.


To say that Lotus has had a very prosperous year is akin to saying that the economies in Spain and Greek are both doing fine.

It wasn’t that long ago when Lotus had ambitious plans to become a player in the supercar market, having unveiled a total of six new concepts that would inevitably give run to a fleet of production vehicles.

So it’s with a dash of irony that this year, Lotus has announced that they would be skipping the 2012 Paris Motor Show , only two years removed from bringing those six concepts at the 2010 Paris Motor Show.

From the optimism of those days, the company has been in dire straits recently, no more evident than the messy firing of former CEO Dany Bahar, who incidentally was the driving force behind the company’s ambitious plans two years ago. The company today is also in financial disarray; sales have been extremely low and there’s even word that the company will go back to its roots as a factory for lightweight sports cars.

Despite the messy year the company has had, there are still some signs of optimism, particularly with the increased interest in their two new vehicles, the Exige V6 S and V6 Roadster . Whether they can jump start the company’s fledgling business remains to be seen, but one thing we do know is that it won’t come at a fast enough time to save Lotus from heading to the same auto show were only two years ago, they set out on an ambitious plan that ended up with nothing more than lost promises.


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