Lotus cars

Typically the CEOs of big companies stay in the background and just keep the corporate wheels turning. Most CEOs also know that it is typically not a good thing when your name ends up in the papers just as often, if not more often, than the brand you are heading up. Well, Lotus CEO Dany Bahar must have a tough time comprehending the fact that no new is good news for a CEO.

It came to a head whenever DRB-HICOM purchased Proton , Lotus’s parent company, and inherited the Lotus money vacuum in the process. The media then took to speculating about the status of Lotus, given its new owner, and Bahar went on a teenage girl-like rampage via the worst possible medium, Facebook. That post still remains on the company’s page too.

At that point, we started speculating that Bahar’s time with Lotus may be limited, as DRB-HICOM really has no need for a moody CEO that can’t keep his company’s head above water. Apparently, we had our crystal ball working that day, as DRB-HICOM has announced that Bahar has been “temporarily suspended” following an operational review and a full investigation of Bahar’s actions will take place during his suspension. Several executives from DRB-HICOM will take Bahar’s place during his absence.

Well, I have been in the corporate world long enough to know that a “temporary suspension” during an “investigation” typically spell out “you’re fired once we find some dirt.” Rarely does a suspended employee ever return to their original position and few return at all, so we have a feeling that this will ultimately put an end to the drama of Dany Bahar. Looks like TopSpeed’s “Lotus” section is going to be dry for a while… At least until we get word that Dany is now managing a local McDonalds.

Rarely is something both the slowest and the hardest at the same time, but that all goes out the window when you’re talking about the Grand Prix at Monaco. For the majority of the F1 season, the drivers get to open up their cars a good bit. At Monaco, those chances to go wide open are limited to about three, as there are only a three extended straightaways on the track.

Besides those three straights, drivers get to deal with a plethora of intense twists and blind turns that require great care to negotiate correctly. These tight turns all amount to Monaco being the lowest average speed course on the F1 circuit, and arguably the hardest one on the circuit.

Well, the 70th running of this ultra-technical road course is due to start on May 27, 2012 and we’re going to provide a quick preview of what’s to come.

Click past the jump to read all about the Grand Prix at Monaco

Posted on by Brad Anderson 1

Sure, Lotus may be facing some incredibly tough times at the moment, but there’s no question that in the good times, the relatively small British marque produced some of the finest sports cars in the market. In fact, the Lotus Elise is often the benchmark for handling which others aim to replicate, and the Elise’s twin brother the Exige is no exception to that rule.

Not only has the Exige been transformed from its very first-generation, gaining power, weight, speed, and size, it still manages to maintain that unique Lotus flavor, and this is a point which is evident in the following review conducted by Chris Harris for the Drive network.

Before you check out the video, remember that while it’s an extreme version of the regular Exige, it’s nothing compared to the range-topping Evora GTE which is actually the most powerful production car ever produced by Lotus. That being said, the Exige S is still an extremely capable sports car with its supercharged 3.5-liter V6 engine delivering no less than 350HP.

Combine that with extremely sticky Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires and an overall weight of just over 2,200 pounds, and you have one of the finest sports cars on the market.

Here’s hoping that Lotus can sort itself out over the coming months as we can’t foresee a future without Lotus being an integral part of it.

Source: GTspirit

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.

Our favorite Youtube user, Marchettino, has managed to delight us one more time by attending the 2012 edition of the Top Marques Monaco to film all of the amazing vehicles in attendance. We have to admit the list of supercars is quite impressive.

For those who don’t know, the Top Marques is an important supercar show that brings together some of the most expensive and exclusive supercars, hypercars, and tuning projects every year. It’s kind of like Christmas for us auto journalists, but without the big, jolly guy giving one of these supercars to us as a present. This kind of Christmas comes with huge prices and tremendous power backing it up.

Our favorite from the entire list of vehicles in attendance this year is the Koenigsegg Agera R , but the list is much, much longer.

Hit the jump for a full list of the cars featured in the video and pick out your favorite!

It’s going to take a while before Lotus finally drops the new generation Esprit on the market, but until then, the previous generation Esprit is still getting tons of attention. The V8 version produced between 1996 and 2004 delivered a total of 354 HP and was capable of hitting a top speed of 175 mph. It was limited to only 1237 units, and one of those units caught the attention of Cam Shaft.

The tuner started with tweaking the V8 engine, adding adjustable cases by Forge inside the turbo compressor pumps, a self designed compressor cooling system, and two 100-cell structure catalysts. As a result, the V8 engine now delivers a total of 492 HP and can hit an impressive top speed of 189 mph. The 0 to 60 mph sprint time has been improved, from the standard 4.9 seconds to 4.3 seconds.

The transmission is also new: the old 5-speed gearbox by Renault has been replaced by a new 6-speed Dog-Engagement gearbox equipped with a longer total ratio. The car was also equipped with a new breaking system for 350 sport models (from 2000 series) with AP racing 4-bucket device and perforated brake discs with a 330 mm diameter to match the speed-up.

Posted on by Brad Anderson 2
Lotus Esprit

With Lotus having to cease production completely for the past 60 days as a result of its sale from Proton Proton and acquisition by DRB-Hicom, production has finally resumed. Fingers crossed; this could be the start of a much needed recovery for the ailing brand.

Even though we knew production would resume eventually, we are very surprised that it’s happened so soon, especially after reports surfaced just days ago that DRB-Hicom was already looking for a Chinese buyer to take Lotus off their hands.

Up to this point, Lotus has more than $316 million in debts and in order for these debts to be overcome, Lotus has to decrease production costs significantly and increase output. If these two strategies cannot be met, then we can’t see how Lotus can be a viable business in the future.

Autocar is reporting that production will restart at the beginning of May, when Lotus hopes to pump out no less than 44 cars weekly with the Elise , Exige , and Evora all being produced yet again. The most exciting news to come out of this revelation however, is that development of the upcoming Esprit supercar should resume including development of the brand new V-8 engine it’ll feature. This new V8 is being developed completely in-house and will deliver between 550 - 570 HP.

Finally, Dany Bahar confirmed that DRB-Hicon is not actually looking to sell the flailing brand off to the Chinese stating, “It’s just not true,” he says. “There is no fire sale, no selling process and no bidding. If there were, lots of strange people would be here doing inspections and due diligence, but there is nobody. Besides, I have no authority to sell the company. That’s a job for the shareholders. I am just an employee.”

Source: Autocar

Two weeks ago, we all had an LOL and OMG moment at the expense of Lotus, as a member of the failing company, which we assume to be head honcho himself, Dany Bahar, went berserk on Facebook. We all rant sometimes, but it was truly a high school-style “Wah” fest about who said what and so on.

As we put it after reading said Facebook post, which is still on Lotus’s site, the company that recently inherited Lotus from Proton , DRB-Hicom, would not likely deal with this immaturity too long. It rings especially true when you take into account that Lotus never turned a profit for Proton and currently has more than $316 million in debts.

Well, guess what… Reports have emerged that DRB-Hicom is actively shopping Lotus , and its money sucking black hole, to various Chinese companies. Things are obviously getting serious, as the U.K. government even put a hold on the £10 million (about $16 million) grant that it issued to aid in Lotus’ anticipated expansion out of fear of losing the struggling sports car builder to a Chinese company.

The question that begs to be asked is who in their right mind would purchase Lotus for anything more than a few spare tires and a couple boxes of spark plugs? Of course, at this point DRB-Hicom just might find a better use for some spare tires and spark plugs than it can for Lotus.

There is likely some company in China that will pick up Lotus for just enough to cover its debts, then maybe attempt to revive its name. We will continue to monitor this situation as it unfolds and update you as new information comes down the pipe.

Source: AutoCar

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.

Posted on by Brad Anderson

Crashing a regular Lotus Exige is bad enough, but crashing an Exige so customized it could pass as a completely different car is something else entirely. Frank Profera built the car pictured completely by hand over the past six years, even fitting it with both a supercharger and turbocharger to help it produce in excess of 700BHP.

As a result, Frank claimed on the video past the jump when Matt Farah drove his one-off masterpiece for the Drive channel that it was the fastest Lotus in the world, even trumping the incredible Hennessey Venom GT in the twisty roads of the Californian canyons.

Unfortunately however, the car was recently involved in an incident on California’s Route 101, where Frank claims he was rear-ended by a Porsche before sliding backwards into the median strip. In what can only be described as an all-out attack on the Porsche driver, Frank posted a comment on YouTube continually swearing at the driver and taking no responsibility for the incident himself.

Just like any other car crash, there will undoubtedly be conflicting views in how it occurred, and if Profera is to be believed, the Porsche driver didn’t stop and instead continued on their merry way. Thankfully no one was injured in the accident, and the damage only seems to be external, but it will take weeks if not months for the owner to fix all the custom body panels.

Follow the jump to see Profera’s car in action and the pictures.

Source: GTspirit

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