Lotus cars

Hiding behind the shadow of the bigger and better 2012 Lotus Exige S at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show is Lotus’ brand new Exige R-GT. This new racer marks the brand’s return to the rally world, 30 years after their World Rally Championship victory in the Talbot Talbot Sunbeam Lotus. The Exige R-GT will participate in the newly formed FIA GT category of the FIA Rally Championship on asphalt in Monte Carlo, Tour de Corse, and San Remo.

The new Exige R-GT shares the new Exige S model’s mid-mounted, transverse 3.5 liter DOHC V6 VVI-i engine, but power has been brought down to 300 HP because of the 34mm air restrictor required for racing. The Exige R-GT will also have to pack on ballast weight to meet FIA requirements of 1200 kg (2645 lbs).

"With the new R-GT rules in rally, it’s a very interesting time for us to return to the sport. Naturally our approach this time around will be different to when we won the championship with Talbot three decades ago but I think our philosophy is definitely the same, we want to compete and ultimately we want to win. Our new rally car, the Exige R-GT is a dream come true for those who are passionate about GT racing – this will be their car," said Group Lotus’ Director of Motorsport Claudio Berro.

UPDATE 12/28/2011: After its official debut in Frankfurt, the Exige R-GT headed to the Dallara’s headquarters in Varano Melegari, Palma on December 22, 2011 for its first track test under the watchful eye of Group Lotus Director of Motorsport, Claudio Berro, and technicians from the team. According to Lotus, the results were delightful and the team will continue to test the car until the 2012 FIA World Rally Championship season where the Exige will contend in the FIA GT category on asphalt at events in Monte Carlo, Tour de Corse, and San Remo. We have also added new images from the testing days. Enjoy!

Does the Lotus World Car Concept preview their City Car?
Lotus City Car

It was only a few days ago that Lotus announced their intentions on building a small city car to rival the new Aston Martin Cygnet , and now they have unveiled details on a project they have been working on with the International Council on Clean Transportation that was undertaken with the California Air Resources Board, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The project is for a Lotus World Car Concept and only exists in a computer somewhere for the time being. It features the Toyota Venza’s interior package, capability, performance, wheels, and tires.

As of right now, all of this sounds like a normal beginning point for a new, cleaner model, but Lotus has also announced that the Word Car may go into production fairly soon. Does this mean that we may be looking at a concept that previews their City Car? Stranger things have happened. We are all used to concept cars coming out with extravagant details that we only wish would make it on the production version, but most of the time, we are left with just a shadow of what the concept was. Following this trend, it would seem fitting to start off with a World Car just to downsize it to a City Car come production time.

The Lotus World Car Concept offers interior room for two passengers and a 9-cubic-foot luggage area or fourth occasional seat. There’s no instrument panel, so the driver will need to get all the necessary information from a smart phone or tablet.

As far as power, on paper, the Lotus World Car Concept is powered by a 50 HP 600cc engine placed ahead of the rear axle and combined to a shaft-drive motorcycle transmission. It is said to weigh just 1,150 lbs and will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in the 8-9 second range. Top speed is supposed to be about 120 mph and fuel economy has been reported at 84 city/127 highway.

Not much information was given on Lotus’ future City Car, but images released of both vehicles illustrate a similar exterior look. They did, however, offer a price on the City Car - about £29,000 (or about $45,300 at the current exchange rates) - which is a far cry from the intended price of the World Car - less than $9,000 if put into production.

Source: MotorTrend

The Evora GTE Concept’s engine is still a bit warm from its 2011 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance debut, and Lotus is already revving up the production version for the Frankfurt Motor Show. The Evora GTE road car was originally designed as a special limited edition for the Asian market, but Group Lotus has decided to expand its production to meet demand and reach further markets.

The Evora GTE is powered by a race-tuned 3.5-liter V6 engine that delivers a total of 444 HP, making it the most powerful Lotus road car ever built. It also delivers a comfortable and refined element to its high performance driving characteristics.

Commenting on the Evora GTE road car, Group Lotus CEO Dany Bahar said: "The response to this model in China has been so incredible, within days we had sold out with 114 orders. In response we decided that the only logical step from a business perspective was to increase production and widen our reach.

"What is unique about this car, is not just that it’s a serious race car – it’s a serious car. People get so excited when they see and especially hear it for the first time. It’s a very special car and will appeal to a very special type of driver – and they won’t be disappointed!"

UPDATE 09/13/2011: The new special edition Evora GTE has finally been unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show today. The new model comes with carbon fiber front and rear bumpers, a carbon fiber rear wing, and carbon fiber doors. This measure, next to the lightweight Recaro carbon fiber seats, help to reduce the total weight by 231 lbs.

UPDATE 12/19/2011: Lotus has dropped new images of the special edition Evora GTE - and we have to admit it looks great in yellow. See all of the images in our picture gallery!

Lotus seems to be taking their "five-year, five model plan" very seriously and the new generation Esprit set to be released at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show will be the model to set that plan in motion.

New details about the future supercar revealed that the Esprit will, in fact, be offered in two versions. A base model will combine a 100 HP electric motor to a normally aspirated V8 engine and a more powerful version will drop the hybrid system and focus on weight-saving measures.

"There will be no hybrid system, the engine will have more power, but the major performance gains will come from losing weight," said Bahar. "The ‘Racing’ versions of each model will always be pure, driver’s cars. There will be never be anything unnecessary on them, and we will use materials such as carbon fiber."

Sales for the new Lotus Esprit will begin in Europe in Summer 2013.

Source: Autocar

Lotus is in high gear, attempting to fill in every gap of their "five year, five model" plan. So much so, in fact, that they are even stepping away from their sports car roots and developing a city car to rival the new Aston Martin Cygnet . The baby Lotus will first be developed by parent company, Proton, and is set to go on sale in 2014.

The move to develop a city car stems from the fact that Lotus didn’t feel confident going against Mini, BMW, and Audi in the small car segment. During an interview with Auto Express Dany Bahar said: "There’s no point in trying to fight the MINIs, and the small BMWs and Audis unless you have a special offering. Our car will be an EV or range extended EV and will offer performance of no other small car."

The future Lotus city car will first be offered as a Proton, but will be easily adapted to a Lotus platform when the time comes. The Lotus version will be more expensive than the Proton Proton , a move that Lotus says will be justified in the additions to the car. That being said, it will be about £2000 cheaper (or $3,125 at the current exchange rates) than the Cygnet so expect to pay about £29,000 - or about $45,300 at the current exchange rates.

The Lotus City Car will be a production version of the Ethos concept unveiled at the Paris Auto Show. The concept used a 1.2 liter, 3 cylinder Lotus Range Extender engine with a peak torque of 177 lb-ft. The concept finished the 0 to 60 mph in just 9 seconds and was capable of hitting a top speed of 105 mph.

Source: AutoExpress

The legend is back! Lotus has unveiled today the new Esprit sports car. Described as the "ultimate Lotus," the new Esprit will go into production at the end of 2012, with first deliveries beginning in late 2013, early 2014. Lotus announced an estimated price of £110,000 ($175,000 at the current rates).

At the unveiling of the Evora S model in San Jose in June 2011, Lotus Cars USA PR boss, Kevin Smith, confirmed that the Esprit supercar would be getting Lotus’ in-house V8 engine and both a manual and a dual-clutch transmission. This V8 engine was originally said to deliver between 550 - 570 HP, but actually achieved 570 HP at around 9000rpm and 398 lb-ft of torque at a bit higher than 3000rpm. Lotus Chief Technical Officer, Wolf Zimmermann, says this engine can reach up to 630 HP at 9,400 rpm and 424 lb-ft of torque between 5,500 and 6,000rpm. The V8 weighs in at about 375 lbs, which is about 176 lbs lighter than the original 5.0L V8 Lotus was going to borrow from Lexus. It will be used for both the Esprit and, as confirmed by Smith, an even more exotic Elite .

"One has to be very careful when taking on the challenge of reinventing such an iconic classic as the Esprit – everyone has an opinion. There’s a fine balance between acknowledging the greatness of the past whilst at the same time rapidly leaping forward to the future and ensuring that this car not only does the name Esprit justice but also the Lotus brand. I think we’ve managed to find the balance and in doing so created a new icon, a car people will find hard to resist."

UPDATE 11/21/2011: Lotus officials has confirmed that the next generation Esprit will be powered by a 4.8 liter V8 engine. This new engine will deliver a total of 570 HP in standard version, but the company will be also offering a higher-tuned variant with an output of 620 HP. (Autoblog)

UPDATE 12/12/2011:New details about the future supercar revealed that the Esprit will, in fact, be offered in two versions. A base model will combine a 100 HP electric motor to a normally aspirated V8 engine and a more powerful version will drop the hybrid system and focus on weight-saving measures. (AutoCar)

UPDATE 10/04/2012: According to Lotus Forums, the Esprit has officially been axed. leaving the Elise, Exige, and Evora as the only standing models on the company’s new era lineup.

Press release after the jump.

Source: AutoGuide

The evolution of the Lotus Evora GTE, most extreme Lotus vehicle ever, went by rather quickly. After debuting a concept version at the 2011 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in August, Lotus then went on to put out the production Evora GTE in September at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show. This quick turnover has now been followed up by a special edition GTE courtesy of Swizz Beatz.

Swizz Beatz is an American record producer, DJ, rapper, and painter, although some may only know him as the husband of R&B superstar, Alicia Keys. He, along with

Lotus Design, came together to create a special Evora GTE unveiled at Alvin Ailey’s Opening Night Gala in New York. This special edition is noted as such because it is finished in a chrome ruby red paint. Everything else is strictly standard GTE. It features the typical rear brake cooling ducts, modified rear wing, enlarged intake vents behind the B pillar, and intense use of carbon fiber for the roof, sill detailing, and other carbon accessories. These elements help reduce the Evora’s total weight by about 231 lbs.

Being since this was a creative collaboration, no changes were made to the power source of the Evora GTE. It is still working with a race-tuned 3.5-liter V6 engine that delivers a total of 444 HP, which still makes it the most powerful Lotus Evora road car ever built.

No details were given on the car’s prices just yet, but prospective buyers will surely have to dish out more than the $180,000 price tag of the standard Evora GTE.

UPDATE 12/06/2011: Brain Food Film has unveiled a video from the launch party for the new Evora GTE by Swizz Beatz. Special guests included Lotus CEO Dany Bahar, Alicia Keys, Russell Simmons, Stephen Baldwin, Carmelo Anthony, and a surprise performance from Swizz and TI. Video after the jump!

Lotus has always had the pulse for doing charitable things as they have built numerous special edition models to help raise funds for charities. A few months ago, they built a special Evora called the Freddie Mercury Edition - Mercury was the lead vocalist of Queen - to benefit the Mercury Phoenix Trust Foundation.

Recently, the British automaker went back to that same route by unveiling another special edition Evora S , this time personalized by no less than The Who front man, Roger Daltrey.

With the help of Lotus, Daltrey was given the reins in personalizing this car. In addition to signing the car himself, Daltrey also added in red striping details, as well as a number of "The Who" badges and a Union Jack logo on the tailgate. For their part, Lotus gave the special edition Evora Tech and Premium packages that include a Metallic Black paint finish, a reversing camera, and best of all, a 3.5-liter supercharged V6 engine that produces 345 horsepower.

The Evora Roger Daltrey Edition is set to be auctioned off on December 1, 2011 with proceeds going to the Teenage Cancer Trust.

"Without teenagers and their energy and passion for music, we wouldn’t have Rock ’n Roll as we know it," Daltrey said. "There is no doubt in my mind that we’re really making a difference."

Interested bidders will need to bring their check books with them because the car is expected to go under the hammer for around £70,000, which is around $93,400 based on current exchange rates.

We reckon Galpin Auto Sports needed a break from all those customized Ford vehicles they’re bringing to the 2011 SEMA Auto Show so they turned their attention towards a few sports cars from across the pond. One of these vehicles is a 2012 Lotus Evora , which GAS took the challenge of reinventing from a road-going sports car into a fully-dressed track-spec race car.

The result is the Evora R2R, a car that features plenty of aerodynamic upgrades, including a new front splitter, a new rear wing, new side skirts made from aluminum, black racing decals, racing seats dressed in fine Alcantara, and a new set of 19" (front) and 20" (rear) flat-back racing wheels.

To uphold its new race car identity, Galpin Auto Sports also added a new Flowmaster exhaust system, clearing way for the sports car’s 3.5-liter V6 engine to receive an increased output of 300 horsepower, up from the 280-horsepower output of the standard road-going roadster.

All told, Galpin Auto Sports accomplished what it always seems to do best. Impressive modifications all around are nothing new to these guys and they proved that yet again with the Lotus Evora R2R.

UPDATE 05/09/12: Galpin Auto Sports has released a new video of the Evora R2R, complete with a detailed look behind the history and development of the sports car. Galpin Lotus brand manager Stuart McIntosh narrates the whole thing so give it a watch!

The gloom and doom that fans felt when Tesla announced it was ending production of the Roadster electric car will end up being short-lived.

According to reports, Tesla’s flagship model will be returning to our lives in 2014, albeit in a slightly different guise. Unlike the first incarnation of the Roadster, which used a body supplied from Lotus and was limited to only 2,500 units, the new Roadster will be built from the ground up by Tesla themselves. This set-up is similar to the company’s second model, the Model S, which had Tesla’s fingerprints all over it from the very beginning.

No word yet on what the parameters for the 2014 Roadster is going to be but it appears that it would carry a tweaked version of theModel S platform or the "third generation platform" as some folks within the Tesla circle have called it.

Tesla CEO Elan Musk has said that this new ’mass-market’ platform will be the jumping board for all of the company’s cars in the next four to five years and it appears that we already have an answer as to what model will spearhead that transition.

So rest easy, all you "Tes-lovers". It appears that the Roadster’s demise was greatly exaggerated. It’ll only take a hiatus before it returns to our lives in 2014.

Oh, happy days!

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