There have been a number of engineers that have worked for Lotus throughout the years and now it seems that some of those ex-employees have joined forces to start a private company at the Hethel Engineering Center. Their plan is to create a new model - name undecided - based on an Elise chassis and powered by a Renaultsport engine/transmission. The most interesting fact is that this new model will be launched under the Caterham name next year.
The new Elise look-alike will featuring unique bodywork and, according to numerous sources, will allow Group Lotus to move forward with its larger, upscale Elise project, while the current model will be turned over to Tony Fernandes and the boys at Caterham.
It is also believed that this will only be the first joint effort between the two companies and that Fernandes will eventually take control of Lotus and run Caterham and Group Lotus as complimentary companies.
Hennessey Performance have revealed the official details on the Venom GT supercar. Based on a Lotus Elise, their kit will be limited to only five units, four of which have already being spoken for.
The Venom GT is powered by a supercharged 6.2 liter LS9 V8 engine, same used in the Corvette ZR1, that delivers a total of 725 bhp. And if this is not enough, the tuner will also be offering 1000 bhp and 1200 bhp twin turbo V8 engine variants. With a curb weight of 2,685 lbs, the 1200 HP Venom GT will hit a top speed of 275 mph.
The supercar features lightweight carbon fiber bodywork and carbon fiber wheels, a programmable traction control system, CFD (computational fluid dynamic) tested bodywork, an active aero system with adjustable rear wing, and an adjustable suspension system.
Prices start at $725,000 for the 725 HP variant, and go up to $950,000 for the 1200 HP Big Daddy model.
“Twelve hundred horsepower combined with in a mid-engine chassis that weighs twelve hundred kilos (2,685 lbs) – no other road car and only a handful of race cars can match the power to weight ratio of the Venom GT,” added HPE president and founder, John Hennessey. “It is a driver’s car, a supercar with a soul that will give you as much speed and performance as you dare ask of it.”
UPDATE 07/06/2012: The Hennessey Venom GT headed back to where it all started - the Goodwood Festival of Speed - to show the crowds just how awesome it is! The proof was in the pudding when the Venom GT shot out flames during its run. Check it out by clicking in the video above.
More details on the Hennessey Venom GT after the jump.
Lotus promised a trio of sports cars occupying their space at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show and, next to the new generation Exige S and the Exige R-GT, that promise has been delivered with a new addition to the Elise lineup: the Elise S. This new model will replace the existing Elise SC which just displayed its final hoorah with the special edition Elise SC Final Edition.
The Lotus Elise first appeared about 15 years ago and promised the performance of a supercar, but the fuel economy of a city car. That idea is still going on strong today with a new 1.8 liter super charged engine delivering a total of 217 HP and 184 lb-ft of torque. The great thing about the new Elise S is that it has a comparable power output to the Elise SC - it actually has a higher peak torque (184 lb-ft to the SC’s 156 lb-ft) - but it has answered the fuel economy and CO2 emissions issues brought on by the change of regulations.
Want to know more? Hit the jump for details on the Lotus Elise S.
If you have ever celebrated a winning occasion by singing "We are the Champions," then the identity of Freddie Mercury hasn’t escaped your attention. Best known as the lead vocalist of the rock band Queen, Mercury was an iconic singer and songwriter with a flamboyant personality and inspirational talent. This year marks what would be the singer’s 65th birthday and Lotus is celebrating "one of rock’s greatest all-time entertainers" by creating a special edition Evora S that will be auctioned on September 5, 2011, with all proceeds going to the Mercury Phoenix Trust (an aids charity set up by Queen after Freddie’s death).
This special Evora S will be painted in white with a deep red stripe down the middle and will feature a yellow interior. These colors are symbolic as they were chosen to match Freddie’s 1986 "Magic tour" Wembley concert costume. Other choice features for the Evora S include a union flag on the back of the seats and the incorporation of a crown which hints at Freddie’s playful royal role-play. Finishing off the tributary Evora is an inscription on the front fenders that makes a reference to the Montreux Freddie memorial statue, stating "Lover of life. Singer of song."
The auction will take place on September 5, 2011 at the Savoy Hotel in London, where 300 friends and well-wishers will attempt to ’be Freddie for a day’ by dressing up as the famous musician.
If you don’t happen to win the car, there are a slew of other auction pieces fit for any Queen fan. Hit the jump to check them out!
It was just a few weeks ago that our spy photographers were able to catch the new Exige testing with some ugly zebra-like camouflage and now the brand’s engineers are at it again with some swirly and hypnotizing wraps on the 2013 Exige. Thankfully, this new camouflage isn’t distracting enough to cover up all of the sports car’s new features, providing us with ample opportunity to learn more about the future model before it debuts at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show.
The 2013 Lotus Exige will adopt a new design language borrowed from the bigger Evora which will include a redesigned front and a longer back end. That new rear will also be accessorized with a new rear wing leading up to a modified roofline. These spy shots also reveal a slightly wider Exige with bigger brakes.
As far as power is concerned, rumors state the new Exige will be pulling from the same engine found in the current model: a 3.5 liter V6 producing 280 HP in the normal version and 350 HP in the S version.
Lotus called it a night for the current generation Exige by unveiling two special edition models - the Exige S260 Final Edition and Matte Black Final Edition - but that doesn’t mean the brand’s engineers are getting a break. Just last month, the next generation sports car was caught testing covered in questionable camouflage and now our spy photographers have captured new images of the Lotus Exige with more mind-numbing coverups. We can’t wait for the 2013 Lotus Exige to be unveiled at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show just so our heads stop spinning from these psychedelic wraps.
These new spy images reveal a little more of the Exige’s future design language, like the new front and back of the vehicle. The future model will also benefit from a new rear wing on the elongated back end, a tidbit many of us anticipated when we heard that the new Exige would be borrowing elements from the Evora. The roofline also looks different from the current Exige.
As previously reported, the 2013 Exige will be powered by the same V6 engine as also found in the bigger Evora. So expect to see a 3.5 liter V6 producing 280 HP in the normal version and 350 HP in the S version. This engine will be combined with bigger brakes that, of course, suggest improved performance numbers.
The second special edition Lotus has announced as a celebration of the end of production for renowned North American bound Elise and Exige models is called the Exige Matte Black Final Edition. This model will be limited to only 25 units, and will have a price of $69,900. It will make its first appearance on the US market within the Lotus exhibit on Peter Hay Hill in Pebble Beach.
As its name suggests, the 2011 Exige Matte Black Final Edition will be offered in an exclusive matte black paint finish combined with black Alacantara sport seats. It will be powered by a supercharged and intercooled 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine that delivers a total of 275 HP. Coincidentally, this engine is the very reason why the Exige model will be discontinued. According to Lotus, the 1.8-liter 4-cylinder Toyota 2ZZ engine that powers all North American Elise and Exige models is continually unavailable. Therefore, the production of this model will cease for North America by the end of August 2011.
UPDATE 08/18/11: The Lotus Exige Matte Black Final Edition that will be exclusively sold in North America officially broke cover at Monterey, showing off its stealthy matte black finish for all the crowd to see. Much of the information we’ve already detailed about the car appears to spot on, but we did add some new information on what to expect when you place an order for any one of the 25 units that’s going to be sold.
Hit the jump for details on the 2011 Exige Matte Black Final Edition.
Understandably so, the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show has caught the attention of the entire industry. But for those that really pay attention to the calendar, another major auto event will take place this coming weekend that nobody should be sleeping on.
The 2011 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
One model that’s expected to be in attendance is the new Lotus Evora GTE Road Car Concept. The car was born out of the Evora GTE race program, the very same people behind the racing pedigree of the mid-engined, 2+2 sports car with races all over the world, including the legendary 24 Hours at Le Mans.
Complete details of the Evora GTE Concept won’t be unveiled until this weekend, but from what this photo is showing us, it looks us it’s been heavily modded with an aggressive front splitter to go with a U-shaped rear spoiler and a set of forged alloy wheels wrapped in Pirelli P-Zero Corsa tires. Meanwhile, the interior is said to carry plenty of leather and carbon fiber trims, as well as composite Recaro racing seats.
As for the engine, the concept car is said to carry a race-tuned 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 420 horsepower and is mated to a sequential transmission.
That’s as much as we have for the Lotus Evora GTE Road Car Concept. Rest assured, we’ll have more details as soon as the car breaks cover at Pebble Beach later this week.
UPDATE 08/18/2011: Lotus has released more images of the Evora GTE Road Car ahead of its Pebble Beach debut. Check them out in the gallery provided!
The third and final vehicle of the special edition series announced by Lotus is called the Exige S260 Final Edition. This vehicle, like the two that preceded it, was created as a celebration of the end of production for renowned North American bound Elise and Exige models. It will be limited to 30 units and will carry a price tag of $67,500.
Unlike the other two special edition model - Exige Matte Black Final Edition and Elise SC Final Edition - the Exige S260 Final Edition will be offered in the full array of Lotus exterior colors, but it will be distinguished by a slew of other features that will make it stand out from the every day model.
The Lotus Exige S260 Final Edition will be powered by a supercharged and intercooled 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine that delivers a total of 275 HP. This engine is the very reason why the Exige model will be discontinued. Apparenly, the 1.8-liter 4-cylinder Toyota 2ZZ engine that powers all North American Elise and Exige models is continually unavailable. Therefore, the production of this model will cease for North America by the end of August 2011.
Details on the Lotus Exige S260 Final Edition after the jump.
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.