It’s sometimes tough for a car guy to convince his wife that a European vacation is the perfect couple’s getaway. She may have thought Italy was romantic, but not if you spend the whole time in Maranello; and no matter what you tell her, she still doesn’t it believe when you tell her, "Germany is for lovers." So here’s the newest idea: costal England. While she’s shopping for trinkets at little cottage shops on the east coast, you can sneak away to Lotus’ revamped driving school.

Lotus Driving Academy
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Lotus has revamped its test track located at an abandoned U.S. airbase in the town of Hethel. The track 2.25 miles in total with plenty of curves (named after famous racers like Ayrton Senna and Graham Hill) and the obligatory long straightaway. But what’s really cool is the opportunity to learn advanced driving techniques on instructor cars like the Elise S, Elise R and Exige S.

Lotus Driving Academy
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There are four levels of driver training: Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum, with the last two taking a full day’s worth of lessons. It ranges in price from £299 to £1299 (about $450 to $1960 at current rates). So, what you’ll learn Lotus’ school depends on the depth of your wallet and how long your wife really believes you are out on a countryside walk.

If this seems like a lot of work for a few lessons, Lotus already has an established driving school for its American arm in Nevada.

Press release after the jump.

Press release

The all new Lotus Driving Academy has been developed to link Lotus’ adrenaline-fuelled track experiences and it’s hugely successful driver training to create an unrivalled programme that creates better drivers.

Mike Kimberley CEO of Group Lotus Plc comments: “Lotus cars have been designed to be fun to drive, exciting and offer phenomenal performance with excellent safety. The Lotus Driving Academy gives participants the skills to extract the best out of their cars, improving the ownership experience and becoming better, safer drivers.”

Courses with the Lotus Driving Academy are designed to give drivers both practical training and a theoretical appreciation of driving, enabling them to learn at a steady and affordable pace through a license system. The Lotus Licence is a structured, competencies based programme, drivers qualify by achieving three awards; ‘Bronze’, ‘Silver’ and ‘Gold’, with an optional ‘Platinum’ stage for tailored personal tuition. This tiered system allows drivers to embark upon each stage as an individual course, a unique and practical way to steadily evolve experience, technique and confidence.

Not only will drivers get the opportunity of driving the much-loved Lotus Elise but they will do so on the famous Lotus test-track. A challenging circuit, the Lotus test-track is the perfect environment in which to improve driving skills and safety, whilst learning more about the character and DNA of Lotus cars; Jim Clark, Graham Hill, Ayrton Senna, Nigel Mansell and Mika Hakannen are just some of the F1 legends that have driven the 2.25 mile Lotus test-track. Training in the areas of trail braking, heel and toe, gear changes and gaining a better understanding of handling dynamics and reading the road ahead are just some of the skills drivers will acquire through the Lotus Licence programme.

For training the track will be split into a number of circuits to add variety and a chance to apply knowledge and develop skills in different situations and on complex corners. The Elise S, Elise R and Exige S are used to develop experience of cars with different handling characteristics, braking performance and power.

Since 1984 Lotus has been employed to deliver Driver Training and Vehicle Assessment Training for major motor manufacturers, and in 1998 started to offer Lotus owners the opportunity to hone their skills through a public driver training scheme. The new Lotus Driving Academy is open to anyone with a driver’s licence and promises to be fun, informative and good value; the Lotus Driving Academy offers the most unique training on the market!

Chris Arnold, Head of Lotus Sport said “Holders of each of the coveted Lotus Licences will benefit from their newly acquired skill levels and be able to get so much more out of their cars. In many respects the Lotus Driving Academy is the best performance upgrade available.”

The courses are run using the latest Lotus models and focus on developing skills and understanding, then exploiting these skills in a progressive manner. Many of the driving instructors at the Academy are Lotus Engineers who literally know the cars inside out.

The Lotus License courses are priced as follows:

  • Bronze Licence £299
  • Silver Licence £499
  • Gold Licence £799
  • Platinum Licence £1299
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