After struggling to turn the corner on sales and profitability, it looks as though Lotus is on the mend, as it recently announced that the 2016 Lotus Evora 400 will make its way stateside. Delivery is scheduled for December of this year, and vehicles sold will fall under the 2017 model year.

The good news follows a brief hiatus last year, when Lotus put a halt on deliveries as it performed an extensive company-wide restructuring. The announcement coincides with a recent shakeup of Lotus’ U.S. operations, as it moves its headquarters from Lawrenceville, Georgia, to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where it will set up shop next to Lotus Engineering, Inc.

Lotus said that moving its U.S. headquarters will allow for growth of both individual operations, with streamlined efficiency thanks to shared business functions across both divisions. 

Jean-Marc Gales, CEO at Group Lotus Plc, commented that as the largest sports car market in the world, North America was particularly important to the brand, both in terms of sales and engineering consultancy. The move to Michigan will put Lotus in close proximity to some of the biggest U.S. automakers, reaffirming Lotus’ position with “...improved customer service, better technical and consultancy support, while ensuring that we have access to a skills base not found anywhere else in the territory.” 

He also said that Lotus is expected to make further rapid developments in North America. The automaker currently has 47 dealers here, with several more slated to open in the future.

Continue reading for the full story.

Why it matters

The Evora will be the first new model of many to come from the reinvigorated brand, with the 2016 Lotus 3-Eleven sports car and a possible SUV also in the works.

And that’s good news for fans of simple, lightweight performance vehicles, even if that new SUV might ruffle a few feathers when it comes to the purists and folks who like to quote Colin Chapman.

Fact is, Lotus needs to sell more than coupes if it hopes to stay afloat in the current market, and as Aston Martin, Lamborghini and Porsche will all attest, crossovers can pay quite a few meal tickets.

 

Fact is, Lotus needs to sell more than coupes if it hopes to stay afloat in the current market, and as Aston Martin, Lamborghini and Porsche will all attest, crossovers can pay quite a few meal tickets.

The news stands in stark contrast to what was emanating from the automaker just last year, when the Evora, the only Lotus model sold in the U.S., was dropped for the 2015 model year. That particular announcement followed the revelation that Lotus was laying off 325 members of its 1,125-employee global staff force. Only 112 Lotus vehicles were sold in the U.S. in 2014.

It was a watershed moment for the 63-year-old company, which saw a $259 million loss posted for the financial year that ended on March 31st, 2013. That particular hemorrhage followed a $187 million loss the prior fiscal year. 

However, the company said it remained committed to the North America market, and this latest news confirms that pledge. 

And that’s good. The tenets of the Lotus philosophy speak to the basic building blocks of any performance vehicle, even if the majority of sports cars these days seem to be drifting towards highly complicated drive systems and engineering solutions around big weight, rather than simplicity and less mass. Lotus is always good at reminding us that more is not necessarily better, even with that Lotus-branded sporty crossover (i.e., tap-dancing elephant) out on the table.

2016 Lotus Evora 400

2016 Lotus Evora 400 High Resolution Exterior
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Stuffed with a 3.5-liter V-6, the Lotus Evora makes 400 horsepower and 302 pound-feet of torque, which yields a 0-to-60 time of 4.1 seconds and a top speed of 186 mph, making for the quickest and fastest Lotus model ever built. Pricing is expected to start around $90,000.

Read out full review here.

Source: Autoguide

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