2018 Lotus Evora GT410
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We all know that Lotus has a lot of issues, but there has never been any confirmation of exactly how much trouble Lotus is really in. After DRB-Hicom requested a delay in tax payments to the Inland Revenue, people started looking a little closer.
According to reports, Lotus has about £30 million (roughly $48 million at the current exchange rates) in overdue debts to various suppliers. £23 million (roughly $36.8 million) of this debt is 90 days overdue and £7 million (roughly $11.2 million) of it is between 30 and 90 days overdue. Here comes the oddest of claims by DRB-Hicom; a source close to the company says that the blame for the overdue payments is related to prior management ::cough::Dany Bahar::cough::.
Okay, Bahar has been gone since late May and that means that DRB-Hicom has had full control of Lotus, and its bills, for over five months now. We will gladly give Bahar a lion’s share of the credit for taking one of the greatest sports car companies and flushing it down the toilet, however, we cannot put the blame on him for bills that are now three months overdue.
This issue falls directly on the plate of DRB-Hicom and the CEO it appointed to run Lotus, not Bahar and not any other previous management. Sure, previous management may have spent money that it didn’t have carelessly, but you have had five months to figure out how to pay the bills, so deal with it.
DRB-Hicom may start rethinking the £1 offer it received several months ago. That’s a small sum of money to hand someone a debt-burdened and troubled company… We’ll keep an eye out for more on this situation.
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.
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, 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.