2020 Lotus SUV
The idea of a Lotus crossover might make some fans of the British sports carmaker a little squeamish, but if Lotus is going to stick around, it’s going to need a higher-volume model with more mass-market appeal. Lotus revealed that it’s developing a compact crossover in 2017, but we still don’t know much about its underpinnings and design. However, a batch of patent images that surfaced the Web provided some hints as to what the British crossover will look like, and our designer created a rendering of the vehicle.
So what do we actually know about this crossover so far? First, it will be built in China and launched exclusively in that market before expanding to Europe and Japan. No word on U.S. availability just yet, but it’s very likely that North America will get it too. Second, Lotus aims to win SUV enthusiasts with one of the lightest and most dynamic vehicles on the market. "The SUV market changes as well – it’s not just cars that are six feet high and wide now, it’s a huge market that’s becoming more segmented. There is a niche within that for a Lotus crossover that is light and aerodynamic and handles like nothing else," former Lotus CEO, Jean-Marc Gales told Autocar in October 2017. Lotus began testing the crossover in 2019, but the prototype is just an old Lynk & Co 01 model. As a reminder, Lynk & Co is owned by Geely, the same Chinese company that owns Lotus (and Volvo for that matter).
Updated 06/24/2019: Our spy photographers caught the very first mules for the upcoming Lotus SUV out for the first testing session.
The 2019 Lotus Evora GT410 Brings Redefined Performance to China
The Lotus Evora is already ten years old as of 2019, but it’s still going strong. Although Lotus is working on a successor, the current Evora is still being used as a base for special-edition sports cars. The latest model is called the GT410 and was unveiled in China, at the 2019 Shanghai Auto Show. This isn’t the first Evora to sport a "GT410" badge — a one-off was built for the Jim Clark Trust Foundation in 2018 — but it’s the first production run to feature the nameplate.
2019 Lotus Evora GT410 Sport Jim Clark Trust Special Edition
Lotus is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, and in the happiest of coincidences, the sports car manufacturer has just built its 100,000th car. To commemorate the occasion, Hazel Chapman, the widow of Lotus founder Colin Chapman, has approved the launch of the 100,000th Lotus model, a one-off GT410 called the Evora GT410 Jim Clark Trust Special Edition.
Lotus Celebrates 70th Anniversary in Typical Lotus Fashion
Lotus is turning 70 years old today, and like anybody who reaches that ripe age, the British automaker celebrated it by creating a not-so-subtle “70th tribute logo” using burnt rubber from two of the company’s most popular models: the Exige and Evora 410 Sport. The tire-burning/logo-creating session took place on the skid pad of Lotus’ test track in Hethel, England. No CGIs were used in the making of the video, though Lotus did cop to using more tires than it probably wanted to.
2018 Lotus Exige Type 49 and Type 79
The third-generation Lotus Exige is six years old as of 2018 and a bit long in the tooth. A brand-new model is underway, but the Brits are keeping things interesting for the current model by building all sorts of special editions. At the 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed, Lotus paid tribute to two of its most iconic race cars with the Exige Type 49 and Exige Type 79.
Both cars celebrate the company’s past glory in Formula One. The Exige Type 49 marks 50 years since Graham Hill won both the drivers’ and constructors’ championships in the Type 49, while the Exige Type 49 marks 40 years since Mario Andretti did the same with the Type 79. The former race from 1967 through 1970 and won two championships, while also scoring podiums in each season. The Type 79’s career was a bit shorter, from 1978 through 1979.
Both Exige models were crafted by Lotus Exclusive, the brand’s recently established bespoke division. Let’s find out more about them below.
Continue reading to learn more about the Lotus Exige Type 49 and Type 49.
Lotus Celebrates F1 Glory with Custom Exige Models at Goodwood FoS
Lotus has yet to redesign any of its aging models, but it keeps coming up with exciting special-edition versions. The latest on the list are the Exige Type 49 and Type 79, which were introduced at the2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed to mark two of the company’s most important Formula One milestones.
2018 Lotus Exige Sport 410
The apex-hungry engineers over at Lotus are at it again, releasing yet another tuned-and-tweaked version of the most-excellent Exige. This time, it’s called the Sport 410, and it slots between the Exige Cup 430 and Exige Sport 350 as a replacement for the Exige Sport 380, offering a harder edge than the Sport 350, but a more forgiving A-to-B drive experience than the Cup 430.
Continue reading to learn what makes the Lotus Exige Sport 410 special.
2018 Lotus Exige Cup 430 Type 25
What do you call a special edition car that’s based on a special edition car? A special, special edition? Whatever it is, the Lotus Exige Cup 430 Type 25 fits the bill. It’s a special edition version of the special edition Exige Cup 430. It’s limited to just 25 units, and its scarcity is attributed to the Lotus Type 25, the first F1 car that came with a stressed monocoque chassis that ultimately became the blueprint for all future F1 racers. The Type 25 also happens to be the same racer that gave Lotus its first driver’s and constructor’s championships. If these distinctions aren’t enough to make it worthy of receiving a special edition model, I don’t know what it’s going to take to get one.
2018 Lotus 3-Eleven 430
As Lotus prepares to enter a new chapter in its life, the British automaker is saying goodbye to the pee-inducing 3-Eleven with an even more limited version of the already limited track superstar. Confused? Don’t be. The Lotus 3-Eleven 430 is the true limited edition model here because only 20 models are going to be made. It also happens to be the fastest and most powerful car Lotus has ever created, a staggering boast considering that its predecessor was already cable of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.3 seconds before setting off to a top speed run reaching 174 mph. If you thought the 3-Eleven was fast, Lotus will beg to differ. The 3-Eleven 430 has taken its place on that throne.
2018 Lotus Evora GT410
Read the Latest on the 2018 Lotus Evora GT410 or get up to speed on the 2017 Lotus Evoa Sport 410 Want to Know More?Lotus Evora
Read our full review on the 2016 Lotus Evora 400.
Read our full review on the 2017 Lotus Evora 410.
Read our full review on the 2017 Lotus Evora GT430.
The Lotus Evora GT410 Sport is a Sportier, Lighter Replacement for the Sport 410
Introduced in 2009 as the company’s flagship sports car, the Evora received its first significant update in 2015, when it was renamed the Evora 400. In early 2016, Lotus launched the Evora Sport 410, a lighter, quicker, and more powerful version. Two years have passed and the Evora Sport 410 is being retired, making way for a revised variant called the GT410 Sport. Slotted below the GT430, a model introduced in the summer of 2017, the GT410 Sport boasts minor improvements over its predecessor. And it’s coming to the U.S. later this year.
2017 Lotus Exige Cup 430
First introduced in 2000, the Lotus Exige is now well into its third generation, but so far, it stays true to its roots. Offered as a hardtop iteration of the Lotus Elise roadster, the Exige is a two-seater performance coupe that seeks a pure driving experience through low weight and incomparable simplicity. It’s a tempting formula, and as such, Lotus has offered a variety of variants over the years, each upping the ante even higher than the last. The latest Cup 430 is no different. In case you were unaware, “Cup” translates as motorsport-focused in Lotus lingo, which means this machine is even more capable when it comes to dropping the lap times. It’s still street legal, but the barebones approach is stripped down even further with less weight. However, the big story here is the extra power and added aero, all of which combine to make for the fastest road-going Exige ever made.
How fast, exactly? Well, to add science to the conversation, Lotus says the Exige Cup 430 undercuts the Lotus 3-Eleven’s time at its Hethel test circuit by 1.2 seconds, stopping the timer at 1 minute, 24.8 seconds. That makes it the fastest production car to ever lap the track. Impressed? Read on for details.
Continue reading to learn more about the Lotus Exige Cup 430.
Lotus Aims For Different Sports Cars As New Long-Term Strategy Kicks Off
Now that it’s found the safe and comfortable arms of burgeoning Chinese auto conglomerate Geely, Lotus isn’t wasting any time putting a new long-term strategy in place. The things that financial stability can do, right? Part of this strategy involves a 10-year plan that, according to CEO Jean Marc Giles, will bring life to a new generation of sports cars that will be different from the current models that the company has in the market today.
In a conversation with Top Gear, Giles didn’t outline the specifics behind the new strategy, but he did say that priority will be placed on a number of different options. The man credited for steering Lotus back to solid footing added that the company needs to evolve with the times and adapt to the trends that are shaping the industry today, including electrification and the development of a future SUV. These items are all part of Lotus’ 10-year plan, which it expects to kick off in 2018, two years ahead of the first Lotus model that will be the physical representation of that plan. To those expecting more of the same from Lotus, a recalibration of expectation is probably warranted in light of Giles also saying that these new-era Lotus models will be different from anything we’ve seen from the company. That said, just because they’re going to be different, it doesn’t mean that they’re going to be robbed of the very qualities that helped Lotus become one of the most famous sports car companies in the world. All future models will still put premium importance on being light in weight, agile in handling, and affordable in price. In other words, the core foundation of Lotus will remain intact; the only thing different will be on how Lotus builds off that old foundation and creates something new and better over the next decade. On that note, I’m excited to see what the future looks like for the automaker. It’s been too long since we really got excited about Lotus as a brand. But then again, better late than never.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
2017 Lotus Elise Cup 260
Arguably the most iconic Lotus still in production, the Elise has been around for more than two decades. Now in its third generation, the tiny Elise is heading toward a major redesign that will bring a faster, lighter car into dealerships. But despite working on a brand-new model, Lotus isn’t yet willing to give up on the current Elise, and it keeps pushing the limits of the small roadster with all sorts of limited-edition packages and upgrades. With several new iterations launched in 2016 and 2017, Lotus has prepared yet another version of its supercharged two-door. It’s called the Cup 260 and its the lightest, quickest road-legal Elise built to date.
Developed as the company prepares for the 70th anniversary of when founder Colin Chapman built his first car in 1948, the Cup 260 is based on the Cup 250 model that came in 2016 and includes nearly all of the lightweight Elise Cup options as standard. It also sports the latest visual upgrades that Lotus introduced for the standard Elise, as well as a comprehensive aerodynamic package that adds a tremendous amount of downforce at high speeds. Naturally, it’s the quickest Elise on the brand’s Hethel track, and its production is limited to only a handful of examples. Find out more about that below.
Continue reading to learn more about the Lotus Elise Cup 260.
2017 Lotus Evora GT430
Feast your eyes on this beauty. This is the new Lotus Evora GT430 and it’s the fastest, lightest, and most powerful road-going Lotus ever made. That’s a lot of superlatives right there, and for good reason. No other production Lotus in the company’s long and proud history can match wits with the Evora GT430, and that includes the Evora 410, the predecessor to the GT430 that also held all those titles before the Evora GT430 came along.
There are a lot of reasons to get excited about Lotus’ new baby, not the least of which are the distinctions that it already has. In addition to that, though, this two-seater sports car is also going to be a lot more exclusive than any special edition Lotus Evora before it. Only 60 units are planned for the model. Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales calls the Evora GT430 “a true track-and-back sports car,” and there’s really no reason to argue those sentiments. It looks like an all-conquering roadster, has a surprisingly posh interior, and packs enough power to reach speeds in excess of 190 mph. Really, what more do you want out of a Lotus that the Evora GT430 doesn’t provide?
Continue after the jump to read more about the Lotus Evora GT430.
Lotus Finally Gets A New Owner!
For the longest time, Lotus seemed like the most under-utilized car company in the industry. At the very least, it ranks high on the list of automakers that have failed to live up to its potential. Fortunately, things are now taking a turn for the better for the beleaguered British automaker as Hong Kong-based automaker Geely acquires a 51-percent share in Lotus from its parent company, Proton.
In addition to the 51-percent stake in Lotus, Geely is also acquiring a 49.9 percent stake in Proton itself from the company’s parent firm, Malaysian conglomerate DRB-Hicom. The movement of all these chess pieces means Lotus is free from its struggling past ownership and under the watchful eye of Geely, the fledgling Chinese automaker responsible for reviving Volvo. Geely’s assumed goal to do the same for Lotus, which is largely credited for introducing some of the best handling, lightweight sports cars back in its heyday. It’s been a while since Lotus was a relevant name in the auto industry, but with Geely now in charge, there’s a lot of optimism in the air.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
Get Your Simplified Lightness On With The Lotus Exige Cup 380
Lotus has been pumping out successively quicker iterations of the Exige for several years now, including the Sport 350 unveiled in 2015, and the Sport 380 that dropped early last year. The latest is this – the Exige Cup 380, a car Lotus is calling the “ultimate track-and-back street-legal Lotus.” Essentially an even more focused iteration of the Sport 380, the Cup 380 once again strives for that tried-and-true Lotus performance philosophy, striking a balance between street-legal road car and track-burning race car. It’s a lithe supercar killer sporting revised aero and even less weight, making for a spec sheet absolutely worthy of the green and yellow badge glued to the nose.
The big selling point here is the car’s power-to-weight ratio, with 355 horsepower available to motivate 1 metric ton (2,205 pounds) of curb weight. That means it’ll hit 60 mph in as little as 3.4 seconds, while top speed is rated at 175 mph. But, in addition to lots of straight-line performance, the Lotus also offers lots of stick, generating as much as 200 kg (441 pounds) at speed thanks to an extensive rework of the exterior wings and spoilers. That’s an increase of 43 percent compared to the Exige Sport 380, and combined with more rubber in the rear, the Cup 380 should be an absolute riot on the track. Read on for more info.
Continue reading for the full story.
2017 Lotus Elise Race 250
Now entering its second decade in production, the Lotus Elise is simply one of the most capable speed machines on the planet, as evidenced by the numerous platform iterations (Tesla Roadster, Hennessey Venom GT, etc.) and high-spec track day specials that have sprung up over the years. Now, Lotus is offering its most hardcore track-oriented Elise to date, and it’s called the Race 250. The number is a reference to the car’s blown 1.8-liter output figures, which are complemented by a slew of standard performance options, including a race-ready interior, full aerodynamics, adjustable suspension, and a fiber-rich diet. And, as luck would have it, it’s coming to the U.S.
According to Jean-Marc Gales, CEO of Group Lotus plc., “The Elise Race 250 is the fastest, most focused Elise we’ve ever produced and, judging by what it’s capable of on track, it looks set to become a favorite with our racers around the world.”
Backing Gales’ claim is the Race 250’s 1:33.5 lap time around Lotus’ Hethel test track, a time that bests the Elise Cup 220 R by a full half-second and secures the 250’s spot as the fastest racing Elise that Lotus has ever developed.
So what exactly makes this mighty little giant slayer so darn potent? Read on for the details.
Continue reading to learn more about the Lotus Elise Race 250.
2000 Lotus 340R
When you’re a company like Lotus, you can build things that are a little out of the ordinary from time to time. Take, for example, the Lotus 340R. It’s a special-edition model derived from the Lotus Elise. It shares the same underpinnings, but features a custom-built body shell with no roof or doors to speak of – that’s right, the only way to get into this bad boy is to jump over the edge. There’s more to it than its unique body style, though. Only 340 examples were built, all of which sold out prior to the car’s official debut, and it comes equipped with exclusive tires made by Yokohama.
The 340R is a mid-engined roadster, and all 340 examples were built with the same silver and black two-tone finish. It was built at the brand’s Hethel factory and was never slated for the U.S. market, so it’s not exactly road legal here in the states. It is, however, road-legal in the U.K. – the market it was originally built for. That said, there are a few that may have crossed the big drink to the U.S., but there is only one that is claimed to be road-legal in the states, and that is the one pictured here.
The car you see in our photo gallery was listed for sale on Ebay back in 2014, and, as of this writing, it’s now being sold by a local dealer in Hollywood, Florida, with just over 3,500 miles. So, let’s take a few minutes to go over this special-edition model and see what it brings to the table.
Continue reading to see what made the Lotus 340R so special.
2016 Lotus Elise Cup 250
2015 was a busy year for Lotus. Not only did the Brits revamp the Elise and Exige with updated models, but they also launched a significantly upgraded Evora, the brand-new 3-Eleven, and announced plans to develop their first-ever SUV. Having already launched the new Lotus Exclusive customization program in January 2016, the brand introduced the beefed-up Elise Cup 250 as its first new model for the year.
Essentially an lighter and more powerful version of the previous Elise Cup, the Cup 250 is the quickest road-going Elise ever from 0 to 60 mph as well as on Lotus’ iconic Hethel test track. As with most updates, the Cup 250 comes with new and revised features, extra options, and access to the company’s new Lotus Exclusive program. The Cup 250 joins the less track-oriented Sport and Sport 220 in the 2016 Elise lineup. The new Elise Cup 250 went on sale in most markets in April 2016 and in 2017 gained an update with revised looks and aerodynamics. Unfortunately, the sports car won’t cross the pond to the U.S., where Lotus can only sell the Evora 400 due to America’s strict safety requirements.
Keep reading to find out more about the Lotus Elise Cup 250.