The Often Forgotten Lotus Carlton Was the Ultimate Sleeper Sedan
Those with an interest in classic British sports car might remember the Lotus Carlton as a wolf in sheep’s clothing. This year, the Lotus Carlton turns 30 and as far as we’re concerned, it’s still the same bonkers car that came to be in 1990. We even have a video to support our statement.
Here’s How the Lotus Evija’s Aerodynamics Are So Unique
Just like love and marriage, you can’t have a supercar without top-shelf aerodynamics to keep it stable at high speeds and help the tires extract as much grip as possible from the ground.
Throw in an all-electric powertrain and the need for a body that lets air flow smoothly becomes even more pungent. Here’s how Lotus solved the aero equation for the Evija.
2020 Lotus Evija Configurator - You Want to Play But You Can’t!
The 2020 Lotus Evija has been intensively covered online and then covered some more. Still, there are some aspects of the hypercar that won’t make themselves available to the public. As in, only a future owner will get to enjoy and the car’s configurator paves the way for what looks like a very rewarding acquisition process. Allow us to explain.
The $3 Million Lotus Evija Is Already Sold Out for 2020; Major Testing Underway
The Lotus Evija look us back when it was first announced. Not only was it primed to be the world’s most powerful production car, but it was also an all-electric beast that carries a price tag of £2.04 million or $3.11 million at current exchange rates. In a crazy turn of events that usually only happens for brands like Bugatti, Koenigsegg, and Ferrari, Lotus is now reporting that the Evija – which will be buil tin just 130 examples – has been sold out for the 2020 model year. It sounds like a big deal, and it is, but we have no idea of how many Lotus has actually sold.
2020 Lotus Evija
The arrival of the Lotus Evija marks a watershed moment for Lotus. It wasn’t that long ago when the British automaker was floundering. It was strapped for cash and it barely produced enough models to thrive in a segment that had no shortage of worthy adversaries. Just when things were taking a turn for the worse, Chinese auto giant Geely came in, bought Lotus, and, well, the rest is history.
The Evija all-electric hypercar is the first Lotus product to be unveiled since its fortunes turned for the better. And what a product it is. The Evija is a technological tour de force, a stunning creation born from technological innovations that trace its roots to motor racing. Everything, and I mean everything, about the Lotus Evija is extraordinary. From its incredible aerodynamic design to the four electric motors and 70-kWh battery pack that feeds them, the Lotus Evija is the pinnacle of all-electric hypercar development. It also happens to be the most powerful production car in the world. All that for $2.1 million? This is no dream, folks. The Lotus Evija has arrived.
Opinion: The Lotus Evija is a Big Mistake for the Brand
The Lotus Evija, a £1.7 million ($2.1 million at current exchange rates) all-electric hypercar, has just been announced, and I’m already wondering just WTF Lotus is thinking. Sure, it probably has a lot to do with Geely backing the brand now – Lotus actually has some money to play with – but we’re talking about a brand that has been selling $50,000 - $120,000 cars for years. We’re talking about a company that posted its first self-proclaimed profit in years back in August of 2017. And, we’re talking about a company that hasn’t presented an all-new car in more than a decade (hello Lotus Evora) and has managed to soldier on by building random and slightly more potent versions of existing cars. Yet, here we are looking at a $2 million Lotus. This just doesn’t seem like the right move, and I have good reason why.
Did Lotus Just Rewrite The Book on All-Electric Supercars with the 2020 Evija?
Lotus hasn’t released a truly new car since it launched the Evora back 2008. Since then, it’s made continuous improvements to it, the Elise, and Exige, but the new 2020 Lotus Evija is the first new Lotus in over a decade. I might be saying this a little early, but I say it with confidence: Boy was it worth the wait. The basics of this car are simple – it’s all-electric, delivers close to 2,000 horsepower, and has a claimed range of 250 miles on the WLTP scale. That’s not bad. Lotus says it’ll get to 60 mph in under three seconds which isn’t all that radical when you look at other supercars or even the Tesla Model S P100D, but what it does beyond 60 is damn near-mythical and outrageous at the same time.
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 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.
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.
2016 Lotus 3-Eleven
Having launched the 2015 Lotus Elise S Cup in 2014 and the 2016 Lotus Evora 400 in 2015, Lotus is slowly but surely heading toward stability under the guidance of Jean-Marc Gales. The Frenchman joined the company in May 2014, when the Brits were struggling to stay afloat with net losses at more than $250 million at the end of 2013. Now that the British brand is somewhat stable, Gales reportedly wants three new vehicles in dealerships, including an Evora Roadster, an SUV, and a successor to the 2-Eleven. And the latter was just introduced at the 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Dubbed 3-Eleven, the new sports car follows in the footsteps of its predecessor in just about every respect. It sports the barchetta-style design and features a comprehensive aerodynamic kit that includes all the goodies usually seen on a hardcore track car, including a large front splitter and rear wing, as well as a race-spec diffuser.
What sets the 3-Eleven apart from its ancestor besides the updated styling is the significantly more powerful engine and the fact that it comes in two versions. The Brits will built models for both the road and the track. Both will feature the same powerplant, but the racing variant will feature improved aerodynamics to help it go faster around the track. Lotus also aims to lap the Nurburgring in only 7:09 with the 3-Eleven, which would make it the fifth quickest production car on the "Green Hell."
Updated 09/21/2016: Lotus took the 3-Eleven to the famous Nurburgring track. Hit "play" to watch how the sports car behaved on the track, having Nordschleife expert and professional racer Marc Basseng behind the wheel.
Continue reading to learn more about the Lotus 3-Eleven.
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.
After revamping the Evora, launching the new 3-Eleven, and introducing the Sport and Sport 220 versions of the Elise earlier in 2015, Lotus is now giving enthusiasts a new Exige model to enjoy. Meet the Sport 350, the lightest and fastest Exige to ever leave the company’s Hethel plant.
Though it’s not as powerful as the Exige 360 Cup, the Sport 350 is quicker from 0 to 60 due to the numerous weight-reducing and aero-enhancing solutions it employs. As its name suggests, this Exige is also part of Lotus’ recent revival of the "Sport" badge, which was first used on the Esprit in 1993. The name was discontinued six years later with the Esprit Sport 350, which makes this new Exige somewhat of a spriritual successor of the former.
"With the Exige Sport 350 we took an already phenomenally quick car and made it even faster, more dynamic and more pure, perfectly demonstrating our Lotus design philosophy of ‘lighter and faster’," said Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales.
In many ways, the Sport 350 replaces the recent Exige V6 Cup. Although it was launched only four months ago, the V6 Cup was limited to only 50 units. It’s safe to assume that all were sold out in a matter of weeks and Lotus decided a mass-produced version would be a great idea. And, indeed it is, especially if you’re planning to purchase a no-nonsense sports car anytime soon. Keep reading to find out why.
Updated 12/17/2015: Lotus dropped a first promo video for its latest Exige Sport 350. Hit play to watch the car in action and enjoy the sound of its V-6 engine.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Lotus Exige Sport 350.
The 2016 Evora 400 has just become the fastest Lotus on the brand’s Hethel test track, the British company announced today, claiming the new sports car bested the benchmark of its predecessor by no fewer than six seconds. Driven by Gavan Kershaw, technical manager for Lotus Motorsport, the Evora 400 lapped the course in 1:32, compared to the Evora S’ time of 1:38. Lotus says Kershaw used a "standard road specification prototype running on road tires and with standard road suspension." However, the British company doesn’t explain what "prototype" actually means and whether a production unit would be able to obtain the same benchmark.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to say Lotus is pulling tricks here, but I’ve seen too many record-setting cars not being able to deliver the same numbers in production-spec form. (I’m looking at you Bugatti Veyron and Nissan GT-R Nismo.)
Anyways, Lotus brags that the six-second improvement is due to the extra 55 horsepower injected into the Evora 400’s engine, the 48.5 pounds shaved off the previous car, and the improved traction from the new limited-slip differential. In all, the six-second lap update seems plausible.
"Internally, we all knew that the Evora 400 would be capable of exceeding expectations. Our initial pre-production tests provided immense confidence and a six seconds lap time advantage at Hethel. Our commitment to reducing weight to create a lightweight and efficient supercar has paid off," said Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales.
Continue reading to learn more about the Lotus Evora 400.
Launched in 1996 as a rear-wheel-drive, mid-engine roadster, the Lotus Elise replaced the aging Elan in the company’s lineup. Initially powered by a 118-horsepower, 1.8-liter Rover engine, the little roadster weighed only 1,598 pounds and was able to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in only 5.8 seconds. More powerful iterations, including one that came with 190 horsepower on tap, were released until the first-generation model was replaced in 2001. The second-gen sports car came with revised exterior styling and a refreshed interior, while the Rover engine was dropped in favor of a Toyota-sourced, 1.8-liter four-banger. The second-gen Elise received a mild facelift in 2011, when an entry-level, 1.6-liter unit was introduced for the European market. As we’re moving closer to 2015, Lotus began testing a new version of the Elise on the Nurburgring track and, as it turns out, the Brits have launched yet another iteration of its iconic sports car. Dubbed Elise S Cup, the lightweight coupe is nothing more than a road-legal version of the Cup R race car that was launched in 2013.
In other words, it’s the most powerful road-going Elise ever built and it comes with everything you need for a fun-filled weekend at the races. Check out the full details after the jump.
Updated 01/16/2015: Lotus announced that the all-new Elise S Cup is now officially in production and the company has started to accept orders for it. Also, the company released a new set of high-res images, and we have to admit, that green paint fits it perfectly. Check the new images in the "Pictures" tab.
Click past the jump to read about the Lotus Elise S Cup
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.
The Lotus Nemesis was able to shatter the U.K. land speed record for an electric vehicle in September 2012, but many people didn’t even know this vehicle existed. Did Lotus create an electric model while no one was looking?
No, the Nemesis isn’t an all-new electric vehicle built by Lotus in an attempt to rebuild its damaged image. The Nemesis is actually a one-off Lotus Elise converted to electric power by Ecotricity – a Great Britain-based renewable energy company.
Typically, when you think of the electric vehicle, you imagine the likes of the Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi i-MiEV; you think, a slow and ugly buggy that looks as if the manufacturer built it out of spite rather than to actually sell. Well, first we had Tesla eliminating the ugly and slow stereotypes rather effectively and now you have this Nemesis ripping that stereo type to shreds and stomping it into the ground.
Click past the just to read our full review on the Lotus Nemesis.
In the dust stirred up by Dany Bahar, we managed to miss the fact that DRB-Hicom also dismissed two senior executives from Lotus for “gross misconduct.” One was the 6-year head of legal resources and the other had 17 years in as the head of human resources. These employees are now taking Lotus to an employment tribunal saying that they were dismissed unfairly, were harassed, and had to endure sexual and racial discrimination by the new Lotus parent.
From the report, the two fired executives underwent “intense interrogation sessions” after DRB-Hicom took over and started investigating the actions of Bahar. They are also claiming that the management company is more interested in “Malaysianizing” the company rather than fixing it.
One lawsuit is a random happening, but to get three lawsuits for very similar cases seems like a trend to us. Maybe Bahar isn’t all wrong in this entire thing. The man is certainly at fault for using corporate money like it was his own personal Monopoly bank, but maybe his termination was a little bit less on the “up and up” as we anticipated.
All of this is coming straight on the heels of DRB-Hicom announcing that it is in talks to bring in a foreign partner to help clean up Proton Holdings Bhd, which includes Lotus. We’ll keep an eye on this to see if it may negatively impact the talks that are going on between the Malaysian company and its potential foreign partner.
It has been a little while since we last checked in on Lotus and its ongoing woes, but we have a small bit of news to pass on. There has been much speculation that DRB-Hicom has been considering offloading some or all of the Proton and Lotus money vacuum to the highest bidder. We all assumed it would be Volkswagen AG, but V-Dub has recently said that it is done with acquisitions, for now.
Reports out of Malaysia say that DRB-Hicom is now working on bringing in a “Foreign partner” to Proton Holdings Bhd, Lotus’s direct parent company. The reports are stating that the talks about this introduction are still in preliminary phases, but the announcement of talks alone is enough to tell us that DRB-Hicom is seriously looking into a way to stop the bleeding via an outside source.
With Volkswagen saying that it has stopped only acquisitions leads us to suspect that it has a small hand in these talks. Volkswagen and DRB-Hicom could easily enter into a nudge-wink type of relationship, much like the VW-Porsche takeover, and reap the benefits without much risk by simply becoming partners then later deciding to “restructure” the partnership.
This would ultimately give VW a clear port of entry into Southeast Asia – something it sorely needs – and give DRB-Hicom some much-needed financial relief and maybe a little boost in sales. Also, with Volkswagen’s reputation of turning around faltering car companies, a Volkswagen-DRB-Hicom-Proton Bdh partnership could ultimately save Lotus from potential extinction.
As we said, the discussions are preliminary and there is no confirmation that the talks even involve VW. It just seems like a perfect fit for every party involved. We’ll keep you updated on this as more information comes out.
After a healthy drought between Bahar-and-Lotus divorce articles, we have now started a new streak for this dysfunctional divorce. We recently learned that Lotus is auctioning off Bahar’s custom 2002 Lotus Esprit and it may be a fund-raising effort for their upcoming legal battle with its former CEO.
You guessed it. It is now official that Bahar has filed a high-court suit against Lotus for wrongful termination. The suit is reported to be worth ₤6.7 million and is against both Lotus and DRB-Hicom, with the former being the first defendant and the latter being the second in the case.
According to a report from DRB-Hicom, it opposed Bahar’s accusations and is prepared to defend them vigorously. In addition, DRB-Hicom has filed a counter-suit against Bahar, likely for misuse of corporate funds, as he was renting a house on Lotus’s dime, which isn’t a big deal, but dumped tons of money on having the rental property refurbished, using Lotus funds, allegedly.
In a statement, DRB-Hicom stated "The exact quantum of costs arising from the claim cannot be determined at this point in time... We will make the requisite announcements when appropriate." That sounds like corporate-ese for “we are trying to dig up every last penny that Bahar used without permission and add it up to really make him look bad.”
For now, this is all the news we have on this front, but we’ll keep you up to date on this lawsuit as it progresses.
It’s two days short of a month since we last mentioned Dany Bahar and Lotus in the same sentence, but we knew the silence couldn’t go on forever. While we await the outcome of the potential wrongful-termination lawsuit Bahar is allegedly planning, Lotus continues to rid itself of any signs of Bahar.
This de-Bahar-ing of Lotus began with the scrapping of all but one of his concept cars, much to the joy of Lotus purists, and has now moved into an almost personal attack. Lotus is now auctioning off Bahar’s company car, which so happens to be a fully restored and customized 2002 Esprit V8.
It features a custom pearlescent white paint job, Nova OZ wheels, center-exit exhaust, custom rounded taillights, and a Final Edition Esprit rear wing. The interior is bespoke too, featuring leather and SuedeTex throughout.
The front brakes feature 4-piston AP Racing calipers, while the rear brakes are Brembo-built. The engine and transmission were both rebuilt less than 1,000 miles ago, despite only having 36,000 miles on them to begin with. On top of the Sport350 “High Boost” ECM mod, we suspect that both the engine and transmission have some internal modifications, so it likely punches out much more than the 350 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque it did from the factory.
This entire restoration was commissioned by Bahar and carried out in a Lotus factory, likely on Lotus’ dime – surprise, surprise. Is it any wonder why the company is in such a financial hell right now?
Anyways, in an effort to raise a little capital, Lotus is now auctioning off this rig to the highest bidder via its UK dealerships. NADA lists a high-retail value of $60,300 on the 2002 Esprit, but we assume this one will fetch closer to the $80,000 range with all of its custom work.
We’ll keep you updated on the final auction results.
It is not a new concept that Caterham remains one of the most popular boutique sports cars in all of Europe, despite the fact that it only builds about 500 models each year. It is also not a shocker to know that England’s former boutique powerhouse, Lotus, has taken a huge hit in recent years, but still has an international presence.
Caterham’s flagship car, the Seven, is built with extreme care to keep the power-to-wight ratio as high as possible. This has worked so far, but Caterham needs to expand into other places, like the U.S., which only sees about 50 Caterham Sevens per year. Caterham is careful, though, and that’s what has made it the success it is today, so expansion needs to be carefully plotted out.
One thing that could help Caterham expand is to join forces with a like-minded car company to produce high-quality, lightweight sports cars that the American market would enjoy. One possibility is Lotus, which is sinking fast, but already offers up its lightweight bodies and chassis to other companies, like Hennessey, to build into lightweight monsters, so why not Caterham?
Combining the two could result in sweet profits for both, as Lotus could provide its lightweight chassis technology and its recognized name, and Caterham could provide its high-revving performance engine technology. With the Lotus name and body, and Caterham technology heading to the U.S., Caterham gains a stronger foothold in the U.S. and Lotus gets a chance to regain its presence in the states, all while sharing the cost and profits.
What’s even more telling is the fact that both Caterham and Lotus have been linked to the Renault Alpine and they have teamed up in the past. So there is the possibility that there are already talks between the two companies. This could also spill over into the anticipated manufacture of the Nissan-built Infiniti Emerg-E.
For now, this is all just a bit of speculation, but the writing is on the wall and the benefits are certainly there for all parties.