Lotus

Lotus Cars was founded by engineers Colin Chapman and Colin Dare in 1952, four years after Colin Chapman built his very first car. The company initially set its focus on motorsports, with road cars coming later as a way for Chapman to fund his racing exploits and expand into the growing customer racing scene. While all of the Lotus racing cars built under Chapman's supervision were given number-based names (like the 33, the 49, or the 91), the street-legal cars built by Lotus were all given names starting with 'E'. Currently, Lotus sells the Elise, the Exige, and the Evora and have unveiled the radical Evija all-electric hypercar, heralding a new era for the now-Geely-owned company.

Jay Leno's Garage Gives Some Love to the 1966 Lotus (Ford) Cortina

Jay Leno’s Garage Gives Some Love to the 1966 Lotus (Ford) Cortina

One of the first homologation specials

The Lotus Cortina, or Ford Cortina Lotus as it has also become known, is the street-going version of the Group 2 touring car that became one of the most famous and successful models of its kind in the ’60s, routinely hitting above its weight and beating Mustangs, Falcons and even the odd Ford Galaxie in the British Saloon Car Championship, the European Touring Car Championship and beyond. Originally, only 1,000 Cortinas were built to meet homologation needs, and the car in the video is a genuine one.

The original Lotus Cortina, based on the Mark 1 Consul Cortina, was launched in 1963 and received comprehensive modifications by Lotus with its beating heart being a 1.5-liter twin-cam four-cylinder engine designed by Harry Mundy. The example shown in this episode of Jay Leno’s Garage has been painstakingly restored to better-than-new condition by Jim Hall, Leno’s chief fabricator, after spending three decades neglected at the mercy of the elements.

Read more
Introducing Omega, a $2.5 Million Electric Lotus Hypercar Aimed At the Bugatti Chiron

Introducing Omega, a $2.5 Million Electric Lotus Hypercar Aimed At the Bugatti Chiron

This could be a watershed moment for the British icon!

With the performance scene moving towards ever-more advanced battery-powered mega-machines, some companies will inevitably get left behind in the electron dust. Luckily, it looks like Lotus won’t be among them, as it was just revealed that the Hethel-based brand might be working on a brand-new all-electric hypercar!

Read more
Someone Slapped a Harrop TVS1900 Supercharger onto a Series-3 Lotus Exige and the Result Will Knock Your Socks Off

Someone Slapped a Harrop TVS1900 Supercharger onto a Series-3 Lotus Exige and the Result Will Knock Your Socks Off

More powerful than even the range-topping Lotus Exige Cup 430

The third-generation Lotus Exige is a light, nimble, and quite quick sports car that’s at home on the track. However, for some, the Exige doesn’t cut it in stock trim. For those people, here’s the 500-horsepower Exige fitted with a Harrop TVS1900 supercharger that’s taking no prisoners on any road course.

The current Exige has been in production for nigh on seven years now and it Lotus has periodically revised their recipe adding more power and, as per Colin Chapman’s ethos, subtracting weight. Last year, Lotus unveiled the Cup 430 which develops 430-horsepower and weighs barely 2,300 pounds. It came just a year after the Cup 380 which was described by Lotus’ CEO as "so good, that it is no longer the best in class, it’s now in a class of its own."

Can this monstrosity be even better than the two factory-built track cars?

Read more
Hennessey Thinks 311 MPH is Possible With New F5 Venom

Hennessey Thinks 311 MPH is Possible With New F5 Venom

Automaker is calling its own shot with a top speed run that could send the Venom F5 straight to the record books

Hennessey claims that a prototype version of the Venom F5 is ready to begin testing sometime in 2019 with the goal of hitting 311 mph. Notice that Hennessey is overshooting the unicorn speed of 300 mph? That’s because the company believes that the F5 is capable of going well beyond the threshold number. Once the prototype version of the Venom F5 is ready to test its worth in the heavily anticipated top speed wars, we’ll know for sure if it can back up the hype surrounding its 1,600-horsepower bullet.

Read more
2019 Lotus Evora GT410 Sport Jim Clark Trust Special Edition

2019 Lotus Evora GT410 Sport Jim Clark Trust Special Edition

One-off creation will be given away as a competition prize by the Jim Clark Trust Foundation

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.

Read more
Lotus Celebrates 70th Anniversary in Typical Lotus Fashion

Lotus Celebrates 70th Anniversary in Typical Lotus Fashion

Burnouts were in order, and the company obliged

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.

Read more
Geely Wants Lotus To Start Playing With The Big Boys

Geely Wants Lotus To Start Playing With The Big Boys

Is a new $1.9 billion investment enough to make Lotus a rival to Ferrari and Porsche?

Geely’s plans for Lotus includes bringing the once-proud British sports car brand back to relevancy. But a new report from Automotive News Europe reveals that the Chinese auto giant now has bigger plans for its new acquisition, specifically increasing its stake in Lotus with a fresh $1.9 billion investment. If Geely’s plans come to fruition, it could up its stake in Lotus from 51 percent to a more significant ownership percentage. Doing so would cut into the shares of Malaysia’s Erika Automotive, which currently owns 49 percent of Lotus.

Read more
2018 Lotus Exige Type 49 and Type 79

2018 Lotus Exige Type 49 and Type 79

Paying tribute to legendary Formula One cars

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.

Read more
Lotus Celebrates F1 Glory with Custom Exige Models at Goodwood FoS

Lotus Celebrates F1 Glory with Custom Exige Models at Goodwood FoS

Lotus Exclusive at its best!

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.

Read more
Lotus CEO Abruptly Steps Down Just as the Company is Poised to Take Flight

Lotus CEO Abruptly Steps Down Just as the Company is Poised to Take Flight

Jean-Marc Gales’ exit was brought about by "personal reasons"

Jean-Marc Gales abruptly stepped down from his post as the CEO of Lotus, citing “personal reasons” as the cause of his exit. The French executive has been the main man behind the sports car brand since 2014 after former CEO Dany Bahar was forced to resign after being accused of misusing company funds. Quingfeng Feng, vice president and chief technical officer of Geely Auto Group, will assume Gales’ role as CEO of Lotus.

Read more
2018 Lotus Exige Sport 410

2018 Lotus Exige Sport 410

Toeing the line between the street and the track

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.

Read more
Lotus Is Making the Sweet Eye on Bringing its SUV into The Luxury Market

Lotus Is Making the Sweet Eye on Bringing its SUV into The Luxury Market

British automaker is also planning to develop more than one of its kind

Lotus’ planned SUV is taking shape ahead of its scheduled debut in 2022. But, before things are said and done, the British automaker is reportedly keen on positioning its SUV as a luxury model, pushing it into the segment occupied by other premium SUVs like the Porsche Cayenne, Jaguar F-Pace, and Maserati Levante. More importantly, it might not be the only SUV to wear the Lotus badge.

Read more

What is the Cheapest Lotus?

The cheapest Lotus is the base model Elise called the Elise Sport 220. In the U.K. (because the Elise is no longer imported into the U.S.), an Elise Sport 220 will set you back £41,950 which is the equivalent of $51,034. To put it into perspective, the cheapest Exige, namely the Sport 350, starts from £64,610 or $78,624 at the current exchange rates. The only Evora model still in production, namely the Evora GT410 Sport is even more expensive with a price tag of over $100,000. This is significantly more than the $78,792 MSRP of the Lotus Evora 400, the last Lotus officially available in the U.S. (that was discontinued in 2018).

What is the Sportiest Lotus?

The sportiest Lotus is the range-topping Exige Cup 430. As the name suggests, this track-oriented sports car cranks out 430 horsepower, 20 more than the Exige Sport 410. The 3.5-liter supercharged V-6 of Toyota-sourced engine delivers 325 pound-feet of torque and, since the whole car weighs just 2,447 pounds - less than a Ferrari F40 - it can go from naught to 60 mph in just 3.2 seconds before topping out at 174 mph. The Cup 430 features a carbon-fiber roof, rear wing, diffuser, and splitter, the whole aero package generating in excess of 210 pounds of downforce at speed. Stability on the track is provided by the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires.

What is the Most Popular Lotus?

The most popular Lotus is the Elise. The lithe sports car was a huge hit when first introduced back in 1995 when Lotus was owned by Italian entrepreneur Romano Artioli. In just two years, Lotus sold 1,000 Elise examples but, nowadays, the market has shrunk considerably. If Lotus would dispatch 2,500 cars per year some two decades ago, it only sold 584 cars of all types in 2018 (down from 783 in 2017). Out of those 584 cars, 257 were Elises, reconfirming the model’s status as the most popular Lotus - although even the Elise is taking a hit with sales dropping below 300 units per year for the first time since 2014.

What is the Most Expensive Lotus?

The most expensive Lotus is the Evora GT410 with its $107,107 price tag in the U.K. before you add options. And while you may think options on a Lotus may be cheap, they most definitely are not. For instance, diamond-cut forged wheels cost $3,526 and the optional metallic paint finish will set you back $1,460. Having said that, the most expensive Lotus away from the manufacturer’s well-known lineup of sports cars is the 2020 Evija hypercar with its $2.1 million MSRP. Of course, the Evija can’t be compared with anything else in Lotus’ lineup but, to put matters into perspective, merely reserving a build spot (only 130 will be made) has you fork out $304,032 which is the equivalent of almost six brand-new Elise Sport 220s.

What is the Fastest Lotus?

The fastest Lotus car that’s currently listed on Lotus’ own website is, obviously, the 1,971-horsepower Evija hypercar that’s said to surpass 200 mph. However, if we only take into account the sports cars currently made by Lotus, then the quickest of the lot is the Evora GT410 Sport that will go all the way to 186 mph in top gear. Having said that, the Evora GT410 Sport has been shadowed, until recently, by the Evora GT430 Sport which, thanks to 20 extra ponies, could hit 196 mph.

Are Lotus Cars Reliable?

Lotus cars used to be very unreliable, like any British-made cars of the ’60s and ’70s but, since the dawn of the third millennium, things have started to change bit by bit for the better. Back in the days, Lotus owners had this running joke that Lotus stood for ’Lots Of Trouble, Usually Serious’ but, more recently, owners on carbuyer have given the Elise a 4.8 out of 5 and 88% of owners would recommend the Lotus Elise to a friend. The Toyota engines that power modern Lotus cars seem to be pretty bulletproof although issues can appear in the suspension department while the clutch is also prone to untimely wear. Still, there are many who daily drive their Lotuses and, besides the usual pitfalls of daily driving a sports car, have little to complain about.