The Lotus Evora Sport 410 GP Edition Brings the Iconic JPS Livery to the U.S.
Redesigning the Evora is one of the best decisions Lotus has made in recent years. Now equipped with everything it needs to be road-legal in the U.S. once again, the Evora returned with new looks and a more powerful engine. Making things that much hotter, Lotus also launched theEvora 410 with additional carbon-fiber parts and ten extra horsepower for a higher power-to-weight ratio. The standard model was followed by several special-edition models, including the classic-inspired Esprit S1. Now, Lotus is paying tribute to its glorious racing past with the Evora Sport 410 GP Edition.
Developed specifically for the U.S. and Canada, the GP Edition is a throwback to the company’s Formula One cars from the 1980s. Although it had significantly more successful periods in the 1960s and 1970s, winning seven constructors’ championships, Lotus turned to the 95T, 97T, and 98T race cars from the mid-1980s for inspiration. What’s so special about them you ask? For starters, they ere driven by legendary pilots such as Nigel Mansell and Ayrton. Second, and more importantly in this context, all these cars sported the now iconic John Play Special livery in black with gold accents.
Just like the F1 cars, the GP Edition is finished in black with certain elements highlighted by gold. The bright color can be seen in the form of stripes on the beltline and side skirts, on each side of the front hood bulge, and on the C-pillars and the engine cover. The wheels have matching accents, while the "Evora 410 Sport" lettering on the rear fascia is also in gold. Other than that, the GP Edition is a standard Evora Sport 410, but this livery should be enough to get enthusiasts excited. I know I’d order one if I had the dough...
And the Evora 410 is nothing to sneeze at either. Fitted with numerous carbon-fiber elements on the outside, including the front splitter, roof, rear diffuser, and tailgate, the 410 is not only more aerodynamic, but lighter than the Evora 400 too. Overall, Lotus shaved 154 pounds off the standard model, while increasing output from 400 to 410 horsepower and 302 pound-feet of torque. Able to hit 60 mph in just 3.9 seconds, the Evora 410 is the first of its kind to do so in less than four clicks. It’s also quicker around the Hethel test track too, reducing the Evora 400’s benchmark by three seconds. The Evora 410 is also six seconds faster than the Elise Cup 250, essentially a full-blown race car.
Plenty of reasons to add a Formula One livery right?
Continue reading for the full story.
New Lotus Elise Sprint Edition Is Lighter, Quicker
Introduced in 1996, the Lotus Elise has been redesigned twice, with the most recent, Series 3 model launched in 2011. For 2017, Lotus upgraded the sports car in order to keep it fresh until the fourth-generation model arrives in a couple of years.
The facelift isn’t exactly spectacular on the outside, but the Elise does benefit from redesigned bumpers, new headlamps, and a host of weight-reducing elements. New features include carbon-fiber front access panel, roll hoop cover, and engine hood, a polycarbonate rear screen, and forged alloy wheels. Inside, the Elise received more attention. Lotus redesigned the center console, which now resembles the Exige, and updated the graphics of the instrument panel. The carbon race seats are also new, as is the open-gate gear select mechanism borrowed from the Exige Sport 350.
The Elise now comes with iPod and Bluetooth connectivity, while carbin sill covers, an Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel, and new Electric Light Blue upholstery are offered as options.
The Sprint Edition gets its juice from either the naturally aspirated, 1.6-liter or the supercharged, 1.8-liter, four-cylinder. The smaller engine cranks out 134 horsepower and 160 Nm (118 pound-feet) of torque in the base Sprint model, while the force-fed 1.8-liter pumps out 217 horsepower and 250 Nm (184 pound-feet) in the Sprint 220 version. More importantly, the drivetrain and chassis also benefit from new weight-saving measures, including a lightweight lithium-ion battery, AP Racing calipers up front and Brembo clamps to the rear. Optional two-piece brake discs are available.
Tipping the scales at 798 kg (1,759 pounds), the Elise Sprint Edition is 41 kg (90.3 pounds) lighter than the standard model and 26 kg (57.3 pounds) lighter than the Sport version. As a result, the Elise Sprint has a power-to-weight ratio of up to 168 horsepower per tonne, while the Sprint 220 comes in at 257 horsepower per tonne. Naturally, the sports car is quicker than ever before, needing 5.9 and 4.1 seconds to hit 60 mph from a standing start with the 1.6- and 1.8-liter engines, respectively.
The updated Elise carries over the same suspension setup as before, with fully independent double wishbone suspension and a front anti-roll bar, coupled with Bilstein high-performance gas dampers and Eibach coaxial coil springs front and rear. Being lighter than the preceding model, the spring rate was marginally increased in order to retain the classic ride the Elise is known for.
The Sprint Edition goes on sale in April 2017 from £32,300 (around $40,050 as of March 2017).
Continue reading for the full story.
2017 Lotus Evora Sport 410 "Esprit S1" Edition
For those of you who were old enough to have seen the 1977 James Bond movie The Spy Who Loved Me, you might remember the Lotus Esprit S1 from the film. It’s hard to forget considering that at one point in the movie, it turned into an actual submarine. It also carried torpedoes, water mines, and surface-to-air missiles. These features cemented it as one of the most iconic movie cars of all time, let alone one of the most famous cars James Bond has ever used. Fast forward to 2017, and we have Lotus releasing the Evora Sport 410, a one-off creation that celebrates the 40th anniversary of Bond’s Esprit S1 in a rather spectacular style.
Off the bat, it’s important to establish that taking the Evora Sport 410 on a dive into the ocean isn’t going to end well for the driver. So no, the one-off Esprit S1-inspired Evora Sport 410 does not have submarine capabilities. While we’re at it, the coupe also doesn’t have missiles or torpedoes, nor does it have a cement sprayer or a black dye slick. Better get those facts out of the way before somebody starts expecting the Evora Sport 410 to carry WMDs. We all know how that turned out the last time.
The good news is that Lotus did well for itself to justify the Evora Sport 410’s one-off status. The coupe is dressed heavily on special edition touches, thanks in large part to the involvement of Lotus Exclusive, the automaker’s very own personalization division. Beyond the cosmetics and aerodynamic touches on the coupe, the Evora Sport 410 retains one of its most imposing features: a 3.5-liter six-cylinder engine that produces 410 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. Combine those numbers on a coupe that weighs just 1,280 kg (2,820 pounds) and you have a sports car that pays homage to one of the most iconic Bond cars in history the proper way.
Continue reading to learn more about the Lotus Evora Sport 410.
2017 Lotus Exige Sport 380
Lotus was undergoing a bit a crises when its current CEO, Jean-Marc Gales, came onboard in 2014. But after spending nearly forty years in the red, the British brand is back in the black and doing what it does best – making lightweight sports cars for adrenaline-hungry enthusiasts. And that’s very good news indeed, because it means we get machines like this – the Exige Sport 380. Framed as a follow-up to the Sport 350 unveiled late last year, the 380 takes the tried-and-true Exige formula to even greater heights, making for the lightest, most powerful, most downforce-generating, and flat-out fastest model to ever wear the nameplate since it was first introduced in the year 2000. Offered as either a coupe or a roadster, this new range-topper is a bona fide street-legal track terror, packed with OCD weight saving details and legendary handling refinement.
Lotus claims the 380 is aimed at “six-figure supercars,” and looking at the spec sheet, it certainly appears to have all the trappings of a giant slayer.
“We’ve saved something special for our last new car of 2016,” says Gales. “We have built upon the foundations of the excellent Exige Sport 350 and developed a perfectly proportioned, intuitive and attainable supercar for real roads. The cut in weight is drastic and, combined with the hike in power and its enhanced agility, we’ve created something exceptional – far greater than the sum of its parts.”
For the moment, there’s no official word as to whether or not the 380 will come stateside, but if I were to guess, it’s unlikely. That said, Lotus has expressed interest in redoubling its efforts in North America, so maybe there’s a chance yet.
Either way, this is a car that pays attention to the details, so let’s do the same, shall we?
Continue reading to learn more about the Lotus Exige Sport 380.
2017 Lotus Exige 350 Special Edition
Lotus launched the Exige in 2000 as a coupe version of the Elise, a roadster that’s been in production since 1996. The sports car was updated in 2004, while the more powerful Exige S was introduced in 2006. The Exige received its most recent update in 2012, when the 1.8-liter four-cylinder was replaced with the the Evora’s 3.5-liter V-6. Since then, the Exige S soldiered on mostly unchanged, with an automatic transmission added for the 2015 model year.
Although the third-gen Exige didn’t see major improvements as far as styling goes, it did receive a number of weight-reducing and aero-enhancing elements. In recent years, Lotus also launched many new road-going iterations of the car, as well as a couple of race-spec versions. With 2016 marking the brand’s 60th anniversary, Lotus unleashed the 350 Special Edition.
Based on the Sport 350, the most hardcore road-going variant of the Exige, the 350 Special Edition joins the Evora 400 Hethel Edition and the Elise 250 Special Edition, three cars specifically developed for the anniversary year. Compared to the Sport 350, the 350 Special Edition gains a number of lightweight, performance-enhancing features, as well as unique paint and interior options as standard. It is also limited to only 50 units, which means it will sell out in just a matter of weeks.
"This Exige 350 Special Edition joins the Evora and Elise editions that we have already produced to celebrate our half century in Hethel and our connection to Norfolk. Judging by the demand for the other models, I expect that the Lotus Exige 350 Special Edition will sell out quickly as it combines exclusiveness and limited production wrapped up in a great design," said Jean-Marc Gales, CEO of Group Lotus.
Continue reading to learn more about the Lotus Exige 350 Special Edition.
2016 Lotus Elise 250 Special Edition
It seems like every month one automaker or another has a reason to celebrate and create some limited-run, special-edition model. Today, Lotus has announced its latest special edition that was designed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the company’s Hethel site. The car is called the Elise 350 Special Edition, and it is based on the Elise Cup 250 that launched just a few months ago. Powered by a supercharged four-cylinder, this thing delivers more than 240 horsepower and comes complete with lots of carbon fiber on the outside and a hand-finished interior. As Lotus put it, “It perfectly defines the quintessential British sports car in the celebration year.”
Outside of being quick thanks to that supercharged four-banger, this baby is also pretty aesthetically pleasing and can be had in a number of colors. On top of that, the car can also be personalized through the Lotus Exclusive Program, which means that each of the 50 units slated for production could turn out to be completely unique. For the record, Lotus claims this special-edition model can lap its Hethel test circuit in just 1 minute and 34 seconds – the fastest so far of any road-going Elise.
Jean-Marc Gales, the CEO of Group Lotus plc, said, “When we first introduced the Elise, it redefined how involving and exciting, yet civilized, a sports car could be. As the Elise was conceived, designed, engineered and is built at Hethel, we wanted a 50th tribute that’s even lighter than the fastest road-going Elise we’ve ever produced. The new Elise 250 Special Edition achieves that, so it’s supremely quick and agile, but it’s also wonderfully finished and stunning to look at.”
So, with that said, let’s take a good look at this special-edition Elise and see what all the hype is about.
Continue reading to learn more about the Lotus Elise 250 Special Edition.
2016 Lotus Evora 400 Carbon Pack
In 2014, following a disastrous year financially, Lotus embarked on a new quest to save itself from extinction with Jean-Marc Gales at the helm. One of the first products to relaunch the brand was the Evora 400, essentially a revised, lighter, and more powerful version of the sports car first introduced in 2009. The Evora 400 also marked Lotus’ return to the U.S. after withdrawing from the market following the previous Evora failing to comply with safety standards. For 2017, the British firm introduced the special-edition Evora 410, which features additional carbon-fiber body parts and lighter drivetrain components.
It’s been less than six months since the Evora 410 made its public debut, and Lotus is now offering another upgrade for the base model. Dubbed Carbon Pack, this new bundle adds a number of components already fitted to the Evora Sport 410 as standard, making the 400 lighter than what you get from the factory. Exhaust and battery upgrades are also available, shaving even more pounds of the Evora’s already lightweight design.
"The Lotus Evora 400 is already the lightest car in its segment, with super car performance, benchmark handling and the purity of the driving experience expected of a Lotus. We are now giving customers an opportunity to drive an even lighter and more responsive car," said Lotus CEO, Jean-Marc Gales.
What’s more, alongside the Carbon Pack, Lotus also announced that the Evora 400 is getting new convenience features. But more about that, as well as everything you need to know about the new options bundle, in our detailed review below.
Continue reading to learn more about the Lotus Evora 400 With Carbon Pack.
2016 Lotus Evora 400 Blue & Orange Edition
The Evora 400 was introduced at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show as the first major performance update since the nameplate’s introduction back in 2009. Important upgrades include a new front end that gives the sports car a more aggressive appearance, a more pronounced rear spoiler, lighter wheels, and enhanced aerodynamics. Inside, the coupe sports lighter seats, a lightweight magnesium steering wheel, and high-grade materials such as Alcantara and Scottish leather. The supercharged, 3.5-liter V-6 engine was upgraded to 400 horsepower and 302 pound-feet of torque, a 55-horsepower and seven-pound-foot boost compared to the previous Evora S. In 2016, Lotus introduced the Evora Sport 410, a slightly more powerful version with bespoke features.
2016 also marked the introduction of the Lotus Exclusive program, which allows buyers to customize their sports cars with various exterior paints, stripes, and cabin accessories. To highlight this new service as well as mark the 50th anniversary since the founding of the Lotus Factory and Headquarters in Hethel, Norfolk, the British brand launched the limited-edition Evora 400 Blue & Orange.
The special sports car was designed with help from fans across the world, who were invited to pick their preference from a selection of carefully selected designs of modern interpretations of classic automotive color combinations, as well as some established Lotus liveries.
"Any one of the designs in the poll would have been a worthy winner. So now that the poll has finished and with thousands of votes cast, we have decided that the winner will make it into production. We only plan to build 10 of these Evora 400 sports cars in total so with their rarity, I expect them to quickly become very desirable," said Jean-Marc Gales, CEO of Group Lotus.
Continue reading to learn more about the Lotus Evora 400 Exclusive.
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.
2016 Lotus Evora 400 Hethel Edition
Founded in 1952, Lotus Cars was originally situated in old stables behind the Railway Hotel in Hornsey, North London. The company moved to a purpose-built factory at Cheshunt in 1959 and in 1966 it began developing and building its cars at a modern facility in Hethel, Norfolk. In 2016, the British firm celebrates 50 years since moving to Hethel and it has created a special-edition Lotus Evora to mark the event. It goes by the name Evora 400 Hethel Edition and will be sold in limited numbers.
Offered in exclusive exterior colors and with a number of bespoke features, this limited-edition Evora won’t be the only vehicle celebrating Lotus’ move to the Hethel facility.
"The Evora 400 is the latest in a long line of world-beating sports and racing cars to have all been hand built in Hethel over the last 50 years. We are immensely proud to be part of the community and it is entirely fitting that this limited edition be dedicated to our home. We’re looking forward to celebrating our connections to Norfolk throughout 2016, and more Lotus Hethel Anniversary news will be announced soon," said Jean-Marc Gales, CEO of Group Lotus.
There’s no word whether the Hethel Edition will cross the pond to the United States, but until Lotus reveals more information, let’s have a closer look at the brand’s latest sports car based on the quick and light Evora 400.
Continue reading to learn more about the Lotus Evora 400 Hethel Edition.
Lotus has just announced the introduction of a customization program for its vehicles. Dubbed Lotus Exclusive, the new service is available for both new and existing owners, and will allow drivers to create bespoke vehicles by selecting from a wide array of body colors, body decals, and interior trims.
The program was developed by the Lotus Design team and will be available during the ordering process at each Lotus dealership, and developed with the Lotus Exclusive team at the company’s headquarters.
“In the past we have created a number of cars personalized to the specific requests of individual customers. These stunning cars were produced by a team of skilled craftsmen and women, using their expertise to create something exceptional and unique for the customer. Now all our customers will be offered this service, to create their own personalized car through Lotus Exclusive," said Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales.
Options will include a number of heritage and race-themed body colors such as Essex Blue, first introduced on the Essex Commemorative Lotus Esprit Turbo of 1980 and corresponding Lotus F1 cars in 1980 and 1981, and Motorsport Black, which debuted on the limited edition Lotus Sport Exige 240R in 2005. Lotus Exclusive will also provide customers with a color matching service to personalize a body color in matte, gloss, metallic or pearlescent for a vast palette of possible body colors.
In addition, owners will get to highlight several body components, including door mirrors, wings or spoilers in white, yellow, red or black. Race stripes in single, twin or asymmetric styles will be available in the same four colors. Finally, there will be five leather colors and four stitch hues for the interior, but Lotus has yet to provide more info on that.
Continue reading for the full story.
Lotus is in "full-rebuild" mode, as it continues to roll out updated and new models. Recently we saw the awesomeness that is the 2016 Lotus Evora 400, then the new 2016 Lotus 3-Eleven, and more recently we got a look at a new special-edition version of the Exige.
Dubbed the Exige 360 Cup, this model takes what Lotus began with the 2013 Lotus Exige V6 Cup and pushes it further, with some visual updates and a mild power boost.
So, have I officially given up my cheeky pokes at Lotus now that the brand is starting to show signs of life under its new management?
Continue reading my full review of the Lotus Exige 360 Cup to find out.