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.
Lotus CEO Gets Caught Doing 102 MPH In A 70-MPH Zone; Manages To Still Keep His License
We’ve all been there. No matter where they come from or what they’re behind the wheel of, every driver out there has their own excuse for breaking the speed limit – maybe they’re late for work, or maybe their wife is having a baby, or maybe they just really need a bathroom break. Whatever the reason, it probably won’t beat the whopper Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales’ lawyers came up with to get out of a suspended license for going 36 mph over the limit – “[he] likes to test drive cars himself.”
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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.
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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.
Lotus Strikes Gold With Its Special Edition Models
You would think that an automaker is asking for a death knell if it pinned its business and financial hopes on the strategy of flooding the market with special edition models. it’s a completely unorthodox strategy that will more than likely lead to despair, and yet, stranger things have happened in the auto industry. Well, prepare yourselves for a doozy of a reversal of fortune because, after years of bleeding money, Lotus has finally turned in a profit. A pre-tax one, sure, but still, a profit nonetheless. The British automaker said as much when it announced its financial returns from the 2016 – 2017 financial year, indicating pre-tax profits amounting to $2.6 million. Normally, that kind of financial report would lead to heads rolling at an alarming rate, but considering that the company lost $21 million pre-tax from the previous financial year (2015 – 2016), this is cause for celebration.
To be clear, the company is still in the red some $14.5 million after taxes and other expenses. It still has a ways to go before it can return to self-sustaining status, but again, perspectives matter. In this case, a loss of $14.5 million in 2016 – 2017 is a remarkable improvement from the $53.5 million it lost in the 2015 – 2016 financial year. According to Lotus, this incredible financial turnaround was largely because of a number of significant reasons, including an expanded dealership network, financial security from new owner Geely, and a revamped product portfolio that really flexed its muscles the past year, thanks in large part to the high number of special edition models the company released in the last 12 months.
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