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.
Here’s What A Lotus Acquisition Could Mean For Geely And Its Sub-Brands
Geely’s acquisition of Lotus sent some shockwaves to the auto industry for good reason. The Chinese automaker has been pushing aggressively for Western expansion in recent years, having acquired Volvo back in 2010. It’s done incredible work on that front and the results have been impressive. Volvo, dormant for so long, has become a luxury brand to be reckoned with once again and there doesn’t appear to be any signs of the Swedish company slowing down anytime soon. What Geely has done for Volvo is one of the big reasons why the Chinese automaker’s recent purchase of a majority stake in Lotus is being treated with a lot of optimism, and rightfully so.
Now I’m not about to go into overdrive on the hyperbole, but I do think that this transaction will yield a lot of positive results for both Geely and Lotus. Volvo could even benefit from it, and while we’re at it, let’s not forget about Geely’s new start-up electric car company, Lynk and Co. There’s plenty of room for growth for all these companies now that they’ll effectively under one umbrella. The objective now is to look at the possible benefits that each of these companies stand to gain.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.