It was not announced at the time, but a report has surfaced that DRB-Hicom did receive an offer for faltering sports car company, Lotus. To buy a car company, even a money pit like Lotus, it takes millions of dollars, but the company that bid on Lotus didn’t offer anything near that. The bid was for all of ₤1. No, that’s not a typo... Just a single pound.
According to reports, DRB-Hicom, who inherited Lotus when it purchased Proton, will continue to attempt breathing life into the dying car company. The first necessary act of business, firing the cancer that is Dany Bahar, is already complete, so now it’s just a matter of getting the company back on track and making a few dollars here and there.
With Lotus pulling out of the 2012 Paris Motor Show, we have a feeling that a big-time change is afoot. With Bahar gone, DRB-Hicom can attempt to cut off the company’s plans to build supercars and revert back to the lightweight sports cars that made it famous in the first place.
We’ll see what DRB-Hicom has in store for Lotus in the coming years, but we certainly hope to see good things coming. The good thing is that DRB-Hicom can always hang its hat on the fact that someone is actually willing to pay for Lotus, even if it is just a single pound...
Well, you can just color us shocked, as Lotus chose to fire suspended CEO, Dany Bahar (it’s sarcasm, folks). We already anticipated new Lotus owner, DRB-Hicom to part ways with the unsuccessful and oft-newsworthy CEO from the beginning, but his “temporary suspension” pending an investigation sealed the deal. The word “suspension” in the corporate world is simply shorthand for “we are getting you out of the office so we can dig up some dirt to fire you before you get a chance to cover your tracks.”
To boot, the investigation that Bahar is under is pretty serious business, as he allegedly used Lotus’s money to fund renovations on his rental properties. After Lotus caught on and stopped the flow of money, the builders were stuck with a pretty hefty unpaid building bill. So that’s a double whammy for Mr. Bahar that just might land him in a court room.
We are sure this is far from the last thing we hear from Bahar, though we are certain he won’t find his way into the CEO role of another company. We’ll keep you updated on his potential legal issues as more information comes around. Until then, it looks as if he is just going to be joining former Mercedes-Benz CEO, Ernst Lieb, in the unemployment line.
Where’s Donald Trump with his famous “You’re Fired” line when you need him?
In all seriousness, we wish the best for the British automaker, but it needed Bahar out of the CEO role to get back to what it once was. Here’s to a fresh start for Lotus and we are hoping DRB-Hicom selects the perfect candidate for the job.
As always, the Grand Prix of Monaco provided a fairly spectacular showing, likely one of the few in this year’s F1 series. As most would expect, Circuit de Monaco lap-time record holder and five-time winner, Michael Schumacher took the pole position, but officials forced him back five grid positions after he caused a collision during qualifying. With the technical nature of Monaco, that pole position is very important and Schumacher’s penalty was an ominous sign that this would not be a good race, as he retired due to fuel issues 63 laps in.
Schumacher’s penalty propelled Red Bull’s Mark Webber into the pole position. Webber held onto that pole position, despite a lead change during a pit stop, and took home the checkered flag on a rain-coated Circuit de Monaco. As we said in our preview of the 2012 Grand Prix of Monaco, this race had some serious overall points influence, as the leaders were only separated by a few points each.
This victory for Webber places propels him up to a second place tie with Sebastian Vettel at 73 points and puts Fernando Alonso, who finished third, in the points lead at 76. An impressive run by Nico Rosberg placed him in second, just behind Webber, proving that his wide margin of victory in China was not just a one-time deal. This superb finish by Rosberg jumps him up two slots to fifth place overall.
From the looks of it, this season is shaping up to be a rather close points race with a few new faces near the top. Unfortunately, the leader board, for the most part, looks identical to the 2011 and 2010 seasons. The lack of parody in F1 has really been its Achilles heel in recent history. An overall points victory by Nico Rosberg would certainly be a push in the right direction for F1, so we’ll keep a close eye on his performance.
Click past the jump to see the complete placement board for the 2012 Grand Prix of Monaco and the overall points standings.
Our favorite Youtube user, Marchettino, has managed to delight us one more time by attending the 2012 edition of the Top Marques Monaco to film all of the amazing vehicles in attendance. We have to admit the list of supercars is quite impressive.
For those who don’t know, the Top Marques is an important supercar show that brings together some of the most expensive and exclusive supercars, hypercars, and tuning projects every year. It’s kind of like Christmas for us auto journalists, but without the big, jolly guy giving one of these supercars to us as a present. This kind of Christmas comes with huge prices and tremendous power backing it up.
Our favorite from the entire list of vehicles in attendance this year is the Koenigsegg Agera R, but the list is much, much longer.
Hit the jump for a full list of the cars featured in the video and pick out your favorite!
Lotus seems to be taking their "five-year, five model plan" very seriously and the new generation Esprit set to be released at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show will be the model to set that plan in motion.
New details about the future supercar revealed that the Esprit will, in fact, be offered in two versions. A base model will combine a 100 HP electric motor to a normally aspirated V8 engine and a more powerful version will drop the hybrid system and focus on weight-saving measures.
"There will be no hybrid system, the engine will have more power, but the major performance gains will come from losing weight," said Bahar. "The ‘Racing’ versions of each model will always be pure, driver’s cars. There will be never be anything unnecessary on them, and we will use materials such as carbon fiber."
Sales for the new Lotus Esprit will begin in Europe in Summer 2013.
On your marks, get set, GO! McLaren and Aston Martin are charging forward with their respective supercars, but a new leader in the race for Britain’s fastest supercar is emerging and it’s none other than Lotus. According to Automotive Express, sources are stating that the British manufacturer is preparing a flagship Superleggera version of their next generation Esprit. The new Superleggera is set to be released in late 2013/early 2014 and will be the fourth model in the Esprit lineup - next to a coupe, a convertible, and a glass-roofed Targa edition.
The Esprit Superleggera will be powered by an upgraded version of the 4.8-liter V8 engine mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch semi-automatic gearbox with rapid shifts. This configuration will be capable of producing 612 HP at 9,000 rpm which will be highlighted with a special aluminum body that will be even stronger and lighter than the body used in the current model. This type of powerful and light combination will ensure the supercar charges from 0-60 mph in under three seconds with a top speed of 212 mph. Drooling yet?
Lotus is so confident about their new Superleggera model that Chief Technical Officer, Wolf Zimmermann, even took a stab at McLaren’s new MP4-12C: "This car will not be like the McLaren MP4-12C. It will be cooler – there will be more emotion."
Lotus is definitely shaking things up and moving in a direction reminiscent of their high performance origins. They have already planned the next five models spanning out in the next five years and they have recently announced they would be building their own engines. These seem to be pretty hefty plans for a company that has been in the shadows since the release of the Elise. Will they crash and burn, or will they come out on top?
The Hennessey Venom GT may not look the part of a Veyron-slayer, but we’ve always come to realize not to judge cars by their outward appearance.
This little monster is the perfect example of what we’re talking about.
The Lotus-derived, American-tuned supercar packs plenty of punch with its 6.2-liter LS9 V8 engine that produces an insane 800 horsepower. And if you just happen to be spending your time at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, you can get a chance to see the Venom in all its glory.
As a preview of the Hennessey madness that will befall all of us come Goodwood, the American tuning company has released a video featuring the Venom GT partaking some test runs to stretch its proverbial legs leading up to the Goodwood Hill Climb in just a few days.
In this video, the Venom GT is being driven by John Heinricy as he tries to corral a traction control-disabled 800-horsepower bullet on a wet track doing some cursory track time ahead of its Goodwood appearance. Enjoy the reel and make sure to mark your calendars for this weekend’s event!
When Lotus said that they were reinventing their brand to compete with upper echelon automakers, we found out that they meant business when they released five new cutting-edge models - the Elan, Elite, Esprit, Eterne, and Elise - at the Paris Motor Show. It was a pleasant surprise seeing cars as aggressive looking as the ones Lotus showed off in Paris.
Then we see this teaser video of the metamorphosis Lotus is undertaking with their five new models. Suffice to say, our expectations of their changes have become a little understated.
The sports car brand is collaborating with French artist Gerard Rancinan to create seven artistic images featuring the metamorphosis of the brand from a small-scale sports car brand to one that’s ready to take on the big boys. Sure, the whole project is a little unconventional at best – maybe even borderline creepy – but Rancinan is known for taking things and putting a whole new spin on them, so this particular project could turn out to be a way for Lotus to grab some serious attention in their attempt to knock on the door of the Ferraris and Lamborghinis of the world.
For Lotus and Rancinan, the whole project is based on reinventing the brand, not just in terms of building up the brand but also as a way of showing Lotus off in a whole, new, and artistic light.
"I can see a clear artistic link between the work of Lotus and my photographs in terms of commitment, the relevance of the subject matter, the audacity of the creator, the beauty of the gesture and the perfection of the object,” the artist said.
“We are engaged in a dialogue which takes place on the same terrain: the world of art."
The Hennessey Venom GT has its sights set on Las Vegas for the SEMA Motor Show, so we thought we’d share this video as a preview of the amazing treat that is to come.
The Hennessey GT is powered by a 6.2-liter LS9 V8, which is the same used in the Corvette ZR1. There are three configurations of this motor: one with 725 horsepower and 741 pound-feet of torque and the twin-turbocharged version that has 1,000 horsepower or 1,2000 horsepower. That motor is packed into a Lotus body that seems to have been injected with more steroids than a body builder.
We know that this machine is quite a badass, but we never had a chance to really hear it full out. It’s basically a British sports car body with a massive muscle car motor under the hood. How much better can life get and how much louder can a car get?
Check out the video to find out.
The insanely wonderful Hennessey Venom GT is coming to SEMA in Las Vegas. The Lotus-bodied, LS9-powered Venom GT is sure to make those Hyundai models and Ford Fiestas quiver in fear.
The Venom GT is a little boy’s dream car. We have all wondered what could happen if we stuffed a massive motor into a small car right? Well, we can now find out. The car was recently in the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates, but it’s back in the United States for some tweaking in preparation for SEMA.
The Venom GT is powered by a twin turbocharged Chevrolet LS-series aluminum V8 producing 1,200 hp and 1,135 lb-ft torque mated to a 6-speed Ricardo manual transaxle. This supercar will hit a top speed of 200mph and will feature lightweight carbon fiber bodywork and carbon fiber wheels.
Only ten are built every year with a price tag of $850,000.
A few days ago, Lotus released the initial details of their future hybrid supercar, theLotus Elite. Being since this is one of the first cars Lotus has introduced as part of their brand reinvention, it comes as no surprise that artists have already taken the vehicle to the next level by providing us with a rendering of what the Lotus Elise would look like if it was bound for the track. Maybe even a trip to LeMans.
This rendering takes the supercar to the next level by providing it with what looks like touches of carbon fiber throughout the length of the car, more than likely to help reduce the car’s weight. New side vents have also been added, as well as a new hood vent to help cool down the engine. This photo also shows a new front grill, rear spoiler, and side skirts. The yellow from the standard model’s brake calipers has been extended to dual yellow stripes going down the car’s bonnet.
The standard Lotus Elite comes powered by a 5.0-liter V8 engine that produces around 500-plus horsepower with a 0-60 mph time of around 3.5 seconds and a top speed of just under 200 mph at 196 mph. We would obviously expect the track version of the Elite model to produce slightly higher numbers than these.
Rendering Credit: Jack Darton
It wasnt nearly as long as we had hoped, but this Hennessey produced video of the Venom GT performing a dyno test is about as ear-splittingly joyous as a morning wake ’er-upper can get.
If you’ve just rolled out of your bed, forget coffee. Just plug in your head phones, crank up the volume and click that sideways triangle button. Morning joltness has never sounded more glorious.