By on November 20, 2010

We all knew that Bob Lutz wasn’t going to spend his retirement circulating between the golf course and the early bird special, and when Lotus rolled out the most ambitious re-boot of any car company since GM, we should have known Lutz would end up involved somehow. After all, Lotus’s CEO Dany Bahar has bragged at length about making Lotus the “Real Madrid” (think Miami Heat) of  the sports car industry… and if there’s one high-profile prima donna in the car industry, it’s Mr Robert Anthony Lutz.

With over $1.2b to play around with, Lotus could certainly afford to hire the Man of Maximum as an advisory board member… and it’s not like Lutz needed to think too hard about the company’s long-term chances of becoming an established competitor with the likes of Porsche and Ferrari. As a GM veteran, Lutz is used to floating along on a wave of money and hype, and he tells the LA Times:

I first saw these cars as just clay models and I am convinced that this is a serious and well-funded plan. I am convinced that this company has the best team in the history of Lotus. This may be the first time they have had it all together.

Except that the Lotus turnaround, which was already widely seen as overly-ambitious and lacking in substance, now seems all the more hypey and suspect. After all, Lotus’s billion-dollar experiment in turning Toyota powertrains into six world-class supercars and a niche, enthusiast brand into the next Ferrari-style branding juggernaut makes Lutz’s Volt gamble look like a sure thing. Especially compared to, say, McLaren’s strategy of taking on Ferrari with a lighter, faster, more focused car. Bob Lutz is widely hailed as a “car guy,” but at this point in his career it seems clear that, more than anything else, he’s a hype guy. And a billion-dollar moonshot is clearly more than he can resist.

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8 Comments on “Bob Lutz Surfaces In The Land Of The Lotus Eaters...”


  • avatar
    lilpoindexter

    CHRIST!!! Won’t this geezer just go away?

  • avatar
    also Tom

    Maximum Bother

  • avatar
    LXbuilder

    Maximum Bob knows more about great cars than the rest of the U.S. auto executives combined.
    At times he may be full of himself, but he does know what it takes to create a successful product.

  • avatar
    blowfish

    i not sure how many lipsticks will make this piggy look purty. Could Maximum Bob pull it off?
    people spend this kind of big $$ they need to shoe horn something new like the new lambo Vee12 into the car inorder to make it look attractive.
     
    For the longest time Bathtub Porsche shares the same structured engine with Veedub’s pancake 4 but still is not the exact one. Now how do u expect stuffing a Camry engine in it and sell her for 4x the money?
     
     

  • avatar
    Charles T

    The last time a niche carmaker tried to break into the supercar pantheon with something running a mass-market engine I believe was De Tomaso, so that’s not much of a precedent to go on. Not counting niche carmakers like Noble. It’ll be interesting to see where Lotus goes with this. I wonder if the Toyota V6 will become the SBC/F of the modern generation, with it showing up in homebrews and kit cars.

  • avatar

    Lutz is on board?
     
    -So that means they’ll have 1 good car, everything else will be a total shitbox failure and all problems will be blamed on the consumer’s “Perception Gap”.
     
    Dear Bob, please just go away and be the Chief Marketing Officer of a Hilton Head porch swing.

  • avatar
    Trend-Shifter

    Mr. Lutz brings a lot to the table on the manufacturing & development side that could make the new car’s price point competitive in it’s class. 

    There were many innovative process that were utilized in the Solstice & Corvette to keep tooling costs in check for low volume manufacturing.   There are many supplier collaborations on this side of the pond that could be tapped   Heck, with a QE2 weak dollar it may even make sense to engineer in Europe and manufacture in the states. 

    I am presently in China at the moment and the article picture is blocked.   However I hope it’s a photoshopped picture of a flipped Lotus in place of the flipped Opel, cigar in hand. 

     

  • avatar
    StevenJJ

    It’s all too much http://sniffpetrol.com/2010/11/10/f1-set-for-more-lotus-confusion/


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