Bob Lutz Surfaces In The Land Of The Lotus Eaters

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

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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  • Trend-Shifter Trend-Shifter on Nov 20, 2010

    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.

  • Inside Looking Out This is actually the answer to the question I asked not that long ago.
  • Inside Looking Out Regarding "narrow windows" - the trend is that windows will eventually be replaced by big OLED screens displaying some exotic place or may even other planet.
  • Robert I have had 4th gen 1996 model for many years and enjoy driving as much now as when I first purchased it - has 190 hp variant with just the right amount of power for most all driving situations!
  • ToolGuy Meanwhile in Germany...
  • Donald More stuff to break god I love having a nanny in my truck... find a good tuner and you can remove most of the stupid stuff they add like this and auto park when the doors open stupid stuff like that