Lotus

Lotus is a British manufacturer of sports and racing cars. Formed as Lotus Engineering Ltd. by engineer Colin Chapman in 1952, the British manufacturer is responsible for such iconic automobiles as the Seven, Esprit and incredibly well-handling Elise and Exige.

Used Car of the Day: 2008 Lotus Elise California SC

It's so cold outside that I've started Zillowing homes in Florida. And with certain exceptions, I don't much like Florida. Well, I can at least look at convertibles and dream of warmer weather. Such as this 2008 Lotus Elise.

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Used Car of the Day: 1997 Lotus Elise

A bit late with UCOTD today, as I had other duties in the morning, but I'm making up for it with this unique choice: A 1997 Lotus Elise.

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Lotus Eletre SUV Unveiled, More Lotus EVs Planned

A Lotus EV? If British electronics are involved, isn’t a Lotus EV going to be useful only as a paperweight?

I kid, I kid. Lotus, however, is dead serious — the Lotus Eletre is here, and the company calls it “the world’s first electric Hyper-SUV”.

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Lotus Says Emira Will Be Its Last Gasoline Powered Model

Lotus Cars has announced that the Emira sports car will be its next and final internal combustion model as it prepares itself to become an exclusively electric brand. The historically British manufacturer says its Chinese owners, the Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, are preparing a cash injection of $2.8 billion to swap to EVs and expand its footprint.

While the present market makes those items feel as though they could conflict with each other, Lotus thinks that the climate will be different a few years from now and plans on going EV only by 2028. In the meantime, the Emira is scheduled to launch in July.

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Rare Rides: The 1992 Lotus Excel, End of an Era

Today’s Lotus Excel hails from the end of a period of transition at the famed British brand. Built for 11 years, by the end of Excel’s run the company had chosen a new direction for its cars.

Most would say the change was for the better.

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Rare Rides: The 1981 Lotus 87 Formula One Car, in Black Gold

While the Rare Rides series has featured a few Lotus vehicles in past, none of them rose quite to the importance of today’s single-seat example. A one-of-one, it’s the car Lotus used in the 1981 Formula One racing series.

And now you can buy it, and drive it on quick jaunts to Target or Cracker Barrel.

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One Hell of a Halo: Lotus Building Most Powerful 'Production Car' in Existence

Lotus has finally revealed its new halo vehicle, the Evija, claiming it will become “the world’s most powerful production car.” However, due to the Evija’s extremely limited availability and 1.7 million-pound ($2.1 million) price, there’s a lot undercutting that claim. It also leads Lotus away from its role as a scrappy underdog, delivering stripped-down featherweights designed to embarrass similarly priced sporting vehicles with more luxurious amenities.

When you think of present-day Lotus, you don’t typically think grandiose — but that term sums up the Evija rather well. Lotus Cars CEO Phil Popham said it would be like nothing else and “re-establish our brand in the hearts and minds of sports car fans and on the global automotive stage,” while simultaneously paving the way for new models.

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Rare Rides: The 1991 Lotus Elan, With Power by Isuzu

The Rare Rides series has featured a couple Lotus-related items before. The first was this Isuzu I-Mark RS, which was an Isuzu with some Lotus badges on it. Then came the Elite, which was a real Lotus. Today we take a look at the Elan, which mixes it up with Lotus badges and an Isuzu engine.

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Little Lotus Lands a British Heavyweight for CEO

In its quest to gain a loftier status among the sporty, well-to-do set, Lotus Cars spent the year poaching talent from other British automakers. China’s Geely, which holds a majority stake in the automaker, is expected to loosen the purse strings in pursuit of new models and a greater premium market share, but the human side of the operation needs to be in place before that occurs.

While former Bentley and Aston Martin execs have already hopped on board, the automaker now has a former top Jaguar Land Rover official in the big office, ready to put plans into action. He’s also no stranger to SUVs — a segment Lotus wants a piece of.

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Geely Readies Cash Dump to Turn Little Lotus Into a Major Player: Report

Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, the massive Chinese conglomerate that owns Volvo Cars and a controlling stake in Lotus, wants to turn the British sports car maker into a big deal. Potentially, a deal big enough to give Porsche bouts of anxiety.

That’s what sources with knowledge of Geely’s plans tell Bloomberg. The parent company’s efforts will reportedly include new facilities and assembly plants, funded by a cash injection totalling nearly $2 billion.

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700 Miles and Running: To Track Night and Back With the Lotus Evora 400

When I wrote my review of the Lotus Evora 400 for our friends over at Jalopnik a couple of summers ago, I submitted it with the headline “The Lotus Evora 400 is the Best Dual-Purpose Car I Have Ever Driven.” Unfortunately, that wasn’t deemed to be a sexy enough headline, so it was switched to “Best Track Car.” Such is the life of a freelance contributor.

While there’s no doubt the Evora 400 shines on the racing line, its true genius is revealed on the highways and byways of these United States. It’s rare to find a car that can both quicken the pulse and comfort the soul as well as the Lotus does. To that end, when Lotus sent the Evora to my Old Kentucky Home for a week for some extended testing, I decided to revisit my original premise: Is the Lotus Evora 400 really the best dual-purpose car I’ve ever driven?

To find out, I decided to drive from Winchester, Kentucky to Dawsonville, Georgia and back in the same day, a round trip of 700 miles. Oh, and I figured that I might as well go to the SCCA’s Track Night in America at Atlanta Motorsports Park while I was at it. Dual-purpose? You bet.

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Lotus Might Source Volvo's Twincharged Engines; Esprit Successor Coming in 2020

For Lotus, life has been good under Geely. The British automaker is finally turning a profit again and now has access to more resources by way of its Chinese parent company. Presently, the brand only offers the light-and-nimble Evora for sale in the United States. But its global fleet isn’t exactly huge, either.

However, the plan calls for Lotus to expand through the introduction of a crossover vehicle, an entirely new sports car, and a rumored successor to the Esprit. The CUV, nearing the final stages of development, should take advantage of the Geely-owned Volvo SPA architecture (which underpins the XC60, among others). Lotus is also expected to adopt powertains from its kindred companies, which could include electrified units from Polestar and Volvo’s twincharged applications.

It’s unlikely the brand will set any horsepower records, which is fine (as that isn’t Lotus’ style), but the new motors should do the trick. Besides, who wouldn’t want to brag that their sports car is turbocharged and supercharged?

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Rare Rides: Get Elite With Lotus and the Shooting Brake From 1974

Today’s Rare Ride is the inaugural post for Lotus in this series. We did have a brief British brush with the brand in the Isuzu I-Mark RS, which featured a suspension tuned by the then GM-owned Lotus engineering experts.

Let’s see the sort of car Lotus produced when it wasn’t under the influence of The General.

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Lotus Finally Talks Turkey on Upcoming Models - One of Which Could Suck

Lotus is an iconic automaker but, unfortunately, it hasn’t been a profitable one for years.* China’s Geely, which purchased a 51-percent stake in the brand last year, hopes to change that by investing “millions” into its production facilities. With the last factory revamp happening in 2009 to prepare for the Evora, that’s welcome news for Lotus. It also means new models are on the way.

Chief executive Jean-Marc Gales, a man who clearly enjoys his company’s cars, recently said that two new performance vehicles will arrive in 2020 — followed by an (apparently mandatory) sport utility vehicle. While we’re not enthralled by Lotus entering into the already bloated premium crossover segment, we’re hoping it’s willing to provide something different. Gales mentioned the model entering development a little over a year ago, saying “no one makes a lightweight, good-handling SUV. It’s a niche, and it looks well positioned.”

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Lotus CEO Busted at 102 MPH, Lawyer Claims He Was Just Testing the Car

Most of us have been caught speeding at one time or another. As enthusiasts, it’s often difficult not to try and squeeze out every last ounce of joy from a fun-to-drive automobile when the path ahead is open. While we may think of corporate executives as soulless monsters, singularly focused on satisfying shareholders and lining their pockets, some of them are also people who enjoy driving cars.

Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales is definitely such a man, and his love of driving ended up getting him into trouble when he was nailed for traveling 102 mph in a 70 mph zone on England’s A11 expressway. While the offense occurred roughly a year ago, his court date was yesterday. With eight points already on his license (most of which also came from speeding violations), things looked bleak for Gales, at least until his lawyer managed the most brilliant defense in traffic court history — claiming that it was vital the CEO not lose the ability to test drive new models.

It worked.

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Lotus Reveals Its Most Powerful Production Model Ever, the Evora GT430

With the Evora getting on in years and Lotus Cars under new ownership thanks to China’s Geely, it’s just a matter of time before the swift little sports coupe is replaced with something fresh and exciting. That means it’s time for the automaker to roll out special editions of its old models. However, it could be argued the company’s low production volume makes every Lotus Evora special — thus making the new GT430 variant extra special, as its assembly tops off at 60 vehicles.

Like the Evora 400 and Sport 410, the GT’s numeric moniker denotes its horsepower rating of 430 claimed units. The manufacturer states the GT430 uses the same Toyota-sourced 3.5-liter supercharged V6, but with vastly improved cooling. While 20 prancing ponies doesn’t sound like a game changer, the upgraded Lotus is about 300 pounds lighter than the Evora 400 and 57 pounds less than the 410 — all due to a svelte suspension and plenty of carbon fiber.

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Lotus Production Could Begin in China, Claims New Owner

Iconic British sportscar manufacturer Lotus may find a portion of its future production shifted to China under the ownership of its new parent company, Geely. Chinese billionaire and Geely chairman Li Shufu confirmed the possibility of some assembly taking place outside the United Kingdom during a press conference following the signing of the deal.

While this could stir outrage in some traditionalists, the Chinese company hasn’t mucked up things with Volvo yet and appears willing to apply a similar hands-off approach to the management of Lotus Cars.

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China's Geely Purchases Lotus, Plans to Restore the Brand's Lost Luster

China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Company has decided to purchase a 49.9 percent stake in Proton from Malaysian conglomerate DRB-Hicom and a majority share of the United Kingdom’s Lotus Cars.

Geely seems to have an affinity for other manufacturers and eclectic tastes — not just because it has received criticism for modeling its own cars after everything from Roll-Royce to Toyota, but because it also purchased Volvo Cars and the London Taxi Company. This could be extremely good news for Lotus, which always seems to be in a bit of a bind. Whether or not you like the idea of a Chinese company owning distinctively European brands, Geely helped Volvo come back from the brink and has committed to doing the same for Lotus.

“Reflecting our experience accumulated through Volvo Car’s revitalization, we also aim to unleash the full potential of Lotus Cars and bring it into a new phase of development by expanding and accelerating the rolling out of new products and technologies,” stated the company in its official announcement.

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Volvo Owner and PSA in Race to Snap up Lotus, Parent Company, or Both

There’s a battle brewing between France and China over a famous Malaysian-owned British automaker. Who said globalization was in danger?

Geely, Volvo’s Chinese parent company, is in talks to buy Proton, the Malaysian owner of the famed Lotus brand, the Financial Times reports. Proton’s not doing well these days, all thanks to an influx of affordable imports that has eroded its domestic market share. To reach its goal, Geely must first stave off stiff competition from Europe.

France’s PSA Group, maker of Peugeot and Citroën (and potential future owner of Opel and Vauxhall), also wants to get its hands on Proton. However, it looks like the competing automakers want different things from the deal.

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Who's Your Daddy: Lotus Could Gain a New Parent Company as Proton Looks for Partners

Lotus is waiting to see whose car pulls up to the orphanage, now that its parent company’s owners are looking for someone to take Proton off its hands.

The struggling Malaysian automaker, which bought a majority stake in Lotus in 1996, is being courted by at least three major automakers, Reuters reports.

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Digestible Importables: 25-Year-Old Import Law Edition

Earlier this week, we celebrated the new year by looking at a couple cars that are eligible for private import under the NHTSA’s “25 Year Rule” and I figured there were many more possibilities out there warranting a mention. Some of these have become eligible over the last couple years, where some won’t be ready for a year or so.

I’m sure I’ll miss some, either via simple forgetfulness or willful ignorance. (I doubt there are many people chopping at the bit to import a Zastava Florida.)

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Lotus is Definitely*, Absolutely*, Positively* Bringing Elise to US*

*Unless it isn’t.

According to Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales, the next-generation lightweight Lotus two-seater sports car has a future in the United States around 2020 — that is, if Lotus is still around then.

The chief executive spoke to Automotive News and said the Elise could be adapted to the U.S. market’s famously fussy safety regulations, which eventually killed the current-generation Elise in 2011 in the States.

This isn’t the first time Lotus has teased us. Remember the Esprit (pictured above) that was definitely going to be a thing? Yeah, um, I guess that one is still in the mail, huh?

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Gales: Lotus SUV Under Consideration

Is it possible to apply Colin Chapman’s lightness philosophy to SUVs? Lotus believes it could, should the storied automaker enter the game.

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Geneva 2015: Lotus Evora 400 Arrives

Coming this fall to the U.S., the Lotus Evora 400 made its official debut at the 2015 Geneva Auto Show.

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Capsule Review: 2013 Lotus Evora S

Back in 2013, Jack Baruth conducted a road test of the Lotus Evora IPS (that’s Lotus speak for automatic), comparing it to the standard bearer of 2+2 sports cars, the Porsche 911. Much to the consternation of the Porsche PR department, Baruth’s verdict was in favor of the Evora:

Even with a less-than-perfect automatic, the Lotus still wins. The 911 PDK is a great two-pedal car, but the Evora IPS is simply a great car, with or without a third pedal.

The Evora died an ignominious death at the hands of regulatory and market forces. Sports cars have never been quicker, more efficient, more reliable or easier to own and operate. The Lotus Evora is a casualty of such progress.

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Elon Musk Buys 007 Submarine, Will Attempt To Make It Functional

Elon Musk, the real-life Tony Stark of our times, has quite the extensive résumé: Founder of PayPal, SpaceX, and Tesla Motors; billionaire investor of projects and businesses such as SolarCity and the preservation of Nikola Tesla’s lab; inventor of the Hyperloop rapid mass transit concept; 007 cosplayer…

Yes, you read that right: Musk is a huge fan of the man who loves his martinis shaken and his women to have double entendre naming schemes. So much so, in fact, that he now has one of Bond’s most awesome vehicles ever conceived.

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Exotic Cars: Buy, Or By The Hour? Today: Lotus Elise. A Future Writer Story

Remember TTAC’s Future Writers Week? You chose the writers. The writers wrote. The stories are in (well, most of them …). Here is the first one. Do you like it? Tell us. The stories will be published in the sequence in which they arrived in TTAC’s mailbox.

I thought I was hard-core. People who complain about the Lotus Elise’s lack of creature comforts or suspension compliance are wimps I thought. Many of us would agree that pure driving pleasure outweighs most other considerations. The Elise is the ultimate test of this idea. Buy or by the hour? Let’s do the test.

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Review: 2009 Lotus Elise
They say that “less is more” (whoever they are, and however much they weigh). The Lotus Elise is automotive proof of concept. Most of the Elises…
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Lotus Elise S2 Review
Driving a go-kart is something of an acquired taste. You sit on a dinner tray, a few inches off the ground. You get a steering wheel, an engine, four tiny ty…
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  • Kcflyer Leave it alone except interior and exterior color options. Add custom colors for a price and watch the orders come in. Pulled our hair out last year trying to figure out how a dealer in California had a GT in dark blue that Mazda says isn't possible. I've decided it must have been a Canadian order that got redirected. Could someone please explain why Canadian dealers can order a GT in dark blue, U.S. dealers can order a Club in that color, but not a GT. Soooo, stupid. British racing green, purple, stop making 5 shades of silver/grey. It's a fun car, should have fun colors. Don't tie interior colors to exterior choice. Charge extra but let people order what they like.
  • SCE to AUX I like the concept, but $6k just gets you started. I'd have to outsource the bodywork, which is a real problem on a project like this.Still, the result would be a fun vehicle that reflects what many people want today - a small unbloated utility truck.
  • TheDoctorIsOut Try and keep it as light and focused as it always has been and as analog as possible. For those who can appreciate it (and fit into it) there’s still something special about a car that can be driven at 90% of its potential for most of the daily drive.
  • SCE to AUX Let it die with dignity - no electrification. That would kill the spirit of the original.Mazda needs to think about survival and market share, not tinker with a niche car with waning sales, or dying on Wankel Hill.Maybe their body and paint engineers could help Tesla once Mazda folds.
  • Lou_BC H-E-L-L-C-A-T