By on January 31, 2018

Evora 410

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.” (Read More…)

By on December 3, 2017

lotus logo
There has been some gentle complaining among select individuals that Chinese ownership will somehow taint the purity of the Lotus brand — a strange accusation considering the brand was operating under the Malaysia-based Proton Holdings since 1997 long before being bought by Geely Automotive earlier this year.

Sure, it might not be the Lotus of yesterday but the company’s new Chinese overwatch has said it still has big plans for the brand. Based on its handling of London Taxi and Volvo, we haven’t been overly concerned. But we have been hoping the parent company would elaborate on what that might entail.  (Read More…)

By on November 14, 2017

2018 Ford F-150 , Image: Ford

They say Leo Fender never learned how to really play the instruments that bore his name. Ronnie Schreiber, itinerant TTAC contributor and respected scholar of Detroit’s historical culture, uses that excuse when he explains how he managed to invent and patent an electronic harmonica without ever achieving much more than an enthusiastic novice’s skill with the thing.

I was an early backer of the Harmonicaster idea and I attended the most recent NAMM show as a worker bee at Ronnie’s booth there. Luckily for me, I was off talking to James Trussart when an executive of a major music-store chain stopped by to work a deal with the man himself. You’ll be seeing Harmonicasters out on the street in the near future. Which brings us to this week’s episode of Ask Jack.

(Read More…)

By on June 26, 2017

2016 Lotus Evora 400

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.  (Read More…)

By on December 12, 2013

homologation

Being teased with a desirable but unavailable variant of a car sold on our shores is as inevitable as death and taxes. Every year, there is some new supercar station wagon, ultra-efficient diesel or hot hatch/rally special that seems just within our grasp. Inevitably we learn that it won’t be making its way to America for a variety of reasons. Ultimately, it boils down to one simple factor: it would cost too much to bring it over.

(Read More…)

By on October 28, 2013

Michael Banovsky of RM Auctions has been on a MK1 Lotus Elise kick. And why not? Canada’s more relaxed importation laws mean that owning a MK1 is a legal proposition, and the lucky guy has got the resources of one of the world’s best auction houses at his disposal.

(Read More…)

By on February 9, 2013

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. (Read More…)

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