Lotus Cars

Lotus Cars is a British automotive company[5] that manufactures sports cars and racing cars in its headquarters in Hethel, United Kingdom. Lotus cars include the Esprit, Elan, Europa, Elise, Exige, Evora and Evija sports cars and it had motor racing success with Team Lotus in Formula One. Lotus Cars are based at the former site of RAF Hethel, a World War II airfield in Norfolk. The company designs and builds race and production automobiles of light weight and fine handling characteristics.[6] It also owns the engineering consultancy firm Lotus Engineering, which has facilities in the United Kingdom, United States, China, and Malaysia.

Lotus was previously owned by DRB-HICOM through its subsidiary Proton, which acquired it following the bankruptcy of former owner Romano Artioli in 1996.

On 24 May 2017, Chinese multinational Geely announced that it will take a 51% controlling stake in Lotus and thus became the owner of the automobile manufacturer.[7][8] The remaining 49% were acquired by Etika Automotive.[9]

Lotus Cars Limited
Private Subsidiary
IndustryAutomotive
Founded1948
FounderColin Chapman
Headquarters
Hethel, Norfolk
,
United Kingdom
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
  • Daniel Donghui Li (Chairman)
  • Feng Qingfeng (Group Lotus CEO)[1]
  • Phil Popham (Lotus Cars CEO)[2]
  • Phillip Lee (CFO)
ProductsAutomobiles, automotive parts
RevenueDecrease £11.2 million (2017)
Owner
Number of employees
1,487 (2017)[4]
ParentZhejiang Geely Holding Group[3]
WebsiteLotus Cars
Final assembly
Lotus final assembly

History

Early years

The company was formed as Lotus Engineering Ltd. by engineers Colin Chapman and Colin Dare, both graduates of University College, London, in 1952, but had earlier origins in 1948 when Chapman built his first racing car in a garage.[10] The four letters in the middle of the logo stand for the initials of company founder, Anthony Colin Bruce Chapman. When the logo was created, Colin Chapman's original partners Michael and Nigel Allen were led to believe that the letters stood for Colin Chapman and the Allen Brothers.

The first factory was situated in old stables behind the Railway Hotel in Hornsey, North London. Team Lotus, which was split off from Lotus Engineering in 1954, was active and competitive in Formula One racing from 1958 to 1994. The Lotus Group of Companies was formed in 1959. This was made up of Lotus Cars Limited and Lotus Components Limited, which focused on road cars and customer competition car production, respectively. Lotus Components Limited became Lotus Racing Limited in 1971 but the newly renamed entity ceased operation in the same year.[11]

The company moved to a purpose built factory at Cheshunt in 1959[12] and since 1966 the company has occupied a modern factory and road test facility at Hethel, near Wymondham. This site is the former RAF Hethel base and the test track uses sections of the old runway.

In its early days, Lotus sold cars aimed at privateer racers and trialists. Its early road cars could be bought as kits, in order to save on purchase tax. The kit car era ended in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Lotus Elan Plus Two being the first Lotus road car not to be offered in kit form, and the Lotus Eclat and Lotus Elite of the mid-1970s being offered only in factory built versions.

After the elegant but delicate Lotus Elite of the 1950s, which featured a complete fibreglass monocoque fitted with built-in steel pickup points for mounting major components, Lotus found critical and sales success in the 1960s with the Lotus Elan two seater later developed to two plus two form. Lotus was notable for its use of fibreglass bodies, backbone chassis, and overhead camshaft engines, initially supplied by Coventry Climax but later replaced by Lotus-Ford units (Ford block, Lotus head and twin cam valve gear). Lotus worked with Ford on the Lotus Cortina, a successful sports saloon.

Another Lotus of the late 1960s and early 1970s was the two seater Lotus Europa, initially intended only for the European market, which paired a backbone chassis and lightweight body with a mid mounted Renault engine, later upgraded to the Lotus-Ford twin cam unit as used in the Elan.

The Lotus Seven, originating in the 1950s as a simple, lightweight open two seater continued in production into the early 70s. Lotus then sold the rights to produce the Seven to Caterham, which has continued to produce the car since then.

By the mid-1970s, Lotus sought to move upmarket with the launch of the Elite and Eclat models, four seaters aimed at prosperous buyers, with features such as optional air conditioning and optional automatic transmissions. The mid engined line continued with the Lotus Esprit, which was to prove one of the company's longest lived and most iconic models. Lotus developed its own series of four cylinder DOHC engines, the Lotus 900 series, and later a V8, and turbocharged versions of the engines appeared in the Esprit.

Variants of the 900 series engine were supplied for the Jensen Healey sports car and the Sunbeam Lotus "hot hatchback". In the 1980s, Lotus collaborated with Vauxhall Motors to produce the Lotus Carlton, the fastest roadgoing Vauxhall car.

Financial troubles, death of Chapman

By 1980, Group Lotus was in serious financial trouble. Production had dropped from 1,200 units per year to a mere 383. The combined reasons were that the world was in the middle of an economic recession, sales in the key United States market had virtually collapsed and there had been limited development of the then model range.[13]

In early 1982, Chapman came to an agreement with Toyota to exchange intellectual property and applied expertise. This initially resulted in Lotus Engineering helping to develop the Mk2 Toyota Supra, also known as the Toyota Celica XX. Secondly, it allowed Lotus to launch the new Lotus Excel to replace the ageing Lotus Eclat. Using drivetrain and other components from Toyota enabled Lotus to sell the Excel for £1,109 less than the outgoing Eclat.[13]

Looking to re-enter the North American market, Chapman was approached by young law professor and investment banking consultant, Joe Bianco, who proposed a new and separate United States sales company for Lotus.[14] By creating an unprecedented tax-incentived mechanism wherein each investor received a specially personalised Lotus Turbo Esprit, the new American company, Lotus Performance Cars Inc. (LPCI), was able to provide fresh capital to the Group Lotus in the United Kingdom. Former Ferrari North America general manager John Spiech was brought in to run LPCI, which imported the remarkable Giugiaro-designed Turbo Esprit for the first time. US sales began to quickly jump into triple digits annually.[15]

Chapman died of a heart attack on 16 December 1982 at the age of 54, having begun life an innkeeper's son and ended a multi-millionaire industrialist in post-war Britain. At the time of his death, the car maker had built thousands of successful racing and road cars and won the Formula One World Championship seven times.

At the time of his death, both Chapman and Lotus were linked with the DeLorean Motor Company scandal over the use of UK Government subsidies for the production of the DMC DeLorean, for which Lotus had designed the chassis. Chasing large sums of money which had disappeared from the DeLorean company, Lotus was besieged by Inland Revenue inspectors, who imposed an £84 million legal "protective assessment" on the company.[16] Chapman died before the full deceit unravelled but, at the subsequent trial of Fred Bushell, the Lotus accountant, the judge insisted that had Chapman himself been in the dock, he would have received a sentence "of at least 10 years".[17]

With Group Lotus near bankruptcy in 1983, David Wickins, the founder of British Car Auctions, agreed to become the new company chairman, through an introduction from his friend Mark Thatcher.[16] Taking a combined 29% BCA/personal stake in Group Lotus,[18] Wickins negotiated with the Inland Revenue, and then brought in new investors: merchant bank Schroeder-Wagg (14%);[18] Michael Ashcroft's Bermudian operating company Benor (14%);[19] Sir Anthony Bamford of JCB (12%).[18] Wickins oversaw a complete turnaround in the company's fortunes, which resulted in him being called "The saviour of Lotus".[16][20]

International ownership

Despite having employed designer Peter Stevens to revamp the range and design two new concept cars, by 1985 the British investors recognised that they lacked the required capital to invest in the required new model development to production, and sought to find a major motor manufacturing buyer.[18] In January 1986, Wickins oversaw the majority sale of the Group Lotus companies and 100% of North American–based LPCI to General Motors, with engineer Bob Eaton a big Lotus car fan.[18] After four months of controlling but co-owning Group Lotus with Toyota, the Japanese company sold out to GM. By October 1986, GM had acquired a 91% stake in Group Lotus for £22.7 million, which allowed them to legally force the company buyout.[18]

On 27 August 1993, GM sold the company, for £30 million, to A.C.B.N. Holdings S.A. of Luxembourg, a company controlled by Italian businessman Romano Artioli, who also owned Bugatti Automobili SpA. In 1996, a majority share in Lotus was sold to Proton, a Malaysian car company listed on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange.

Operations

Presently organised as Group Lotus plc, the business is divided into Lotus Cars and Lotus Engineering.

As well as sports car manufacture, the company also acts as an engineering consultancy, providing engineering development—particularly of suspension—for other car manufacturers. Lotus's powertrain department is responsible for the design and development of the 4-cylinder Ecotec engine found in many of GM's Vauxhall, Opel, Saab, Chevrolet and Saturn cars. The US Lotus Elise and Exige models used the 1.8L VVTL-i I4 from Toyota's late Celica GT-S and the Matrix XRS both of which are no longer available new. The new Exige has the same V6 engine as its bigger counterpart the Evora and is not available in the US as a road-legal vehicle.

Michael Kimberley, who had been a guiding light at Lotus in the 1970s, returned and took over as the Acting chief executive officer of the Company and its Group from May 2006. He chaired the Executive Committee of Lotus Group International Limited ("LGIL") established in February 2006, with Syed Zainal Abidin (managing director of Proton Holdings Berhad) and Badrul Feisal (non-executive director of Proton Holdings Berhad). LGIL is the holding company of Lotus Group Plc.

Kimberley retired as CEO on 17 July 2009,[21] replaced on 1 October 2009 by the former Senior Vice-President for Commercial & Brand at Ferrari, Dany Bahar. Bahar intended to drive the brand up-market into the expanding global luxury goods sector, effectively away from the company's traditional light weight and pure driving experience simplicity.

Bahar was suspended as CEO on 25 May 2012 on a temporary basis, while an investigation into his conduct was undertaken.[22] Lotus announced on 7 June 2012 the termination of Bahar's employment and the appointment of Aslam Farikullah as the new chief operating officer.[23] The ambitious plans for several new models were subsequently cancelled following Bahar's departure. Jean Marc Gales replaced Bahar as the CEO of the company in 2014 and enabled the company to make a profit after decades in 2017 due to his effective market plans and strategies, before he left the company in June 2018 due to personal reasons and was replaced by Feng Qingfeng from Lotus Group's parent company, Geely.

October 2018 saw further senior changes as Phil Popham was named CEO of Lotus Cars with Feng Qingfeng remaining in charge of Group Lotus.[24]

Formula One and motorsport

In its early days, the company encouraged its customers to race its cars, and it first entered Formula One through its sister company Team Lotus in 1958. A Lotus Formula One car driven by Stirling Moss won the marque's first Grand Prix in 1960 at Monaco. Moss drove a Lotus 18 entered by privateer Rob Walker. Major success came in 1963 with the Lotus 25, which – with Jim Clark driving – won Team Lotus its first F1 World Constructors Championship. Clark's untimely death – he crashed a Formula Two Lotus 48 in April 1968 after his rear tyre failed in a turn in Hockenheim – was a severe blow to the team and to Formula One. He was the dominant driver in the dominant car and remains an inseparable part of Lotus's early years. That year's championship was won by Clark's teammate, Graham Hill.

Team Lotus is credited with making the mid-engined layout popular for IndyCars, developing the first monocoque Formula One chassis, and the integration of the engine and transaxle as chassis components. Team Lotus was also among the pioneers in Formula One in adding wings and shaping the undersurface of the car to create downforce, as well as the first to move radiators to the sides of the car to aid in aerodynamic performance and inventing active suspension.

Even after Chapman's death, until the late 1980s, Team Lotus continued to be a major player in Formula One. Ayrton Senna drove for the team from 1985 to 1987, winning twice in each year and achieving 17 pole positions. By the company's last Formula One race in 1994, the cars were no longer competitive. Team Lotus constructed cars won a total of 79 Grand Prix races. During his lifetime Chapman saw Lotus beat Ferrari as the first Marque to achieve 50 Grand Prix victories, despite Ferrari having won their first nine years sooner.

Formula One Drivers' Championship winner for Lotus were Jim Clark in 1963 and 1965, Graham Hill in 1968, Jochen Rindt in 1970, Emerson Fittipaldi in 1972 and Mario Andretti in 1978. In 1973 Lotus won the constructors' championship only; the drivers' title went to Jackie Stewart of Tyrrell.

Team Lotus established Classic Team Lotus in 1992, as the Works historic motorsport activity. Classic Team Lotus continues to maintain Lotus F1 cars and run them in the FIA Historic Formula One Championship and it preserves the Team Lotus archive and Works Collection of cars, under the management of Colin Chapman's son, Clive.

Team Lotus's participation in Formula One ended at the end of the 1994 season. Former racing driver David Hunt (brother of F1 world champion James Hunt) purchased the name 'Team Lotus' and licensed it to the Formula One team Pacific Racing, which was rebranded Pacific Team Lotus.[25] The Pacific Team folded at the end of the 1995 season.

The Lotus name returned to Formula One for the 2010 season, when a new Malaysian team called Lotus Racing was awarded an entry. The new team used the Lotus name under licence from Group Lotus and was unrelated to the original Team Lotus. In September 2010 Group Lotus, with agreement from its parent company Proton, terminated the licence for future seasons as a result of what it called "flagrant and persistent breaches of the licence by the team". Lotus Racing then announced that it had acquired Team Lotus Ventures Ltd, the company led by David Hunt, and with it full ownership of the rights to the "Team Lotus" brand and heritage. The team confirmed that it would be known as Team Lotus from 2011 onwards.

In December 2010 Group Lotus announced the creation of Lotus Renault GP, the successor to the Renault F1 team. This team contested the 2011 season having purchased a title sponsorship deal with the team, with the option to buy shares in the future. The team's car for that season, the R31, was badged as a Renault, while Team Lotus's car, the T128, was badged as a Lotus. In May 2011, the British High Court of Justice ruled that Team Lotus could continue to use the "Team Lotus" name, but Group Lotus had sole right to use the "Lotus" name on its own. As a consequence, for 2012 Lotus Renault GP was rebranded as Lotus F1 Team and its cars were badged as Lotuses, while Team Lotus was renamed Caterham F1 Team (after the sports car manufacturer owned by team principal Tony Fernandes) and its cars were badged as Caterhams.

Group Lotus is currently also involved in several other categories of motorsport. It sponsors the KV team in the IndyCar Series and used to sponsor the ART team in the GP2 and GP3 Series in 2011 and 2012. In 2011, Lotus also returned to the 24 Hours of Le Mans with a semi-works effort run by Jetalliance Racing, which fielded two Lotus Evoras.

After fielding underpowered and uncompetitive engines in the 2012 Indianapolis 500, in which drivers Jean Alesi and Simona de Silvestro were black-flagged after ten laps for failing to maintain a competitive pace, Lotus was released from its contract and did not participate in future seasons.

Lotus car models

Current

Current Lotus models include:

  • Lotus Elise: The Elise was launched in 1996 and weighed 725 kg (1,598 lb). The current range of Elise's starts at 866 kg (1,909 lb) and incorporates some engineering innovations, such as an aluminium extrusion frame and a composite body shell. The Elise has spawned several racing variants, including a limited series called the 340R, which has an open-body design echoing the old Seven. The Elise was introduced into the US, with a Toyota engine, to pass strict US emissions laws. The 1ZZ & 2ZZ Toyota engines used to have a Lotus ECU with their own fuel mapping. The supercharged Lotus Elise S (which replaced the SC model) and limited edition Jim Clark Type 25 Elise editions add a new performance dimension to the Elise range. 0–60 mph acceleration is in 4.3 seconds and 0–100 km/h in 4.6 seconds. The Elise spawned into its third generation in 2012 where it saw more power being added and more newer variants such as the Elise Cup 250 being introduced.
  • Lotus Exige: The coupé version of the Elise which is in production since 2000. Currently the Exige has a variety of variants ranging from the 375 PS (276 kW; 370 hp) Sport 350 to the 430 PS (316 kW; 424 hp) Cup 430. All variants of the Exige feature the Supercharged Toyota DOHC V6 from the Lotus Evora.
  • Lotus Evora: The Lotus Evora was unveiled on 22 July 2008. It was code named Project Eagle during development. The Evora is 2+2 sports car with a mid-mounted, transverse 3.5-litre V6 engine. Lotus unveiled a more powerful variant of the Evora called the Evora S in 2011 which Lotus provided as Rapid Response Vehicles to the Rome and Milan Carabinieri to replace the previous Lamborghini Gallardos. See Lotus webpage A facelifted and more powerful Evora 400 model was unveiled at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show after Lotus discontinued the standard Evora and the Evora S. The Evora 400 was followed up by the Evora Sport 410 which was unveiled at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show. Another powerful variant called the Evora GT430 was unveiled in September 2017.[26][27]

Previous

LotusMk4
Lotus 7 S1, 1957
1965 Lotus Elan 26R
Lotus 26R, 1965
1995LotusEspritS4s 3049
Lotus Esprit S4s, 1995
Lotus Elise GT1 Road Car
Lotus Elise GT1 Road Car, 1997
  • Lotus Mark I (1948): Austin 7–based sports car
  • Lotus Mark II (1949–1950): Ford-powered trials car
  • Lotus Mark III (1951): 750 cc formula car
  • Lotus Mark IV (1952): Trials car
  • Lotus Mark V (1952): 750 cc formula car, never built
  • Lotus Mark VI (1953–1955): The first "production" racer, about 100 built
  • Lotus Seven (1957–1972): A minimalist open sports car designed to manoeuvre a racing circuit.[28]
  • Lotus Mark VIII (1954): sports racer, MG 1.5 L
  • Lotus Mark IX (1955): sports racer, shorter and improved Eight
  • Lotus Mark X (1955): sports racer for larger displacement, Bristol/BMW 2 L
  • Lotus Eleven (1956–1957): small displacement sports racer (750 – 1500 cc)
  • Lotus 12 (1956–1957): Formula Two and Formula One racecar
  • Lotus 13: Designation not used
  • Lotus 14 (1957–1963): Lotus Elite, the first production street car
  • Lotus 15 (1958–1960): Sports racer, update of the Mk.X, Climax 1.5 – 2.5 L
  • Lotus 16 (1958–1959): F1/F2 car, "Miniature Vanwall"
  • Lotus 17 (1959): Lighter sports racer update of the 11 in response to Lola Mk.I
  • Lotus 18 (1960–1961): First mid-engined Lotus single seater—Formula Junior/F2/F1
  • Lotus 19 (1960–1962): Mid-engined larger displacement sports racer, "Monte Carlo"
  • Lotus 20 (1961): Formula Junior
  • Lotus 21 (1961): Formula One
  • Lotus 22 (1962–1965): Formula Junior/F3
  • Lotus 23 (1962–1966): Small displacement mid-engined sports racer
  • Lotus 24 (1962): Formula One
  • Lotus 25 (1962–1964): Formula One World Champion
  • Lotus 26 (1962–1971): Lotus Elan, production street sports car
  • Lotus 26R (1962–1966): Racing version of Elan
  • Lotus 27 (1963): Formula Junior
  • Lotus 28 (1963–1966): Lotus version of the Ford Cortina street/racer
  • Lotus 29 (1963): Indy car, Ford all-aluminium OHV small block V8
  • Lotus 30 (1964): Large displacement sports racer (Ford small block V8)
  • Lotus 31 (1964–1966): Formula Three space frame racer
  • Lotus 32 (1964–1965): Monocoque F2 and Tasman Cup racer
  • Lotus 33 (1964–1965): Formula One World Champion
  • Lotus 34 (1964): Indy car, DOHC Ford V8
  • Lotus 35 (1965): F2/F3/FB
  • Lotus 36 (1965–1968): Elan Fixed Head Coupe (Type 26 could be fitted with a removable hard top)
  • Lotus 38 (1965): Indy winning mid-engined car
  • Lotus 39 (1965–1966): Tasman Cup formula car
  • Lotus 40 (1965): Sports racer, a development of the 30
  • Lotus 41 (1965–1968): Formula Three, Formula Two, Formula B
  • Lotus 42 (1967): Indy car, Ford V8
  • Lotus 43 (1966): Formula One
  • Lotus 44 (1967): Formula Two
  • Lotus 45 (1966–1974): Convertible (Drop Head Coupe) Elan with permanent side window frames.
  • Lotus 46 (1966–1968): Original Renault-engined Europa
  • Lotus 47 (1966–1970): Racing version of Europa
  • Lotus 48 (1967): Formula Two
  • Lotus 49 (1967–1969): Formula One World Champion
  • Lotus 50 (1967–1974): Lotus Elan +2, four-seat production car
  • Lotus 51 (1967–1969): Formula Ford
  • Lotus 52 (1968): Prototype Europa Twin Cam
  • Lotus 53 (1968): Small displacement sports racer, never built
  • Lotus 54 (1968–1970): Series 2 'Europa' production car.
  • Lotus 55 (1968): F3
  • Lotus 56 (1968–1969): Indy turbine wedge
  • Lotus 56B (1971): F1 turbine wedge
  • Lotus 57 (1968): F2 design study
  • Lotus 58 (1968): F1 design study
  • Lotus 59 (1969–1970): F2/F3/Formula Ford
  • Lotus LX (1960): Lotus Elite built to win at Le Mans with a 2.0 L FPF engine.
  • Lotus 60 (1970–1973): Lotus Seven S4, Greatly modified version of the Seven
  • Lotus 61 (1969): Formula Ford, "the wedge"
  • Lotus 62 (1969): prototype Europa racer
  • Lotus 63 (1969): 4-wheel drive F1
  • Lotus 64 (1969): 4-wheel drive Indy car, did not compete
  • Lotus 65 (1969–1971): Federalized Europa S2
  • Lotus 66: Can-Am design study[29]
  • Lotus 67 (1970): Proposed Tasman Cup car, never built
  • Lotus 68 (1969): F5000 prototype
  • Lotus 69 (1970): F2/F3/Formula Ford
  • Lotus 70 (1970): F5000/Formula A
  • Lotus 71: Undisclosed design study
  • Lotus 72 (1970–1972): Formula One World Champion
  • Lotus 73 (1972–1973): F3
  • Lotus 74 - Texaco Star (1973): F2
  • Lotus 74 (1971–1975): Europa Twin Cam production car
  • Lotus 75 (1974–1982): Elite II, Luxury 4-seat GT
  • Lotus 76 (1974): F1, redundant designation
  • Lotus 76 (1975–1982): Éclat S1, fastback version of Elite II, redundant designation
  • Lotus 77 (1976): F1
  • Lotus 78 (1977–1978): F1 ground effects car
  • Lotus 79 (1975–1980) Lotus Esprit, street GT,[30] redundant designation
  • Lotus 79 (1978–1979): Formula One World Champion, redundant designation
  • Lotus 80 (1979): F1
  • Lotus 81 (1979–1980): Sunbeam Talbot Lotus, redundant designation
  • Lotus 81 (1980–1981): F1, redundant designation
  • Lotus 82 (1982–1987): Turbo Esprit, street GT car
  • Lotus 83 (1980): Elite series 2
  • Lotus 84 (1980–1982): Éclat series 2
  • Lotus 85 (1980–1987): Esprit series 3
  • Lotus 86 (1980–1983): F1 dual chassis, never raced
  • Lotus 87 (1980–1982): F1
  • Lotus 88 (1981): F1 dual chassis car, banned
  • Lotus 89 (1982–1992): Lotus Excel GT, re-engineered Éclat
  • Lotus M90/X100: Toyota-based "new Elan", abandoned in favour of the Elan M100
  • Lotus 91 (1982): F1
  • Lotus 92 (1983): F1
  • Lotus 93T (1983): F1 Turbo
  • Lotus 94T (1983): F1 Turbo
  • Lotus 95T (1984): F1 Turbo
  • Lotus 96T (1984): Indy car project, abandoned
  • Lotus 97T (1985–1986): F1 Turbo
  • Lotus 98T (1986–1987): F1 Turbo
  • Lotus 99T (1987): F1 Turbo, last Lotus F1 winner
  • Lotus 100T (1988): F1 Turbo
  • Lotus Elan (Type M100) (1989–1995): Front-drive convertible Elan.
  • Lotus 101 (1989): F1
  • Lotus 102 (1990–1991): F1
  • Lotus 103 (1990): F1, not produced
  • Lotus 104 (1990–1992): Lotus Carlton/Omega, tuned version of the Opel/Vauxhall saloon.
  • Lotus 105 (1990): Racing X180R, IMSA Supercars Drivers Champ (Doc Bundy)
  • Lotus 106 (1991): X180R, roadgoing homologation special
  • Lotus 107 (1992–1994): F1
  • Lotus 108 (1992): a track only bike ridden by Chris Boardman to win a gold medal at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, also known as the "LotusSport Pursuit Bicycle".
  • Lotus 109 (1994): F1, Last Lotus F1 car.
  • Lotus 110 : Road and TT bike. Often mistaken for the Lotus 108 but completely different bikes.
  • Lotus 111: Lotus Elise
  • Lotus 112: Partial F1 design, reached as far as the monocoque buck
  • Lotus 113: Number not allocated
  • Lotus 114 (1996): Lotus Esprit GT1 race car
  • Lotus 115 (1997–1998): Lotus Elise GT1 race car
  • Lotus 116: Opel Speedster/Vauxhall VX220, a collaboration with Opel
  • Lotus 117: Lotus Elise S2
  • Lotus 118: Lotus M250, two-seat mid-range sports car concept unveiled in Autumn of 1999, project cancelled in 2001
  • Lotus 119: Soapbox Derby car made of carbon and aluminium, disc brakes, no engine, for Goodwood Festival of Speed
  • Lotus 120 (1998): Elise V6, code named M120, never produced
  • Lotus 121 (2006): Europa S[31]
  • Lotus 122: Lotus Evora
  • Lotus 123: Lotus 2-Eleven
  • Lotus 124: Lotus Evora, race car
  • Lotus 125: Lotus Exos[32]

Announcements of future cars

2013 Lotus Esprit Front Quarter
Proposed new Lotus Esprit (now cancelled)

At the 2010 Paris Motorshow, Lotus announced five new models to be introduced over the next five years:[33] Their intention was to replace the Elise with an entirely different model, as well as to introduce two entirely new sports coupes, which would have been known as the Elite and the Elan, a new sports saloon, the Eterne, to rival the Aston Martin Rapide and Maserati Quattroporte, and a modern interpretation of the Esprit supercar.[34]

It became apparent in July 2012 that the firm's financial difficulties had made this plan impossible to implement, and initially all but the Esprit project were cancelled.[35][36] Subsequently, the Esprit project was also cancelled.[37]

Lotus also showed an unnamed city car concept using its 1.2L range-extender engine.[38] In 2011, Lotus revealed this as the Lotus Ethos, a plug-in hybrid car based on the EMAS concept from its parent company Proton, and likely to be primarily built by Proton in Malaysia.[34] This car has also been cancelled.[39]

Lotus CEO at the time Jean Marc Gales confirmed in 2017 that development of an SUV is currently under way, after the company was acquired by the Chinese automotive manufacturer, Geely.[40]

Lotus engines

Lotus Evora engine
Lotus Evora's Toyota sourced engine
  • Lotus-Ford Twin Cam
  • Lotus 900 series
  • Range Extender Engine. This all-aluminium, monoblock, 1200 cc, three-cylinder, 47 horsepower, four-stroke engine is specifically designed to directly drive an alternator for electricity generation for series-hybrid cars. The engine is small and light at 56 kg (123 lb), having three cylinders and no detachable cylinder head. The cylinder head and engine block are all one casting to reduce size, weight and production costs. As the engine does not turn belt driven ancillaries such as alternator, power-steering pump or an air conditioning compressor, the block requires no strong points to accommodate such ancillaries, resulting in a simple and light block. The engine has a reduced parts count for lightness and cheaper production.[41][42]
  • On 18 August 2011 Lotus developed an all new in-house designed V8 destined for the new era range of cars. At 170 kg (375 lb) and just 612 mm (24.1 in) long, the unit is dry sump lubricated to save depth and will feature a 180° flat plane crank. The engine is being utilised as a stressed component, a technique pioneered by Colin Chapman in F1, specifically with the 1967 Type 49. It was expected to be used in the Le Mans LMP2 car in 2012. Expected performance is likely to be in excess of 590 PS (434 kW; 582 hp) and with a 9,200 rpm redline.[43]
  • Lotus Omnivore, research engine and prototype.

Lotus Engineering

Lotus Engineering Limited is an offshoot of Lotus Cars, which provides engineering consultancy to third party companies primarily in the automotive industry. As well as Hethel in the United Kingdom Lotus has engineering centres in Ann Arbor, USA, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Shanghai, China. In 2000, Lotus Engineering, Inc. was established with an office in Ann Arbor, Michigan.[44]

Engineering demonstrators

  • Lotus Eco Elise is an engineering demonstrator of its classic sports car that incorporates solar panels into a roof made from hemp, while also employing natural materials in the body and interior of the car.
  • Lotus Exige 265E Bio-fuel
  • Lotus Exige 270E Tri-fuel
  • Lotus Evora 414E Hybrid. Shown at the 2010 Geneva Motor show
  • Lotus Concept City Car. Shown at the 2010 Paris motor show.

APX and VVA

The APX (also known as the "Aluminium Performance Crossover") is an aluminium concept vehicle revealed at the 2006 Geneva Motor Show built on Lotus Engineering's Versatile Vehicle Architecture (VVA).

Whereas the VVA technology will be used in the creation of a new mid-engined sportscar for Lotus cars, the APX is, in fact, a high-performance 7-seat MPV with four-wheel drive and a front-mounted V6 engine from Lotus Engineering's Powertrain division. The engine was designed and developed to be available as a 2.2-litre N/A and 3.0-litre supercharged. A number of prototypes of both engines exist in full working order in a number of mule cars.

Versatile Vehicle Architecture (VVA) is an effort by the Lotus car manufacturing company to reduce the investment needed for producing unique, niche-market cars by sharing a number of common components.

Cars produced using VVA:

Projects undertaken by Lotus Engineering

DeLorean DMC-12 with doors open
DeLorean with Lotus designed chassis

Examples of work undertaken by Lotus Engineering include:

  • Lotus Talbot Sunbeam—Talbot's hot hatch rally car of the early '80s
  • DMC DeLorean. Changes to the original concept led to considerable schedule pressures. The car was deemed to require almost complete re-engineering, which was turned over to engineer Colin Chapman, founder of Lotus. Lotus replaced most of the unproven material and manufacturing techniques with those then employed by Lotus in the Lotus Esprit
  • Vauxhall Lotus Carlton (also Opel Lotus Omega, internal name Lotus Type 104) – At the time (early 1990s) this was the fastest saloon car available, with a top speed of over 175 mph (280 km/h)
  • The 1991 Dodge Spirit R/T with a version of the 2.2 L K-car engine with a 16-valve DOHC head designed by Lotus with over 220 hp (160 kW)
  • Vauxhall VX220 (badged Opel Speedster outside of the UK) – Lotus produced and based upon the same aluminium chassis design as the Lotus Elise. Production of these models ended in 2005
  • Lotus styled and assisted with the engineering of the Tesla Roadster (2008), an electric sports car based on the Elise, as well as licensing some technologies to Tesla Motors and constructing the Roadster at their plant in Hethel[45]
  • The Aston Martin DB9 chassis was developed with the help of Lotus Engineering
  • Lotus was responsible for most of the design, development, and testing, of the LT5 DOHC V8 powerplant for the Chevrolet Corvette C4 ZR-1
  • Lotus designed, developed and tested the GM Ecotec engine and its variants
  • Lotus was responsible for various aspects of the Sinclair C5 electric tricycle
  • Lotus was responsible for the suspension calibration of the Toyota MR2 Mk. I, the Toyota Supra Mk. II and Mk. III, the Isuzu Piazza, the Isuzu Impulse as well as newer Proton models
  • Lotus Engineered PROTON Satria GTi model
  • Lotus was responsible for the development of the Campro engine together with Proton,[46] as well as its variable valve timing system, the Cam Profile Switching (CPS). Currently available in the 1.6-litre and 1.3-litre variants, the Campro engine now powers most of Proton's newer models
  • Lotus has worked on the suspension of the Mahindra Scorpio to make it more stable at high speeds
  • Lotus produced the revised chassis of the Isuzu Piazza
  • Lotus has worked on the suspension and handling of the Volvo 480
  • The Dodge EV concept electric vehicle from Chrysler is based on a Lotus Europa S
  • Lotus has worked on the suspension and handling of the Nissan GT-R [47]
  • Lotus rebuilt, modified, and tuned a Lada Riva on Top Gear season 1, episode 8. 1 of 1 ever made
  • The 2006 Volkswagen GX3 features a chassis developed by Lotus for VW
  • The 2009 Kia Soul features Lotus tuned suspension (UK only)
  • 2010: Limo-Green project with Jaguar Cars. Lotus provided the Range Extender engine for a prototype XJ series-hybrid car. The car returned 58 mpg (imperial) running off the range extender alone[48]
  • 2010 Jaguar C-X75, Lotus are partner with Jaguar for developing chassis system and engine management. Powering the engine is a supercharged 1.6 turbo petrol engine with 500bhp. With 175 bhp electric motor, power output of 313bhp/litre compare to Bugatti Veyron of 125bhp/litre
  • The 2015 Hyundai Genesis, Lotus has worked on handling and steering.
  • 2015 Spyker B6 Venator is powered by a Lotus-built engine originating from a Toyota-sourced block.
  • The Baojun 730, a Chinese minivan with Lotus-tuned suspension, built by a General Motors subsidiary.

Lotus based cars

Electric vehicles

Lotus Engineering has established a group dedicated to hybrid and electric vehicles.[49]

Lotus Engineering created the Evora 414E as their first hybrid concept car. Featuring a total hybrid range of more than 300 miles and 0-60 MPH in 4.4 seconds.[50]

Lotus joined Jaguar Cars, MIRA Ltd and Caparo on a luxury hybrid executive sedan project called "Limo-Green"—funded by the UK Government Technology Strategy Board. The vehicle will be a series plug-in hybrid.[51][52]

Tesla Motors, a likely rival for Lotus if its plans go through, has also turned to contractors for parts of the all-electric Roadster.[53] However, Tesla bought the chassis for their 2,500 Roadsters from Lotus because of the heavy weight of the batteries in an EV and Lotus's widely known low weight and sharp handling characteristics. While only 10% of the parts of the Tesla Roadster were shared with the Lotus Elise, Lotus was responsible for approximately 40% of the overall content of the car.[53]

Queen's Award for Enterprise

Lotus Cars were awarded the Queen's Award for Enterprise for contribution to International Trade, one of 85 companies receiving the recognition in that category in 2002. Lotus cars wore the badge of the award for a number of years.[54]

In popular culture

Lotus cars appeared in two James Bond movies, The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and For Your Eyes Only (1981). The former was a Lotus Esprit S1 nicknamed "Wet Nellie" which in the movie became not only amphibious but a submarine; the latter was a Lotus Esprit Turbo, specially commissioned, of which there were two in the film.

In the popular 1960s TV series The Avengers, the female lead characters drove Lotuses. Emma Peel had two Lotus Elan convertibles, a white S2 and a metallic blue S3 while her successor Tara King drove a red Elan +2 and a red Europa.

The lead character known only as Number Six drove a 1965 Lotus Super 7 in the 1967 TV series The Prisoner.

See also

References

  1. ^ Vijayenthiran, Viknesh (4 June 2018). "Lotus CEO Steps Down". Motor Authority. Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  2. ^ "Lotus Appoints Phil Popham As Lotus Cars CEO". Retrieved 8 March 2019.
  3. ^ a b "GEELY & PROTON" (Press release). Proton. 23 June 2017. Retrieved 23 June 2017.
  4. ^ "Lotus Cars". Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  5. ^ "Lotus Cars Limited". Companies House. Retrieved 28 January 2017.
  6. ^ "2010 Lotus Evora – Test drive and new car review – 2010 Lotus Evora". Cars.about.com. 16 June 2011. Retrieved 18 December 2011.
  7. ^ "Chinese car giant Geely has bought Lotus". topgear.com. Retrieved 25 May 2017.
  8. ^ Macfarlane, Alec (24 May 2017). "Lotus has been purchased by Chinese automaker Geely". CNNMoney. Retrieved 25 May 2017.
  9. ^ Anthony Lim (24 May 2017). "DRB-Hicom to sell Lotus in its entirety for £100 million – Geely to acquire 51%, Etika Automotive to buy 49%". Driven Communications. Archived from the original on 27 May 2017. Retrieved 27 May 2017.
  10. ^ "Lotus Heritage". lotuscars.com. Retrieved 8 March 2019.
  11. ^ Golden Gate Lotus Club Retrieved 1 May 2008
  12. ^ Lotus cars Cheshunt. Retrieved 26 December 2007.
  13. ^ a b "The Final Chapman Years". LotusEspritWorld.com. Retrieved 14 July 2012.
  14. ^ "Joseph Bianco Profile - Forbes.com". 19 December 1983. Archived from the original on 13 March 2012. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
  15. ^ Car and Driver, "Lotus Lives", April 1983
  16. ^ a b c "Obituary – David Wickins". Daily Telegraph. 31 January 2007. Retrieved 14 July 2012.
  17. ^ Lawrence, Mike (2002). Wayward Genius. Breedon Books.
  18. ^ a b c d e f "The Toyota and GM Link". LotusEspritWorld.com. Retrieved 14 July 2012.
  19. ^ Andy McSmith and Ben Laurance (16 January 2000). "Ashcroft's Lotus position". The Observer. Retrieved 14 July 2012.
  20. ^ "Auctions magnate began by selling just one old car". GetHampshire.co.uk. 13 February 2007. Archived from the original on 23 June 2013. Retrieved 14 July 2012.
  21. ^ "Lotus CEO Mike Kimberley to step down". Motortorque.askaprice.com. Archived from the original on 24 March 2010. Retrieved 30 September 2010.
  22. ^ "Lotus owners suspend chief Bahar over complaint". BBC News. 25 May 2012. Retrieved 25 May 2012.
  23. ^ "Lotus Appoints Chief Operating Officer – Confirms dismissal of Dany Bahar" (Press release). Group Lotus plc. 7 June 2012. Archived from the original on 10 June 2012. Retrieved 7 June 2012.
  24. ^ "Lotus Appoints Phil Popham As Lotus Cars CEO". Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  25. ^ "Pacific forms alliance with Lotus". grandprix.com. 28 February 1995. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  26. ^ "Evora 400". Top Gear. 18 February 2015. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
  27. ^ "Evora GT430 is the fastest production Lotus ever". 6 September 2017.
  28. ^ The rights to the Seven were sold in 1973 to Caterham Cars. Updated versions of this 1957 design are also produced by other speciality firms, including Westfield Sportscars and Donkervoort. Originally the number seven was applied to a Riley-powered Formula 2 car, but the vehicle was never completed in its original form, finally emerging instead as the Clairmonte Special, a two-seat sports car powered by a Lea-Francis engine.
  29. ^ Chapman, Clive (September 2016). "The Lotus That Never Blossomed". Motor Sport. Vol. 92 no. 9. pp. 84–85.
  30. ^ A mid-engined sports car, launched in the early 1970s. It was styled by Italian designer Giorgetto Giugiaro. The Esprit started with a light, 4-cylinder design, which went through several iterations of turbo-charging and electronic upgrades, before finally being replaced by a highly advanced V8. The last Lotus Esprit rolled off the production line on 20 February 2004, after 28 years in production. A total of 10,675 Esprits were built since production began in 1976.
  31. ^ GT inspired two-seater claimed to offer a more upmarket sportscar experience, although it is based on the same chassis as the Elise and Exige, limiting accommodation and practicality. Power comes from a Lotus-tuned variant of the turbocharged four-cylinder engine which powers the VX220. The Europa has been criticised in the motoring press for being expensive and for lacking equipment and practicality compared to rivals like the Porsche Cayman.
  32. ^ "Lotus 125 'Ultimate Track Car' to Debut at Pebble Beach Alongside Elise SC RGB Edition | AutoGuide.com News". Autoguide.com. 5 August 2010. Retrieved 30 September 2010.
  33. ^ Chris Knapman (1 October 2010). "Paris Motor Show 2010: five new models from Lotus". The Telegraph. Retrieved 11 August 2011.
  34. ^ a b Dan Strong (21 June 2011). "Lotus confirms new V8 and city car too". Auto Express. Retrieved 11 August 2011.
  35. ^ Nick Gibbs (30 July 2012). "Lotus Five Car Future Is Canned". PistonHeads.
  36. ^ Travis Okulski (25 July 2012). "Lotus Cancels Nearly All of Dany Bahar's Future Lotus Cars". Jalopnik.
  37. ^ "New Lotus Esprit Is Dead". MotorAuthority. 29 September 2014. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
  38. ^ Tim Pollard (16 December 2010). "Lotus supermini 'here in October 2013' – Bahar". Car magazine. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
  39. ^ "Lotus City Car Concept - Cancelled, image 1 of 3 - Medium - Photos - Pics - Images - Australian specifications". themotorreport.com.au. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  40. ^ "Lotus Boss: Nobody Makes a "Lightweight, Good-Handling SUV"". Road & Track. 19 January 2017. Retrieved 19 January 2017.
  41. ^ Abuelsamid, Sam (22 June 2010). "Lotus and Fagor Ederlan Group to produce range-extender engine – Autoblog Green". Green.autoblog.com. Retrieved 30 September 2010.
  42. ^ "» Home – Lotus Engineering". lotuscars.com. Retrieved 30 September 2010.
  43. ^ "[VIDEO] Lotus fire up all new in-house V8". The Lotus Forums. 16 September 2011. Retrieved 18 December 2011.
  44. ^ Lotus Engineering Centres Archived 5 October 2010 at the Wayback Machine, retrieved 18 June 2010.
  45. ^ "Done deal! Lotus will build the Tesla Roadster in Hethel". autoblog. 29 July 2006. Retrieved 11 August 2011.
  46. ^ About Proton Engineering Archived 8 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine – Proton Cars UK
  47. ^ "NISSAN GT-R press information..." nissan-global.com. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  48. ^ "Jaguar UK – Jaguar International". Jaguar.com. Retrieved 30 September 2010.
  49. ^ Abuelsamid, Sam. "Lotus Engineering establishes group dedicated to hybrid and electric vehicles". autoblog.com. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  50. ^ "Evora 414E Hybrid". Retrieved 30 March 2018.
  51. ^ "Future Jaguar XJ May Cut CO2 Via Lotus 'LimoGreen' Project". GreenCarReports.com. 20 February 2009. Retrieved 22 June 2009.
  52. ^ "UK Technology Strategy Board (TSB) to Award $45M to 16 Low-Carbon Vehicle Projects". Green Car Congress. 8 May 2008. Retrieved 8 May 2008.
  53. ^ a b Garthwaite, Josie (5 January 2009). "Lotus to Build Electric Vehicles". Earth2tech.com. Retrieved 22 June 2009.
  54. ^ "The Queen's Awards for Enterprise 2002: international trade – Focus: Queen's Awards" (NewsBank). The Times. London: Times Newspapers Limited. 22 April 2002. Retrieved 14 February 2011.

Further reading

  • Gérard ("Jabby") Crombac, Colin Chapman: The Man and His Cars (Patrick Stephens, Wellingborough, 1986)
  • Mike Lawrence, Colin Chapman: The Wayward Genius (Breedon Books, Derby, 2002)
  • Ian H. Smith, The Story of Lotus: 1947–1960 Birth of a Legend (republished Motor Racing Publications, Chiswick, 1972)
  • Doug Nye, The Story of Lotus: 1961–1971 Growth of a Legend (Motor Racing Publications, Chiswick, 1972)
  • Robin Read, Colin Chapman's Lotus: The Early Years, the Elite and the Origins of the Elan (Haynes, Sparkford, 1989)
  • Anthony Pritchard, Lotus: All the Cars (Aston Publications, Bourne End, 1990)
  • Doug Nye, Theme Lotus: 1956–1986 (Motor Racing Publications, Croydon, 1986)
  • William Taylor The Lotus Book (Coterie Press, Luton, 1998, 1999, 2005)
  • William Taylor The Lotus Book Collectibles (Coterie Press, Luton, 2000)
  • Peter Ross, Lotus: The Early Years 1951–54 (Coterie Press, Luton, 2004)
  • Rémy Solnon, Lotus Esprit – le grand tourisme à l'anglaise (Editions Les Presses Littéraires, 2007)
  • Andrew Ferguson, Team Lotus: The Indianapolis Years (Haynes Publishing 1996) no longer available

External links

Colin Chapman

Anthony Colin Bruce Chapman, (19 May 1928 – 16 December 1982) was an influential English design engineer, inventor, and builder in the automotive industry, and founder of Lotus Cars.In 1952 he founded the sports car company Lotus Cars. Chapman initially ran Lotus in his spare time, assisted by a group of enthusiasts. His knowledge of the latest aeronautical engineering techniques would prove vital towards achieving the major automotive technical advances for which he is remembered. His design philosophy focused on cars with light weight and fine handling instead of bulking up on horsepower and spring rates, which he famously summarised as "Adding power makes you faster on the straights. Subtracting weight makes you faster everywhere."Under his direction, Team Lotus won seven Formula One Constructors' titles, six Drivers' Championships, and the Indianapolis 500 in the United States, between 1962 and 1978. The production side of Lotus Cars has built tens of thousands of relatively affordable, cutting edge sports cars. Lotus is one of but a handful of English performance car builders still in business after the industrial decline of the 1970s.

Chapman suffered a fatal heart attack in 1982, aged 54.

Dany Bahar

Dany Bahar is a Turkish-born Swiss business executive and the founder of luxury automotive retailer ARES. His involvement in the automotive and motorsports industries began at Red Bull, where between 2003 and 2007 he led the launch of the Formula One teams Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso. From 2007 to 2009 he was Senior Vice President Commercial and Brand at Ferrari, after which he became CEO of Group Lotus, a term which ended in 2012 after the parent company was taken over. In 2012 he founded ARES, an Italian company modifying high-performance cars.

Frank Dernie

Frank William Dernie (born 3 April 1950) is a veteran British formula 1 engineer with extensive Formula One motorsport experience.

Hethel

Hethel is a small village in Norfolk, England, near the historic market town of Wymondham, and approximately 10 miles (16 km) south of the city of Norwich.

According to the 2001 census, the Bracon Ash and Hethel parish covered an area of 9.84 square kilometres and had a population of 446 people within 171 households.

The village gave its name to the former RAF Hethel bomber station, which has been the location of the Head Office and factory of Lotus Cars since the 1960s. The Lotus Cars test track uses sections of the old RAF Hethel runway.

Hethel is noted for containing the oldest known living hawthorn tree in East Anglia and possibly in the United Kingdom (reputed to be more than 700 years old). Planted in the 13th century, "Hethel Old Thorn" (a specimen of Common Hawthorn, Crataegus monogyna)[1][2] is in the village churchyard, which is classified as the smallest reserve under the care of the British Wildlife Trusts partnership.[3].

The name 'Hethel' is derived from the older name 'Het Hill'.

Lotus 119

Lotus 119 was a box car built by Lotus Cars to compete at the Soapbox Challenge that took place at the 2002 Goodwood Festival of Speed. It is believed to be the fastest box car built, capable of 200 mph (320 km/h) on a 45 degree slope. Several types were built, with the 119c at present being the fastest.

Lotus 340R

The Lotus 340R is a limited edition sports car manufactured by Lotus Cars in 2000 at their Hethel factory.

Lotus Ethos

The Lotus Ethos is a fully plug-in hybrid concept car that was unveiled at the 2010 Paris Motor Show as the "Lotus CityCar". The vehicle was developed by Lotus Engineering, a separate division from Lotus Cars. The CityCar has a lithium battery pack with an all-electric range of 60 kilometres (37 mi), and after the battery is depleted the 1.2-liter petrol engine kicks in to help with charging, allowing the car to run more than 500 kilometres (310 mi). The concept car is designed for flex-fuel operation on ethanol, or methanol as well as regular petrol.

Lotus Mark VI

The Lotus Mark VI is the first production car by Lotus Cars. It was introduced by Colin Chapman in 1952 after previously building multiple trials and road racing cars. The heart of the Mark VI is a space frame chassis. Rather than a complete car, it was available to the general public as kit, wherein the customer could install any preferred engine and gearbox, making it eligible for a wider number of formulae.

Lotus Mark VIII

The Lotus Mark VIII car was Colin Chapman’s first fully enclosed aerodynamic design. Chapman's basic requirements for the design were for a car of 1100 lbs powered by an 85 bhp engine and a maximum speed of 125 mph. Work began on this design in late 1953 and Chapman was assisted in the design of the body by the aerodynamicist Frank Costin, who was the brother of Mike Costin, his main collaborator.

The spaceframe chassis for the Mark VIII has been described as "the most nearly perfect sports car chassis". This was Lotus' first true spaceframe and relied on the aircraft experience of Peter Ross and Gilbert McIntosh. Extremely light (the total weight of the frame alone was only 35 lbs) and very stiff, the frame consisted of only nineteen members and was fully triangulated. However, from a practical point of view, the frame had limitations, mostly regarding maintenance; in order to install the engine, it had to be disassembled and then reassembled inside the framework.

The spaceframe retained the divided front axle independent suspension that Chapman had employed on his earlier cars, and used a de Dion layout with inboard brakes at the rear. A modified MG 1500 cc engine and transmission were installed, and a stressed undertray further stiffened the chassis.

In its first race at Oulton Park, Chapman set the fastest lap of the day in Mark VIII prototype, which was designated P3, but had to retire because of a blown head gasket. However, at the next race at Silverstone Chapman won the 1,500 cc. class outright. It was at a subsequent meeting of the RAC British Grand Prix at Silverstone, on 17 July 1954, where the reputation of Lotus cars was made, as Chapman in the Lotus Mark VIII and Peter Gammon in the Mark VI beat the works quad-cam Porsche driven by Hans Herrmann, again winning the class.

The Mark VIII was a precursor to the later aerodynamic Lotus cars.

Lotus Racing

Lotus Racing may refer to:

The umbrella name for Lotus Cars parent company Group Lotus plc's racing division, formerly Lotus Motorsport

The name under which Team Lotus (2010–11) competed in the 2010 Formula One season

Maurice Philippe

Maurice Philippe (30 April 1932 – 5 June 1989), also known as Maurice Phillippe, was a British aircraft and Formula One car designer.

Philippe designed his first car in 1955, called the MPS (Maurice Philippe Special), while employed developing the Comet 4 aircraft for De Havilland.

Philippe raced a Lotus 7 in 1963 and 1964, and in 1965 was asked by Colin Chapman to be his "design team" at Team Lotus. Philippe and Chapman first redesigned the Lotus 39, then produced the Lotus 43, the classic Lotus 49, the ground-breaking Lotus 72 as well as the Lotus 56 turbine Indy cars.

In 1972, Philippe left Lotus and went to work for Parnelli Jones's USAC team, designing the Cosworth-Parnelli VPJ4 for F1, which was raced in 1975 by Mario Andretti.

In 1978, he replaced Derek Gardner as chief designer at Tyrrell, with the Tyrrell 008 finishing fourth in the Constructors' Championship. The 1979 Tyrrell 009 ground-effect car was less successful, only scoring four third places. In 1980, the Tyrrell 010 was introduced and was raced in modified form until 1983.

In 1988, he designed the March-Alfa 89CE Indy car, but he died in 1989 before the car ran for the first time.

Peter Warr

Peter Eric Warr (18 June 1938, Kermanshah, Iran – 4 October 2010, Sainte-Foy-la-Grande, France) was an English businessman, racing driver and a manager for several Formula One teams, including Walter Wolf Racing, Fittipaldi Automotive, and Team Lotus.

RAF Hethel

Royal Air Force Station Hethel or more simply RAF Hethel is a former Royal Air Force station (ICAO: EGSK) which was used by both the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) and the Royal Air Force (RAF) during the Second World War. The airfield is located 7 miles (11 km) south west of Norwich, Norfolk, England and is now owned by Lotus Cars.

Reg Parnell Racing

Reg Parnell Racing was a privateer Formula One team during the 1950s and 1960s. The team was founded by ex-Formula One driver Reg Parnell after he retired from racing. It raced as Yeoman Credit Racing in 1961 and as the Bowmaker Racing Team in 1962. The team's best results were a pair of second places in the British Grand Prix and the German Grand Prix of 1962. John Surtees also took pole for the team at the 1962 Dutch Grand Prix.

Romano Artioli

Romano Artioli (born 1932) is an Italian entrepreneur and one-time owner of Bugatti and Lotus automobile brands.

Artioli was born in Moglia in the Province of Mantua, and raised in Bolzano where in the 1980s he ran one of the largest Ferrari dealerships in the world, selling in northern Italy and southern Germany.

He also imported Japanese cars, owning Autoexpò which in 1982 became the first Italian importer of Suzuki.He had a large collection of Bugatti automobiles,

and was encouraged by Ferruccio Lamborghini and Paolo Stanzani to establish Bugatti International, a holding company that bought the Bugatti trademark name in 1987.

Artioli became chairman of Bugatti Automobili S.p.A., which made the Bugatti EB 110 between 1991 and 1995.

In 1993, his wife Renata Kettmeir formed the Bolzano-based Ettore Bugatti luxury item maker, also using the Bugatti "EB" logo. Their involvement ended in September 1995 due to bankruptcy, and the company was eventually bought by Volkswagen in April 1998. Prior to the sale to Volkswagen, private equity Investor CVC Ventures (a Citibank company) attempted a purchase of Bugatti via UK corporate finance advisor Anglo American Ventures however the £100m deal failed at due diligence stage.

Artioli purchased Lotus from General Motors in August 1993 and became its chairman until 1996 when he stepped down to be Special Projects director until 1998.

He sold a majority stake to Proton in 1996 to fund his losses due to the insolvency of Bugatti.

His daughter Elena Artioli (born 1970) is a politician for the South Tyrolean People's Party and

Lega Nord Alto Adige – Südtirol.

The Lotus Elise was named after Romano Artioli's granddaughter Elisa Artioli.

Sam Michael

Samuel David "Sam" Michael (born 29 April 1971) is an Australian motor sports engineer and designer, who held senior positions with Formula One constructors Williams and McLaren. He is currently employed by Supercar team Triple Eight Race Engineering.

Team Lotus

Team Lotus was the motorsport sister company of English sports car manufacturer Lotus Cars. The team ran cars in many motorsport series, including Formula One, Formula Two, Formula Ford, Formula Junior, IndyCar, and sports car racing. More than ten years after its last race, Team Lotus remained one of the most successful racing teams of all time, winning seven Formula One Constructors' titles, six Drivers' Championships, and the Indianapolis 500 in the United States between 1962 and 1978. Under the direction of founder and chief designer Colin Chapman, Lotus was responsible for many innovative and experimental developments in critical motorsport, in both technical and commercial arenas.

The Lotus name returned to Formula One in 2010 as Tony Fernandes's Lotus Racing team. In 2011, Team Lotus's iconic black-and-gold livery returned to F1 as the livery of the Lotus Renault GP team, sponsored by Lotus Cars, and in 2012 the team was re-branded completely as Lotus F1 Team.

Team Lotus (2010–11)

Team Lotus, originally Lotus Racing, was a Malaysian licensed Formula One racing team and constructor, based in Hingham, Norfolk, UK, which competed during the 2010 and 2011 Formula One seasons, the team scored no championship points in the two years it competed.The team was set up by a group of Malaysian businessmen led by Tony Fernandes using a licence from Lotus Cars owner Proton, for the use of the Lotus name in Formula One. It was run by a company called the 1Malaysia F1 Team Sdn Bhd then. The team gained its entry after the withdrawal of the BMW team in 2009. After having that licence terminated for further seasons, the team bought the historic Team Lotus brand in the 2011 season.The Caterham Group was set up after Fernandes purchased British sportscar manufacturer Caterham Cars. Team Lotus, although forming part of the group, continued to compete under the Lotus name for the 2011 Formula One season. The team's name was eventually changed to "Caterham F1 Team" at the end of 2011, it also competed under the Caterham brand in conjunction with the Caterham Racing Junior Team which competed in the GP2 Series.

Tony Rudd

Anthony Cyril Rudd (8 March 1923 – 22 August 2003) was a British engineer involved in aero engine design and motor racing, with particular associations with BRM and Lotus.

Lotus Cars
Type 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Sports racer Mark VIII Mark IX Eleven 15 17 19 23 30 40 47 62
Mark VI Seven 340R 2-Eleven 3-Eleven
Roadster Elan Elan M100 Elise Elise
Coupé Elite Elan Exige Exige Exige
Eclat Excel Evora
Grand tourer Elan +2 Elite
Europa Esprit Europa S
Saloon Ford Cortina Lotus Ford Cortina Lotus Carlton/Omega
Racing cars
Related cars
Concept cars
Key figures
Group Lotus
British car industry – companies and marques
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0 2 4 6 8 0 2 4 6 8 0 2 4 6 8 0 2 4 6 8 0 2 4 6 8 0 2 4 6 8 0 2 4 6 8 0 2 4 6 8 0 2 4 6 8 0 2 4 6 8 0 2 4 6 8 0
Rolls-Royce Rolls-Royce Limited Rolls-Royce Limited & Bentley Rolls-Royce Motors Rolls-Royce Motors (Vickers) BMW & VW Group BMW
Bentley Bentley Volkswagen Group
Armstrong Siddeley Siddeley-Deasy Armstrong Whitworth Armstrong Siddeley Bristol Siddeley Rolls-Royce Limited Rolls-Royce plc
Aston Martin Aston Martin Aston Martin Lagonda Ford PAG Aston Martin Lagonda
Lagonda Lagonda
Jaguar SS Cars Jaguar Jaguar
&
Daimler
BMH BLMC / British Leyland Jaguar
&
Daimler
Ford (PAG) Tata
Daimler Daimler BSA BSA
Lanchester Lanchester
Rover Rover Company Rover Company Rover Company Austin Rover Group
&
Land Rover Group (BL plc)
Rover Group (BAe) Rover Group
(BMW)
MG Rover Group (PVH)
Land Rover Ford (PAG)
Alvis Alvis BAE Systems
Standard Standard Standard Triumph Leyland Motors British Motor Heritage
Triumph Dawson Triumph BMW
Riley Riley Nuffield Organisation BMC BMH
MG Morris Garages (MG) Rover Group
(BMW)
MG Rover Group (PVH) SAIC
&
NAC
SAIC
Morris Morris Morris
Wolseley Wolseley
Austin Austin Austin
Vanden Plas Vanden Plas
Mini BMW
Princess BMC BLMC / British Leyland
Austin-Healey Austin (BMC) & Donald Healey
Jensen Jensen Motors Britcar Holdings Jensen Cars
Reliant Reliant Reliant
Bond Bond
AC AC Cars (several ownership & company name changes)
Argyll Argyll Argyll
Bristol Cars Bristol Cars
Caterham Caterham
Crossley Crossley
Dutton Dutton Dutton
Ginetta Ginetta
Gordon-Keeble Peerless & Warwick Gordon-Keeble
Jowett Jowett Blackburn
Lea-Francis Lea-Francis
Lotus Lotus General Motors Europe Proton
McLaren McLaren
Marcos Marcos Marcos Marcos
Morgan Morgan
Napier Napier
Turner Turner
TVR TVR
Westfield Westfield Potenza Sports Cars
GTM GTM
Vauxhall Vauxhall Motors General Motors General Motors Europe Opel
Vulcan Vulcan
Hillman Hillman Humber Rootes Chrysler Europe (Chrysler) Peugeot (PSA)
Humber Humber
Singer Singer Rootes
Sunbeam Sunbeam S.T.D. Motors Rootes (as Sunbeam-Talbot) Rootes Rootes
Talbot Talbot
Marque 0 2 4 6 8 0 2 4 6 8 0 2 4 6 8 0 2 4 6 8 0 2 4 6 8 0 2 4 6 8 0 2 4 6 8 0 2 4 6 8 0 2 4 6 8 0 2 4 6 8 0 2 4 6 8 0
1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s
Companies and
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