If it seems to you like every sports car manufacturer is getting into the crossover game, that's because it's pretty much true. And now, we potentially have one more to add to the list, as Britain's Car magazine reports that Lotus – yes, Lotus – is proceeding with plans to build a crossover.
The trials and tribulations at Lotus over the past several years haven't put the company in best financial position, and after the dismissal of Dany Bahar as CEO, the automaker seemed rudderless. Jean-Marc Gales (pictured above) is the new captain at the helm of the British sports car brand, and he seems like the complete opposite of Bahar. Where the former boss was hugely ambitious (perhaps overly), the current CEO has crafted a plan for a gradual turnaround under what he called a "logic-based"
It's not been a great week for Lotus. Seven days ago, the UK-based automaker laid off a quarter of its workforce, terminating "up to 325 jobs." And then, just a few days ago, it was reported that the company would be ending US sales of its well-received Evora due to the expiration of an airbag exemption. The Evora is the only vehicle Lotus sells in the US, meaning its end effectively removes the brand from the market.
It's been three years now since Lotus stopped selling the Elise and Exige in North America, leaving the Evora as its only model available Stateside. But according to the latest from Car and Driver, even that model is on its way out.
Lotus is recalling 860 vehicles after discovering that the oil cooler hose could detach from its fitting. Should the hose separate, it could spray oil on one of the lightweight car's tires, giving new meaning to the phrase "sudden loss of grip." The other case is, believe or not, more dire, as the spraying oil could hit the engine and ignite. Of course, neither situation is desirable, hence the recall.
New, Southern California-based supercar maker Bulleta Motors says it has launched the Lotus Evora-based RF22, its first vehicle. If the car allegedly designed by Samir Sadikhov also reminds you of the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor fighter jet, then the RF22 successfully embodies its inspiration. Maybe a little too much; the jet struggled with oxygen-delivery and software problems through the long course of its development, and Bulleta seems to be facing an existential crisis in the early going.
Last year about 80 examples of the 2011 Lotus Evora S were recalled over an issue with the oil feed pipe. The same number of 2011 Evora S', but with different manufacture dates, are back in the recall box again for a very similar issue; this time it's the engine oil cooler hose that could rupture and spray oil either onto the rear wheels or a hot engine part. Neither of those cases is good, and the latter could potentially lead to a fire.
It took 1.5 years, but a DRB-Hicom managing director told Malaysia's Business Times that the company has "cleaned up" the situation at Lotus from its finances to its marketing and image. The clean-up job we're most interested in, the product portfolio, will be demonstrated by financial investment in a three-year program of "variants based on existing products - variants with improved technology, improved performance."
Some would say Lotus has some credibility among the green-car set since it supplied the body for the Tesla Roadster and has always been obsessed with extracting maximum performance from light weight. Now, our friends at Green Car Reports are suggesting that the UK boutique sportscar operation could lose that reputation by simulating the acceleration of a conventional geared transmission for its Evora 414E extended-range plug-in.
A pair of head-turning high performance cars are catching some attention off a different kind, in the form of safety recalls. Aston Martin and Lotus have issued recalls for the V12 Vantage Coupe and Evora, respectively.
As with one of those blockbuster three-team NBA trades that actually improves the fortunes of every team involved, a report in Autocar indicates that Renault, Infiniti and Lotus are in talks that could benefit both manufacturers and enthusiasts. Renault is considering a production version of the devil-in-blue Alpine A110-50 concept but has said that it "probably needs more than the Renault-Nissan Alliance on its own." Enter Lotus, whose Evora platform could supply the running bits for the mid-en
The Lotus Evora S IPS that the company showed drifting all around its test track earlier this year will be available in October, says Car and Driver. The kinder, gentler Lotus is fitted with the six-speed Intelligent Precision Shift transmission, an Aisin unit swiped from the Toyota Camry and retuned with Lotus electronics and actuators.
The Lotus Evora has taken many forms as a race car over the past few years, starting in 2009 with the Type 124 Endurance Racer built for the FIA GT. Since then, Lotus has developed a GT4 Cup version designed for a one-make series, the Evora GTE that currently competes in the GT class of the ALMS and the recently introduced Evora GTC.
"The Evora S has 400 Nm of torque which in such a lightweight car is already a healthy figure. But the Evora 414E has two and a half times that amount! The acceleration sensation is almost indescribable, the surge of torque is like an ocean wave!"