Troubled British automaker Lotus is getting a second infusion of cash following a 100-million-pound ($161.5-million) investment by its parent company DRB-Hicom that was made in August. The substantially smaller investment, a mere 10 million pounds ($16.2 million), comes from the British government's Regional Growth Fund.
Of the many motorsport disciplines in which Lotus is competing these days and will be in the near future, the British Touring Car Championship isn't one of them. And of all the manufacturers taking part in the BTCC, Lotus isn't among them. Which could be why race organizers have solicited the services of the Norfolk, England-based engineering consultancy in regulating the performance between the various cars competing in the series.
Lotus Engineering has reached an agreement with the Spanish Fagor Ederlan Group to develop and produce a small engine for use as a range extender in electric vehicles – a system similar to that found in the Chevrolet Volt. Lotus first showed its 1.2-liter inline-three engine at the Geneva Motor Show in the Evora 414E and Proton Emas concepts.
If you have ever ridden in or driven any Lotus product produced in the last four decades, you have experienced the handiwork of Roger Becker. Becker has been the director of vehicle engineering at Lotus for more than two decades and has one of the most finely calibrated backsides in the business. However, after 44 years at Lotus, the time has come for Becker to slip off into retirement.
Back in the Nineties, shortly after Lotus introduced the original Elise, the company made it known that its new sportscar platform was designed to be easily adapted to different applications – including different powertrains. Companies that were interested in a platform for a niche products using their own powertrains were welcome to contract with Lotus for use of the Elise's underpinnings. Over the years, it spawned several race and concept cars, to say nothing of the production Opel GT,
The Lotus ethos has always been about efficient performance. "Simplicate, and add lightness" is an oft-echoed mantra coined by founder Colin Chapman. While the company is most known for its sports cars and racing endeavors, it's got a history of engineering for hire, as well. Embracing a definition of high performance that has protracted to include alternative propulsion technologies, Lotus has brought its experience to bear for series hybrids.
Lotus Engineering and Harman International have announced a partnership to develop Active Noise Control (ANC) technology for cars. Lotus will continue to develop their existing range of ANC technologies, and Harmon Becker will be the exclusive manufacturer of the systems, which could be customized and sold to OEMs as upscale infotainment sytems. ANC technologies currently being developed by Lotus include Road Noise Cancellation, Engine Order Cancellation, and Electronic Sound Synthesis.
Next week at the Geneva Motor Show, Lotus Engineering will unveil its Omnivore concept engine. As the name implies, the Omnivore is designed to consume whatever is fed to it. The Omnivore is a flex fuel engine that is designed to extract the maximum amount of work regardless of what type of fuel is used. One of the main issues with flex-fuel engines is that the various fuels have different combustion characteristics (burn rates, octane ratings combustion temperatures) and it's difficult to get a
Autocar is reporting that the compact Jaguar XE sports car due in about two years time will be based on a shortened version of the XK's extruded and cast aluminum frame. The dimensions are supposedly going to challenge those of the Mercedes SLK, and that narrower chassis created for the XE could then be lengthened something that would "compete in the compact premium segment."
Lotus Engineering has been working on a wide variety of alternative drive technologies over the past decade, helping many client automakers develop electric and hybrid vehicles as well as more efficient internal combustion engines. This week, the UK government offered up £2.3 billion in loan guarantees to automakers, and tied the money to carbon-reducing initiatives.
Behind the scenes, Lotus is much more than a low-volume manufacturer of sporty little roadsters. Along with Lotus Cars, Group Lotus houses Lotus Engineering. With decades of motorsports experience, Lotus Engineering offers consulting expertise to automotive suppliers and OEM manufacturers. They've even made their mark in the intense world of cycling. More recently, their close work with Tesla as the supplier of the Roadster's chassis must have had some influence on the next direction of the firm
Now this is what we call an upgrade: NC State University's Insight Racing team has scored a new set of wheels for the upcoming 2007 DARPA Grand Challenge. The team's Chevrolet Suburban, dubbed "Desert Rat" for the last DARPA challenge, which sent vehicles across the Mojave in the final event, will sit this one out. Instead, Insight will field "Lone Wolf," the new Lotus Elise which was presented to them by the automaker last week. In addition to the car, Insight will be receiving support from Lot