From the likes of the Dodge EV to the Ford Cortina, Lotus has had its fingers in all of the Big Three's pies. But its strongest relationship has historically been with General Motors. The British engineering firm helped develop the engine in the original Corvette ZR-1, engineered the Vauxhall VX220/ Opel Speedster, re-engineered the Vauxhall Carlton into ones of its own, and has undertaken a variety of projects for the General over the years. Now the latest reports have Lotus teaming up with GM's European subsidiaries for a new hot hatch.
Much as it did with the outgoing Vauxhall Astra VXR, Lotus is reportedly hard at work tuning the chassis on the next generation of the model. Previewed by the GTC concept at the Paris Motor Show, the new Astra VXR is tipped to ditch the current model's electronic differential for a more traditional mechanical one. The engine is rumored to produce in the neighborhood of 280-300 horsepower, with Lotus reportedly brought in to help minimize the torque steer inevitable with that much power channeled through the front wheels.
The Hyperstrut front suspension set-up developed for the Insignia VXR is tipped to port over to the smaller hatchback, expected to hit European markets towards the end of next year to do battle with the likes of the Ford Focus RS and Volkswagen Golf R. We can only hope that GM finds space in the lineup of one of its remaining brands to bring the new Astra VXR to American shores.