"We are delighted to open our doors to customers so that they can collect their new car from us direct." – Jean-Marc Gales

Buying a Lotus sports car now comes with an added perk – you get a peek behind the curtain at the famous factory in Hethel, England.

It's the centerpiece of a new delivery program Lotus is launching, where customers can come to the iconic factory – where every Lotus has been built since 1967 – and pick up their new Elise, Exige or Evora. Customers receive a tour and are presented with their new car by Lotus officials. They also get a personalized owner's booklet and can visit the Lotus classic collection. Additionally, the program includes a photo shoot of the event, a signed print by Clive Chapman (Colin's son) and a car cover.

It starts at 832.50 pounds, or about $1,330. To add track time with a Lotus instructor, it's 999 pounds, or about $1,600.

The packages can be ordered through Lotus dealers.

"Hethel is the heart of Lotus, where we have been designing, developing and building the most exciting and uncompromising handmade British sports cars for nearly 50 years, and we are delighted to open our doors to customers so that they can collect their new car from us direct," Lotus chief executive officer Jean-Marc Gales said in a statement.

Factory delivery programs have become popular in recent years for high-end cars, as they allow brands to connect with their enthusiast buyers directly and are a source of additional revenue. BMW has long had a program that allows customers to pick up their new vehicles at its base in Munich, Germany, and tour the plant and museum. Similarly, Chevy offers a program in Bowling Green, KY, where customers can watch their Stingrays being built and spec-out their sports car down to the smallest detail.

The program is a bright spot for Lotus, which has endured controversy in recent weeks for plans to skip the 2015 model year due to air bag compliance issues in the United States and news of its plans to lay off a quarter of its workforce. Currently, Lotus is selling down its inventory of 2014 Evoras in the US market, and will sell race-spec cars during its off year. Other models are still offered in other markets.

For the official press release, click below.
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Lotus Cars. Handmade in Hethel. The journey starts here.

Now all customers purchasing a new Lotus Elise, Exige or Evora will have the option to collect their new car from the home of Lotus, its headquarters in Hethel, UK.

With the introduction of two new exciting customer experiences, all Lotus customers have the opportunity to visit Lotus for a personal hand-over of their new car, receive a personalised commemorative owner's booklet charting the build of their car and meet the team who brought their Lotus to life.

The experiences also include a tour of the manufacturing facility where every Lotus has been hand built by skilled craftsmen and women since 1967 and a visit to Classic Team Lotus to see many of the iconic race cars of Team Lotus.

For customers looking for the ultimate Lotus immersion there is even chance to spend some time with a Lotus instructor on the famous Hethel test track and get a first-hand insight into how Lotus' ethos of 'pure driving' is engineered into every Lotus car.

Group Lotus plc Chief Executive Officer Jean-Marc Gales said, "Hethel is the heart of Lotus, where we have been designing, developing and building the most exciting and uncompromising handmade British sports cars for nearly 50 years and we are delighted to open our doors to customers so that they can collect their new car from us direct.

"It is here at our Headquarters that Colin Chapman himself conceived and built the original cars that were lighter, faster and more dynamic to drive and race than anything else. The Hethel experience gives our new, existing and future customers the opportunity to see, hear and feel for themselves the ambition that has been core to Lotus; to build cars that give you one of the most thrilling 'pure driving' experiences imaginable."

The options in more detail:

Lotus 'Handmade in Hethel' Experience
• Arrival at Lotus and welcome
• Refreshments
• Lotus factory tour
• Visit to Classic Team Lotus
• Car presentation in Hethel Lotus Originals store
• Presentation of bespoke signed owner's booklet
• Photoshoot of the event

Also included:
Lotus print signed by Clive Chapman
Battery trickle charger
Car cover
Full PDI and car valet

Price (excluding local taxes): £832.50

Lotus 'Handmade in Hethel' Experience + Track Time
• Arrival at Lotus and welcome
• Refreshments
• Lotus factory tour
• Visit to Classic Team Lotus
• Car presentation in Hethel Lotus Originals store
• Track drive with Lotus instructor
• Presentation of bespoke signed owner's booklet
• Photoshoot

Also included:
Lotus print signed by Clive Chapman
Battery trickle charger
Car cover
Full PDI and car valet

Price (excluding any local taxes): £999

Packages are available through the Lotus dealer network at the time of purchase and for a limited time after order.

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