You can get the measure of a car brand by the environment in which its products are built. The narrow, bumpy, hedge-lined lanes of eastern England explain a lot about the way a Lotus goes. The character of a company's chief speaks to the brand's intentions as well. Jean-Marc Gales has been portrayed unflatteringly as a Eurocrat bean counter, but his approach has been to strip weight and cost out of the product to the benefit of performance on both track and bottom line, defining brand attributes
Few automakers short of Jeep love cranking out new variants of a current model like Lotus. Today, the storied British sports car manufacturer revealed the new Exige Sport 410, essentially a more comfortable and road-friendly version of the track-focused Exige Cup 430. This is a mid-engine coupe with 410 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque and a dry weight that's slightly more than an ND Mazda MX-5 Miata. Too bad it's not-for-U.S. consumption.
The all-new metal would be the brand's first since 2009.
It's also only available in Europe.
That is a not-insignificant amount of weight loss.
Lotus shows its latest lightweight models in Geneva by displaying the Evora Sport 410, Exige Sport 350, and Elise Cup 250. This trio could put a smile on any driver's face.
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"
"We are delighted to open our doors to customers so that they can collect their new car from us direct." – Jean-Marc Gales
What separates a road car from a race car? You're looking at it. It's the Lotus Exige V6 Cup, a model based on what is already one of the most hardcore performance machines on the road, albeit upgraded to an even harder-core spec. It's a good 130 pounds lighter than the Exige S (a vehicle which didn't have much flab to trim in the first place) and can hit 60 in under four seconds. With the notably exception of certain versions of the Porsche 911, there aren't a lot of six-cylinder cars that can
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.
Detroit Electric is still on board to produce the Lotus Exige-based SP:01 electric sports car, which has been delayed more than once already. According to the carmaker, the SP:01 prototype is currently undergoing testing at a facility in Europe, as we can see in the above photo provided by Detroit Electric.
Lotus has announced a new, special edition of its hardcore Exige for customers in the UK and Europe. Limited to just 81 units (for the Lotus Formula One team's 81 victories), the new Exige LF1 is the ultimate accessory for fans of the British manufacturer's Formula One efforts.
Some things just don't make sense. But then we're not sure they really have to. Imagine Porsche took the Cayman, which is essentially the coupe version of the Boxster, and turned it into a convertible. Wouldn't make much sense, would it? Well that's essentially what Lotus did with the creation of the Exige S Roadster.
Lotus is getting a shot in the arm courtesy of corporate parent DRB-Hicom, which has announced a 100-million pound ($152.3M USD at today's rates) investment in the Hethel, UK-based manufacturer. The troubled brand was also in the news last week, with DRB announcing a new, three-year plan that would see variants of existing models introduced.