Posts Tagged ‘press release’

The lightest Elise ever – the new Lotus Elise Sprint

Sunday, March 19th, 2017

Evolved, energised and even lighter, a significant update for the legendary Lotus Elise has been unveiled ahead of its arrival in showrooms this spring.

Pride of place in the latest Elise line-up is the new Sprint edition, capturing the spirit of Lotus by offering the latest in efficient engineering to deliver a car that sets the standard at under 800 kg. Featuring a host of weight-saving items as standard, as well as the Elise’s distinctive new styling, the new Lotus remains true to the company’s founding principles. Benefitting the range as a whole, all new Elise editions receive the car’s new look and new interior options, and every single one of the Sprint’s lightweight components can be specified on the standard Elise Sport and the Elise Sport 220 variants.

In the biggest weight cut to the car since the introduction of the first-generation Elise, Lotus has returned to its roots by employing the same intense engineering strategy as used on its most recent models. The Sprint edition of the Lotus Elise has removed 41 kg from the previous model, to reach a benchmark dry weight of just 798 kg.

Focusing on driver involvement, to provide an immersive experience, the new Elise reaffirms the company’s leading position in automotive engineering. A benchmark in purity and balance, the Elise is a favourite amongst drivers and enthusiasts, and to date nearly 33,000 examples have been hand built at Lotus’ famous Hethel factory. Distilled from the very essence of the company’s heritage, the Elise carries Lotus founder Colin Chapman’s vision of efficient engineering into the future and arrives as the company continues its return to form with its strongest ever line-up of vehicles.

Integrating a new front and rear aesthetic with Lotus’ established design language, this latest Elise also receives a wide range of cabin enhancements – including the lightweight open-gate gear select mechanism first introduced on the Lotus Exige Sport 350. The Sprint is available in both the 1.6-litre naturally aspirated and 1.8-litre supercharged versions. Delivering an exciting mid-point in the range, it broadens the car’s appeal by including lightweight and carbon components as standard.

Speaking of the new car Jean-Marc Gales, CEO, Group Lotus plc. said, “Once again, the Elise continues to redefine what is possible in terms of adding lightness to a sports car. Whilst other manufacturers try to keep pace with Lotus’ weight reduction achievements, we’ve raised the bar beyond their reach. An agile, lightweight sports car does not weigh just over a tonne. It should weigh substantially less and, it is a fantastic achievement from Lotus in ensuring that the fully type approved new Elise now dips below the 800 kg barrier.”

Jean-Marc Gales continued, “Enhanced by less weight, the Elise now provides even more driving purity, greater agility and higher all-round performance. As we say at Hethel: less weight equals more Lotus.”

The Sprint and the spirit of Lotus

Ensuring that this latest Elise remains true to the company’s DNA, the return for the Sprint badge – as used on historic models including the Elan – is designed to provide a highly attractive super-lightweight option sitting above the respective Elise Sport models, and below the top of the range Elise Cup 250.

The Sprint’s standard lightweight components include a Lithium-Ion battery, saving 9 kg, Lotus’ beautifully detailed carbon race seats, 6 kg, new lightweight forged alloy wheels, 5 kg, while the carbon access panel, roll hoop cover and engine cover, and polycarbonate rear screen save 6 kg. Collectively they cut an impressive 26 kg, compared to the previous Sport and Sport 220 models, and together with the improvements made to the whole Elise range bring the weight of the new Elise Sprint down to just 798 kg (dry). This includes new, optional two-piece brake discs, saving 4 kg, which will be available from May this year and optional carbon sill covers (-0.8 kg). This reduction in weight translates into quicker acceleration (with 0-60 mph in 5.9 seconds and 4.1 seconds for the Elise Sprint and Elise Sprint 220 respectively), harder cornering and a power to weight ratio of up to 168 hp / tonne (Elise Sprint) and 257 hp / tonne (Elise Sprint 220).

Unlike some manufacturers, Lotus understands the importance of engine note, and Hethel’s acoustic engineers have spent time altering the aural appeal of the more powerful Elise Sport 220 and Elise Sprint 220 models. Providing the perfect soundtrack at any speed, the new exhaust makes the 1.8-litre supercharged Elise the best-sounding 4-cylinder car on the market.

External design touches for the Sprint range include a matt black transom panel, black wheels which come with custom contrasting metal spun rims, distinctive yet subtle side stripes on the bodywork and unique side and rear badging.

Other highlights comprise bodywork keyed colour inserts for the sports seats, transmission console and HVAC surround, along with Sprint badge stitching. The Sprint’s detailing continues inside with an array of optional Alcantara® trim panels on the doors, sills, seats and vents surrounds, all with contrasting stitching.

Less mass means more Lotus

As well as a new Elise Sprint edition, the whole of the new Elise line-up benefits from a range of improvements, which includes a 10 kg mass reduction thanks to a number of new components. Changes to the body including a redesigned lightweight front clam panel, with wider radiator apertures and mesh pattern grille provide a more aggressive aspect and 8.7 kg less weight. The new design of rear transom panel now has two rear light clusters, rather than four, with reversing and fog lights now mounted inboard so reducing weight by 0.3 kg and visually enhancing the rear design.

Modifications front and back are more than skin deep and have allowed the careful balancing of aerodynamic downforce across the whole car. Rubber elements mounted on the flat underside and ahead of the front wheel, together with an additional diffuser vane at the rear, help modify airflow under the car reducing drag and increasing stability.

In addition to injecting some visual drama into the new Elise’s cabin, Lotus’ beautifully detailed open-gate manual gearbox also provides a much more positive and direct operation – giving more precise and quicker shifting. Both technically and aesthetically appealing, thanks to the exposed open-gate design, it further reduces weight with a net saving of 1 kg. An evolution of the design first used on the Exige Sport 350, but specifically optimised for the Elise, it perfectly matches the Lotus’ personality.

The cabin also benefits from a new centre console, as seen on the Exige and optional carbon sill covers which reduce weight by 0.8 kg and increase the door aperture by up to 10 mm, aiding ingress and egress. The Elise’s instrument panel has also received attention, with new graphics making it easier to read and a new in-car entertainment system, including iPod® connectivity and Bluetooth® functionality, can also be selected when ordering.

Options for the new car include Alcantara® trimmed steering wheel, vent-surrounds and sills. Further enhancement can be specified, including a new paintwork colour: “Electric Light Blue” joining the Lotus core colour range.

The new Elise Sport and Sprint are available in two engine options: the 1.6-litre or the supercharged 1.8-litre. Offering 134 hp / 160 Nm of torque and 217 hp / 250 Nm of torque respectively, they have been specifically tuned to suit the Elise and both help to deliver a benchmark power-to-weight ratio and class leading efficiency. Being so lightweight, emissions are extremely low with 149 g / km CO2 and 173 g / km CO2 for the 1.6 engine and 1.8 engines respectively.

Stopping power is provided by AP Racing twin-piston front calipers and Brembo single-piston rear-calipers – optional lightweight two-piece brake discs are also available. All cars benefit from user selectable ESP driving modes – Drive / Sport / Off.

Retaining the elements that have always kept the Elise ahead of rivals, the car is built around an extruded and bonded aluminium chassis which is both tremendously strong and torsionally stiff – weighing just 68 kg.

The new Elise also carries over the same suspension setup as before, with fully independent double wishbone suspension and a front anti-roll bar, coupled with Bilstein high-performance gas dampers and Eibach coaxial coil springs front and rear. Being lighter than the preceding model, the effective spring rate is marginally increased, retaining the compliant ride for which all Lotus cars are legendary.

Designed to continue the legacy of the Elise as Lotus’ most popular model ever, the new range car can be ordered today with deliveries starting from April 2017.

Lotus Exclusive

Every new Lotus Elise customer can personalise their vehicle through the Lotus Exclusive program. Developed by the Lotus Design team, it combines traditional British craftsmanship with the best of modern design. Conceived to inspire customers, allowing them to tailor vehicles to their personal taste, it offers a comprehensive array of options and provides an alluring alternative to an off-the-peg sports car.

To find out more about Lotus Elise range visit: http://www.lotuscars.com/about-elise

Lotus lets loose two giant slayers

Friday, June 24th, 2016

Lotus 3-Eleven

Ready to humble some of the fastest cars that money can buy, two of the greatest, most extreme Lotus models ever produced, the Lotus 3-Eleven, finished in matt and gloss Black colour scheme and the Lotus Elise Cup 250 in Red, have driven off the production line for the first time at the famous Hethel factory.

The two, hard-hitting lightweights represent the latest generation of Lotus sports cars, combining high-output engines with the company’s dedication to cutting mass, and so boosting performance through intelligent engineering. Developed through the company’s Lightweight Laboratory philosophy, every component in each as been assessed, optimised and re-engineered as required.

Surrounded by some of the production and engineering teams responsible for the two cars, Jean-Marc Gales, CEO of Group Lotus plc, commented: “The lucky owners of these will be the first to find out just how special the latest Lotus cars really are. We’ve raised the bar yet again, to produce two vehicles which the competition cannot hope to match. From the outright firepower of the 3-Eleven, to the sublime handling of the Elise Cup 250, these cars, better than any other, encapsulate our ‘light is right’ mantra.”

3-Eleven

Showing clear intent for the Lotus high-performance sports cars of the future, the 3-Eleven is the company’s quickest and most expensive series production car ever.

The 3-Eleven offers a giant-slaying power-to-weight ratio, thanks to a revised V6 supercharged engine developing 460 hp, to provide in excess of 500 hp per tonne. It is capable of sprinting from 0-60 mph in 2.9 seconds before reaching a maximum speed of 180 mph (290 km/h).

Designed to deliver a pure, undiluted driving experience, the Lotus 3-Eleven utilises an all-new lightweight carbon composite body, and a bespoke chassis evolved from Lotus’ ground-breaking work with extruded and bonded aluminium sections.

As part of its development the Lotus 3-Eleven spent time at the Nürburgring Nordschleife, where it was one of the fastest road going cars to ever tackle the track, capable of setting a sub-7 minute lap time.

One year on from its global unveiling, this matt and gloss Black 3-Eleven will be on display at this years’ Goodwood Festival of Speed with Bell & Colvill, the most successful and longest serving Lotus dealer in the world. A second giant killing Lotus 3-Eleven will be taking part in the Michelin Supercar run on all three days of the Festival.

Elise Cup 250

With the Lotus Elise recently crowned as Readers’ Champion during the Autocar Awards, this latest version of the legendary car is the faster ever – with a 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 154 mph (248 km/h).

Powered by a new higher-output version of the supercharged, 1.8-litre 4-cylinder engine, the Elise Cup 250 boasts 243 hp. However, in order to make the most of its power, it’s shed 21kg compared to its predecessor, to weight just 931 kg. Customers wanting to cut weight still further, and so boost performance, can select the optional Carbon Aero Pack to reduce the vehicle’s mass to 921 kg.

The hand-built sports car has long been regarded as a benchmark within the industry, providing a level of precision and driver involvement that rivals cannot match. Capable of lapping the company’s test track in 1 minute 34 seconds, the changes and engineering adaptions to the Elise Cup 250 have taken an impressive four seconds off the previous Elise Cup 220’s best time.

The arrival the new cars coincides with the 50th celebrations for the founding of the famous factory in Hethel, Norfolk, when, in 1966, founder Colin Chapman moved Lotus to the purpose-built facility. Lotus is marking this milestone in the company’s history with special edition cars and events throughout the year.

Every new Lotus 3-Eleven and Elise customer can personalise their vehicle through the Lotus Exclusive programme. Developed by the Lotus Design team, it combines traditional British craftsmanship with the best of modern design. Conceived to inspire customers, allowing them to tailor vehicles to their personal taste, it offers a comprehensive array of options and provides an alluring alternative to an off-the-peg sports car.

Lightening strikes again: The Lotus Evora Sport 410

Thursday, February 25th, 2016

In a move that should surprise no one, Lotus has raised the bar once again by lightening the Evora in order to develop the sensational Evora Sport 410.

Evora 410

Following on from the recently announced Elise Cup 250, and the Exige Sport 350, Lotus’ famous Lightweight Laboratory has been hard at work cutting the weight of the Evora 400 by a massive 70kg. With a host of high-performance carbon fibre components as standard, and sharing the 410 hp supercharged engine with the track-bred 3-Eleven, the Lotus Evora Sport 410 clocks 0-60 in 3.9 seconds on its way to a top speed of 186mph.

Jean-Marc Gales, CEO of Group Lotus plc, commented, “We couldn’t help ourselves, and many may have guessed what we were planning following our recent announcements. We wanted to make the Evora even better: lighter, faster and sharper, but our team has exceeded our expectations. Lotus has distilled what makes the Evora so special into something that’s even more focused. The result is dynamically excellent and nothing short of superb.”

Evora 410 rear

This new, top-of-the-range Evora has been thoroughly re-evaluated, with every component assessed, optimised and reengineered as required. This covers every aspect of the car, including a drastically simplified carbon fibre tailgate (combining five separate elements into one), new lighter-weight door trim panels and the liberal addition of carbon fibre across the entire car.

The Sport 410 builds on the excellent work undertaken in the development of the Evora 400, itself a massive enhancement over the first generation of Evora. However, far from a stripped-out special, the Evora Sport 410 retains excellent road manners, being refined and composed during everyday driving.

The significant drop in mass, and a power boost, means the Evora Sport 410 is capable of lapping the company’s Hethel test track in 1 minute 28 seconds* – an impressive 3 seconds faster than the Evora 400. Reflecting what Lotus does best, it demonstrates the company’s principle of ‘adding lightness’.

The Lotus Evora Sport 410 is the result of Lotus’ philosophy of continuous improvement. With a lower centre of gravity, and a kerb weight slashed to just 1,325 kg, the car provides an impressive 309 hp/tonne.

In addition to boosting straight-line speed, the significant reduction in mass has allowed sharper, more agile and intuitive handling – with even greater accuracy and feel. Jean-Marc Gales added, “The Evora chassis was already the best in the business – the Evora Sport 410 takes it to a whole new level”.

Complementing this is a higher-output version of the supercharged, 3.5-litre 6-cylinder engine, developed through the Lotus 3-Eleven project which has beaten Nürburgring records. As a result, the car boasts 410 hp at 7000 rpm and 410 Nm of torque at 3500 rpm.

evora 410 hatch

The high-performance, carbon fibre components have played the single biggest role in the evolution of the Evora Sport 410. These include front splitter, roof panel, tailgate, and rear diffuser as well as race-derived sports seats and a revised front access panel. The one-piece carbon tailgate incorporates a louvered section, inspired by some of Lotus’ most-famous heritage models, and together with carbon rear quarter-light panels help provide the car with a sleeker, fastback-style trailing roofline. These changes have also improved the car’s aerodynamic downforce by 15% with no increase in drag.

evora 410 carbon splitter

The car’s reduced kerb weight has allowed the recalibration of the suspension, with improved geometry and completely revised damping, as well as a ride height 5mm lower than the Evora 400. As a result, handling is sharper, along with better body and roll control, yet ride comfort and composure is retained. Ultra light-weight, 10-spoke forged aluminium wheels, and optional Michelin Cup 2 tyres, complete the car’s dynamic revisions.

evora 410 wheels

Appealing to purists, the Evora Sport 410’s manual gearbox features a low inertia flywheel, to help ensure swift changes, while a Torsen-type limited slip differential (LSD) gives better traction, and faster exit speeds when cornering. Available as an option, the automatic transmission offers gear selection via lightweight aluminium paddles mounted to the steering wheel.

The new Evora Sport 410 also features Lotus’ Dynamic Performance Management (DPM) which, selected via a dashboard switch, provides ‘Sport’ and ‘Race’ settings. Proportionally increasing throttle response, lowering traction slip thresholds and removing understeer recognition, it allows enhanced control before the system intervenes.

As standard, the Evora Sport 410 comes with carbon fibre sports seats trimmed with Alcantara®, along with the steering wheel and centre console. An integrated touch-screen entertainment system can also be specified, including iPod® connectivity and Bluetooth® functionality.

evora 410 interior

The rest of the Sport 410’s cabin has received attention as part of its development. Weight saving measures includes attractive one-piece door trim panels finished in Alcantara®, with contrast stitching, the deletion of door arm rests and stowage pockets, the relocation of tailgate and fuel filler release buttons and the removal of speakers – if an entertainment system is not specified.

As well as the standard paint selection, the new Evora can also be personalised through the recently launched Lotus Exclusive programme. Combining traditional British craftsmanship with modern design, the service inspires customers to spend time tailoring the character of their Lotus with a comprehensive array of options.

The Lotus Evora Sport 410 will be limited to a global production run of one-hundred and fifty vehicles per year and will be available in all major markets from June 2016.

A specific North American version of the Evora Sport 410 will be announced later in 2016.

Those wishing to register their interest in the new Lotus Evora Sport 410 should visit: www.lotuscars.com/lotus-evora-range

Make your mark with Lotus Exclusive

Friday, January 8th, 2016

Letting Lotus owners set the tone, the new personalisation service Lotus Exclusive offers sports car fans a unique ownership proposition. Combining traditional British craftsmanship with modern design and exhilarating performance, the service allows a comprehensive array of personalisation covering everything from colour coding through to race car preparation.

Lotus Exclusive

Developed by the Lotus Design team, the Lotus Exclusive scheme has been conceived to inspire customers to further personalise the character of their Lotus cars. With the ability to tailor vehicles to their personal taste, it provides an alluring alternative to an off-the-peg sports car.

Jean-Marc Gales, CEO of Group Lotus plc said, “In the past we have created a number of cars personalised to the specific requests of individual customers. These stunning cars were produced by a team of skilled craftsmen and women, using their expertise to create something exceptional and unique for the customer. Now all our customers will be offered this service, to create their own personalised car through Lotus Exclusive.”

Existing Lotus owners, as well as new car customers, can take advantage of Lotus Exclusive during the ordering process at their local Lotus dealership. Examples of what can be ordered will be on hand, providing inspiration and highlighting the areas of the car that can be personalised. Each customer’s requirements from minor details, for a subtle personal touch, to extensive customisation are then reviewed by the Lotus dealer and developed in conjunction with the Lotus Exclusive team at Lotus headquarters.

Body Colours

As the starting point for personalisation, the colour of any Lotus is an important decision. Lotus Exclusive offers a range of heritage and race themed body colours to provide a modern finish to all its cars. These colours include Essex Blue, used first on the Essex Commemorative Lotus Esprit Turbo of 1980 and corresponding Lotus F1 cars in 1980 and 1981 and Motorsport Black, which debuted on the limited edition Lotus Sport Exige 240R, a car which introduced supercharging to Lotus road cars in 2005.

In addition to the headline colours, Lotus Exclusive provides customers with a colour matching service to personalise a body colour in matt, gloss, metallic or pearlescent, providing a vast palette of possible body colours.

Body decals

Highlighting key components, such as door mirrors, sills, wings or spoilers, body work decals can be chosen in white, yellow, red or black colours. Race Stripes, again in the four key gloss colours are available in three styles (twin, single or asymmetric) and add a competition feel to any Lotus sports car.

The roof panel and mirror caps can be given larger graphics with national flags, including the Union Jack, giving an iconic look to the car.

roof decal

Interior Trim

All Lotus cars interiors are skilfully hand sewn at the Lotus headquarters in Hethel, Norfolk. Five suggested leather colours and four stitch colours available on all models.

interior 1

interior 2

Market Availability

Lotus Exclusive is available on all Lotus cars including the new Lotus 3-Eleven, the latest road and race car from Lotus, which will include a full range of performance options making it truly made to measure. Lotus Exclusive is available for all Lotus customers in Europe through the Lotus dealer network, with expansion into other regions later in 2016.

The Lotus Exclusive brochure can be downloaded here: http://www.lotuscars.com/exclusive.

New Lotus Exige Sport 350 – Light is Right

Thursday, December 10th, 2015

att398d3

As the ultimate incarnation of the world famous Exige, Lotus has revealed the Sport 350, the latest version of the class-leading and award winning sports car, that’s lighter and faster than ever before.

The new Exige Sport 350 is the next model in the range to mark the reintroduction of the renowned ‘Sport’ naming designation. It joins the recently announced Lotus Elise Sport and Elise Sport 220 – delivering a lighter and even more performance-focused driving experience.

Concentrating on what Lotus does best, and with a focus on pure performance, the two-seater has been developed to deliver an unrivalled experience for the driver, being sharper and more direct than previous models. Drawing on the core elements that have made the Exige a firm favourite with driving enthusiasts, the Exige Sport 350 combines Lotus’ lightweight extruded aluminium chassis structure with muscular and aerodynamically efficient composite bodywork.

att398d4

A product of Lotus’ ‘Lightweight Laboratory’, the Exige Sport 350 weighs just 1125 kg and has shed 51 kg compared to the previous model Exige S. This reduction in mass is the result of a thorough re-evaluation designed to deliver a pure driving experience.

Lotus engineers weighed every component in the previous Lotus Exige S in order to save weight, the result of which includes, amongst many other changes, the introduction of a louvered tailgate panel, a lighter battery, lightweight engine mounts, a lightweight centre console featuring an exposed gearshift mechanism, lighter HVAC pipework and the optimised use of sound insulation.

Jean-Marc Gales, CEO of Group Lotus plc, commented: “The Lotus Exige is already regarded as one of the world’s best sports cars and a benchmark for performance and handling both on road and on track. With the Exige Sport 350 we took an already phenomenally quick car and made it even faster, more dynamic and more pure, perfectly demonstrating our Lotus design philosophy of ‘lighter and faster’.”

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The 3.5-litre supercharged V6 engine generates 345 hp and 295lbft of torque at 4500rpm, offering scintillating, progressive power to the road, while revised suspension tuning and wheel geometry contribute to un-matched vehicle dynamics and steering precision. Coupled with the car’s lower mass, this power and torque enables the Lotus Exige Sport 350 to accelerate to 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds (0-100km/h in 3.9 seconds) before reaching a top speed of 170 mph (274 km/h).

att398d6

The manual gearbox has been heavily revised, giving more precise and quicker shifting. The gearshift mechanism uses light weight machined and cast aluminium components which are so technically aesthetically appealing they are no longer hidden within the transmission tunnel but exposed through an open-gate design, further reducing weight.

The Lotus Exige Sport 350 is also available with a 6-speed automatic option where drivers can change gears manually via forged aluminium paddles located behind the steering wheel, or rely on the gearbox’s fully automatic mode. The automatic gearbox control panel is integrated neatly into the centre console of the cockpit, with buttons for Park, Reverse, Neutral and Drive. Up-shifts take just 240 milliseconds, with rapid downshifts accompanied by automatic throttle-blip (when in Sport mode).

When fitted with the optional automatic gearbox, the new Exige Sport 350 is slightly quicker for 0-62 mph (0-100km/h), clocking a time of 3.8 seconds against 3.9 seconds for the manual gearbox, due to electronically optimised gearshifts.

Replacing the previous car’s glass tailgate, the newly designed lightweight, strong and stiff, rear louvered tailgate not only helps lower the Exige’s centre of gravity, but also aids engine bay cooling – a feature first introduced on the Lotus Esprit Turbo in 1980.

The Exige Sport 350’s aerodynamic styling produces 42 kg of down force at 100 mph (160 km/h) with the rear wing and flat underside both contributing to its phenomenal aerodynamic performance and finely balanced handling.

The Exige Sport 350’s suspension, with firmer dampers and revised geometry, delivers more responsive handling and, combined with a lowered centre of gravity and four piston brake calipers, help it lap Lotus’ test track 2.5 seconds faster than the previous Exige S model, in a time of 1 minute 29.8 seconds. This makes it the first production Lotus ever to go sub 1 minute 30 seconds around the famed Hethel track.

Lotus Dynamic Performance Management (DPM) provides three discrete modes – ‘Drive’, ‘Sport’ and ‘Race’ – with the latter offering increased levels of traction slip threshold, allowing wider drift angles before intervening. The system also opens the engine exhaust bypass valve at mid-to-high engine speeds. Both ‘Sport’ and ‘Race’ settings increase throttle responsiveness.

New larger switches with improved haptics have been introduced for the DPM system (Sport and Race) with the headlights and rear fog lights mounted together with the vehicle’s new engine start button.

New trim packs introduce a heritage theme to the cabin with lightweight sports seats and door panels clad in red or yellow Tartan (leather or Alcantara interior trim options are also available). The Tartan theme was first introduced in 1976 in the Lotus Esprit S1 and was a bold statement originally in keeping with the fashion of the time and now fitting for the new Exige Sport 350.

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Optional extras for the Exige Sport 350 include lightweight forged alloy wheels (reducing kerb weight by a further 5 kg), cross drilled and vented two-piece brake discs (shaving yet another 5 kg off the weight), black or yellow painted four-piston callipers, air conditioning, an in-car entertainment system and full carpet and sound insulation pack. Interior packs cover Alcantara, leather and Tartan options, for both seat and door trims. By selecting the lightweight options available the total weight of the Exige Sport 350 becomes a featherweight 1115 kg.

As standard, the front splitter, rear wing, front access panel, roof panel, wing mirrors and rear transom are finished in matt black to complement the car’s aggressive stance; with the option for these components to be painted in body colour at no additional cost.

Jean-Marc Gales continued, “Light weight is the most important aspect of our heritage and future Lotus cars will follow the direction of our most recently launched models, the Evora 400, Elise Sport and of course our latest Exige Sport 350, all of which are both lighter and faster than their predecessors. Over the last 15 years, successive versions of the Lotus Exige have beaten more expensive sports car rivals in media comparison tests and I expect the Exige Sport 350 to continue this. The best has just got better!”

The Lotus Exige Sport 350 goes on sale in Europe in February 2016 and will be available outside Europe, excluding North America from March 2016.

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The Lotus Exige Sport 350 will also be available as a Roadster from March 2016.

Those wishing to register their interest in the new Lotus Exige Sport 350 should visit: http://www.lotuscars.com/lotus-exige-range.

The first Lotus Evora 400 sports cars leave Lotus’ Hethel headquarters, on the way to dealerships

Friday, September 4th, 2015

The first Evora 400 sports cars destined for customers and dealers have driven off the assembly line and are soon to arrive at dealerships across the UK and mainland Europe. The significant occasion was marked by a small celebration with proud members of the engineering and manufacturing team at Lotus, who are responsible for hand-building Lotus’ fastest production car to date.

Evora 400 customer cars

Jean-Marc Gales, CEO, Group Lotus plc states, “The Evora 400 has already received admiration and critical acclaim from media around the world, praising its performance, handling and design. In September and October, Lotus dealers throughout the UK and mainland Europe will be receiving their demonstrator and customers cars, so now is the opportunity for drivers to get behind the wheel and experience the Evora 400 for themselves.”

Over two thirds of the Lotus Evora 400 is new, including its supercharged and charge-cooled mid-mounted 3.5-litre V6 engine which produces 400 hp and 410 Nm of torque. Such revisions result in a faster and dynamically more capable model than the previous Evora and are the reason the new Evora 400 has become the most eagerly anticipated Lotus model for several years.

Weighing just 1395 kg, (42 kg lighter than the previous Lotus Evora S) the new Evora 400 combines high performance with the legendary Lotus benchmark handling. This performance, and handling, combined with a maximum speed of 186 mph (300 km/h) and acceleration 0-60 mph in just 4.1 seconds (0-100 km/h in 4.2 seconds), enables the new Lotus Evora 400 to lap the Lotus test track at Hethel seven seconds faster than the previous Evora S in a time of 1 minute 31 seconds.

The Lotus Evora 400 benefits from a high level of standard specification including 370 mm composite two piece brake discs from AP Racing, a Limited Slip Differential, automatic air-conditioning and infotainment system including satellite navigation. In addition to this, the options list includes automatic transmission, cruise control, Alcantara or Leather trim upgrades and metallic paint.

A “Black Pack” option provides a distinctive look, with selected exterior panels including the roof, sills and centre section of the three-element rear wing in gloss black and a dark headlining in the interior. Lightweight forged alloy wheels can be specified along with optional yellow or black brake callipers.

Over the last 15 months, Lotus has increased its number of dealers worldwide from 138 to 193.

North American markets and China will receive the Evora 400 as a 2017 model year in early 2016.

Drivers who are interested in test driving the new Lotus 400 are encouraged to contact their nearest Lotus dealer or to visit http://www.lotuscars.com/testdrive

Lotus Evora 400 International pricing including local taxes where applicable:
UK (Pound Sterling) – £72,000
Germany (Euros) – €96,000
Japan (Yen) – ¥13,200,000
USA (Dollars) – $89,900 (excluding local sales taxes)
China (RMB) – 1,318,000

First Lotus Evora 400 drives off the assembly line at Hethel

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

In a small celebration with a selection of senior management, manufacturing and engineering staff, the first new Lotus Evora 400 has driven off the assembly line at Hethel.
evora400
Jean-Marc Gales, Chief Executive Officer of Group Lotus plc, says, “Today is a very significant stage in our long term plan, which we set-out more than a year ago. With the first Evora 400 coming off the line, we have achieved a key milestone for Lotus.”

Jean-Marc Gales continues, “None of this would be possible, of course, without the confidence and commitment of our workforce who, with great skill and talent, hand build every Lotus car at Hethel.”

The new Lotus Evora 400 laps the Lotus test track at Hethel six seconds faster than the previous Evora S in a time of 1 minute 32 seconds. Combining high performance with the legendary Lotus benchmark handling, it is faster and dynamically more capable than the previous Lotus Evora leading to greater agility and a more involving drive.

Maximum speed is 186 mph (300 km/h) and acceleration 0-60 mph is just 4.1 seconds (0-100 km/h in 4.2 seconds). Over two thirds of the Lotus Evora 400 is new, including its supercharged and charge-cooled mid-mounted 3.5-litre V6 engine producing 400 horsepower and 410 Nm of torque. A new aluminium chassis incorporates a new interior and the lightweight composite body has changed significantly both front and rear.

The new Evora 400, which was revealed at the Geneva Motor Show in March, will enter production for European markets in the summer and deliveries will commence in August this year. China and North American markets will receive the Evora 400 as a 2017 model year in early 2016.

The first Lotus Evora 400, finished in metallic black is destined to be a promotion car for Lotus.

Lotus Evora 400 International pricing including local taxes where applicable:
UK (Pound Sterling) – £72,000
Germany (Euros) – €96,000
Japan (Yen) – ¥13,200,000
USA (Dollars) – $89,900 (excluding local sales taxes)
China (RMB) – 1,318,000

Official fuel consumption figures and CO2 emissions figures are not available at the time of going to press. They will be provided on the Lotus website www.lotuscars.com as soon as they are available.

Introducing the Lotus 3-Eleven

Friday, June 26th, 2015

Heralding a new generation of Lotus high performance sports cars, today saw the unveiling of the company’s quickest and most expensive series production car ever, the 3-Eleven, at the 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed.

311 Goodwood launch

Designed as an uncompromised manifestation of the Lotus spirit, the new car is focused on providing an undiluted driving experience, and underlines the company’s ability to deliver legendary handling and blistering speed.

Working on the concept of less is more, and keeping close to Lotus’ track roots, the dramatic new vehicle features an all-new lightweight body, with an open cockpit design and a revised V6 supercharged engine developing 450 hp.

Two variations of the Lotus 3-Eleven will be available: Road and Race; both delivering an impressive combination of high performance, agility and precision. Based on the Road version, the Race includes a more aggressive aero kit, a sequential gearbox and an FIA approved driver’s seat with a six-point harness.

With a dry weight of below 900 kg (Race version), the 3-Eleven offers an enviable power to weight ratio, in excess of 500 hp per tonne, and is capable of sprinting from 0-60 mph in less than 3.0 seconds before reaching a maximum speed of 174 mph (280 km/h) for the Race version and 180 mph (290 km/h) for the Road version

Jean-Marc Gales Goodwood 311

Speaking at Goodwood, Jean-Marc Gales, Chief Executive Officer for Group Lotus plc, stated, “We always say that to make a sports car better, you make it faster and lighter. The new Lotus 3-Eleven carries that philosophy to a new level, and is perfectly in keeping with our brand values.”

Jean-Marc Gales continued, “This new car is a giant slayer, capable of embarrassing far more expensive rivals. It condenses our engineering know-how into one, hard-core package, and is so focused that it won’t suit everyone. This is a perfect demonstration of the faster and lighter concept, something which will be crucial to all Lotus cars in the future.”

The new Lotus 3-Eleven will enter production in February 2016 and deliveries will commence in April 2016. Production will be limited to just 311 vehicles in total.

Prices start at £82,000 for the Road version (including VAT and on the road costs) and £96,000 excluding VAT for the Race version (£115,200 including VAT).

Performance
The 3-Eleven utilises a bespoke chassis based on the proven Lotus design of extruded and bonded aluminium sections. The Road roll-cage incorporates twin side bars for side impact protection, whilst the Race cage has additional bars to meet international requirements for motorsport.

The Lotus 3-Eleven’s suspension features lightweight, double-wishbones front and rear, adjustable front anti-roll bar and Eibach springs with Öhlins adjustable dampers. This allows owners to fine tune the vehicle’s handling characteristics.

Powertrain
The new Lotus 3-Eleven is powered by a revised version of the 3.5-litre V6 engine first shown in the Evora 400, which includes a supercharger with integrated water-to-air charge cooler. Maximum power output has increased to 450hp (456 PS / 336 kW) at 7000 rpm and torque has increased to 450 Nm / 332 lbs ft with maximum torque available from 3500 rpm through to 6500 rpm.

A close-ratio six-speed manual gearbox with a Torsen-type limited slip differential, featuring a performance clutch assembly and oil cooler, come as standard on the Road version. The Race model has a 6-speed sequential transmission with a semi-dry sump, oil cooler, limited slip differential and paddle shift.

Brakes and Tyres
Designed to cope with the 3-Eleven’s potential, lightweight forged Aluminium wheels are fitted as standard on the 3-Eleven, with either Michelin Pilot Super Sport or Michelin Cup 2 tyres depending on if it’s in Road or Race configuration.

Lotus 311 wheel

At the front 225/40 ZR18 tyres are standard, and to help transfer the 3-Eleven’s considerable power and torque to the road, the rear tyres has been specified as 275/35 ZR19.

In order to deliver the stopping power required for such a quick car, AP Racing four-piston calipers are complemented by two-part grooved and vented brake discs (332 mm front and rear). Upgraded brake pads are fitted to the Race version.

Exterior Design
Manufactured from very light weight composite materials, optimizing vehicle weight, aerodynamic and structural requirements, the 3-Eleven’s composite body is 40% lighter than the GRP equivalent.

This new process is a first for a production car, and an example of Lotus’ focus on utilising pioneering new technology and lightweight materials in its vehicles. The choice of material technology has allowed extreme vehicle performance targets to be met, and help realise the 3-Eleven’s dynamic styling.

Lotus 311 front

Undeniably a track car, the 3-Eleven’s aggressive stance leaves no doubt of its intentions. The dramatically sculpted body perfectly balances the technical efficiency of a track car with the surface refinement of a road-going supercar. Form follows function, with a minimised cross sectional area that keeps drag to a minimum while optimising cooling.

As an extreme design evolution of Lotus predecessors, the Lotus 3-Eleven’s new front clam shell incorporates larger openings to deliver the necessary cooling for the powertrain and transmission. This helps give the vehicle a much more aggressive stance.

Two front splitter configurations are available, depending on whether the vehicle is configured for road or race use, and the front arches are wide enough to cover the car’s wide track and the new 225/40 ZR18 tyres.

Dramatic side scallops provide a clean exit from the front wheels arches, and the car’s profile is dominated by an aerodynamically significant roll bar cover. The car is without a windscreen and doors, with the roll bar fully enclosing the rear cage. As well as generating downforce, the roll bar forms a vital part of the car’s homologation to international motorsport safety standards.

Lotus 311 rear

The rear clamshell emphasises the aggressive stance of the car, with different fixed spoilers available, depending on whether the vehicle is specified for road or race use.

The new rear diffuser and under-tray, which has been developed to ensure minimum drag, complements an exhaust system designed specifically to minimize back pressure and enhance engine performance.

Interior Design
Fitted with the standard aeroscreen and the optional passenger seat, a passenger can be easily accommodated in the two seater. However, these can be removed and the optional tonneau panel fitted – to envelope the driver and improve overall aerodynamics.

Lotus 311 Interior

The new instrument cluster has been designed around a colour TFT screen, and can be switched between road and track modes, providing relevant information direct to the driver.

A quick release steering wheel and Lotus sports seats with four-point harnesses are fitted as standard, while the Race variant has the option of a data logger system, FIA approved driver’s race seat, and six-point harness – as well as a fire extinguisher & battery kill switch.

Manufacturing

Hand built in Hethel, England
The Lotus 3-Eleven will be hand made by the highly skilled craftsmen and women at the Lotus Headquarters in Hethel, alongside the rest of the Lotus sports car range, supported by Lotus Motorsport technicians. All 3-Elevens will then be finished in Lotus Motorsport’s dedicated workshops prior to delivery.

For more information on the Lotus 3-eleven please visit: http://www.lotuscars.com/3eleven/

Expansion and co-location for Lotus in the USA

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

The introduction of the Lotus Evora 400, as a 2017 North American Model Year, marks the start of a fresh period in Lotus’ presence in this vital market. The previous model Evora already received positive acclaim from media, customers and dealers alike and reaffirmed Lotus as the maker of some of the finest, purest, most lightweight and most efficient sports cars sold today.

Jean-Marc Gales, Chief Executive Officer, Group Lotus plc, explains: “The Lotus Evora 400 combines high performance with the legendary Lotus benchmark handling. It is lighter, more efficient and dynamically better than ever. It is the perfect high performance machine for those discerning buyers seeking a hand built British-built sports car that possesses a purer driving experience, greater agility and a more involving drive.”

To coincide with the introduction of the Lotus Evora 400 into the North American market, the company has expanded its dealer network to 47 outlets, with the introduction of four new dealers in both West Covina and Thermal (in California), Scottsdale (Arizona) and Calgary (Alberta), with exciting growth planned for the near future.

In addition, and in the most significant change in Lotus’ presence in the USA for many years, Lotus Cars USA. Inc, (LCU), based currently in Lawrenceville, Georgia, will co-locate to Lotus Engineering. Inc, (LEI) in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the heart of the US motor industry. This will ensure that both divisions can grow their individual operations, while benefiting from improved efficiency through sharing a number of business functions. This co-location is expected to be completed by the end of July 2015.

Jean-Marc Gales continued: “North America, as the largest sports car market in the world, is important for Lotus, both for model sales and for our engineering consultancy business. By having both of our USA organisations located in Michigan, we shall be within the heartland of the USA automotive sector, where the headquarters of some of the most important, influential and significant automotive manufacturers and suppliers are based. This will reaffirm our presence in the North American market, by providing improved customer service, better technical and consultancy support, while ensuring that we have access to a skills base not found anywhere else in the territory. All of this fits with Lotus developing speedily in North America in years to come.”

The Lotus Evora 400, unveiled at the Geneva Show in March 2015, has already generated excitement worldwide. With 400 hp, an acceleration to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds and a maximum speed of 186mph, the Lotus Evora 400 is six seconds quicker around the company’s Hethel test track than the previous Evora S.

Lotus Elise celebrates 20 years

Friday, March 20th, 2015

20 years ago, the Lotus Elise revolutionised the sports car world, setting the benchmark for handling, purity of the driving experience, lightweight and efficiency. Its pioneering and advanced bonded aluminium chassis was a market-leading technological innovation at the time and over the years has improved and evolved and remains core to the Elise’s exceptional performance today.

Jean-Marc Gales, CEO of Group Lotus plc, welcomes the Elise 20th Anniversary model, “It is sometimes hard to believe that the Elise has been around for 20 years. It was ground breaking when it was launched and continues to be the benchmark for handling and performance in its class. Over the years we have improved and refined the Elise but we have also ensured that we have retained the purity of the driving experience and for the Elise to remain as the sports car to which other marques aspire.”

20th anniversary elise

The Elise 20th Anniversary, with its lightweight aero-optimised, composite body, is powered by a 1.8-litre supercharged engine. It reaches 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) in 4.6 seconds and has a top speed of 145 mph (237 km/h). The benefit of this light weight is that the Elise 20th Anniversary consumes just 5.9 litres / 100 km (47.6 mpg) extra urban and emits just 173 g of CO2 per km.

Weighing just 914 kg, 10 kg less than the Elise S, the Elise 20th Anniversary is the sports car that both enthusiasts and newcomers to the brand will desire. Lightweight, efficient and totally pure in its driving experience, its benchmark in handling remains the envy of the sports car scene. Additional equipment compared to the Elise S comes as standard and is designed to reduce weight, including lightweight matt black forged wheels, lightweight centre console in body colour and lightweight sports seats in leather or Alcantara with colour coded stitching. A sport mode is also included which increases throttle response and alters the traction slip thresholds allowing the driver enhanced control before intervention.

Four classic Elise colours are available in Blue, Green, Yellow and Silver and the rear diffuser, wing mirrors, roll hoop cover and rear transom are in matt black. Elise 20th Anniversary decals inside on the dashboard and seats and outside above the side indicator identify the anniversary special edition.

All this additional equipment amounts to £5,150 worth of extra value, for only £2,700 more than the standard Elise S (£37,200) and the Elise 20th Anniversary will become a driving investment for the future.

The Elise is the most successful Lotus model in terms of numbers built, with a total of almost 32,000 built and sold globally. In addition to the Elise, the Lotus small platform technology has been used to great success in the Lotus Exige, Lotus Europa and Lotus 2-Eleven models, all of which are, or have been manufactured by Lotus at its Headquarters in Hethel, Norfolk.

The Lotus Elise 20th Anniversary is on sale now with an MSRP of £39,900. It replaces the Elise S Club Racer. For other currency prices, please contact the Lotus press office. Orders can be placed now.

Specifications:

Each 20th Anniversary Lotus Elise Edition will have the following as standard:

  • Body colour, lighter weight interior centre console
  • Leather, or Alcantara (no cost), lighter sports seat trim option
  • Colour-coded stitching on seats and door cards
  • Colour-coded seat hoops
  • Matt Black forged alloy wheels
  • Matt Black distinguishing exterior trim
  • A choice of four exterior colours – Classic Blue / Green / Yellow / Silver
  • Auxiliary driving lights
  • Elise 20th Anniversary decals externally and on dashboard stereo blanking-plate