Tony Shute on the Evora Development cycle has a fantastic video of a Tony Shute presentation on the design decisions and the development process that went into the creation of the Lotus Evora. It a bit tech heavy and quite long (38 min) but is definitely worth the watch and I guarantee that it will absolutely delight the engineer inside you.

Some of the highlights:

  1. Went from a clean sheet to final production in 27 months
  2. The front crash structure was designed and tested independent of the rest of the car
  3. The aluminum wishbones on both sides of the front and the rear uppers use the same tooling
  4. Headlight tooling was developed in China but uses UK parts
  5. Radiator acts as a front wing and generates downforces
  6. Main chassis consists of 20 extrusions
  7. Prototypes were built on the manufacturing line

Click here to watch the video

[TheManufacturer via LotusEnthusiast]

Health benefits of Autocrossing

At the last GGLC autocross Alex and I decided to try out a little experiment to see how your heart rate changes during the race. We used a Polar S720i to record his heart rate, an iPhone for video and a DL1 data logger to record G-force and speed readings. I used some simple PHP magic to sync the two data files together and used the Chasecam Dashware system to create this finished video.

You can see the speed, heart rate (BPM), longitudinal G (acceleration + braking) and lateral G in the dashboard on the top of the video. His average heart rate was in the low nineties while on the grid and rises to to 101 just before the start of the run. As the run progresses you can see it quickly rise all the way to 145 bpm by the end of the 45 second run. Just as interesting is the way his heart rate falls as soon as the run ends and drops to the low 130s just 10 seconds after the run. So now if anyone asks you why you autocross just say its for the health benefits 😉

Unfortunately the video quality is not as perfect and the heart rate only updates every 5 seconds but all in all it was a successful test of the system. I have already ordered a Polar RS800CX (1 sec resolution) and I plan to run this same setup for the duration of the Lemons race at Buttonwillow next month. So stay tuned for the health benefits of endurance racing 😀

Mike Kimberley to step down as Group Lotus CEO

Mike Kimberley
Mike Kimberley

The Chief Executive of Group Lotus, Mike Kimberley, announced today that he is stepping down from his role due to an ongoing back problem. An Executive Committee comprising current Group Lotus board members supported by the shareholder, Proton Holdings Bhd, will assume day-to-day control of the business until a successor is appointed.

Mike, who will be 71 in August, has been suffering from severe back pain for a number of months and underwent surgery in late 2008 which was only partially successful. His doctors have now advised him to retire so as not to jeopardize his long term health. Under these circumstances, the board has regretfully accepted his resignation.

Dato’ Syed Zainal, Managing Director of Proton Holdings Bhd, said: “It is a great shame that Mike’s health has forced his departure earlier than any of us would have liked. He has been a great asset to Lotus over four decades. Since his return in 2006, we have seen a huge turnaround in the fortunes of this great company. He leaves Lotus with our deep gratitude and our very best wishes for his retirement.”

Under Mike’s leadership, Lotus has produced the award-winning Lotus Evora, which was recently launched to the world’s press with universal acclaim. He has also overseen the expansion of Lotus Engineering, one of the world’s most respected high-technology engineering consultancy businesses. Group Lotus now has a positive and stable platform despite the global economic downturn and is delivering against its defined growth targets in the company’s strategic business plan.

Mike Kimberley said: “Sadly, it is on doctor’s orders that I am stepping down but I will leave confident that Lotus is in great shape with a strong management team fully supported by our shareholder in Malaysia. It’ll be very hard to leave knowing that there are such exciting times ahead but I’ll take with me many very happy memories. I want to extend my thanks to the company’s shareholder for their unfailing support, my management team and the wonderful staff both at Hethel and at our various operational locations throughout the world. Most of all I want to thank our Lotus customers and loyal fans worldwide for their support over the years.”

Mike will leave Lotus on 17 July 2009.

Mike Kimberley – a Very Brief Resume

Michael J. Kimberley (“Mike”) C.Eng., F.I. Mech. E., F.R.S.A., F.I.E.D, F.I.M.I has had a remarkable career in the motor industry over the last 56 years, working with some of the great engineers, innovators and leaders of the worlds motor companies.

Mike started as an apprentice with Jaguar in 1953 before rapidly progressing to becoming in Section Leader, Special Projects at Jaguar in 1965 where he lead the team developing the Jaguar XJ13 Le Mans car, under such famous names as Jaguar founder Sir William Lyons and Jaguar race director Frank (Lofty) England.

In 1969, he joined Lotus as Manager of Continuous Engineering, with the Lotus Europa Twin Cam being one of his most notable projects. Mike rose steadily but rapidly through the Lotus ranks, joining the Board of Lotus aged 37, and becoming Managing Director of Lotus Cars in 1976 and Managing Director of Lotus Engineering by 1980, being responsible for such Lotus icons as the Esprit, Eclat and Elite.

During the 1970s and 80s, Mike had the unique experience of having worked closely with the company’s founder Colin Chapman, with whom Mike set up the world class Lotus Engineering consultancy to enable Lotus to work for many other cars companies around the world. Lotus Engineering is now a globally recognised high technology engineering consultancy and serves many of the world’s car companies.

After Colin Chapman’s tragic and untimely death in 1982, Mike became C.E.O of Group Lotus plc, as well as holding board positions with a number of Lotus associated companies such as Chairman of Millbrook Proving Ground and President of Moog Systems Inc. With Lotus under General Motors ownership, Mike became Chairman of Group Lotus plc before leaving Lotus in 1992 to become Executive Vice President (General Motors Overseas Corporation) based in South East Asia. Two years later, Mike became director of the Vector Aeromotive Corporation, and in 1994, he became President & Managing Director of Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A, being responsible for the rebuilding of Lamborghini after Chrysler’s ownership and prior to its sale to Audi AG, as part of the VW Group.

In the mid 1990s, Mike left Lamborghini and worked directly for Tommy Suharto as a board member of Timor Putra Nasional (owners of Lamborghini) until retiring with an undiagnosed tropical fever.

Returning to the automotive industry a few months later, Mike worked in a consultancy role for a number of organisations including Tata Motors Ltd.

In August 2005 Mike was appointed to the Lotus Group International Limited and Group Lotus plc Boards as well as other Boards of Proton. He was appointed acting Chief Executive Officer of Group Lotus plc in May 2006, confirmed as Chief Executive Officer of Group Lotus plc in September 2006.

During his second tenure at Lotus, Mike has been responsible for the creation and execution of a new 5 year strategic business plan, and the new, already award-winning Lotus Evora is the first of the range of new Lotus cars to be designed, developed, manufactured and sold by Britain’s most iconic and innovative sportscar company. Lotus Engineering has expanded to become a world-class consultancy employing over 500 highly qualified engineers in five technical centres around the globe. It is revered for innovation, outstanding driving dynamics, exciting niche vehicles and efficient performance engineering.

Mike (70) is married with 3 children and 3 grand children and lives in Norwich.

[via Lotus PR department]

West Coast Lotus Meet (Nov 5-9, Las Vegas, NV)


Registration for the 2009 West Coast Lotus Meet is now officially open!

The Lotus Car Club of Southern Nevada will host the event from November 5-9 at the ultra hip Red Rock Hotel and Casino with assistance from other Lotus clubs on the west coast.


Drive, Drink, Play, Party. WCLM 2009 in Vegas has a sampling of the best car events and outrageous recreational events Vegas has to offer inspired by the old and new Sin City.

Friday and Saturday will offer drives to Lake Las Vegas, Lake Mead, Hoover Dam, Red Rock Canyon or Valley of Fire and the WCLM Autocross and Lotus Car Show (Concours). Sunday is the track event (optional) in Pahrump.

The schedule is now tentative, and looks like this:

SEMA ends 11/5
Thursday 11/5

  • check-in – reserved area around the pool for relaxing & cocktails – evening open

Friday 11/6

  • check-in – afternoon autocross (tentative – still working on this)
  • 6-8 informal meet n’ greet cocktail buffet in the VIP reception area
  • 8-10 Lotus Challenge Bowling Bash
  • 10 + whatever

Saturday 11/7

  • 10-12 Car Show (Casual Concours)
  • 2-5 Lake Mead Cruise
  • 7-8 Cocktails and entertainment
  • 8-9:30 Dinner, Awards, etc.
  • 9:30 + whatever – Just remember 8 hours Bottle to Throttle

Sunday 11/8

  • all day track event at Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch in Pahrump

The Red Rock Hotel & Casino – Step inside and be completely immersed in the “Happy Endings” ambiance of ultra hip architecture, design and flavor of the Red Rock Hotel and Casino while playing or relaxing. Enjoy cocktails by the luxurious pool! Hot times in the nightclub! Win at the Tables! Relax in the Spa!

TRACK DAY (optional)

Drive fast, drive well and finish well. Enjoy an exciting day on the track at the most luxurious racetrack in the west. Spring Mountain Motorsport Ranch has it all – 2.2 mile twisty track run from the lower paddock, luncheon at the Member’s Club House, observation tower, pool, spa, weight room, jacuzzi, massage rooms and more. The track event is on Sunday, November 8th and if you want more stay for a 2nd track day on Monday, November 9th using the 3.1 mile course!

Take your Lotus out on the track with challenges for the most advanced drivers and expert instruction for beginners. Never been on a racetrack before? We will have coaches ride with you to get you acquainted with the track and help you withg high speed driving techniques, all with safety in mind.

For the most up-to-date information about the 2009 WCLM, please visit the official website at

WCLM Contacts:
Cory Newberry (Southern Nevada Lotus Car Club)

Kiyoshi Hamai (Golden Gate Lotus Club)

GGLC/Lotus Talk South Bay Lunch (Mountain View, 14-Jul-2009)

Its time for another GGLC/LotusTalk South Bay lunch. Meet us on July 14 (Tuesday) for some excellent Mexican food at Vive Sol in Mountain View. There is a plenty of parking in the rear of the building and if we get enough people I’ll see if I can get a section of the lot reserved for us.

What: Lotus Talk South Bay Lunch
When: 11:45 am on 14-July-2009
Vive Sol Restaurant
2020 El Camino Real.
Mountain View, CA 94040

Please RSVP before July 7th by either leaving a comment below or by posting in this thread on LotusTalk. I will update this post with an attendee list and more info as we get closer.