Lotus Evija wins prestigious International Design Award

Lotus Evija wins prestigious International Design Award

Lotus Evija wins prestigious International Design Award

The all-electric Lotus Evija hypercar has been recognised in the prestigious International Design Awards (IDAs), winning the ‘Product Design of the Year’ category.

Established in 2007 by a group of leading international designers, visionaries and entrepreneurs as a response to a lack of pure design awards in their field, the IDAs have a truly global profile. They celebrate smart and sustainable multi-disciplinary designs, promoting outstanding creativity while uncovering emerging talent.

The award was presented to Lotus after being selected by a panel jury representing each of the five diverse IDA disciplines – Architecture, Fashion, Interior, Product and Graphic Design. The jurors evaluated entries from more than 80 countries, each exhibiting the highest standards of design. The Evija was honoured for its breathtaking ability to stretch boundaries of automotive design.

Members of the IDA jury commented that the Lotus Evija “paves a way towards a more sustainable future whilst embodying an exceptional aerodynamic aesthetic”, and that “its seductive style elevates the Evija to be the world’s most premium sustainable car”.

The Lotus Evija was built with a simple goal – to be the absolute pinnacle of world-class engineering and the most powerful performance car ‘For The Drivers’. It harnesses Lotus’ technical expertise, fine-tuned over more than seven decades, to create a masterclass of automotive excellence.

Russell Carr, Director of Design, Lotus, said: “Everyone at Lotus is honoured to receive this award. The Evija is an incredibly important car for Lotus; it is inspired by our innovative past and is the ultimate statement of intent for our ambitious and exciting future. It also sets the standard for a new Lotus design language.”

To celebrate the IDA award, Lotus has released a set of new images of the Lotus Evija. Shot on the streets of London prior to the current UK lockdown restrictions, they reveal every facet of the hypercar’s stunning design. Find them at www.media.lotuscars.com

Saving the best ‘til last: the Lotus Elise and Exige Final Edition cars

Saving the best ‘til last: the Lotus Elise and Exige Final Edition cars

Saving the best ‘til last: the Lotus Elise and Exige Final Edition cars

This year marks the end of an era for Lotus Cars. As the business moves towards an exciting future as outlined in recent announcements, time is being called on production of the iconic Elise and the genre-creating Exige, after 25 and 21 years respectively.

In honour of these two legendary models, Lotus has announced a range of five new Final Edition cars which have higher power, greater standard specification and – in true Lotus style – light weight.

These cars are the ultimate versions of the Elise and Exige, and mark the pinnacle of technical development to showcase more than two decades of engineering excellence. To be built in limited numbers, each is a fitting tribute to performance cars that are, almost uniquely, legends in their own lifetime.

Five new variants – two Elise and three Exige – have been created and Lotus is anticipating high demand from global markets as customers rush to buy a slice of history. They are available with unique paint colours, new exterior decals, new wheel finishes, new trim and Final Edition badging.

The improvements continue under the skin, a fact reflected in new names which reveal higher power outputs on three of the five – the Elise Sport 240, Elise Cup 250, Exige Sport 390, Exige Sport 420 and Exige Cup 430.

The Elise and Exige Final Edition cars are on sale now, with the MSRP for selected markets listed below. For other markets please contact the appropriate official Lotus Cars importer.

As revealed last month, the Lotus Evora has also entered its final year of production. Further announcements about plans to celebrate this model will be announced in due course.

The Lotus Elise Final Edition range in detail

The Elise is a truly iconic Lotus, with 2021 serving as the 25th and final year of production. These two new Final Edition cars are a fitting tribute, and the exclusivity and rarity will no doubt ensure high demand and guarantee future classic status. They retain all the core values and features that have made the Elise such an iconic car – a small, light and agile two-seater powered by a supercharged and chargecooled 1.8-litre, four-cylinder mid-mounted engine.

As standard, both Final Edition cars receive the most extensive list of interior and exterior features ever. The biggest change is the all-new TFT digital dashboard with the choice of two screens, one with a conventional set of dials and the other a race car-style with digital speed read-out and an engine speed bar.

The steering wheel is of a new design and clad in leather and alcantara. It features a flat base to create better leg clearance for taller drivers and to aid ingress and egress. Every car comes with a Final Edition build plaque, plus new seat trim and stitch patterns.

A new selection of colours has been introduced for both the Elise Sport 240 and the Elise Cup 250, harking back to some of the iconic colour schemes from the Elise and Lotus’ past. These include Azure Blue, the colour used in the first production car images for media in 1996; Black, the brand colour of the motorsport division when the company ran the successful Autobytel Lotus Elise Championship race series; and Racing Green, an homage to the colour of the original car unveiled at the 1995 Frankfurt Motor Show.

Lotus Elise Sport 240 Final Edition

The Elise Sport 240 Final Edition gains an extra 23bhp from a revised calibration and so replaces the Sport 220. Delivering 240bhp and 244Nm of torque, the engine has been tuned to provide stunning real-world performance and class-leading efficiency. The 0-60mph sprint is completed in 4.1 seconds thanks to a power-to-weight ratio of 260bhp per tonne. CO2 emissions of 177 g/km are extremely low for the performance on offer.

The car comes with 10-spoke Anthracite lightweight forged alloy wheels as standard (6J x 16” front and 8J x 17” rear). They’re 0.5kg lighter than the wheels on the Elise Sport 220 and shod with Yokohama V105 tyres (195/50 R16 front and 225/45 R17 rear).

Further weight savings can be achieved with an extensive range of optional carbon fibre panels, including sill covers and engine cover, lithium-ion battery plus a lightweight polycarbonate rear window. With all the lightweight options chosen, the mass of the Elise Sport 240 reduces further from 922kg to 898kg.

Lotus Elise Cup 250 Final Edition

Key to the Elise Cup 250’s performance are its aerodynamics and downforce linked to its power and light weight. With aerodynamically optimised components such as the front splitter, rear wing, rear diffuser and side floor extension, this Final Edition car produces 66kg of downforce at 100mph and 155kg of downforce at is maximum speed of 154mph.

The car is shod in new 10-spoke Diamond Cut ultra-lightweight M Sport forged wheels (7J x 16” front and 8J x 17” rear) with Yokohama A052 tyres (195/50 R16 front and 225/45 R17 rear). The extensive list of standard equipment includes Bilstein sport dampers and adjustable anti-roll bars, to help maximise the aerodynamic downforce available and boost grip whilst maintaining the legendary Elise handling. Also fitted as standard is a lightweight lithium-ion battery and polycarbonate rear window.

Other lightweight carbon fibre options, as on the Elise Sport 240 Final Edition, are available reducing the mass to an unladen weight of just 931kg.

The Lotus Exige Final Edition range in detail

The Exige range is celebrated in its final year of production with three new models – the Exige Sport 390, Exige Sport 420 and Exige Cup 430.

Like the Elise, new equipment for this final year of production includes unique paint choices, new decals and two new wheel finishes. All versions of the Exige also come with the TFT digital dashboard, Final Edition build plaque, new steering wheel, plus new seat trim and stitch patterns.

All models are powered by a 3.5-litre supercharged V6 with a baffled sump, mounted in a lightweight and rigid chassis that provides thrilling acceleration and instant response. Pure unassisted steering offers exquisite feedback and vivid communication at all speeds. The Exige benefits from a bespoke version of Lotus’ pioneering bonded aluminium chassis, a unique rear subframe and forged aluminium double wishbone suspension at the rear.

Like the Elise Final Edition range, the Exige is also available in a selection of new colours representing significant cars in its history. These include Metallic White, from the unveiling of the V6 Exige at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2011, and Metallic Orange, which was used on the first press fleet car in 2000 and the and the Exige GT3 concept from the Geneva Motor Show 2007.

Lotus Exige Sport 390

The new Exige Sport 390 replaces the outgoing Exige Sport 350. The power increase of 47bhp comes from a revised calibration linked to the Edelbrock supercharger with chargecooling, to produce 397bhp and 420Nm. Linked to a light weight of 1,138kg, the Exige Sport 390 accelerates to 60mph in just 3.7 seconds before reaching a top speed of 172mph.

The advanced aerodynamics are carefully balanced, generating 70kg of downforce at the rear and 45kg up front for a total of 115kg at top speed. To put this power on to the road, the Exige Sport 390 has 10-spoke silver lightweight forged alloy wheels (7.5J x 17” front and 10J x 18” rear) and Michelin PS4 tyres (205/45 ZR17 front and 265/35 ZR18 rear).

Lotus Exige Sport 420 Final Edition

The Exige Sport 420 Final Edition gains an extra 10bhp and replaces the outgoing Sport 410. It is the fastest Exige available, topping out at 180mph, with 0-60mph completed in 3.3 seconds. With its light weight of 1,110kg and 420bhp (giving a power to weight of 378bhp per tonne) and 427Nm from the supercharged and chargecooled V6 engine, coupled with a flat torque curve and maximum power available to maximum revs, the Exige is regarded as the most complete driving car of its class.

The list of standard equipment is impressive. Front and rear Eibach anti-roll bars are adjustable and the three-way adjustable Nitron dampers allow for different high and low speed compression settings. The car rides on 10-spoke Anthracite lightweight forged alloy wheels (7.5J x 17” front, 10J x 18” rear) with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres (215/45 ZR17 front and 285/30 ZR18 rear). Stopping power comes from AP Racing brakes with forged, four-piston calipers and two-piece J-hook brake discs. With a higher thermal capacity and improved bite, these discs offer improved debris clearance and reduced vibration for more consistent pedal feel and greater, fade-free performance.

Lotus Exige Cup 430 Final Edition

The Cup 430 remains the range-topping Exige. Already legendary in its short lifetime, it is regarded as being one of the world’s quickest real-world sports car. It is not just suited to its driver’s favourite road, but also at home on a challenging circuit.

Chargecooled for a consistent 430bhp and capable of generating 171kg of downforce, this is the road and track car to rule them all. The radical aero package is not for show; the Exige Cup 430 generates as much downforce at 100mph as the Exige Sport 390 does at 170mph. Weighing just 1,110kg the power-to-weight ratio hits a staggering 387bhp per tonne. With 440Nm of torque from 2,600rpm, 0-60mph is completed in 3.2 seconds on the way to a top speed of 174mph. Downforce is balanced at all speeds, with the car generating 76kg at the front and a further 95kg at the rear, giving a total of 171kg.

Everything about the Exige Cup 430 is focused upon performance whether that’s driving on the road or track. Every car comes with motorsport-grade carbon fibre panels include the front splitter, front access panel, roof, diffuser surround, enlarged air-intake side pods, one-piece tailgate and race-derived rear wing. In addition to revised steering arm geometry to increase bump steer, handling characteristics can be altered via the Nitron three-way adjustable dampers (high and low speed compression plus rebound adjustment) and Eibach adjustable front and rear anti-roll bars, both as standard. Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres (215/45 ZR17 front and 285/30 ZR18 rear) are fitted to ultra-lightweight 10 spoke diamond cut lightweight forged alloy wheels (7.5J x 17” front, 10J x 18” rear).

Braking comes via forged, four-piston AP Racing brake calipers and higher thermal capacity two-piece J-hook brake discs front and rear. The system is designed to give improved bite and reduced vibration, delivering consistent pedal feel and fade-free stopping power lap after lap.

With a high-flow titanium exhaust system as standard, the Cup 430 sounds like no other supercar at speed. Motorsport-derived variable traction control linked directly to the ECU helps maximise traction on corner exit by managing the giant surge of torque. It’s controlled via a six-position rotary switch located on the steering column. Only active with the ESP stability control switched off, the five pre-set traction levels are displayed on the instrument cluster.

When production of the Lotus Elise, Exige and Evora end later this year, the final combined production total will be in the region of 55,000 cars. Together they account for more than half of Lotus’ total road car production since the first Lotus in 1948.

Matt Windle appointed Managing Director Lotus Cars

Matt Windle appointed Managing Director Lotus Cars

Matt Windle appointed Managing Director Lotus Cars

Following the news today that Phil Popham is to step down from his position at Lotus, the company confirms that Matt Windle, Executive Director, Engineering, is the newly appointed Managing Director, Lotus Cars.

Welcoming Matt into his new role, Phil Popham said: “Matt is an excellent fit for the senior leadership role at Lotus. He has been an excellent colleague to me since I joined the company, and is a popular and very effective member of the Lotus Executive team. He’s a long-standing ‘Lotus Man’ and I’m proud to welcome him as my successor. We will continue to work closely together in the coming weeks as I hand over the reins and pass the baton on to the next phase of the Lotus story.”

The handover process is underway, with Matt’s appointment as Managing Director effective immediately.  Phil Popham will remain with the company until the end of March 2021.

Matt Windle, 49, started his career with Lotus in 1998 as a CAD designer. Before re-joining the company to head up the Engineering division in 2017, Matt worked internationally with both high and low-volume manufacturers, including Caterham, Tesla and Volvo. With more than 30 years’ automotive experience behind him, Matt’s most recent role saw him utilise rich technical expertise and leadership experience to head up both the Lotus engineering department and the Lotus Engineering consultancy. In his new role as Managing Director, Matt will lead Lotus in to the next chapter of its continually innovative and exciting 73-year history.

Commenting on his appointment, Windle said:

“It is an honour to be appointed Managing Director of Lotus. Of the many manufacturers I have worked with over the years, Lotus has been the one closest to my heart. I have a history with the company dating back more than 20 years and I really know my way around the business. This period since 2018 has been the most exciting of my career and the scale of the global opportunity ahead of us is both inspiring and all-consuming.

 

He added:

“I am proud to follow Phil into the leadership position and he has left a great foundation for me and the team to build on. I thank Phil for his friendship and support of the past years. I am proud to represent our shareholders Geely and Etika as I continue to work with our talented and dedicated team to fulfil the ambition for this wonderful brand and business around the world. ”Mr. Feng Qingfeng, CEO, Group Lotus, added: “Our future is extremely bright indeed, with new designs, new technologies and new markets for us to leverage with this precious brand. I thank Phil Popham for his dedication in bringing new stability and governance to the business following the restructure of 2018. I also welcome Matt Windle into the role of Managing Director. I very much look forward to continuing to work with him and the UK team as we expand both Lotus and Lotus Engineering across the world into a new era for the business.”

The first two projects that Lotus Cars will see through to completion under Matt Windle will be the Evija electric hypercar and the all-new, yet to be named, Type 131 sports car.  Both will be built from new factories at a comprehensively revitalised Hethel UK headquarters, and both are programmes Matt knows intimately from his tenure at the head of the Engineering function.  Look out for news on both these vehicles and more in 2021.

New leadership appointments for the Engineering department and consultancy at Lotus will be the subject of a future announcement.

New series sports car production confirmed for Hethel

New series sports car production confirmed for Hethel

New series sports car production confirmed for Hethel

A new series of sports cars is confirmed, with prototype production of the Lotus Type 131 to commence this year from a world-class manufacturing facility in Hethel, Norfolk.

The new manufacturing investment is part of Lotus’ Vision80 strategy, which will also see the relocation of two Lotus sub-assembly facilities into one efficient central operation in Norwich city to support higher volumes.

To accompany the £100-million-plus investment into Hethel’s facilities, Lotus will be recruiting some 250 new employees. This is in addition to the 670 to have joined Lotus since September 2017, when shareholders Geely and Etika took ownership of the company.

New recruits are required for roles in engineering and manufacturing for both Lotus Cars and the world-renowned engineering consultancy, Lotus Engineering – which opens its Advanced Technology Centre in Warwick later this year.

To acknowledge the forthcoming family of performance cars, Lotus has released an image that hints at the new generation of products that will follow Elise, Exige and Evora, which have entered their final year of production in 2021.  A full programme of activities is planned to celebrate the current range of three sports cars, starting with the elder, the iconic Lotus Elise.

The Lotus Elise was unveiled in 1995, revolutionising the low volume sports car industry with its pioneering use of extruded and bonded aluminium, high-tech composites and lightweight knowhow.

Using the technology pioneered in the Elise, the Exige, launched in 2000, quickly became the epitome of the ‘race car for the road’.  The Exige demonstrated a rare ability to give the driver an involving yet accessible experience on the road, while still managing to lap the most demanding tracks of the world quickly, with the safety and progressiveness expected of a Lotus.

The Evora, unveiled in 2008, returned Lotus to the lucrative super-sports car sector as an award-winning and versatile road car that was more driver-focused than its peers. In motorsport, the Evora was successful too, winning national GT championships around the world and gaining a podium at Le Mans.

Future Lotus cars are taking this learning and further developing it to ensure the preservation of that all-important DNA, with the overriding criteria of being ‘For The Drivers’.

Phil Popham, CEO, Lotus Cars:

“This year will be hugely significant for Lotus with new facilities coming on stream, a new sports car entering production and new levels of efficiency and quality that only a new car design and factory can deliver. Despite the continuing global challenges, Lotus has emerged from 2020 strong and on track in the delivery of our Vision80 business plan.” He added: “As our Vision80 strategy illustrates, Lotus is all about looking forward, and our future is full of continuous innovation. In 2021, however, we will be reflecting on the legacy of our current range, starting with the Elise, a sports car that genuinely revolutionised the automotive industry, not only because it is a legend-in-its-own-lifetime but also for its impact on car design and technology.”

Matt Windle, Lotus’ Executive Director, Engineering:

“Our renowned team of engineers, designers and technicians who are working on the new cars are acutely aware of the legacy from the Elise, Exige and Evora.  Indeed, many were around when Elise was being developed. Members of our team, old and new, are now busy blending the learnings of the past with the innovations of today and tomorrow, to ensure our future cars truly move the game on but remain firmly committed to Lotus values.”

The Elise, Exige and Evora have contributed greatly to the Lotus business over the years, and by the time the last of these models leaves the assembly line, they will have sold a combined circa 55,000 units.

Lotus has created multiple automotive legends over the last 73 years, and with the Evija hypercar and new Type 131 sports car, a new dawn of innovation and legend-making is breaking over Hethel.

Lotus Winter Driving Academy

Lotus Winter Driving Academy

Lotus Winter Driving Academy

You don’t usually associate Lotus with off-roading. But when the driving surface is carved through powdered snow settled on a lake frozen solid, what’s not to enjoy!

Track days are a key activity for the Lotus China team. They’re a great way to raise the profile of our brand to media, customers and potential buyers, showing off the legendary Lotus performance car ride and handling and the lightweight engineering that’s at the heart of our products.

The team took their activities to the next level over the new year period, staging the first ever Lotus Winter Driving Academy. The destination for guests was the frozen beauty of the Hulan Hekou, an 800,000 m2 wetland park at the confluence of two rivers near the city of Harbin. The capital of Heilongjiang, China’s northernmost province, temperatures can drop to well below -30 degrees Celsius at this time of year.

Almost 50 people attended, taking the chance to test their driving and improve their skills under the watchful eye of expert instructors and racing drivers. Set up as a one or two-day programme, those taking part started out doing simple circles and figure-of-eights to build their confidence. Thanks to patient tuition from the passenger seat, they eventually progressed to an icy 4km high-speed course to challenge even the most advanced driver.

Their weapon of choice was the Lotus Evora GT410, offering exceptional dynamic performance and a thrilling 0-60mph time of 4.1 seconds. A fleet of cars were on hand to support the activities, and feedback on the event was overwhelmingly positive.

David McIntyre is Regional Director, China and Asia-Pacific for Lotus. He attended the Academy and commented: “Harbin is known as ‘the ice city’ and famous for its snow and ice festival. That made it the perfect location for the Lotus Winter Driving Academy. Guests were able to test the legendary handling of a Lotus in the most extreme conditions we could find – on a frozen lake!

David added: “Driving the Lotus Evora GT410 on ice is a great test of our cars’ reliability and handling, and most of all just really good fun. All our guests came away safer and better drivers, and with a full understanding and new respect for what our cars are capable of. I truly hope this will become an annual event, and that next year we can invite customers from across China, Asia-Pacific, and other regions of the world.”

Alpine and Lotus Announce Technical Collaboration

Alpine and Lotus Announce Technical Collaboration

Alpine and Lotus Announce Technical Collaboration

As part of the Alpine Business Unit development, Groupe Renault and Group Lotus have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to study a number of areas of cooperation, including the joint development of an EV sportscar.

The Alpine and Lotus teams will conduct a comprehensive feasibility study for the joint engineering, design and development of an EV sportscar by leveraging the resources, expertise and facilities of the respective entities in both France and the UK.

Alpine and Lotus will also explore the development of a joint services offer combining their engineering expertise. A collaboration to leverage Alpine’s motorsport platform covering Formula One to Formula E and Endurance is also under study.

Laurent Rossi, CEO Alpine, said:

“The signing of this MoU with Lotus shows the lean and smart approach we’re implementing as part of the new Alpine brand strategy. Both brands have an amazing legacy and we are most excited to start this work together, from engineering tailored solutions to developing a next-generation EV sports car. This collaboration along with our transformation mark the beginning of a new era in which we’ll be taking the Alpine name and line-up to the future. We’re putting F1 at the heart of our business, leveraging our in-house expertise and best-in-class partners such as Lotus to inject our cars with leading-edge performance, technology and motorisation”.

Phil Popham, CEO, Lotus Cars, added:

“Today’s announcement is the first step in what is set to be a hugely rewarding collaboration between our iconic brands. We are proud to be working with Groupe Renault in this collaboration – sharing Lotus’ technical expertise and abilities, and leveraging our long track record of successful collaborations. Our companies have much in common – from a pioneering pedigree in light-weighting, to championship-winning sportscars which perform as impressively on the road as they do in the motorsports arena. It is a natural fit in many ways and the co-development of an EV sportscar is hugely exciting for our companies, our fans and customers around the world. The joint-services element of our agreement will additionally make our engineering expertise available to those wishing to engage our innovations.”