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Titanium, it’s both light and strong… and pretty expensive. But the benefits may out-“weight” the tradeoffs for Lotus, as the premium sports-car builder is exploring the dusty silver-hued metal for use in its vehicles.
With rumors of a future for Lotus swirling, the company will live on as its new owner DRB-Hicom has signed off on a three-year plan to fund the British sports car maker.
Knowing that the 444-hp Lotus Evora GTE will be making its way to America makes us giddy. So naturally, when we saw more photos of the most powerful Lotus ever made, we had to share them with the rest of the world.
Up until now, we’ve basically been treated to seeing the Evora GTE under the typical auto show floor lighting. Now we get to see the retina-burning, bright yellow in its natural environment with its 3.5L V6 powerplant ready to rock. These photos really show off what the Evora GTE’s all about, the overall wider vehicle sporting plenty of carbon fiber throughout.
The GTE weighs in slightly over 230-lbs lighter than the standard Evora model and features Lotus’s Automated Manual Transmission (AMT) racing gearbox. Forged center-lock wheels adorn each corner of the street-legal racer, while the inside packs lightweight carbon fiber Recaro seats.
Now we’ll just anxiously await to hear its price tag.
GALLERY: Lotus Evora GTE
Honoring the Lotus Renault Formula One Grand Prix team, the British sports car company is giving three passionate UK enthusiasts the opportunity to own a very custom car. The GP Edition Evora S is fully loaded with the Premium Pack with SuedeTex, Lotus’ Tech Pack and a set of 19-inch forged diamond cut wheels. The special edition Evora S is clearly race-inspired, with a gold-and-black paint scheme that resembles the Lotus Renault Formula One Grand Prix race graphics.
The limited edition of just three vehicles will surely be snatched up quickly in the United Kingdom, sporting a price tag of £69,950 – or a tad over $110,000 based on today’s conversion rates.
GALLERY: Lotus Evora S GP Edition
Don’t let the Swizz Beatz involvement fool you: Lotus still wants you to know that they build sports cars. Case in point: at the swanky Pebble Beach Concours D’Elegance this year, Lotus will unveil a GTE-class race car based on their Evora.
The Evora GTE Road Car Concept is designed to race in the GTE class, including a stint at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. And as such, it packs 420 horsepower in its 3.5-liter V6 engine, channeled through a sequential AMT racing gearbox. It gets this power to the ground via center-lock forged-alloy wheels, wrapped with Pirelli P-Zero Corsa tires. Lotus reassures us that it “isn’t merely a paint scheme or homage to a race car—this is a serious race car that makes for a very serious road car.”
And if you’re heading down to Monterrey next week, you can catch the Evora GTE at Lotus’s dedicated exhibit by the Lodge, starting on August 18th—if you can get past Swizz Beatz’s entourage, that is.
Lotus has officially announced that Lotus is opening dealerships in China. Lotus China Symphony will be appointed as the official distributor for the British sports cars in China. The dealership will be based out of Beijing and will offer a full range of Lotus sports cars including the Evora, the Elise and the Exige.
China has initially ordered 100 cars, the majority of which will be the Evora model, and the remaining inventory will be made up of the Elise and Exige. This limited amount of cars being shipped ensures that the exclusivity of these sports cars is maintained.
Dany Bahar, Chief Executive of Group Lotus explained, “Lotus China has joined the Lotus family at a very exciting time – with a new range of sports and super cars on the way, which will complement the current globally selling range, and a new all encompassing motorsports program, both of which ensure that Lotus is at the forefront of everyone mind as one of the world’s most desirable car brands. The team behind Lotus China has a wealth of experience in premier niche vehicles in the Chinese market and therefore we are delighted that we have teamed up with such a credible and enthusiastic team.”
Li Chen Zhang, Chief Executive of Lotus China described the merger, “We are delighted to be the official distributor of this world class sports and supercar brand and we are very much looking forward to introducing the brand to the discerning customer in China. We are investing in new dealerships throughout China to not only introduce the Evora, Elise and Exige but also in preparation for the arrival of the new Lotus super cars starting with the Esprit in 2013. I would like to thank Lotus for this opportunity and I know that we will do the brand proud in this important market!”
The first dealership will open in October followed by another dealership in Shanghai, Chongqing, and Guangzhou later in the year. By 2012, eight more dealerships will open throughout China.
Lotus has plans to improve both the Elise and Evora with a list of 150 items. Improvements are centered around the Evora, and are designed to boost dwindling sales and bridge the styling gap between the current car and the next wave of Lotus’ due 2013.
Changes include improved gearchange quality, throttle response and exhaust note. Furthermore, improving the general build quality of the car is of concern. Lotus is aiming to be on par with Porsche quality standards, says boss Dany Bahar.
A styling overhaul is also planned for the 2012 Evora model. Lotus’s ex-Ferrari design boss, Donato Coco has complained the present Evora’s front end is “too weak” for a modern sports car. “Even many economy cars look more aggressive,” he says.
Coco went on to explain the importance of motorsport being the brand’s central appeal, which is why the company is competing across so many categories.
The Lotus Elan has been put on hold indefinitely, reportedly due to the rather obvious fact that the concept was too close to the brand’s current Evora model. Previously, rumors had indicated Lotus was taking a close look at both the Esprit and Elite models, which share many of the same components and have similar style, in order to further separate two two vehicles.
But before the Esprit or Elite are put into production, Lotus will be updating the Evora with some aesthetic changes and new trim levels to align it with the rest of the “Lotus New Era” range. Updates will also be done on the Elise and Exige to make them more user friendly. The production Exige will reportedly be revealed at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show.
GALLERY: Lotus Elan Concept
[Source: Top Speed]
Having a little fun in their own backyard, Lotus has lent out a brand new Evora to the UK Police Force, more specifically the Central Motorway Police Group. Lotus’ hot new sports car features the traditional British Police flair on the exterior, including neon yellow accents contrasted by a dark, rich blue.
The themed Evora was introduced at this week’s Autosport International Show, and upon the show’s closing the keys will be handed over to West Midland’s police force who will put the Evora to the test for two weeks.
Gino Rosato, Director of Corporate Operations at Lotus comments: “Lotus is proud to take part in this and similar initiatives to help create a safer road culture for our customers and other road users. We believe that you do not have to compromise fun for speed and to that effect we build sportscars that are fun to drive within legal limits! We will be working with Officers from CMPG to teach them how to get the best from the Lotus Evora at our test track to ensure that any high-speed activity is as safe and effective as possible.”
PC Steven Rounds from, CMPG said: “The Lotus is a visually stunning machine which offers us the opportunity to engage with the public, reinforce and promote the life-saving messages of road safety.”
GALLERY: Lotus Evora UK Police Car
New flagship sports car takes home numerous awards from U.K.'s auto press
After winning the Dewar Trophy for Technical Excellence earlier this year, Lotus is really hauling in the hardware overseas for its new four-seater Evora sports car. In August the U.K.’s AutoCar named the Evora the “Driver’s Car of the Year,” while CAR magazine announced it as their “Performance Car of the Year.” Now Lotus can handily claim what is arguably the U.K.’s top trophy, “Car of the Year” by none other than EVO magazine.
Pitted against vehicles from the likes of Lamborghini, Ferrari, Porsche and Aston Martin, the Evora won EVO‘s COTY award after a 13 car, 1,000 mile comparo was whittled down to just five vehicles.
Meanwhile, EVO also awarded the 2-Eleven “Track Car of the Year 2009.”
“It is a great endorsement for Lotus cars that the most refined car in the product line up is picking up awards at the same time as the most extreme car in the range, illustrating the great wealth of engineering and manufacturing expertise at Lotus,” said Luke Bennett, Operations Director of Lotus Cars Limited.
The 2010 Lotus Evora will launch in North America in the first quarter of 2010.
Lotus has just announced that a of October 1st, former Ferrari executive Dany Bahar will take over at the helm of Group Lotus plc. Bahar moves into the position after former Lotus CEO Mike Kimberly retired in July due to health reasons.
At Ferrari Bahar worked as Senior VP of Commercial and Brand, where he oversaw not only the important job of road car sales, but also the lucrative merchandising aspect of the Italian automaker. Previous to to the position at Ferrari, he worked for Red Bull and helped organize the partnership between Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso with Ferrari, as well as the energy drink company’s NASCAR efforts.
“Lotus has a worldwide reputation for innovative engineering and superb sports cars that lead the world in efficiency, design and dynamics,” Bahar said in a statement. “With the recent launch of the award-winning Evora, there is proof that Lotus is better placed than many to capitalize on the rapidly changing automotive market. I can’t wait to get my plans underway in October.”
One has to wonder if Bahar’s appoitment will usher in an era where Lotus returns its full efforts to the field of motorsports.
Lotus CEO Mike Kimberley has announced his retirement as the head of the U.K. based sports car maker due to medical reasons. The 70-year-0ld Kimberley has been suffering from severe back pain, underwent surgery in 2008 and has now been advised by his doctors to resign his position.
“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,” Kimberley said in a statement. “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.”
Kimberley started his career with Jaguar in 1953 and has since worked in the automotive industry for 56 years. He joined Lotus in 1969, leaving in 1992 to pursue other opportunities with companies like General Motors and Lamborghini, before returning to Lotus in 2006.
Since then Kimberley has over seen the production of the Evora, as well as the expansion of Lotus Engineering, a world renowned high-tech engineering firm.
Kimberley will officially retire on tomorrow, July 17th.
Official release after the jump:
While the new Lotus Evora has already launched in Europe, the official release of the car in the U.S. has yet to take place. Normally we wouldn’t have the full U.S. specifications until that time, but a three page tech sheet from Lotus has leaked out with all the juicy details.
And while so often the U.S. market gets the shaft when it comes to high performance cars, it appears as though Lotus won’t be watering down its new flagship when it makes its debut stateside.
The Evora will be powered by a Toyota V6 engine and output is rated at 276hp at 6400 rpm, while torque is 258 ft-lbs at 4700 rpm. The car will weight just over 3,000 lbs (3,047 to be exact) and thanks to a six-speed manual gearbox will be able to hit 60 mph in just 4.9 seconds. 100 mph will come in 12.3 seconds. There is no mention of an automatic transmission, but one is expected to be offered. A sports transmission with shorter gears is an option.
Lotus also gives braking distance figures for the Evora with its four-piston AP Racing calipers at each corner with front 13.8-inch rotors and rear 13.1-inch rotors. It will stop from 60 mph in 110 feet and from 100 mph in 290 feet.
The car will come straight from the factory with a staggered wheel fitment, with 18-inch rollers up front and 19-inch wheels in the rear. A set of forged rims, which weigh 7.1 lbs less (in total), will be available as an option.
As expected ,with the fuel-efficient Toyota engine, as well as the light-weight Lotus chassis, fuel-economy is impressive with 22.8 mpg in the city and 43.5 mpg on the highway for an average of 32.5 mpg.
See the full spec sheets after the jump:
Expect to see a Tesla competitor unveiled at Geneva Auto Show in March
In an interview with the Financial Times, Lotus CEO Michael Kimberly said that Lotus is working on a Hybrid and that the vehicle could be ready as early as March. And March just so happens to be when the Geneva Auto Show is… and Lotus never passes up an opportunity to unveil something in Geneva.
The car will be Hybrid or, more specifically, a range-extended EV… much like the yet-unreleased Chevy Volt.
Using an electric engine, battery packs and a gasoline engine, the car would run primarily on electric power – switching over to a conventional Hybrid system once the juice runs out.
This would be an interesting move for Lotus, as until now the company has donated the chassis for two other EVs, the Dodge EV and Tesla Roadster.
There is speculation that Lotus is looking to General Motors for help but it is more likely that they will continue to work with Toyota.
As for the platform, we expect the new Evora will provide the base for Lotus’s EV, as hybrid philosophy and the idea behind the Evora as an every-day sportscar mesh quite well.
[Source: Wired from Financial Times]