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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
 |  Jun 09 2014, 5:26 PM

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Lotus has unveiled yet another special edition Exige model.

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 |  Mar 21 2014, 12:22 PM

Lotus Exige S Titanium

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.

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 |  Jul 20 2013, 8:28 AM

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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.

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 |  Jun 02 2013, 10:01 AM

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Detroit Electric, a brand revived after seven decades, will have to wait another month before production of its new SP:01 kicks off.

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 |  May 01 2013, 8:01 AM

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Despite being unveiled last year, the Lotus Exige S Roadster has been missing in action ever since. That will all change this summer, as the British automaker has confirmed it’ll be heading to dealerships – at least in Europe.

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 |  Apr 04 2013, 7:01 AM

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Unveiling its first new vehicle in over 70 years, the resurrected Detroit Electric car company debuted the SP:01 in the motor city last night.

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 |  Feb 27 2013, 5:37 PM

Lotus is recalling 546 of its sports cars in North America because of a problem with an oil cooler line that could become detached.

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 |  Jan 09 2013, 2:38 PM

Lotus Racing just announced a series of first public debuts during the 2013 Autosport International Show in Birmingham, U.K.

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 |  Oct 25 2012, 1:02 PM

MINI’s Nurburgring-burning John Cooper Works GP hot hatch is almost here and will cost $39,950 including $700 for delivery.

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 |  Jun 25 2012, 7:00 PM

Goodwood is this weekend and will feature British sports car manufacturer Lotus, a highlight for the brand’s year after company CEO Dany Bahar was dismissed only to rebut with a lawsuit. 

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 |  Mar 11 2012, 12:01 PM

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Truth be told, the majority of us are anxiously awaiting the release of the next generation of Lotus vehicles. But until the British automaker releases the new range, we’ll have to settle for the new Exige S Roadster. Or rather we won’t, since it won’t even be making its way to American shores.

Lotus is calling this their fastest convertible ever, powered by a supercharged 3.5L V6 and mated to a six-speed manual transmission, or a six-speed paddle-shifted automatic. Even though exact figures weren’t released, the Toyota-derived V6 will deliver roughly 345-hp and 295 lb-ft of torque – the same as in the Evora S model.

Speaking of the Evora, this “new” Exige S Roadster is actually the front section of the old Exige mated to the rear section of the new Evora. Either way, Lotus claims that the Exige S Roadster will hit 60-mph in just 3.8 seconds with a top speed of 145-mph. Weighing in at a scant 2,425 lbs it is one of the world’s lightest six-cylinder convertibles available. But alas, it’ll only be going on sale in Europe and Asia, yet another fun-packed roadster American will miss out on.

GALLERY: Exige S Roadster

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 |  Mar 02 2012, 4:45 PM

Lotus Racing has formally announced its motorsports program for the 2012 season, where we’ll see the highly anticipated Exige R-GT make its race debut in the FIA European Rally Championship. In addition, the British automaker will enter this year’s European Le Mans Series in an Evora GTE and will also be supporting drivers in the CIK-FIA Under-18 Kart World Championship.

The Exige R-GT (pictured above) will sport Lotus’ iconic black and gold color scheme and will be piloted by former Portuguese champion and SWRC driver Bernardo Sousa. The Exige R-GT is expected to go through its final testing runs next week before its submission to the FIA for homologation. Lotus will build a total of 10 cars this year, with seven of them going to the official team and European drivers.

Johnny Mowlem will be one of three drivers in the Evora GTE that will be racing in the European Le Mans Series’ GTE class. The other two drivers will be announced shortly. The team will be ran by Gianni Giudici, who ran an Evora GT4 in the European Blancpain Series last year with a runner-up finish.

“Gianni Giudici has long been one of Lotus Racing’s most important customers, and creating this official partnership makes perfect sense. He has been very successful in endurance racing, and has the capability to run the car at a very high level. With Lotus’ technical support this will be a good combination for the European platform,” said Claudio Berro, Director of Lotus Racing.

Lastly, the Lotus Racing Karts team are preparing for the 2012 CIK-FIA Under-18 Karting World Championship that will begin on July 8th. The Lotus Racing Kart is built in Italy and “is arguably the most fun, raw and inspirational Lotus ever to hit the race track,” according to Lotus Racing. The top three drivers in Lotus Racing Karts will be rewarded with a fully-sponsored Formula Monza test with the Lotus Formula Juniors team. They will also be afforded a go in Lotus’ F1-inspired Type 125 customer car, plus a two-day test with the Lotus Racing Karts team and a tour of the Group Lotus factory and facilities in Hethel, England.

 |  Dec 24 2011, 1:00 PM

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Lotus Motorsport achieved a couple of major milestones recently, firing up their first ever IndyCar engine while also giving their Exige R-GT Rally car its first shakedown runs – both of which occurred within 24 hours.

On December 22nd at Dallara’s headquarters in Varano Melegari, Palma, Lotus successfully started up the first official IndyCar engine while under the observance of Group Lotus Director of Motorsport Claudio Berro and his team’s technicians. Once they were satisfied with the overall results from the engine, the team began preparations to have the powerplant and car shipped to the United States where full testing will begin in January.

“The fire up in the car went really well, there were no nasty surprises and I think our partners are going to be very happy with the results. It was only October last year that we announced that we would become an IndyCar engine supplier and just 12 months on, we had an all new Lotus engine and three teams signed up – Bryan Herta Autosport, Dreyer and Reinbold Racing, and HVM Racing. We’ve still got a lot of work to do ahead of the start of the 2012 IZOD IndyCar season but so far I’m very encouraged by what I see”, said Claudio Berro.

Lotus also had their first shakedown runs in their Exige S R-GT Rally car in Turin with the team delighted with the results. Testing on the rally car will continue in the new year in preparations for the 2012 FIA World Rally Championship where the Exige will compete in the FIA GT category. It’s powered by a 3.5L, supercharged powerplant and looks to be a formidable race car in the series.

GALLERY: Lotus IndyCar Engine and Exige R-GT Rally

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 |  Nov 01 2011, 10:35 AM

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Lotus Elise and Exige sports cars manufactured between June 1, 2004 and November 30, 2006 are subject to replacement of a faulty oil cooler line, which may be prone to leak oil or suffer from the line detaching completely. If attention isn’t given at a timely matter, the defect can cause slippery oil to coat the tires, smoke, or even fires.

This defect was first brought to Lotus’ attention after reports of smoking and in one case, a fire. Repairs will be performed at no cost to Lotus owners. Dial for Lotus, (800) 245-6557, or you may the call NHTSA vehicle safety hotline at (88) 327-4236

 |  Aug 08 2011, 11:45 AM

The current Lotus Exige is on the way out. Production has stopped for the European spec model since last December, because its current 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine does not meet current emission standards. And here at home, Lotus just announced a Final Edition model to bring the car’s run to a close.

So what is Lotus to do with the Exige now? Simple answer, make a V6 version with the engine out of the Evora. But it is no easy swap. The Toyota-sourced V6 engine is bigger, so Lotus has been running a test mule with a wider track and a longer wheelbase.

Don’t think the next Exige will be some Frankensteinien-like disfigured monster either, cobbled together hastily. The new car will be mostly new and its styling will be quite different. Lotus design boss Donato Coco thinks their current line-up looks “too weak” and wants to inject more style in their future models.

So expect the new Exige to have the new family look as previewed by Lotus at various auto shows over the last year. Their first completely  new model will be the Esprit, which is due in 2013.

For the time-being, an updated Exige along with the current Evora should allow Lotus to bridge the gap between their current and their future cars.

[Source: Autocar]

 |  Aug 04 2011, 8:45 PM

Lotus has to clear out its hoary old inventory for the future of its “New Era,” and as such, it’s sending the Elise and Exige out of American production with some guaranteed-to-be-rare limited editions.

Production for the Elise and Exige will end August 2011 for America—Lotus cites its difficulty in sourcing Toyota’s 1.8-liter 2ZZ engine as the reason to stop building them. The final cars will be “instantly collectible,” as Lotus cites, and limited to nifty matte-black and color schemes, with supercharged engines and an impressive array of standard features.

The Elise SC Final Edition gets a supercharged 218-hp engine and matte black paint on the hardtop and mirrors. Standard features will be unprecedented for a Lotus: air conditioning, MP3-ready radio, central locking, traction control and iPod connectivity as part of the Touring pack will all be standard, as well as a a limited-slip differential. It will be available in four colors and will start at $57,500.

The Exige gets two special editions: the Exige Matte Black Final Edition gets matte black paint as reflective of its namesake, Alacantara sport seats and body-colored wings and side scoops. The Exige S260 Final Edition, on the other hand, will be available in actual hues—Lotus’s entire Metallic, Lifestyle and Limited palette is available at no extra charge—thus sparing its well-heeled owner of “Lord Vader, your car has arrived” jokes. Both cars get the same 257-hp supercharged engine with a limited-slip differential and Sport/Touring packs standard.

As per any limited edition, production will be kept to comically low examples. The Elise SC will only see 15 examples built, while the Exige Matte Black Final Edition and the Exige 260 will be numbered up to 25 and 30, respectively.

It’s safe to assume that all models have been spoken for, which really leaves this announcement as a tease for budding Lotus fans.

GALLERY: Lotus Final Editions

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 |  Jun 17 2011, 4:54 PM

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.

 |  May 19 2011, 10:20 AM

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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

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[Source: Top Speed]

 |  Feb 10 2011, 6:13 PM

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With the new Lotus models looming on the horizon, current Lotus owners may be looking for new ways to spice up their ride before the new model range kicks off in 2015. Tecnocraft, an American manufacturer of carbon fiber products, seems to be listening to the demand, developing a program for the current model Lotus Elise and Exige.

No actual details have been released from Tecnocraft on the products that will be available, but these photos may be provide some hints. Clearly replacement carbon fiber seats will be available, saving some weight in an already svelte vehicle. The exterior meanwhile looks to get some carbon fiber inserts on the hood.

[Source: GTspirit]

GALLERY: Tecnocraft Lotus Carbon Fiber Parts

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 |  Dec 27 2009, 5:34 PM

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To help celebrate the brand’s return to the pinnacle of motorsports, iconic British sports car maker Lotus has just announced the release of the Exige S Type 72. As the name suggests, it’s inspired by the Type 72 F1 car, which was driven by drivers like Jochen Rindt, Emerson Fittipaldi, Ronnie Peterson and Jacky Ickx, who took it to 20 victories between 1970 and 75, with two Driver’s World Championships (in ’70 and ’72) and three Constructors’ Championships (in 1970, ’72 and ’73).

The Exige S Type 72 isn’t anything particularly different, but its rarity (along with its badass paint scheme and wheels) will make it a collectors item. The base car is an Exige S with a supercharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder making 220-hp, helping the little exotic to hit 60 mph in 4.5 seconds.

The black painted Exige gets custom highlights like special light weight black and gold wheels (yum, yum), special ProBax sports seats with “Type 72″ embroidered logos and a special badge commemorating one of the original Type 72′s Formula One victories. And with 20 victories, just 20 examples of this limited edition model will be built.

“The Lotus Exige S Type 72 is an evocative sportscar, combining cutting edge handling and performance with the iconic Type 72 color scheme, one of the most famous racing liveries of all time,” says Luke Bennett, Operations Director for Lotus Cars Limited. “The Exige provides an intense driving experience either on road or track and this limited edition is a worthy car to celebrate such a legendary racing car.”

The Exige S Type 72 will get a Sport Pack as standard, which includes items like traction control, twin oil coolers and an adjustable front sway bar.

Pricing for this collectors item starts at £35,995 (or 40,332 Euro), with 20 initial cars being built for Europe. Lotus has confirmed a limited run for Japan, but there is no word on if this model will make its way to North America.

GALLERY: Lotus Exige S Type 72

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Official release after the jump:

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 |  Sep 16 2009, 6:00 AM

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Lotus displayed its Exige Cup 260 race car at the Frankfurt Auto Show. The race-ready version of the Exige is powered by the same 257-hp supercharged 1.8-liter 4-cylinder as the street car, while weighing just 1,958 lbs.

Carbon fiber components include the roof, seats, dash-top, tailgate, center tunnel, front access panels, front splitter, side intake ducts and rear spoiler. Additional light weight components include a lighter motorsports battery, ultra-light wheels, a revised rear engine subframe, alloy u-bend pipes for the supercharger and a lightweight flywheel.

The new Lotus Sport forged wheels are the lightest original equipment wheels in the world, weighing just 5.65 kg (12 lbs) in the front and 7.75 kg (17.1 lbs) in the rear.

GALLERY: Lotus Exige Cup 260

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Report: Lotus Exige Cup 260 Announced

New version of already impressive track car now weighs in at under 2,000 lbs

 |  Aug 27 2009, 11:34 AM

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As expected, Lotus has announced the release of a cup car version of the new 2010 Exige 260. Powered by the same 257-hp supercharged 1.8-liter 4-cylinder as the street car, the race-ready Cup version weighs just 1,958 lbs, making for what will no-doubt be an outrageously good track machine. Lotus says the Exige Cup 260 can hit 60 mph in four seconds flat.

The standard Exige 260 model already weights 84 lbs less than last year’s model, and the Cup car version sheds an additional 26 lbs thanks to the use of plenty of light-weight material. Carbon fiber components include the roof, seats, dash-top, tailgate, center tunnel, front access panels, front splitter, side intake ducts and rear spoiler. Additional light weight components include a lighter motorsports battery, ultra-light wheels, a revised rear engine subframe, alloy u-bend pipes for the supercharger and a lightweight flywheel.

The new Lotus Sport forged wheels are the lightest original equipment wheels in the world, weighing just 5.65 kg (12 lbs) in the front and 7.75 kg (17.1 lbs) in the rear.

Additional improvements over the past cup car include a Ohlins two-way adjustable shocks and a chassis that is now 30 percent stiffer thanks to a new diffuser and structural “shear panel” that links the rear subframe to the main chassis. The rear spoiler also grows for improved downforce, measuring 181mm (7.1-inches) wider, 46mm (1.8-inches) higher and it sits 61mm (2.4-inches) further back.

Roger Becker, Director of Vehicle Engineering for Lotus said, “The Lotus Exige Cup 260 is the epitome of the Lotus brand philosophy of performance through lightweight. Colin Chapman, founder of Lotus, once said “Adding power makes you faster on the straights; subtracting weight makes you faster everywhere” and the Exige Cup 260 totally proves this, being one of the most exhilarating, focused and pure sportscars on the road today.”

So far Lotus has only set European pricing, with the Exige Cup 260 priced at £45,000 in the U.K. We do expect it will make its way to North America, although PR boss Kevin Smith at Lotus Cars USA says there are no official plans yet. Still, we’re certain a few of the competitors in the Lotus Challenge Series would be eager to get their hands on this new model.

GALLERY: 2010 Lotus Exige Cup 260

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Official release after the jump:

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Lotus Offers Supercharger Kit for Elise, Exige Models

Kit is 50-state legal and carries a factory warranty

 |  Aug 03 2009, 8:41 PM

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While Lotus’s philosophy of making its cars as light weight as possible has obvious benefits on the race track, owners of non-supercharged Elise and Exige models can attest to the fact that the tiny Toyota-sourced engines don’t always deliver the sort of thrust one might hope for.

To help remedy this situation Lotus has just announced a new factory engineered, warrantied and 50 state legal supercharger kit. Using the same supercharger and intake manifold as found on the Elise SC, this kit also includes high flow fuel injectors and a reprogrammed ECU which can be bought and installed at any authorized Lotus dealer in the U.S. and Canada.

Compatible with any  Toyota 2ZZ-GE engine the Lotus supercharger kit boost engine output from 189hp to 218hp and torque from 133 ft-lbs to 155 ft-lbs. Torque also comes on earlier at just 5000 rpm (as opposed to 6800 rpm in the naturally aspirated mode) to deliver a stronger powerband.

“Lotus Elise and Exige owners are genuine driving enthusiasts and that’s what has attracted them to Lotus cars in the first place,” said Lotus Cars USA, Director of Operations Arnie Johnson. “They will fully appreciate the dramatically enhanced driving character these Lotus Supercharger Kits will bring their vehicles and the peace of mind from a fully warranted, factory engineered kit.”

Official release after the jump:

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 |  May 07 2009, 11:51 AM

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When Lotus first showed the Exige 270E Tri-Fuel at the Geneva Auto Show back in 2008 it was seen more as an engineering project than a concept car. That, however, may change.

Recently the vehicle was put on display at the Shanghai Auto Show in China and interest was so high China’s Lotus distributor is pushing for a production model. Youngman Auto, a joint-venture between Lotus and the Chinese government (that’s how they do things in China), has now made an official request to Lotus in the U.K. to build a consumer version of the sports car.

As the name suggest, the Tri-Fuel Exige can operate on any one of three energy sources: gasoline, bioethanol and methanol. It is, therefore, a three-way FlexFuel vehicle.

And that “green” engineering doesn’t come as the cost of performance either. Quite the opposite actually. The Exige 270E Tri-Fuel (again, as the name suggests), makes 270hp from a supercharged Toyota-sourced 1.8-liter four-cylinder. Lotus estimates the car can hit 60 mph in 3.9 seconds and tops out at 158 mph.

Lotus corporate has not made any claims about the production request but we’ll be sure to bring you news as it develops.

[Source: LotusEnthusiast]