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The Evora GTE is the most powerful Lotus to date, making 444 horsepower with a 3.5-liter v6, but track-bred performance isn’t quite enough to make it pop.
Instead Lotus signed a deal with rapper/producer Swizz Beatz to collaborate on a special line of cars that have hiphop swag. This isn’t the first time an automaker resorted to the rap community for extra buzz, as Funkmaster Flex and Ford had a tie-up earlier in the decade.
Lotus chose the Alvin Ailey’s Opening Night Gala to show off their chrome-adorned special edition Evora GTE. Aside from serous horsepower, the car gets an automated manual transmission and carbon fiber throughout the body, good for shaving off anther 231 pounds.
In a fit of corporate community outreach, Lotus hired Swizz Beatz (Kasseem Daoud Dean) to head Lotus’s Creative Design department, which may sound like the plot to a screwball 80′s comedy (Gung Ho meets Trading Places?) but actually came with a press release.
The rapper and hip-hop producer wasn’t just chosen to become Lotus’s spokesman—no, he is officially the vice president of Creative Design and Global Marketing, a position which comes with free coffee in the Lotus corporate break room. Turns out, Mr. Beatz is an avid car collector, with a Spyker C8 and a Ferrari Enzo in his stable, but presumably not a 1978 Eclat 22. He joins Victoria Beckham in the position of unlikely celebrity executive, where she is the creative design executive for Land Rover.
In the video after the jump, Lotus explains what he’ll be expected to bring to the table. But what makes Swizz Beatz the perfect man for the Norfolk company? “Three little facts,” Lotus says:
1. Like Group Lotus , he means business: He’s a risk taker with considerable credentials including music producer, rapper, designer AND painter.
2. Like our cars, he’s multi award winning: This year he shared a Grammy Award with Jay-Z.
3. Like Group Lotus he keeps good company: This man regularly works with the likes of Bono, Kanye West, Beyoncé and Alicia Keys.
Swizz Beatz is a stepping stone to other famous artists—which Lotus hopes, not unlike a comely teenage girl who waits outside the jock quarterback’s locker after classes, will net them even more friends and that vaunted 18-34 demographic that marketing people keep talking about. What better way for Lotus to convince hip-hop moguls to replace their Maseratis and Bentleys and Maybachs…hold on, scratch that last one. Biggie might not have fit in an Exige, but Yeezy could. Whether he actually wants to is up to Dany Bahar’s salesmanship and size-11 Loakes.
But we wish Lotus well, of course. After all, they are merely adhering to Colin Chapman’s previously-truncated quip: “simplify, and make it rain, dogg.”