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As part of a major expansion plan that will see the Lotus brand leave behind its niche-market history and expand into a more mainstream automaker, Lotus is poised to sign-on two long-time industry execs: Bub Lutz and Tom Purves. Lutz needs no introduction, having worked in the auto industry most of his life, holding senior positions at Chrysler, BMW and Ford, not to mention most recently at General Motors. As for Purves, he is a recently retired BMW executive.
According to sources, Lutz has been in talks but no formal arrangement has been while, while Purves said he “would be happy” to get involved.
The move is just the latest for Lotus, which only recently hired on former Ferrari marketing boss Dany Bahar as CEO, while poaching a designer from Ferrari as well. Bahar has also brought on execs from both Porsche and Aston Martin.
In an email to Automotive News, Lotus commented that, “Our aim is to raise the Lotus brand equity back to its rightful place as it existed in the 1970s when it competed with the likes of Ferrari, Porsche or Aston Martin. Maintaining the unique Lotus DNA is crucial, but with more relevance, greater efficiency and even more sustainability than we have had in the past.”
Lotus has admitted, however, that it will look to focus more on producing technologically advanced, luxurious and upmarket sports cars at higher volumes, increasing worldwide sales from 2,500 cars to roughly 8,000 by 2015.
The first big glimpse at the future of Lotus will come at the Paris Auto Show this Fall when the British sports car maker is set to reveal an all new model, thought to be a modern version of the Esprit.
[Source: Automotive News]
It’s official, the name for the RR4 will be the Rolls-Royce Ghost. Company CEO Tom Purves made the announcement during the Rolls-Royce press conference at the Shanghai Auto Show.
“We are delighted to formally announce the Rolls-Royce Ghost,” said Purves. It is one of the most revered names in the automotive industry, evoking images of adventure and technical innovation. The name reflects this new model’s breadth of abilities. The first cars to bear the Ghost name were known not only for impressive dependability and refinement but also great flair and style. This car will be the first in a new generation of models to carry this evocative name and will give us two pinnacle product lines – Phantom and Ghost.
Rolls-Royce displayed the Ghost in Shanghai, although, technically speaking, the model is still the concept car (or “Design Study”), which first debuted at the Geneva Auto Show in March.
Technical details on the car are still scarce but we do know it will be powered by an all-new 6.0-liter turbocharged V12 engine with more than 500hp. A new 8-speed ZF transmission will also be used. The Ghost measures 212.6-inches long, 76.7-inches wide and 61-inches high. The wheelbase is listed as 129.7-inches. The platform for the car is the same used by the new BMW 7 Series. The wheels are 20-inch units with 255/45/20 tires up front an 285/40/20 tires in the rear.
The Rolls-Royce Ghost will go into production in late 2009 as a 2010 model.
GALLERY: Rolls-Royce Ghost
Official release after the jump: