For decades Lotus’ private test track at Hethel in Norfolk has remained a closely guarded secret facility, with few people being allowed to view it let alone drive around it.
Earlier this year within Drivers Republic, we published a behind-the-scenes video of Matt Becker (Lotus’ principal vehicle dynamics engineer) driving a Lotus 2-Eleven around Hethel and now Lotus themselves have invited Google Street View to film normally hidden areas of the Lotus Headquarters.
Some interesting machinery was lined up for the day; a Lotus 2-Eleven that you can see being driven in a spirited manner, a research and development Exige 265E which is fuelled by environmentally friendly ethanol and a number of prototypes of the new Evora.
Nigel Marshall, Head of Facilities Management for Lotus said, “We decided to give Street View users an opportunity to look around part of the Lotus HQ and to virtually drive the Hethel Test Track. Only a select number of drivers have driven the Lotus circuit over the years, but now anyone can get a closer look at where some of the most iconic British sports and racing cars have been tested and developed. To see some dynamic track driving of the Lotus 2-Eleven just check out the North Hairpin!”
Matthew Prestopino, Google’s Head of Street View Operations in Europe said, “Being invited to come and drive alongside some of the UK’s coolest cars was a real treat. This is the first ever circuit in the UK to be photographed for Street View and car fans are going to love taking a virtual tour and locating their favourite Lotus cars in action on the track”.
The Street View of the Lotus Headquarters can be viewed here:
Users can access street-level imagery of the Lotus site by zooming into the lowest level on Google Maps, or by dragging the orange “Pegman” icon on the left-hand side of the map onto a blue highlighted road such as the Lotus test track.