Lotus launches…. a Magazine

On the face of it there’s nothing ultimately newsworthy about a car maker producing a magazine, most brands already do so – they’re usually slick, stylish and ideal coffee-table material. Most don’t charge for it though, because they’re normally produced as customer magazines, but Lotus have followed a different path.

The first issue was launched at the Paris Motor Show and is available now via online subscription – at £20 (€25/$30) per issue, or £60 for 3 issues from 2011.

[blockquote type=”blockquote_quotes” align=”left”]Arguably Lotus is a brand – but any marketing guru worth their salt will tell you that a brand is only in part about a name or a logo, equally important (if not more so) is the experience that becomes synonymous with the name.[/blockquote]

Lotus describe it as “..the translation of the new Lotus experience onto paper. It isn’t a glorified sales pitch, it’s the gateway to the new Lotus world, it’s an insight into our game plan”. Spanning 160 pages, the first issue contains a collection of articles highlighting the very best of British culture accompanied by fashion and sublime photography. The newly revealed Esprit, Elite, Elan, Elise and Eterne feature prominently in this first issue, but Lotus are at pains to point out that it’s NOT a car magazine. (Even though that’s precisely the wording of the sub title on the cover page)

Lotus CEO Dany Bahar said: “The concept behind the magazine is to showcase the world of Lotus in a smart, stylish and tongue-in-cheek format. The magazine provides the perfect platform to communicate our new DNA – sexy, upbeat, unique, energetic and bursting at the seams with creativity and joie de vivre. I’m confident that, as with our new cars, the magazine can compete with the world’s best and do our special brand justice.”

Coming out with a paper-magazine doesn’t seem very leading edge for 2010, but customer magazines are precisely the kind of product that continues to make sense on paper, even though many other brands have already embraced digital media with their own iPad versions (which are free by the way). Lotus have produced a digital preview, although they’ve chosen the outdated page flip format. No word as yet whether a digital subscription version is likely to follow.

So, what do you think? Are you likely to subscribe, or does this new image conflict with the Lotus that you know and love?

You can take a look for yourself at the Preview Edition, before heading over to Lotus and placing an order..