Our disappointment with Lotus stems not just from the way in which they’ve been mismanaged by their new owners, DRB-Hicom, but also the way in which its PR spin-doctors tread such a dangerously insincere line that it’s difficult to see how trust can ever be restored.
For any business to function it needs to produce a product or service, sell it to customers, develop new offerings and promote them in order to generate demand. It also needs working capital to pay its suppliers, develop its staff and motivate all involved in its organisation to outperform its competitors. Lotus appears to be doing none of these, and to all intents and purposes is like a patient ‘surviving’ on life support – not ‘living’ – because that would involve actually getting up and doing something, but surviving – as in artificially being kept alive.
It will come as no surprise to anyone who’s been following Group Lotus recently, that Dany Bahar, who was fired as CEO back in June this year, has initiated a claim for £6.7m ($10.6 million) against his former employers for “unlawful early termination of his employment”.
The first production Exige S came off the assembly line last week, beginning a new phase for the Norfolk sportscar maker. Chief Operating Officer, Aslam Farikullah, marked the milestone event by speaking out for the first time about his plans for the company.
It’s motor show time, so Lotus have given us another riddle to solve – 3 new cars, 2 new options AND 1 special limited edition. Thankfully they’ve given us part of the answer, but they’re keeping 2 of the new models a secret until they’re revealed on 13 September in Frankfurt.
Welcome to the July issue of Road Magazine – where we are celebrating three of the best press cars we’ve test driven in recent months.
Firstly, there’s the brand spanking new Lotus Evora V6 IPS – the first two-pedal automatic Lotus since 1986, opening the evocative and beautiful Evora to a truly global audience, particularly in America and Asia. Technology has moved on tremendously in the 25 years since the last Lotus auto, and the clever IPS’ twin clutch, “shift by wire” system is one of the best we’ve ever tested – making the most of the 280PS, 350Nm 3.5-litre V6 engine and amazing Evora chassis.
Officers from the Central Motorway Police Group (CMPG) unveiled ajam-jar liveried Lotus Evora today at the ‘Autosport International Show’ at Birmingham’s NEC after which the car will be used on the Midlands’ busy motorway network for a two week period. The CPMG have taken loan of the Lotus Evora to support their campaign to raise awareness and promote road safety.
31 years after Formula 1 World Champion Nigel Mansell made his F1 debut in a Lotus courtesy of Colin Chapman, his sons Leo (26) and Greg (23) will get behind the wheel of the new Lotus Evora GT4 Endurance at next weekend’s Dubai 24 hour race.
You have to admire the ambition of Dany Bahar and his team at Lotus, despite doubts over the scale and achievability of their New Era strategy, they’ve certainly raised the brand’s profile during the two months since their Paris Motorshow bombshell.
Turning the small Norfolk car maker into a worthy Aston Martin, Ferrari and Porsche rival is on a par with Red Bull winning the F1 World Championship – an unlikely ambition and yet we’ve just witnessed the Austrian drinks company achieving just that.
With all the shenanigans surrounding the recent Paris Motor Show, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Metamorphosis is yet another new Lotus model ready the join the Esprit, Elan, Elite, Elise and Eterne. Fear not, for Metamorphosis is in fact a unique collaboration between Lotus and the award winning French artist Gérard Rancinan – due to be revealed on Friday (12th November) at an exclusive VIP event in Los Angeles.
Lotus surprised attendees at the Paris show today by unveiling not one, but five new models, rather overshadowing the Lotus Evora S and Evora Auto which also made their debut at the show. Four out of the five cars are completely new models (Elite, Elan, Esprit and Eterne) whilst Lotus also displayed a redesigned Elise, due to reach production in 2015. By then the Lotus Brand will be unrecognisable from today, with prices substantially higher and very different customer profile.
New Lotus Evora Cup/GT4 race car and four Lotus 2-Eleven GT4 race cars take on the Nürburgring.