Here’s a bit of good news to end the week. Group Lotus has announced that it will create more than 100 new jobs at…
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.
Yesterday, Lotus Renault GP confirmed Romain Grosjean as its 2nd driver for 2012 alongside Kimi Raikkonen, displacing the team’s 2011 drivers Bruno Senna and Vitaly Petrov.
In a statement shortly after, team boss Eric Boullier confirmed Petrov’s contract had been terminated and that he would not be in line for the team’s test and reserve driver role (presumably linked to his recent outbursts against the team).
Complete with a newly refurbished Lotus Test track at Hethel and new Chief Instructor in the form of former Lotus F1 driver, Martin Donnelly, the Lotus Driving Academy (LDA) opens its doors for the autumn term with a brand new syllabus and the new ‘Lotus Licence’.
Group Lotus has announced this morning the appointment of Gordon Murray to the Lotus Advisory Council. Murray will work alongside other automotive industry luminaries including Bob Lutz, Tom Purves, Prof. Dr. Burkhard Göschel and Frank Tuch to advise Group Lotus on current and future development activities.
Lotus are pulling out all the stops and launching two hardcore versions of the Exige and Evora, for the Pebble Beach automotive events this week at Monterey and Long Beach.
Since Hethel-based Lotus Cars is staffed with several high-profile Italian auto executives, a tie-up with the Italian Military Police (Carabinieri) shouldn’t come as any surprise.
If you’ve ever been to the Lotus test track at Hethel you’ll remember it as a challenging track – bumpy, off camber in places with minimal run-off. Lotus chassis engineers can describe every undulation and surface change, and have clocked up thousands of miles developing the class-leading handling traits of cars such as the Exige, 2 Eleven and Evora.
We couldn’t help smiling at the by-now obligatory picture of the current/past F1 star next to a Lotus Evora – it has become a rite of passage for famous motor racing visitors to Lotus’ Hethel headquarters, although we can’t help wondering why one of the New Era models wasn’t used instead (at least for the photo call).
Lotus’ revised Elise harks back to the 1996 original in more ways than just its mustard paint finish.
Ex-McLaren driver Heikki Kovalainen visits Lotus HQ to eye up his new company car.
Lotus launches a race series in which it cannot lose.