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A Brief History

First formed by the legendary Colin Chapman in 1948, Lotus Engineering became the company's official title from 1952. Lotus moved to their current Hethel home in 1966 before becoming a public company in 1968.

Innovative technology was a byword at Lotus. Their Formula One firsts included the moncoque chassis, active suspension and aerodynamic wings. They also created the VARI moulding process and continue to act as a development consultant for some of the biggest names in the industry.

Chapman was a race enthusiast at heart who sold road cars merely to fund his racing ambitions. This initially proved a wise move, as Lotus enjoyed much racing success with Jim Clarke giving them the first of their six Formula One Drivers championships in 1963.

However, this blinkered focus on racing and some unfortunate (and sometimes dubious) busness ventures (the De Lorean scandal being the most prominent) eventually led to many changes in ownership (GM, Bugatti, Proton) following Chapman's death in 1982.

Early road cars could be bought part-built so customers saved on tax, but this kit car image and poor build quality earned them a bad reputation for reliability (Lots Of Trouble Usually Serious)!

However, they have had many classics along the way such as the original Elan, Elite and Seven (now Caterham), plus the pilloried 177mph Carlton and everlasting Esprit - the star of James Bond's 'The Spy Who Loved Me'. Despite dipping fortunes of late, the Elise, Exige and Evora have brought them full circle back to their lightweight sportscar roots.



Gallery Selection


Turbo Esprit

Etna

Carlton

Esprit Sport 300
 

Esprit S4

Esprit S4S

Esprit V8

Elise S1
 

Esprit Sport 350

340R

Exige

Elise S2 Sport 190
 

Elise S2 111S

Exige S2

Exige 240R

Europa S
 

2-Eleven

Evora

Esprit Concept

Evora 400
 

3-Eleven

 


Timeline*

 
Hypercars
Supercars
Trackfocused
GTs
Sportscars
Supersaloons
Luxury
Hothatches
SUVs
Concepts
Trackonly
 


* selected models


Models 
Turbo Esprit (80-87) 
Carlton (90-92) 
Esprit Sport 300 (93-96) 
Esprit S4 (93-96) 
Esprit S4S (95-96) 
Esprit V8 (96-03) 
Elise S1 (96-01) 
Esprit Sport 350 (99-01) 
340R (99-01) 
Exige (00-02) 
Elise S2 Sport 190 (02-06) 
Elise S2 111S (02-05) 
Exige S2 (04-11) 
Exige S2 240R (05-06) 
Europa S (06-10) 
2-Eleven (07-11) 
Evora (09-     ) 
Evora 400 (15-     ) 
3-Eleven (16-     ) 
Concepts 
Etna (1984) 
M250 (2000) 
Esprit Concept (2010) 
Track Only 
Stats 
Largest Engine 
Esprit Concept (5000 cc) 
Most Powerful 
Esprit Concept (550 bhp) 
Best Power to Weight 
3-Eleven (450 bhp/ton) 
Fastest Speed 
Esprit Concept (205 mph) 
Best 0-60mph 
Esprit Concept (3.3 sec) 
Most Expensive 
3-Eleven (£83000) 
Cheapest 
Elise S1 (£10000) 
Highest Rating 
Evora (#213 with 74%) 
Links 
Show all models 
Show current models 
Compare models 
Show Photos 
 
Lotus official site 
Lotus USA official site 
Club Lotus 
 

 




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