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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


Esprit S1

Turbo Esprit

Etna

Carlton
 

Esprit Sport 300

Esprit S4

Esprit S4S

Esprit V8
 

Elise S1

Elise GT1

Esprit Sport 350

340R
 

Exige

Elise S2 Sport 190

Elise S2 111S

Exige S2
 

Exige 240R

Europa S

2-Eleven

Evora
 

Esprit Concept

Exige S3

Evora 400

3-Eleven
 

Exige Sport 380

Elise S3 Cup 250

Evora GT430

Exige Sport 410
 

Evija

Emira

Eletre

 


Timeline*

 
Hypercars
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Track Focused
Hyper GTs
GTs
Sports Cars
Super Saloons
Luxury
Hot Hatches
SUVs
Concepts
Trackonly
 


* selected models


Models 
Esprit S1 (76-78) 
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) 
Elise GT1 (1997) 
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 (09-14) 
Exige S3 (12-16) 
Evora 400 (15-21) 
3-Eleven (15-18) 
Exige Sport 380 (16-21) 
Elise S3 Cup 250 (16-18) 
Evora GT430 (17-21) 
Exige Sport 410 (18-21) 
Evija (22-     ) 
Emira (22-     ) 
Eletre R (23-     ) 
Concepts 
Etna (1984) 
M250 (2000) 
Esprit Concept (2010) 
Track Only 
Stats 
Largest Engine 
Esprit Concept (5000 cc) 
Most Powerful 
Evija (1973 bhp) 
Best Power to Weight 
Evija (1193 bhp/ton) 
Fastest Speed 
Esprit Concept (205 mph) 
Best 0-60mph 
Evija (2.8 sec) 
Most Expensive 
Evija (£2000000) 
Cheapest 
Elise S2 Sport 190 (£15000) 
Highest Rating 
Eletre R (#43 with 77%) 
Links 
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Compare models 
Show Photos 
 
Lotus official site 
Lotus USA official site 
Club Lotus 
 

 




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