Lotus, The Formula 1 Champion Cars

2013-11-30 00:19:16

Lotus cars are worldwide known sports and racing cars from the British manufacturer Lotus. The company’s highly successful racing cars include Elies, Evora and Exige that make up the Formula 1 Team Lotus. The UK based automobile company is based at RAF Hethal, Norfolk a airfield used in World War II. Lotus is known for its light weight automobile engineering for race cars and its handling characteristics. 

The company also owns a consultancy named Lotus engineering that offers engineering solutions to willing parties and has facilities in the US, UK, China and Malaysia.  DRB Hicom owns the Lotus brand and the company is a subsidiary of Proton which in 1994 acquired Lotus from its former owner Romano Artioli when who went bankrupt in 1994.

The company was formed in 1952 by two engineers named Colin Chapman and Colin Dare graduated from the University College of London. The Lotus emblem features the four letters in the middle to represent the initials of Anthony Colin Bruce Chapman, the founder. Team Lotus is a split off of the Lotus engineering and has been participating in Formula One racing from 1958. In 1959 the company was moved to Cheshunt in a purpose built factory and in 1966 it occupied a modern facility which had road testing facilities at Wymondham, a former RAF base.

Lotus suffered financial difficulties in 1980 when the market suffered from the recession. In the US the automobile market almost collapsed and no new vehicle was designed or manufactured. Customers found the old automobiles as boring thus the sales drastically decreased. Chapman made an agreement with Toyota 1982 in exchange of applied expertise and intellectual property and the off-spring of the union was Mk2 Toyota Supra. This helped Lotus to launch Lotus Excel which replaced the Lotus Eclat which was ageing.

Chapman died suffering a stroke in 1982 and the company started staring at bankruptcy. However the company was saved when David Wickins, chairman of the world largest remarketing business agreed to become the new chairman of Lotus. With his negotiating skills he resurrected Lotus; however the investors realized that the company lacked the financial capabilities to develop new models. Toyota was sold out to GM in 1986 and 91% of the Lotus group was owned by the company. Again in 1993 GM sold the Lotus group to Romano Artioli of A.C.B.N. Holdings for £30 million. In 1996 it was again sold to a Malaysian company named Proton.

At present the company is divided into two entities namely Lotus Cars and Lotus Engineering under the Group Lotus plc. The current modes of Lotus that are seen in the circuit include Lotus Elise, Lotus Exige, Lotus Evora, Lotus 2-Eleven and Lotus T125 Exos. Lotus is planning to develop 5 new models in the future spanning 5 years as it announced the news in the Paris 2010 Motorshow. The intention seems to be a move to replace Elise with a new model that is entirely different. Other possible models are Elite and Elan, two new sports coupes, a new sports saloon Eterne and a supercar on the lines of Exprit. 

Lotus models:

Lotus Evora
Lotus Exige
Lotus Esprit
Lotus Elise