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Cost of servicing Lotus Elise halved

The cost of servicing a Lotus Elise has halved

Cost of servicing Lotus Elise halved

Lotus has cut the cost of servicing by an average of 37 percent across its range. As a result, it costs £270 for the first service on a Lotus Elise Sport 220 – down from £554.

The cost of servicing an Exige or Evora has also been reduced, with Lotus also slashing the cost of 50 regular servicing components. The list includes filters, plugs, drive belts and fluids. The price cuts are available at all 27 UK dealers, but Lotus says the initiative could be rolled out in other global markets.

The Lotus Elise Sport 220 is the company’s best-selling model. The entry-level Elise is powered by a 1.8-litre supercharged engine developing 217hp at 6,800rpm and 184lb ft of torque at 4,600rpm. As a result, the 924kg Lotus Elise will hit 60mph in 4.2 seconds, before reaching a top speed of 145mph.

Not that there’s anything ‘entry-level’ about the price. The Lotus Elise Sport 220 costs £41,665, which is around £8,000 less than the Elise Cup 250.

Finance on the Sport 220 is relatively affordable, but you’ll need to find a punchy £12,140 for the deposit. After that, you’ll pay £369 a month for four years, with an optional final payment of £16,323. Still, in this age of self-isolating and social distancing, a Lotus Elise is a fine way to get away from it all.

‘Driving down the cost of ownership’

Lotus slashes servicing costs

Indeed, Lotus says that residual values are on the up. Figures from CAP show that the value of a three-year-old Lotus Evora GT410 Sport have risen by 15 percent to 56 percent.

Cheaper servicing, more affordable parts and stronger residual values – still want that dull and boring compact crossover?

Chris Hinks, director of aftersales at Lotus, said: “This change is fantastic news for our customers, who can now benefit from the servicing expertise of a Lotus retailer for even less money. We’re driving down the cost of ownership and saving people money.”

Hand-built in Norfolk: Lotus readies factory for new Evija hypercar

Lotus Evija factory

Lotus is in the final stages of completing its high-tech new assembly hall for the 2,000hp all-electric Evija hypercar. Production should begin this summer. 

First, though, final prototypes will need to be assembled on the line for the last round of testing and quality control. Following this, customer cars will be built and delivered.

The ‘hall’ as Lotus calls it, was unveiled by Lotus CEO Phil Popham in front of 1,400 employees in Hethel, Norfolk. The facility nears completion after work began in summer of 2019, making this a quick turnaround. It has three sides, with gantries that frame the build stations. There’s an overhead crane, plus vehicle lifts and a wheel alignment ramp.

Lotus Evija factory

Not wanting to leave its skilled hypercar assembly team in the dark, Lotus had 30,000 LED lights installed to illuminate the facility. Before venturing out into the world, all Evijas will be subject to inspection in a new light tunnel. They’ll then head out onto the marque’s very own 2.2-mile test track for dynamic validation.

Lotus wants to hand-build 130 examples of the Evija at the facility – and the first year’s allocation of cars is sold out. There are, however, cars left to sell. If you want your very own example of what is currently the world’s most powerful hypercar, get your name down.

Lotus Evija factory

“With our new factory ready, we are ahead of the pack in the emerging EV hypercar segment and 100% ready for some healthy competition,” said Popham

“This is now the newest car production facility in the world, and to witness it move from the drawing board to reality has been deeply satisfying. It’s testament to the commitment of all involved, and is the perfect sleek and high-tech production home for the Evija at our iconic Hethel headquarters.”

Evija and a reborn Lotus

Lotus Evija factory

The Evija is the first all-new model to come from Lotus following its acquisition by Chinese company, Geely. It’s the first of many electric Lotuses to come, with more affordable models to follow.

Four electric motors, one for each wheel, deliver 500hp apiece. The 0-62mph sprint takes less than three seconds, with 186mph in less than nine. Top speed is projected to be over 200mph.

The battery is capable of being charged in under 10 minutes at maximum speed, with a driving range of 250 miles. The Evija name means ‘the first in existence’. 

Lotus Evija factory

Phil Popham told MR’s Tim Pitt the ‘For The Drivers’ tagline is “more than just a marketing statement. It also defines how we develop new models. Lotus is all about the enjoyment of driving”.

Lotus is alive and well, then, with its identity intact and real money behind it. Exciting times indeed.

Finally, if you didn’t already know, it’s pronounced ‘Ev-eye-ya’.

Lotus produces special Elise Cup 250 Bathurst Edition – just for Oz

Lotus Elise Cup 250 Bathurst Edition

Lotus has announced a new special edition model, intended to celebrate the famous Bathurst 12 Hour endurance race.  

Intended only for Australian customers, the Elise Cup 250 Bathurst Edition also honours the association between the Lotus brand and the Bathurst circuit. 

It means the Bathurst race will maintain a strong British association during 2020. This new Lotus follows the success of the Bentley Team M-Sport Continental GT3 winning the recent endurance race in dramatic fashion.

Motorsport pedigree included

Lotus Elise Cup 250 Bathurst Edition

Although Lotus did not enter the 2020 Bathurst 12 Hour race, various models have competed at the Mount Panorama event. This has included class wins for the Exige Cup R model at the 2014 and 2015 races. 

The new Elise Cup 250 Bathurst Edition has less power than those racers. But it still maintains a healthy 181 kW (245 hp) from the mid-mounted 1.8-litre supercharged four-cylinder engine. 

That is sufficient to allow the 931 kg Elise to accelerate from 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in just 4.2 seconds. Shifting through the six-speed manual gearbox can see a potential top speed of over 248 km/h (150 mph). On a track, of course.

Ready for track use

Lotus Elise Cup 250 Bathurst Edition

Being used on track is the prime motivation for the Elise Cup 250 Bathurst Edition. After 150 Lotus fans watched the racing at the 2020 Bathurst 12 Hour, many then took to the track in their own cars to experience Mount Panorama. 

On-site mentoring allowed drivers to get the most out of their cars, with hot laps also on offer from professional Lotus drivers. 

Australia was the sixth-largest market for Lotus cars during 2019, with David McIntyre, Regional Director, Asia Pacific & China, commenting that with “stand-out events such as the Lotus-only track day, we will continue to build the brand across Australia”.

Exclusive upgrades

Lotus Elise Cup 250 Bathurst Edition

For the few lucky buyers who grab a Elise Cup 250 Bathurst Edition, there are notable upgrades over the regular Cup 250 model. 

Special decals can be found on the exterior, incorporating an outline of the iconic Mount Panorama circuit. Black forged alloy wheels are also included for the Bathurst Edition, fitted with sticky Yokohama Advan rubber.

Most important of all is the numbered plaque fitted to each of the finished cars. The press image suggests just six examples will be built, meaning interested Lotus fans may need to move quickly. 

Lotus Elise Cup 250 Bathurst Edition

Lotus has not confirmed the exact number of Bathurst Edition cars to be built, or pricing for them. At present, the regular Elise Cup 250 has a retail price of $107,990 in Australia (around £56,000). 

All Lotus cars supplied in Australia come with the ‘333’ package. This includes free servicing and roadside assistance for three years, along with a three-year warranty. 

The Bathurst Edition is exclusively for customers Down Under. Having recently tested the Cup 250 in the UK, we can only look on in envy.

Lotus Elise Cup 250 review: light speed

Last summer, I boarded a red Routemaster bus for a London sightseeing tour. Along with a handful of British hacks, the top deck was crammed with Chinese journalists and social media stars, many armed with selfie sticks. Our final stop was the Royal Horticultural Halls near Victoria, where the Lotus Evija would be revealed. The most powerful road car ever, it heralded the rebirth of a famous but flatlining British brand. And China’s media were there because Geely – the world’s fastest-growing carmaker, based in Hangzhou – was bankrolling it.

Six months later, at Lotus HQ in deepest Norfolk, that balmy July evening seems a distant dream. The sleet is blowing sideways, lashing at the hoisted Union Jack outside Phil Popham’s office. Thankfully, the 54-year-old CEO hasn’t let the deluge dampen his spirits. “I had an Esprit on my bedroom wall as a teenager,” he tells me. “The opportunity to rejuvenate Lotus was one I couldn’t turn down.”

Popham joined Land Rover as a graduate trainee in 1988 and stayed until 2014, rising to managing director and overseeing its rise to global ubiquity. He then turned around the fortunes of luxury yacht maker Sunseeker, before taking the top job at Lotus in 2018. All three companies have close connections with China, so Popham is no stranger to long-haul flights. His Mandarin, however, is still a work-in-progress.

Industry watchers will recall the last new dawn for Lotus. Under controversial former CEO Dany Bahar, it revealed five new concepts at the 2010 Paris Motor Show, yet none came to fruition. Popham says this time will be different, citing the examples of Volvo and LEVC (manufacturer of the London black cab). Both have flourished under Geely ownership, without forsaking their core values. “Geely understands for a brand to be successful, it’s got to be distinct,” he continues. “Our British heritage is very important.”

The 2,000hp, £2 million electric Evija “makes a statement that Lotus is back”, but a more affordable petrol-engined sports car arrives in late 2020. Beyond that, Popham says every Lotus will be electrified (either hybrid or full EV) and new platforms, currently under development, will underpin a host of new models from 2022. Will these include the seemingly inevitable SUV? The CEO remains tight-lipped, although he recognises Porsche, which makes most of its profit from SUVs, as “a good benchmark”.

After much talk about Lotus’ future, I drive home in the most tangible link to its past. The evergreen Elise, which celebrates its 24th birthday this year, is the bottom rung in the range: beneath the track-focused Exige and (slightly) more luxurious Evora. For a not-inconsiderable £49,555, the Cup 250 boasts a 248hp Toyota engine and downforce-boosting bodykit. It also has a removable roof – although, as I swiftly discovered before reinstalling it, soft-tops and sleet aren’t a great mix.

Clamber over the huge sill (no mean feat with the roof in place) and the Lotus has the pared-back feel of a race car. Its carbon fibre seats are sparsely padded, its Momo wheel is tiny and the manual gearbox’s exposed linkage is pure petrolhead porn. You’ll find no touchscreens or infotainment, save for a dated Sony stereo. But you won’t care, because the Elise is utterly life-affirming to drive: its supercharged motor gutsy and pleasingly gruff, its telepathic steering and nuanced chassis just sublime.

In part, simplicity is key to the Elise’s longevity. Company founder Colin Chapman’s maxim was “simplify, then add lightness” and Popham frequently uses “lightweighting” as a verb. Taking that philosophy forward in a world of tightening legislation and increasingly complicated cars will be a challenge, but I’m optimistic Lotus won’t lose sight of its roots. “Ultimately, it’s all about the enjoyment of driving, says Popham. Amen to that.

Price: £49,555

0-60mph: 3.9sec

Top speed: 154mph

CO2 G/KM: 177

MPG combined: 36.2

Lotus Elise Cup 250: in pictures

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New £82,900 Lotus Evora GT410 is ‘exceptional value’

Lotus Evora GT410

The new Lotus Evora GT410 costs £3,000 less than the GT410 Sport. And at £82,900, it represents ‘exceptional value for money‘. Not our words, but the words of a Lotus press release.

Everything is relative, right? Lotus says it has designed the entry-level Evora GT410 ‘to be a more usable everyday car’.

To this end, the Evora GT410 comes with Sparco seats and air conditioning, plus a reversing camera to help with parking.

Apple CarPlay is standard, as is DAB digital radio. Lotus has also improved the sound insulation to reduce road noise. It’s more ‘just add luxury’ than ‘just add lightness‘.

Evora GT410: just add armrests

Lotus Evora GT410 interior

Inside you’ll find integrated armrests and storage bins ‘for greater comfort and practicality’. Time to cancel that order for the Nissan Qashqai, this is the daily driver we’ve been waiting for.

There’s more. Lotus has revised the damper rate compared with the GT410 Sport to create a more comfortable ride. A set of Michelin Pilot Sport 4S all-weather tyres will ensure the Evora needn’t be confined to the garage when the weather turns British.

At the back, a larger glass section in the tailgate will make it easier to reverse out of a garage. You can’t only rely on that camera, after all.

Further standard equipment includes cruise control, heated seats and rear parking sensors.

Lotus Evora GT410 launched

If you’re not ready for the soft-focus Evora, Lotus has revised the standard specification of the GT410 Sport. Upgrades include the integration of Sparco sports seats, air conditioning and a premium infotainment system.

Not to be left out, the Elise and Exige can be ordered with optional Touring and Sport packs. As the names suggest, one is for enhanced road use, while the other is designed for track-based frolics.

‘Driving is in our DNA’: Lotus CEO on future sports cars

After years on life support, Lotus is on the brink of something big. In 2017, this iconic British brand was taken over by Geely, the Chinese automotive giant that also owns Volvo. The new flagship Lotus Evija – the world’s most powerful road car – was revealed last summer and ambitious plans are afoot for a whole range of sports and luxury cars. We visit the Lotus factory at Hethel, Norfolk, and speak to CEO Phil Popham about what comes next.

Tell us about your career so far.

I joined the motor industry straight from university in 1988 – as a graduate trainee at Land Rover. I spent 25 years there, including stints in South Africa and the USA, with my final nine years on the executive committee. In 2014, I moved to [luxury yacht maker] Sunseeker, another famous British brand. The business was facing some headwinds, so to speak, but I led a turnaround back into profit. Then, in October 2018, I started here at Lotus.

What attracted you to the top job at Lotus?

The opportunity to rejuvenate Lotus was one I couldn’t turn down. I had an Esprit on my bedroom wall as a teenager and the brand has such a rich heritage The commitment and investment from Geely certainly attracted me, and indeed others from premium automotive backgrounds. We’ve got a really exciting business plan. Also, once you’ve been in the motor industry, as I have for most of my career, it’s in your blood. There’s something very special about it.

How have you found working with Geely?

I was on the board with Chery Automobile at Land Rover, and Sunseeker is owned by Wanda Group, so I have experience of working with Chinese companies. But I did my due-diligence before starting this role, flying to Hangzhou and meeting the senior team at Geely. The chairman, Li Shufu, has so much enthusiasm for the brand and the commitment of the senior team was obvious. The backing of the fastest-growing automotive company in the world – not just in terms of investment, but also capability and technology – is hugely beneficial for Lotus.

How will Lotus develop under Geely ownership?

Volvo is the obvious case-study here. It’s been very successful under Geely, but remains as Swedish as it ever was. The London Electric Vehicle Company [LEVC, maker of the London black cab] is another Geely brand that has flourished. And the same will be true for Lotus. In terms of working together, we use video conferencing a lot and I visit China four times a year. We have access to a sweet shop of resources. But Lotus contributes to the group, too – with our expertise in lightweighting, aerodynamics and chassis dynamics.

How would you define the brand values of Lotus?

We’ve done a lot of work on the DNA of the brand. Going back to the days of Colin Chapman, we are pioneering, intuitive and innovative. Our British heritage is important, too. The ‘For The Drivers’ tagline is more than just a marketing statement; it also defines how we develop new models. Lotus is all about the enjoyment of driving.

How is the £2 million Lotus Evija relevant to the real world?

Obviously, the Evija isn’t a volume product. But it makes a statement that Lotus is back, and showcases the capability we have here at Hethel. It’s the first all-British electric hypercar: sensational in terms of design, but also technology. It will inform our design language for the future – and electrification is also a statement about where Lotus is going.

What comes next in the product plan – and when?

Our next sports car will have an internal combustion engine and arrive towards the end of 2020. Beyond that, every new Lotus models will offer electrification, which means great benefits for packaging and weight distribution. We have many people working on new platforms, including at our new engineering office in Warwick, but they typically take at least four years to develop. For now, Lotus is focused on sports cars, although we believe the brand has enough strength and equity to move into other segments.

Will consultancy still be an important part of Lotus’ business?

Absolutely. We will do some work for Geely, but the aim for the consultancy arm is to work for other businesses, including outside the car industry. Our capabilities are relevant in many sectors: the recent collaboration with Hope on the Great Britain track team bike for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, for example.

Any chance of a return to F1 racing – or perhaps Formula E?

I’m not ruling anything out. Our first offering will be the Evora GT4, the prototype of which went up the hill at Goodwood last summer. That will race this year in a customer series. Formula One is incredibly expensive and our focus, at the moment, is on producing new platforms and new cars. Competitive racing is something we want to be part of in the future, though.

How about a renewed association between Lotus and James Bond?

Ha! We’ve been in a couple of movies so far and it’s a great British institution. Certainly, there’s a great fit between Bond and a British brand like Lotus. But there are no concrete plans at present.

Which brands will be the main rivals for Lotus?

I try not to draw comparators. Lotus is unique as a brand and we don’t want to be followers, we want to be pioneers. The one that often gets quoted to me is Porsche. It has been very successful at having a distinct identity, growing as a business and making money. We’ve got aspirations to grow as they have, but we’ll do things our own way.

Where do you see Lotus in 10 years’ time?

We actually have a plan called Vision 80, which takes us to our 80th anniversary in 2028. By then, I hope people will be using Lotus as a case study for a good car business. We’ll certainly produce a series of cars in different sectors. But I’m absolutely adamant that, both in terms of how they look and how they perform, they will stay true to the Lotus DNA.

Watch the 2,000hp Lotus Evija drift in video debut

Lotus Evija dynamic debut

Lotus has been busy testing its Evija electric hypercar. Covered in camouflage, it can be seen in action at a circuit, getting very out of shape in a new video. This represents the car’s dynamic world debut.

The film was shown at the Evija’s Chinese launch at the Guangzhou Auto Show, where Lotus confirmed that production will start in 2020. Nonetheless, the car still has a great deal of dynamic development ahead, both at Lotus’ home circuit of Hethel, as well as other tracks and, of course, on the road.

The car in the film is engineering prototype number two. We assume that follows on directly from the show car Lotus revealed in the summer.

Until this point, much of the Evija’s development has taken place on computers, including dynamic load and suspension simulations. 

As a reminder, the target power output is 2,000hp, and it should hit 62mph in less than three seconds. Zero to 186mph will be dispatched in less than nine seconds, with top speed beyond 200mph.

“Physical prototype testing at speed is a landmark moment for the Evija and hugely exciting for everyone involved,” said Gavan Kershaw, director of vehicle attributes at Lotus.

“Our aim is to make sure it’s a true Lotus in every sense, with exceptional performance that’s going to set new standards in the hypercar sector.”

Lotus Evija dynamic debut

“Everything about the Evija is ‘For The Drivers’,” said Matt Windle, executive director of engineering, speaking at the Guangzhou show.

“I don’t believe there is another EV in the world that can claim this. From the mid-engined-inspired Lotus layout, to the aerodynamics and downforce, the driving position, vehicle stance and unbelievable performance. It is instantly recognisable as special with a unique character, yet it is unquestionably a Lotus.”

Norwich City signs Lotus Cars on Deadline Day

Norwich City sign Lotus Cars on Deadline Day

Norwich City has made its first big Deadline Day signing, with Lotus Cars hoping to inject some pace and flair to Carrow Road.

News of the partnership comes on the eve of Norwich City’s Premier League opener against Liverpool. And at the end of the day, it looks like a good deal for both sides, Clive.

As part of the multi-year global deal, Lotus will see its new corporate identity on the pitch-side at Carrow Road, on the ‘walk-out’ jackets worn by the first-team squad, and on the shirts of academy players from ages nine to 23.

Meanwhile, the training facility is now The Lotus Training Centre, and the all-new academy will be called The Lotus Academy.

Lotus Training Centre Norwich City

And at the end of the partnership, Lotus Cars will run down its contract before leaving on a free transfer, Jeff. Probably.

Lotus has been building cars at Hethel, to the south of Norwich, since 1966, and employs around 1,200 people in the region.

Speaking about the new corporate identity, Simon Clare, executive director of global marketing at Lotus, said: “We’ve looked back at the original Lotus roundel and thought about Colin Chapman’s philosophy – to simplify and add lightness.

“We’ve applied that to create a new roundel, taking the weight out of the lettering and adapting the spacing. We’ve also straightened the word ‘Lotus’ so it’s consistent with the Lotus wordmark.”

A partnership of two halves

New Lotus branding Norwich City

On the subject of the partnership with Norwich City, Clare added: “Lotus is a brand born for and out of performance and competition, so this partnership is perfect for both parties. Together Lotus and Norwich City Football Club share core values – commitment, passion, focus, hard work, a winning mindset – and the success that flows from them.

“This partnership joins two iconic Norfolk brands as they accelerate on to the global stage together. Both share a desire for innovation and, as we herald a new era together, we are incredibly excited about playing a part in the development of Norwich City Football Club and its talent. Today we are investing in that future.”

Here’s a little video showing club legend Darren Huckerby arriving at the club’s training facility. Check out the not-so-subtle reference to Norwich City’s East Anglian rivals. Sorry, Ipswich Town fans.

£2 million Lotus Evija is most powerful road car EVER

Lotus Evija

As the drapes drop to reveal the Lotus Evija, a frisson of excitement ripples around the room. Yes, it looks fantastic, yet this is also a decisive moment for Lotus. After 71 years, this British marque, now backed by Chinese money, is poised to become a world player.

The Evija (say it ‘Ev-eye-ya’) is the opening salvo in that reinvention, one that will see Lotus manufacturing cars in China and setting its sights beyond sports cars at saloons, SUVs and more. “In order to make waves, you need to make a splash,” says Lotus CEO Phil Popham. The 2,000hp Evija – the most powerful production car ever – feels like a tsunami. 

That power figure outguns even the rival 1,903hp Pininfarina Battista – and the Lotus will be rarer, too. Just 130 examples will be made (hence the car’s ‘Type 130’ codename, priced at around £2 million each.

Beating the Battista

Lotus Evija

The Evija’s mid-mounted 2,000kW lithium-ion battery was developed with Williams Advanced Engineering and is described as ‘the lightest, most energy dense electric power package ever fitted to a road car’. Lotus is being coy about performance figures, but with just 1,680kg to shift and an almighty 1,254lb ft (1,700Nm) of torque delivered to all four wheels from a standstill, acceleration will be savage.

All we know at present is it will hit 62mph (100kph) in ‘less than three seconds’ and exceed 200mph. 

There are five driving modes: Range, City, Tour, Sport and Track. In Track mode, torque vectoring constantly adjusts output to individual wheels to boost cornering ability. Lotus also talks of ‘alternative battery packs… to optimise track performance’. Just in case your standard Evija feels a tad tardy.

It’s not all future tech, though. Lotus has opted for hydraulic power steering – rather than an electric set-up – for ‘pure steering feel’. “Everything we do is centred on driving enjoyment,” explains Popham. “More than any other brand, that’s what Lotus is about.”

Downforce by design

Lotus Evija

If the stats are startling, the Evija’s design is an equal source of excitement. It’s aggressive without being showy, functional yet still beautiful.

Carbon fibre bodywork surrounds a monocoque tub weighing just 129kg. Designer Russell Carr talks of how the shape was “carved by air”, taking inspiration from Le Mans racers and fighter aircraft.

By far the Evija’s most distinctive feature are the venturi ducts that pierce its haunches, funnelling air through the car to help deliver ‘exceptional amounts of downforce’. Surrounded by red LEDs at the rear, they deliberately resemble jet afterburners.

Other aero appendages include the bi-plane front splitter, which provides cool air to the battery, and the pop-out rear-view mirror cameras. These evoke Lotus pop-up headlights of the past, reckons Carr. 

Focus and feedbackLotus Evija

The interior of the Evija is functional and focused on the driver. Access is via dramatic, upwards-opening dihedral doors activated by the key fob (there are no handles). Once inside, a switch in the roof console – a nod to the classic Esprit Turbo – closes them. 

Hard-shell carbon fibre seats are upholstered with strategically-placed Alcantara pads, with four-point harness seatbelts an option. The rectangular steering wheel is a clear link with Lotus’ F1 heritage, including a Ferrari-style ‘manettino’ to switch between drive modes. 

Up front, a compact digital display helps minimise driver distraction, while the jutting centre console features touch-sensitive haptic switches and a rotary controller for infotainment (including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity). “The driver is in sync with the car at all times and almost feels as if they are wearing it,” explains Carr.

Gunning for greatness

Lotus Evija

Assuming you drive with a modicum of restraint, the Evija can travel 250 miles (400km) on a full battery. Using a 350kW charger – the most powerful currently available – charge time will be 18 minutes to 100 percent capacity. It will offer Tesla-style over-the-air software updates and a dedicated smartphone app.

Customers will also be able to specify the car to their exact requirements. Want gold badges or a family crest embossed on the seats? If you really must, Lotus can oblige.

Lotus’ parent company Geely has already overseen the rebirth of Volvo and successful launch of Polestar, an upmarket EV brand that offers tempting opportunities for tech-sharing. Who’d bet against it giving Lotus a new lease of life? The Hethel-based company – which built just 1,700 cars last year – seems suddenly on the cusp of greatness.

“The Evija is a car like no other. It will re-establish our brand in the hearts and minds of sports car fans and on the global automotive stage,” said CEO Popham. “We hope this is our Sergeant Pepper moment.”

Lotus Evija

Lotus Evija: specification

Powertrain: All-electric, four-wheel drive
Power: 2,000hp
Torque: 1,254lb ft (1,700Nm) 
0-62 mph: Less than 3.0 seconds
Top speed: More than 200mph
Range: 250 miles (400km)
Charging time: 18 minutes (350kW charger)
Weight: 1,680 kg
Production run: 130 cars
Length/width/height: 4,459/2,000/1,122 mm
Price: Approx. £2 million
On sale: 2020

Gallery: 2020 Lotus Evija revealed in full

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From Elan to Evija: the greatest Lotus road cars

Lotus Evija

All-new cars don’t come around too often at Lotus, so when they do it’s a big deal. Now, that car – the all-electric Evija – happens to be the fastest, most powerful, most expensive and most exotic machine the company has ever made.

We’ll get to the Evija soon, but first a tour through some of Lotus’ greatest hits… 

Lotus Seven SS

Lotus Seven

Weighing next to nothing, and with a 125hp Holbay Twin-Cam engine, there was simply nothing like the Seven SS back in 1969. Of course, the Seven still lives on, albeit with a Caterham badge. The basic formula (and it really is basic) has endured.

Lotus Eleven

Lotus Eleven

In reality, the Eleven was a racer you could buy in road-going form. The Coventry Climax engine was tiny, but aerodynamics made this Lotus competitive at Le Mans in 1957.

Lotus Elan Sprint

Lotus Elan

This has to be in the top three of all-time great Lotuses. The original Elan was a masterclass in founder Colin Chapman’s ‘simplify and add lightness’ mantra. In its final 1970s incarnation, the Elan got the famous 126hp Big Valve Twin Cam engine, good for 125mph and 60mph in just 5.9 seconds.

Lotus Cortina

Lotus Cortina

Perhaps the most famous in a long line of cars tuned by the performance fanatics at Lotus. Ford partnered with the Hethel-based marque to prepare its Cortina saloon for track work, leading to famous victories for Jim Clark. However, you could have as much fun on the public road in the 1960s. These screaming twin-cam precursors to the hot hatchback can be seen driving on their door handles each year at Goodwood Revival. 

Lotus Europa Twin Cam

Lotus Europa

Losing the Renault engine from the Europa was a good move. The Lotus Twin Cam engine brought this little mid-engined sports car to life in 1971.

Lotus Esprit Turbo

Lotus Esprit

The Esprit really is the iconic Lotus, isn’t it? The original was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro and looked incredible. With a 210hp turbocharged engine, it could exceed 150mph. Although we wouldn’t recommend it unless your codename is ‘007’.

Lotus Elan 100

Lotus Elan

Shock, horror – a front-wheel-drive Lotus! Fear not, it’s still a Lotus. With a 160hp turbocharged Isuzu engine and a brilliant chassis, the Elan 100 served up brilliant fun in 1989. 

Lotus Esprit Sport 350

Lotus Esprit

A stylish new body and a twin-turbo V8 made the Esprit even more desirable. Add rarity to that – just 50 were made – and you get perhaps the ultimate incarnation of the Esprit. Pictured is the Sport 300. Just imagine it with a nice big wing… 

Lotus Carlton

Lotus Carlton

A car that strikes fear into the hearts of supercars. The Carlton saw Lotus take its fettling of previously fusty road cars to a whole new level. With a turbocharged V6 producing 377hp, it could crack 175mph. Sensational stuff in 1990.

Lotus Elise S1

Lotus Elise

Lotus’s bread and butter for the modern era, that the Evija now continues, the Elise first appeared in 1996. It brilliantly brought the brand back to its lightweight, nimble roots. The 111S version had around 145hp and seemed indecently quick. And it could shame larger, heavier supercars in the twisty stuff.

Lotus Elise GT1

Lotus Elise GT1

Speaking of supercars, here’s the Elise GT1. With a roaring American-based V8, this car seems almost entirely out of character for Lotus. Alas, the Elise GT1 was an ill-fated crack at the road-based GT1 racing discipline, which saw McLaren and Porsche take Le Mans victories. Just one road car was homologated.

Lotus Exige S1

Lotus Exige

The last Elise S1-based entry, we promise. The S1 Exige deserves its spot given this hardcore, hard-topped, wing-wearing beast is revered by many as perhaps the greatest modern Lotus. High praise.

Lotus Elise S2

Lotus Elise

The restyled Elise swapped the Rover K-series engine for Toyota twin-cam units. Less characterful? Perhaps, but certainly more capable. The pinnacle was the supercharged 220hp Elise SC, which could get to 60mph in 4.3 seconds.

Lotus 340R

Lotus 340R

Strip the shell from an S1 Elise (yes, it’s back), bolt on a body that comes from a Mad Max movie and you have the 340R. With the Sport pack it produced 190hp in 2000.

Lotus Exige S2

Lotus Exige

The second Exige to be made and last of the naturally-aspirated versions. This is a car that needs to be celebrated, as it takes the revvy Toyota engine up to 190hp. Clarkson fought off an Apache helicopter gunship using one on Top Gear in 2004.

Lotus 2-Eleven

Lotus 2-Eleven

Invoking the spirit of the 340R, the 2-Eleven is a cannibalised Exige with a 250hp supercharged Toyota engine. Weighing just 670kg, the 2-Eleven was quick: 0-60 in under four seconds with a 150mph top speed. Road-legality was a £1,100 option.

Lotus Evora

Lotus Evora

First it was rumoured to be the new Esprit, then the ‘Eagle’ prototype name started floating around. When the Evora was revealed in 2009, it was praised, but wasn’t quite the Lotus rebirth some had been hoping for. Still, we’ve no arguments against a sporty, mid-engined, semi-luxurious two-plus-two with a 280hp six-cylinder heart.

Lotus Exige S3 V6

Lotus Exige

That same six-cylinder engine made its way into the S3 Exige, packing 345hp courtesy of a supercharger. In present 430 form it has – you guessed it – 430hp. That’s more than twice the power of the S2. These new generation Exiges have sufficient power and poise to keep a Porsche 911 GT3 honest.

Lotus 3-Eleven

Lotus 3-Eleven

The 3-Eleven was the quickest production Lotus road car ever when it was revealed in 2016. With a 450hp supercharged V6, it could top 180mph and crack 60mph in 3 seconds on the nose.

Lotus Evora Sport

Lotus Evora

It didn’t take long for Lotus to supercharge the Evora. First reaching 350hp, then leaping up to 400, 410 and 430hp. With carbon fibre aero addenda and a circa-£100,000 price tag, the Evora has almost achieved supercar status.

Lotus Evija

Lotus Evija

The Evija, meanwhile, leaps straight into the realm of the hypercar. Pronounced ‘Ev-eye-a’, this all-electric machine is a halo model, courtesy of a much-needed cash injection from new Lotus custodians Geely.

Lotus Evija

Lotus Evija

Yes, it’s fully electric: gone are the cylinders, gone are the superchargers (please, no Tesla jokes). This is a hypercar with no exhaust that you plug in at home. It’s a breathtaking vision of the future.

Lotus Evija

Lotus Evija

With development know-how from Williams and fellow Geely brand Polestar, the Evija is the first of a new generation of Lotuses. Just 130 will be made, as referenced by the car’s ‘Type 130’ codename. Expect a price well over £1 million. We’ve come a long way from that old Seven SS…