BOND CAR SURFACES! ICONIC 007 LOTUS ESPRIT ‘SUBMARINE’ CAR GOES ON THE BLOCK

“Pay attention, 007, RM Auctions is about to sell one of my most ingenious creations and we wouldn’t want it to fall into enemy hands”. Well, ‘Q’ might be a little concerned that his incredible Lotus Esprit Series 1 ‘Submarine’ Car is due to be sold at auction, but for millions of movie fans out there, the appearance of this iconic Bond car on the open market represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

No Bond car has ever done anything as outrageous as transform itself into a submarine. Used to incredible effect in the film The Spy Who Loved Me, starring Roger Moore, the white Lotus commonly tops the polls when generations of movie fans are asked to vote on their favourite film cars of all time. Like all the best Bond cars, the Lotus was a veritable war chest of weaponry and gadgetry, all designed to fox and foil the enemy, whilst also helping Bond to another hard-won victory for Queen and country.

The vehicle to be offered by RM Auctions at its forthcoming London sale, 8-9 September, in Battersea Park, is the one and only fully functioning car especially designed and built for the famous underwater sequence seen on screen in the 1977 film. Abundantly authenticated, and known as ‘Wet Nellie’ on the set, it was developed from one of six Esprit body shells used in the making of the film. As the only car to be built into a fully operational, self-propelled ‘submarine’, by Perry Oceanographic, based in Riviera Beach, Florida, it is the vehicle which claimed the most screen time in the film. The driver of the car was Don Griffin, a retired U.S. Navy SEAL and test pilot for Perry, who operated the vehicle utilizing its motorized propellers while manoeuvring with levered steering mechanisms. At the time, the car was said to have cost over $100,000 to create (equivalent to nearly a half million dollars today).

Subsequent to filming the underwater scenes in the Bahamas, the vehicle was shipped to Long Island, NY, where it was kept in an unassuming storage unit on a ten year rental, paid in advance. Fate later intervened when, in 1989, the then rent delinquent unit was put up ‘blind’ for public auction. A modest winning bid from an area couple brought surprise and wonder when the blankets were removed to reveal the iconic 007 ‘Submarine’ Car. After positive authentication, the Lotus was shown occasionally – including a stint at the Petersen Automotive Museum – but mostly kept closely under wraps, until now.

Max Girardo, Managing Director, RM Auctions, Europe, says: “We have a great track record in selling incredible and iconic movie cars, and this particular Lotus is certainly up there amongst the most famous cars of all time. Over the years, millions of moviegoers have stared in awe as the Lotus transformed itself into a submarine, and now, perhaps one of them will have an opportunity to own it. Her Majesty’s Secret Service aside, it surely is the ultimate beach accessory”!

RM Auctions sold “the most famous car in the world”, the Aston Martin DB5 used by Sean Connery in the enormously popularGoldfinger and Thunderball movies, for an incredible £2.9 million during its 2010 London sale.

Source: RM Auction Press Release

 

2012 Lotus Exige V6 Cup Photo Gallery

January 8, 2013 by  
Filed under Blog, Lotus, News

Having already got the motoring press hot under the collar with production of the road-going Exige S, we are turning up the temperature at this weekend’s Lotus Festival at Brands Hatch with the official launch of a new track-focused model: The Exige V6 Cup.

There are two variants: a Track Day version priced at £62,995* and a full-on Competition-spec car starting at £74,995*.

Performance hits 274km/h, 0-100 in 3.8 seconds, and 346hp kicked out from the 3.5 litre supercharged V6 behind the drivers’ seat. The Exige V6 Cup weighs in at 1080kg, and comes with Lotus Dynamic Performance Management, so you can switch the engine and traction settings between Touring, Sport and Race; Pirelli P-Zero Trofeo tyres; aerodynamically optimized front splitter, rear diffuser and wing; multi-adjustable suspension; and race-ready kit such as a heavy-duty roll cage, 4 or 6-point harnesses, isolator switches, FIA-approved fire extinguisher, tow eyes, removable steering wheel and HANS-compliant race seats.

The first cars will roll off the production line in Hethel in December, with an allocation of 20 cars through to March 2013. In addition to hitting circuits the world over in various track days events, the Exige V6 Cup is intended for new and current Lotus Cup series including Lotus Cup UK, Lotus Cup Europe, Lotus Cup Eastern Europe, Lotus Cup Italy, Lotus Cup Japan, and the Lotus Ladies Cup (Hungary).

There will be a version for the USA which will be on display at Brands Hatch this weekend. The cars can be purchased through Lotus Cars’ dealer network and direct from Lotus Racing. * Prices include VAT @ 20%

Source: Lotus Press Release

2011 Lotus Renault GP Car

January 17, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, Lotus, News

2011-Lotus-Renault-GP-Car-Luxury-Auto-Direct (6)

Group Lotus plc and Genii Capital are pleased to announce a partnership which will see the Renault F1 Team renamed as ‘Lotus Renault GP’ from the start of the 2011 racing season onwards. The association heralds the return of a highly successful Formula 1™ association between Lotus and Renault from the 1980s. Lotus’ racing pedigree and heritage coupled with Renault’s technology in Formula 1™ will set the united team on a path to future success.

Group Lotus plc will acquire a major equity stake in the team from Genii Capital. The transaction represents a partnership between Group Lotus and Genii Capital and signifies the beginning of a more comprehensive strategic alliance between the two organisations.

The partnership between Lotus and Genii brings the ability to quickly incorporate new technologies from F1™ cars into Lotus road cars including hybrid technology, Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS), aero advancements and lightweight materials. Genii, an investment holding company with a portfolio of automotive technologies, bring non-F1™ technologies such as lightweight braking systems, variable compression engine technology and on board software systems to the
partnership.

Group Lotus CEO Dany Bahar said: “I can think of no better platform for automotive brand communications than motorsport and F1™. We’re well aware that there has been a lot of controversy around the usage of our brand in F1™ and I’m delighted to be able to formally clarify our position: We are Lotus, and we are back.”

 

 
 
Dato’ Sri Mohd Nadzmi Mohd Salleh, Chairman of Proton, Lotus majority shareholder, said: “We know that Group Lotus has much to offer Formula 1™ and vice versa. After careful consideration, we believe this arrangement will be fruitful, both from a commercial and marketing point of view. ”
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Proton advisor and former Prime Minister of Malaysia, said: ”This is an exciting development which delivers strategic benefits to both Group Lotus and Proton. I fully support the partnership.”
Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO of Renault, commented: “This multi-partner alliance will bring a new dynamic to the team and enable it to compete with the sport’s best from next season.”

In addition to this, Genii is also offering Proton the ability to leverage on its existing business relationships in Russia and other parts of the world, as a means to expand Proton’s global reach. Through Genii, Proton can also potentially access advanced automotive technologies by virtue of Genii’s association with Mangrove, a venture capital group.

Gerard Lopez, founding partner of Genii Capital, said: “For Group Lotus, access to Formula 1™ opens up new marketing opportunities and a major platform for business exchanges and development. In this regard, Genii Capital possesses shareholdings in, and direct access to, cutting edge companies in the automotive industry. Our tie-up with Group Lotus and Proton, which will enable its future road car ranges to take advantage of significant new technologies, is a natural step.”

Source: Lotus Press Release

2010 Lotus Elite Prototype

September 27, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog, Lotus, News

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Ten days ahead of the official unveil at the Paris Motor Show the sun starts to rise for the dawn of Lotus’ new era – the Elite will redefine “modern classic”.

So here it is, the Lotus Elite, the first taste of what’s to come from Lotus in the future. Look up elegant in the dictionary and you’ll find variations on the following 1. dignified grace in appearance, movement, or behaviour, 2. superb taste in design, style and 3. something elegant; the ultimate refinement.

The ground-breaking new Elite is exactly that. It’s compact yet chic body is elegance incarnate. It’s not only exquisitely elegant, in keeping with Lotus’ core values, it’s a car of substance incorporating some of the very latest technological innovations Lotus has to offer. The slick retractable hard top version and the optional use of hybrid technology with KERS are typical examples of Lotus tailoring technology to deliver perfect performance.

Dany Bahar, CEO of Group Lotus said: “There’s no denying that the Elite is breathtakingly beautiful to look at but it’s so much more than that, it’s a car that over delivers in all other aspects as well. One could say it’s a car of perfect contradictions, it’s compact yet spacious, high performing yet low emitting, lightweight yet still reassuringly solid. It’s a car that we are exceptionally proud of at Lotus and we truly believe that there is nothing else like it out there both in terms of styling and performance.

“Make no mistake, there’s a definite market requirement for the Elite – it’s the ultimate sports car feel with comfort and space. There will always be those who believe that Lotus should stick to small sports cars but we didn’t take the decision to design something like the Elite lightly, it’s based on months of careful research and planning. It’s worth noting this sector has been very successful for us in the past and now the Elite raises the benchmark higher still.”

Set for release in spring 2014, this is an innovative, exciting GT that will set a new benchmark in design, performance and emissions. And it’s not all about sleek lines and stunning bodywork with this particular 2+2, what hides beneath this shark like exterior perfectly does the aesthetics justice. A front-mid positioned 5.0l V8 engine delivering up to 620 PS meaning drivers can expect to go from 0-100 km/h in approximately 3.5 to 3.7 seconds.

Elite Specification*
Layout: 2+2 seater, front-mid-engined, rear wheel drive
Dimensions:
Length: 4.60m
Width: 1.90m
Height: 1.32m

Engine: Petrol, hybrid optional
Hybrid technology: Hybrid gearbox with integrated electric motors and KERS
Cylinder: V8
Capacity: 5.0 litre
Power/Torque: 620 PS / 720 Nm
Rev limit: 8,500 rpm
0-100 km/h: 3.5 to 3.7 seconds
Top speed: 315 km/h
CO₂ approx (CO₂/km): 215 g/km**
Weight: 1,650 kg
Seats: 2+2
Transmission: Full Hybrid transmission
Drive: RWD
Start of production: Early 2014
Enters the market: Spring 2014
Price indication: Circa £115,000

* Whilst the vehicle shown in this release is a Production Intent Prototype, it represents a concept vehicle being designed and developed by Lotus Cars. Lotus Cars reserves the right to change the external and internal design of the Production Intent Prototypes, the specification, performance, dimensions, weight, fuel consumption, powertrain details and any other product information at anytime and without notice for any reason whatsoever.

Details of performance, weight, fuel consumption and other production information relating to the Production Intent Prototypes are not official or proven figures and represent the intended performance, weight, fuel consumption and other product information of the Production Intent Prototypes .

The design, specification and performance figures for all Production Intent Prototypes will be confirmed following official testing and will be available from Lotus Cars.

The price quoted includes VAT at 17.5%.

**Using optional hybrid

About Lotus

The main operating subsidiary of Group Lotus plc is Lotus Cars Ltd, which has two operating divisions – Lotus Engineering and Lotus Cars. Lotus Engineering is an internationally recognised automotive engineering consultancy based in Norfolk, UK. Global facilities include those in Michigan (USA), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), China and offices in Germany and Japan, with rapid expansion in new territories such as South East Asia.

Lotus Engineering provides comprehensive and versatile consultancy services to many of the world’s OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers, offering a full engineering service from initial concept and project design through development and integration of the complete vehicle to meet all worldwide markets and customers to full production. This includes third party ‘niche vehicle’ engineering and manufacture worldwide .

Lotus Cars builds world class, prestige, high performance sports cars for sale in 37 countries. These include the iconic Lotus Elise, the Exige, the 2-Eleven and Lotus’ latest model, the Lotus Evora. Lotus is a global high-tech company, expanding rapidly and committed to driving forward technology for both Lotus Cars and its Engineering clients, spearheading research into such areas as hybrids, electric vehicles and renewable fuels.

2011 Lotus Evora S

September 1, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog, Lotus, News

2011-Lotus-Evora-S-Luxury-Auto-Direct (2)

Ahead of the official unveil at the Paris Motor Show on September 30th, Lotus announce the latest evolution of the award winning Evora – the Evora S and Evora IPS (Intelligent Precision Shift) option.
Lotus has taken the award winning* Evora and re-created it with a 350 PS 3.5l V6 engine to create the Evora S. Dany Bahar Lotus’ Chief Executive Officer summed it up beautifully when he said: “You don’t realise what you were missing from your driving experience until you get behind the wheel of the Evora S.”

So apart from the obvious power difference, how is the Evora S different to the standard Evora? It’s another question we put to the CEO (given that he’s spent a little time behind the wheel, we thought he’d be best placed to answer questions). This is what he said: “It’s the next level of Evora experience. It communicates with you better, the suspension setting has been fine tuned for added power and control so it responds even more to direction. It’s an instinctual car, the experience is pure.”
“We were proud of the Evora but we’re even prouder of the Evora S, I feel like it does the true Lotus experience justice. The really great thing is that as we move forward the standard Evora should also benefit from some of these developments.”

The Evora S comes with a sport pack as standard featuring a ‘sport’ button which allows the driver to control throttle response and activate the exhaust by-pass valve. The sport button also raises the instantaneous rev limit and changes the dynamic stability control settings resulting in a total experience change. There are cross-drilled brakes for improved cooling. And here’s a heads up for those who buy into the old adage ‘you can tell the men from the boys by the size of their toys’: the external emotion of the Evora S has been improved with a completely new active exhaust which means that at the push of a button the car sounds just as dramatic as it feels.

Commenting on the Evora S, Lotus Chief Commercial Officer Andreas Prillmann said: “The Evora S is a natural progression for us but more than that, it’s a taste of what people can come to expect from the next generation of Lotus cars. It retains core Lotus values such as performance through lightweight but it also gives more than that. It’s the perfect combination of top performance, style and comfort. Form doesn’t sacrifice function in the case of the Evora S.”

So there you have it folks, the next generation of Lotus Evora, the Evora S, set to be unveiled at the Paris Motor Show.

But that’s not all. In addition to the Evora S, Lotus also presents the IPS (Intelligent Precision Shift) option. This inception of the seven-time-award-winning (who’s counting? We are!) Evora sees an automatic 6-speed gearbox with Lotus developed transmission control with a 3.5 l V6 engine delivering 280 PS assuring a superior automatic driving experience.

The IPS version of the Evora allows the driver to switch between manual paddle shift and automatic drive modes. The driver also has the option of selecting ‘sport’ mode which showcases the Lotus sport driving experience allowing the driver to really feel each gear shift and be in complete control of the transmission.

Commenting on the development Dany Bahar said: “The Evora IPS is set to broaden the appeal of the Evora and reach out to a slightly different market. We hope it will be popular with established automatic locations such as Asia, the Middle East and the US. It’s been a long time since Lotus created an automatic and we’ve spent a great deal of time refining this one to make sure that it perfectly complements the Evora drive experience.”

Evora S Technical Specification

Model Evora S
Engine Mid mounted, transverse 3.5 litre DOHC V6 VVT-I
Emissions see below due to wheel options
Transmission 6 speed manual
Chassis Modular lightweight bonded aluminium structure
Steering Lotus tuned hydraulically-assisted power steering
Suspension Forged aluminium double wishbone suspension
Bilstein high performance gas dampers
Eibach coaxial coil springs
Performance data
Standard wheel option
Fuel consumption – urban 14.5 l/100km
Fuel consumption – extra urban 7.4 l/100km
Fuel consumption – combined 10.0l/100km
CO2 Emissions 235 g/km
19/20” wheel option
Fuel consumption – urban 14.6 I/100km
Fuel consumption – extra urban 7.6 I/100km
Fuel consumption – combined 10.2 I/100km
CO2 Emissions 239 g/km
Max power 350 PS / 257.5 kW @ 7000 rpm
Max torque 400 Nm / 295 lb ft @ 4500 rpm
0-60 mph 4.6s
0-100 km/h 4.8s
Maximum speed 172mph
Vehicle mass (unladen) 1437kg

Evora IPS Option Technical Specification
Engine Mid mounted, transverse 3.5 litre DOHC V6 VVT-I
Emissions 208 g/km
Transmission Electronically controlled 6 speed automatic
Chassis Modular lightweight bonded aluminium structure
Steering Lotus tuned hydraulically-assisted power steering
Suspension Forged aluminium double wishbone suspension
Bilstein high performance gas dampers
Eibach coaxial coil springs
Performance data
Fuel consumption – urban 12.6 l/100km
Fuel consumption – extra urban 6.6 l/100km
Fuel consumption – combined 8.8 l/100km
CO2 Emissions 208 g/km
Max power 280 PS / 206 KW @ 6400rpm
Max torque 350 Nm / 258 lb ft @ 4700rpm
0-60 mph 5.3s
0-100 km/h 5.5s
Maximum speed 155mph
Vehicle mass (unladen) 1436 kg

*Evora Awards

Car Magazine – Performance Car of the Year 2009
“There are executive saloons that don’t ride this well, super cars that don’t turn in so crisply, and surely no car on the planet steers like this. Lotus has managed to transfer everything that we love about the Elise to a bigger, more refined, more grown up platform…It couldn’t really be much better to drive – the Evora is nigh-on perfect. A winner on every conceivable level.”

Top Gear – Sports car of the Year 2009
“Its pretty, quintessentially British, fast and handles like a dream. Evora takes Lotus to a new place in terms of quality but more importantly delivers a sports car rush that puts other marques to shame.”

Evo Magazine – Car of the Year 2009
“It’s a magical thing across the ground, deft like an Elise, with exceptional poise and feel. What was telling for me was that, getting into it after any of the other finalists, it was even better than I remembered: a bit smoother, a bit quicker and even sweeter dynamically, too. It’s a beguiling car. … A quite brilliant car and worthy winner.”

Autocar – Britain’s best Driver’s Car 2009Editor’s Special Award for Excellence, Group Lotus
“The best here. Brilliant on the track. Nimble, delicate and forgiving. Even better on the road.”

iMotor – Most Rated Car of 2008
“It’s [Lotus Evora] ‘rated’ score of 95 per cent is truly impressive and enough to see it beat brilliant machines such as the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 and Nissan GT-R.”

Sport Auto: (Readers Choice)
Best production sports coupe under €100k – 2nd place

Auto Revue:
Sportscar of the Year 2009 – 2nd place

About Lotus

The main operating subsidiary of Group Lotus plc is Lotus Cars Ltd, which has two operating divisions

– Lotus Engineering and Lotus Cars. Lotus Engineering is an internationally recognised automotive engineering consultancy based in Norfolk, UK. Global facilities include those in Michigan (USA), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), China and offices in Germany and Japan, with rapid expansion in new territories such as South East Asia.

Lotus Engineering provides comprehensive and versatile consultancy services to many of the world’s OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers, offering a full engineering service from initial concept and project design through development and integration of the complete vehicle to meet all worldwide markets and customers to full production. This includes third party ‘niche vehicle’ engineering and manufacture worldwide.

Lotus Cars builds world class, prestige, high performance sports cars for sale in 37 countries. These include the iconic Lotus Elise, the Exige, the 2-Eleven and Lotus’ latest model, the Lotus Evora. Lotus is a global high-tech company, expanding rapidly and committed to driving forward technology for both Lotus Cars and its Engineering clients, spearheading research into such areas as hybrids, electric vehicles and renewable fuels.

(Source: Lotus Press Release)

2010 Lotus Evora 414E Hybrid Concept

March 4, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog, Concepts, Geneva Motor Show, Lotus, News

2010-Lotus-Evora-414E-Hybrid-Concept LAD1

The Lotus Evora 414E Hybrid, so-named because this latest environmentally-focused technology demonstrator from Lotus Engineering produces 414 PS (306 kW) of power, promises breathtaking performance from a highly efficient propulsion system. The concept showcases new developments in plug-in, range-extended electric propulsion, new electronic technologies to enhance driver involvement, the adaptability of the Lotus Versatile Vehicle Architecture (VVA) that underpins the Evora 414E Hybrid and a dramatic new roof system and interior concept from Lotus Design. Through all of these aspects it ultimately demonstrates the exceptional ability of Lotus Engineering to integrate and develop advanced technologies for exciting, efficient, high performance niche vehicles.

The range extended electric drive of the Evora 414E Hybrid consists of two electric motors driving each of the rear wheels independently via single speed geartrain, integrated into a common transmission housing, thus enabling torque vectoring for stability control of the vehicle. Electrical power is stored in a lithium polymer battery pack optimised for energy density, efficiency and high power demand, mounted in the centre of the vehicle for stability and safety. Additional range is provided by the Lotus Range Extender engine, an optimised 1.2 litre, three-cylinder engine, designed specifically for series hybrid vehicles. The drivetrain is designed to combine astonishing performance with efficient, low emissions driving.

Driver involvement is enhanced by the incorporation of HALOsonic Internal and External Electronic Sound Synthesis technologies from Lotus and Harman International, which provide sound contouring within the cabin and improve pedestrian safety outside the vehicle. Integrated with the HALOsonic technology, the Evora 414E Hybrid also showcases a brand new technology from Lotus Engineering, a sports mode that simulates a 7 speed, paddle shift transmission that combines exceptional driver involvement for a hybrid sports car and optimised energy recuperation.

The Evora 414E Hybrid has been designed to highlight Lotus’ innovative electric and hybrid vehicle technology without distracting from the pure sportscar character of the Evora. The solution is innovative, instantly recognizable, beautiful and sporty. It demonstrates Lotus DNA.

Dr Robert Hentschel, Director of Lotus Engineering said: “Innovation has always been at the heart of Lotus and is needed now more than ever. The Evora 414E Hybrid is the perfect demonstration of Lotus Engineering’s core competencies: lightweight architectures, efficient performance, electrical and electronics integration and driving dynamics. The technology demonstrator represents an encapsulation of the advanced technologies that Lotus Engineering continues to develop to overcome the current environmental challenges facing the automotive industry and showcases the future direction that the sector is taking and why Lotus Engineering is perfectly placed to lead the technological development in this area.”

The Drivetrain

For the Lotus Evora 414E Hybrid, Lotus Engineering has developed a highly efficient, high performance drivetrain system consisting of twin motors each limited to providing 152 kW (207 PS/204 hp) of power and 400 Nm (295 lbft) of torque to each wheel via independent, single speed, reduction transmissions integrated into a single housing, enabling torque vectoring dynamic control of the vehicle.

The vehicle energy storage system is made up of the latest Lithium Polymer battery chemistry providing 17 kWH energy storage capacity. The battery pack is optimised for energy density, efficiency and high power demand, with over 100 kW discharge capability.

The Lotus Range Extender engine provides 35 kW (48 PS/47 hp) of power at 3,500 rpm via the integrated electrical generator and features an innovative architecture comprising an aluminium monoblock construction, integrating the cylinder block, cylinder head and exhaust manifold in one casting. This results in reduced engine mass, assembly costs, package size and improved emissions and engine durability. The engine uses an optimised two-valve, port-fuel injection combustion system to reduce cost and mass and can be operated on alcohol-based fuels and/or gasoline. The generator converts mechanical energy to electrical energy to replenish the battery pack charge and provides additional vehicle range in a small light weight package. The generator is also used as a motor to start the range extender engine. The low mass of the range extender unit (85 kg) and compact package makes it ideal for the series hybrid drivetrain in the Evora 414E Hybrid.

All the operation and management of the range extender engine, the power management of the batteries and motor control are controlled by Lotus’ electronic control units and software systems. Full energy management of all the operating systems is the key to maximising performance and operation while minimising energy consumption and CO2 emissions.

For everyday commuting journeys, up to 35 miles can be travelled using battery power. The battery can be charged overnight using a conventional domestic mains supply through a socket concealed by the rear number plate. This permits the vehicle to operate with zero tailpipe emissions. For longer journeys, exceeding the battery capacity, the highly efficient range extender engine is used as a generator to supply the motor with electrical power and top up the battery.

Lotus has used its own vehicle simulation tools to determine the size, capacity, power and performance of all the components in the drivetrain system to optimise the system operation. Overall this is far more energy efficient, weight efficient and cost effective than fitting the vehicle with a larger and more expensive battery, which for the majority of short journeys is a redundant weight, which increases energy requirements. With regard to the total lifetime CO2 emissions of the vehicle, including the energy required to manufacture and run it, the range extender solution has a lower overall CO2 footprint than a fully electric car of comparable performance and operating range running with a larger battery.

The Package

The Lotus Evora 414E Hybrid structure is the same award-winning, versatile vehicle architecture used on the Lotus Evora. The low volume architecture was designed with the upmost flexibility in mind. The Evora 414E Hybrid is a perfect example of how to integrate a compact packaged drivetrain, with excellent performance and range, while using this underpinning. The complete chassis has remained unchanged from the Evora which maintains the structural integrity and strength performance of the original car.

The structure progresses the Lotus ‘bonded and riveted’ technology with new and unique extrusions and folded panels, whilst providing production build modularity and lower cost repairs. The chassis has been designed for scalability so that it can be extended in width, length and height. The strength and stiffness of the low volume VVA chassis can be modified cost effectively by varying the wall thickness of the extrusions, without altering the exterior dimensions. The ability to lengthen or shorten extrusions with the option to tailor the chassis stiffness vastly increases the number of vehicles that can be developed from this vehicle architecture.

Driving Dynamics

The Lotus Evora 414E Hybrid offers exhilarating, all-round dynamic performance and takes advantage of Lotus developed torque vectoring dynamics. Torque vectoring, which is the capacity to generate different torques at each of the driving wheels, is particularly suited to electric vehicles and significantly reduces the conflict between stability and response.

A key benefit of separate motors to drive each rear wheel individually is that this facilitates a much higher level of vehicle dynamics control. Driving the wheels with different levels of torque can not only generate all the capabilities of a conventional ESP system using energy regeneration as opposed to brake application, but it can also actively drive each wheel forward at different rates, producing a turning moment at the rear of the vehicle in addition to the steering input.

This can be used to enhance low speed manoeuvrability and ease of parking but can also be used to produce a much greater level of straight line high speed stability. Incorporating lateral sensors the system also provides stability control capabilities and levels of steering response normally only associated with heavy and expensive rear steer systems. This can provide automatic correction of both understeer and oversteer characteristics. In addition, the standard method to provide high speed stability of designing the rear wheels to toe-in is not required as the torque vectoring system automatically provides this stability control, with toe-in increasing rolling resistance, lowering fuel economy and increasing tyre wear. Lotus‘ long history of active suspension control provides the core capability to develop this technology and provides extraordinary driving pleasure on the Evora 414E Hybrid.

Driver Interaction

The Evora 414E Hybrid provides less of a psychological step change for people familiar with high performance cars compared to other electric and hybrid sports cars. The car has a simulated paddle shift gear change offering ultra quick gear changes reminiscent of a dual clutch transmission, while actually single speed. This enhances the driver interaction with the vehicle and provides a driving experience similar to current internal combustion engine high performance sports cars. The Evora 414E Hybrid uses a column mounted paddle shift to simulate the gear change and a synthesised engine sound changes frequency with virtual gear selection. The drive torque is also modulated to simulate a physical feeling of a gearshift jolt.

The virtual gearshift simulation, like a conventional gearbox, is used to change the driving characteristics and response of the vehicle. The most significant aspect that this offers the driver is the ability to control the vehicle deceleration by simulating engine braking through a virtual downshift in gears. Unlike true engine braking, the Lotus system does not dissipate the energy of the moving vehicle through internal engine friction but uses the electric motors to regenerate the energy back into the battery. While many electric and hybrid vehicles provide engine braking, this is generally at a fixed rate or preselected rate. In some driving situations this can either be too aggressive, slowing the vehicle unnecessarily, or too light, requiring additional braking application. The Lotus system effectively allows the driver to select the appropriate level of regeneration by simulating stepping down by one, two or even three gears. The simulation of engine braking through both the gear noise change and the retardation of the vehicle is fully intuitive to a driver familiar with a conventional gearbox. The simulated gearchange capability can be selected for greater driving involvement or switched off for more relaxed driving.

The Evora 414E Hybrid uses the Lotus Engineering and Harman International developed HALOsonic suite of noise solutions. The first of which is Electronic Sound Synthesis. This generates engine sounds inside the vehicle through the audio system where it provides an exciting sports sound in line with the brand and nature of the vehicle together with a high level of driver feedback in an intuitive manner. In addition, it also generates sound on the outside of the vehicle through speakers mounted at the front and rear to provide a warning to increase pedestrian safety, which is especially important for electric and hybrid vehicles which can be difficult to hear at slower speeds.

There are four driver selectable engine sounds currently on the vehicle, two of which have been designed to have characteristics of a multi-cylinder conventional V6 and V12 engine. There is also a futuristic sound and a combination of a conventional engine and a futuristic sound, enhancing the brand identity of the vehicle as a step forward in electric vehicle design.

The addition of this Lotus patented simulated gearshift concept not only provides for an exciting and involving driving experience that customers would expect from a Lotus, but also enhances the driver’s control of the vehicle while providing the capability for more efficient operation through a greater use of energy regeneration.

The Design

The distinctive colour scheme and ‘floating’ roof have been carefully designed to accent the cars electric vehicle technology whilst complementing the iconic lines of the Evora.

Copper, a colour often associated with electrical systems, has been chosen for the car’s exterior and interior. A contemporary satin finish paint is complemented by electrical circuit inspired graphics that highlight the car’s key feature lines and the unique glazed roof panel. The newly extended glazed zone integrates seamlessly with the existing forms of the Evora whilst showcasing the key components behind the hybrid and electric vehicle technology.

The signature copper theme is consistently carried throughout the car from the dramatic seat stripes and instrument panel inserts to the copper callipers that nestle behind the carbon grey forged wheels. Inside the cabin a sense of quality and richness has been created by carefully juxtaposing the different tactile qualities intrinsic to leather, Alcantara and metal.

(Source: Lotus Press Release)

2011 Lotus Elise

February 25, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog, Geneva Motor Show, Lotus, News

2011-Lotus-Elise-LAD2

The new Lotus Elise probably has the lowest CO2 for its performance for any gasoline high performance sportscar in the world. The Lotus Elise revolutionised the sportscar market 14 years ago when the small lightweight agile 2-seat mid engine sportscar was introduced. By ensuring that the Elise stuck rigidly to Lotus’ core values of performance through light weight, the Elise was able to produce supercar performance with city car economy.

Making its debut at the 80th International Geneva Motorshow, the 2011 model year Lotus Elise introduces a number of changes and improvements to maintain its class leading position.

For the 2011 model year, the Elise range will consist of the following variants

Lotus Elise – 136 PS, less than 155 g of CO2 /km – new 1.6 litre engine *
Lotus Elise R – 192 PS, 196 g of CO2 /km – 1.8 litre engine
Lotus Elise SC – 220 PS, 199 g of CO2 /km – 1.8 litre supercharged engine

Key changes and improvements to the whole of the 2011 model year Elise range

 New evolution body design incorporating new front clamshell, rear bumper and engine cover
New all in one integrated headlights including LED day light running lights and LED direction indicators
Improved aerodynamics with a reduction in Cd by 4%, resulting in better fuel economy
New cast and forged wheels
Vehicle warranty increased from 2 years to 3 years and 36, 000 miles

(Read Entire Press Release Below Photo Gallery)

 
 
 

 

 Additional changes for the 2011 model year entry level Lotus Elise

 

 New high technology 1ZR-FAE 1.6 litre engine with Valvematic and Dual VVT-I technology to optimise the performance and efficiency of the engine

Less than 155 g of CO2 per km (an improvement of over 13% compared to the 2010 Elise S)*
Combined fuel consumption 6.14 litres / 100 km (46 mpg)*

New 6 speed close ratio gearbox

Cruise control available as part of the Touring pack

  The body – an evolution

The new 2011 model year Elise range is on sale now and will be in showrooms from April 2010. The body of the new 2011 model year Elise is an evolution of the iconic Elise design, retaining the character and style, while offering a more planted, purposeful stance and a pure, contemporary look that links it to the Evora. As with all Lotus product the design is an exciting blend of dramatic style and functional efficiency.

The new Elise body has a fresh sculptured front, including a new bumper, front clam and access panel that combine to give the Elise a wider look with more road presence.

At the rear of the car the new engine has been encased by a distinctive “twin-spine” engine cover whilst lower down a more aggressive diffuser is tightly wrapped by an elegant new bumper design that now includes the rear licence plate.

New headlamp units with distinctively sculptured LED lighting guides (incorporating daytime running lamps and direction indicators) give a contemporary twist to this classic design. Elsewhere, the signature, Lotus “mouth” and familiar sculptured forms have been sensitively refined to give a crisper, more dynamic look. The repositioning of lamp functions has enabled the creation of broad clean surface between the fenders which combines with sleek corner intakes and prominent splitter detail to give a broader more planted stance.

The theme of purity is carried through to the cooling apertures that are efficiently finished with a new lightweight aluminium mesh that gives the car a classically sporting character.

The rear boot is now opened from the cockpit rather than via a separate key operation. The high quality feel of the Elise is continued throughout the car with the Elise graphic incorporated into the new side LED direction indicators, like those on the Evora.

The driving position, from the perfectly positioned pedals and steering wheel, to the comfortable and supportive seats with ProBax** technology means that, like all Lotus cars, the driver becomes part of the car rather than being just a passenger.

With the sleek new body the aerodynamics have improved giving a reduction in the coefficient of drag of 4%.

Finally, a choice of two beautiful, light weight wheel designs are available; an incredibly light forged wheel and a new cast wheel completes the picture for this sensitive update of a Lotus Icon.

Additional changes to the 2011 model year Lotus Elise

The new 2011 model year Elise has a number of additional changes and improvements, with the installation of a new advanced 1.6 litre Valvematic engine meeting EURO 5 regulations. This new engine is 200cc smaller than the outgoing Elise S model and produces similar power (136 PS, 100 kW, 134 hp at 6800 rpm) with maximum torque of 160 Nm, 118 lbft at 4400 rpm, but offers a significant improvement to fuel economy of over 23%, to 6.14 litres / 100km (46 mpg)* and a reduction in CO2 emission by more than 13%*. This provides the new Lotus Elise with the lowest CO2 per performance for any gasoline high performance sportscar in the world. This high technology engine is mated to a new 6-speed manual gearbox, providing closer and more performance orientated ratios than the outgoing 5 speed box.

The 1.6 litre engine is controlled via the bespoke Lotus T6 engine management system. Cruise control is available on the Elise for the first time with the controls present on a stalk located to the left of the steering column.

New cast wheels have been designed specifically for the Elise and the new optional forged wheels weigh just 29.26 kg per set, 2.14 kg lighter than a set of lightweight cast versions. Both are available in silver or black colour.

Dany Bahar, Chief Executive of Group Lotus said, “The Lotus Elise revolutionised the sportscar when it was launched 14 years ago and now the Lotus Elise has become greener, giving drivers access to class leading performance with less guilt.”

Donato Coco, Director of Design said, “The Elise is an iconic sportscar and it was important that we did not complicate its design, so we made the car more pure in its look, improved the aerodynamics, and gave it a more contemporary look with high quality detailing.”

Paul Newsome, Director of Lotus Product Engineering said, “We are always looking at ways of keeping the Elise ahead of its peers and for the 2011 model year we have improved efficiency without losing the innate fun that has made the Elise legendary.”

Andreas Prillmann, Chief Commercial Officer for Lotus Cars said, “In its 14 years of production the Elise has accounted for 32% of all the 61 years of Lotus production, illustrating how significant to the brand and well loved it is. The 2011 model year Elise is greener, purer and more desirable, making it even more relevant to today’s marketplace. The new Elise underlines Lotus’ reputation as one of the most innovative sports car manufacturers in the world.”

Performance

 Lotus Elise
0 – 60 mph 6.0 seconds*
0 – 100 km/h 6.7 seconds*
Maximum speed 200 km/h (124 mph)*

 Lotus Elise R
0 – 60 mph 5.1 seconds
0 – 100 km/h 5.4 seconds
Maximum speed 222 km/h (138 mph)

 Lotus Elise SC
0 – 60 mph 4.3 seconds
0 – 100 km/h 4.6 seconds
Maximum speed 233 km/h (145 mph)

The 2011 model year Elise in more detail.
The Elise – the entry model

Engine

The Lotus Elise introduces the new 1598 cm3, 1ZR-FAE engine, provided by Toyota. The key to this engine’s performance and efficiency is the Valvematic system (a variable valve lift mechanism), which is combined with the dual VVT-i (Variable Valve Timing-intelligent). The engine continuously controls intake valve opening/closing timing and the intake valve lift to vary the volume of the intake airflow, giving significant improvements in efficiency and fuel economy. This ensures optimal performance based on the engines operational condition, thus helping the Elise achieve both high fuel efficiency and high performance.

First of all, the maximum power output is achieved at near maximum revs (engine speed) of 6800 rpm and maximum torque (a respectable 160 Nm, 118 lb.ft) is reached at 4400 rpm. This gives a good combination of mid range pull but also encourages the driver to rev the engine to the maximum permitted engine speed of 7000 rpm (transient rev limit). Like all Elise sportscars, there are three shift up lights, on the binnacle cumulatively lighting when the driver is getting closer to the rev limiter and when all three are illuminated, they flash to indicate that the driver is almost on the rev limiter so time to change up a gear!

The height of the engine cover has been raised by 34mm to accommodate the taller 1ZR engine compared to the previous 1ZZ engine from the outgoing model due, in part, to the additional Valvematic technology included on the new engine. This has given Lotus engineers an opportunity to subtly redesign the rear engine cover to match the design theme from the front and rear of the car.

Chassis

The Lotus Elise is built around the revolutionary and award winning extruded and bonded aluminium chassis, with a lightweight steel rear subframe. The chassis weighs 68 kg (150 lbs) and has a stiffness of 9,800 Nm per degree, giving a high level of control of the suspension. At the rear, and also acting as a rear energy absorbing crash structure, a lightweight steel subframe carries the engine and gearbox. At the front, the radiator and key ancillaries are mounted into a high tech composite energy absorbing crash structure that is both lightweight, compact and over three times more energy absorbing than the equivalent steel structure.

Ride and handling

The legendary Lotus ride and handling gives a superb high performance, sporty drive, combined with a compliant ride and progressive on limit handling, it makes the Elise a car that demands to be driven. The entry level Lotus Elise weighs 876 kg, making it one of the lightest fully homologated sportscars in the world. This low weight translates into efficient performance with minimal environmental impact in terms of emissions and fuel consumption. The efficiency of the Elise structure means that the 136 PS (100 kW, 134 hp) delivers phenomenal performance. Few cars can match the delicacy and accuracy of the steering, throttle and brakes of the Elise and all of these factors contribute to the excellent driving experience of the Elise.

Safety

The Elise has high performance AP Racing callipers at the front and Brembo callipers at the rear linked to 282 mm vented and cross-drilled cast iron discs to give excellent stopping power. The Elise comes as standard with a track tuned ABS system that is designed to be unobtrusive under normal driving conditions. This system is designed to be used on track and has a high threshold, only intervening in emergencies. The ABS system is linked to a lightweight pedal box with steel pedal arms and extruded aluminium pads. This unit also has an electronic (drive-by-wire) throttle for quick, smooth and more linear engine response. The impressive braking coupled with excellent handling gives good primary safety and the composite front crash structure and rear crash protection offers efficient secondary safety. Driver and passenger airbags and pre-tensioning seatbelt are standard on all Elise models.

Prices will be announced in March 2010.

*The Lotus Elise is currently undergoing EC Whole Vehicle Type Approval and official fuel consumption and CO2 emissions figures, plus performance figures are not yet available. The official figures for fuel consumption and CO2 emissions and performance will be published on Group Lotus plc’s web site as soon as they become available (www.grouplotus.com) or may be obtained from the PR Department, Lotus Cars Limited, Potash Lane, Hethel, Norfolk, NR14 8EZ, UK.

**“ProBax™” seats

Introduced for 2006 Model Year Lotus Exige and Elise cars, ProBax™ seats are designed by Lotus and specifically adapted and developed by NuBax. ProBax™ seats help to significantly improve the postural position of the occupant’s spine whilst seated compared to similar seat shells without ProBax technology. This not only results in an improved level of comfort, but also has significant medical benefits – maintaining a natural curvature of the spine, and markedly improving the body’s blood flow. Increased blood flow has been shown to enhance response times, raise alertness levels and reduce the onset of muscle fatigue. Tests on Lotus seats, with the new ProBax™ technology, have shown an improvement in blood flow of up to thirty per cent over the pre-2006 Model Year Lotus seat. ENDS

About Lotus

The main operating subsidiary of Group Lotus plc is Lotus Cars Ltd, which has two operating divisions – Lotus Engineering and Lotus Cars. Lotus Engineering is an internationally recognised automotive engineering consultancy based in Norfolk, UK. Global facilities include those in Michigan (USA), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), China and offices in Germany and Japan, with rapid expansion in new territories such as South East Asia.

Lotus Engineering provides comprehensive and versatile consultancy services to many of the world’s OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers, offering a full engineering service from initial concept and project design through development and integration of the complete vehicle to meet all worldwide markets and customers to full production. This includes third party ‘niche vehicle’ engineering and manufacture worldwide.

Lotus Cars builds world class, prestige, high performance sports cars for sale in 37 countries. These include the iconic Lotus Elise, the Exige, the 2-Eleven and Lotus’ latest model, the Lotus Evora. Lotus is a global high-tech company, expanding rapidly and committed to driving forward technology for both Lotus Cars and its Engineering clients, spearheading research into such areas as hybrids, electric vehicles and renewable fuels.

(Source: Lotus Press Release)