Yesterday five new Lotus models were unveiled. They're faster and undeniably impressive engineering achievements, but for some reason they feel a little me-too, a missed effort to do something extraordinary. How would you modernize Lotus?
Our apprehension over New Lotus stems from the ridiculously high regard in which we hold Colin Chapman. The company's founder managed to define every driving purist's dream when he said, "Simplify, then add lightness." We don't need 7-speed dual-clutch gearboxes that incorporate an electric motor for hybrid drive, we don't need all-wheel drive. We don't need 5.0-liter forced-induction 612 HP V8s because, if we had a lighter car, they wouldn't be necessary. Unfortunately, New Lotus has all those things.