As we slog through another miserable day, it’s not hard to look around and wonder what good there is left. What light remains upon this troubled Earth? Does not an ever-gloomier cloud cover the sky above? Perhaps. But things aren’t all bad; the Lotus Elise exists.
Good morning! Welcome to The Morning Shift, your roundup of the auto news you crave, all in one place every weekday morning. Here are the important stories you need to know about resurrecting the nearly-dead.
Alright, Lotus. Did you really think you could get away with this? Not the joke, obviously—any journalist knows a press release embargoed for April 1 is meant for trickery. But did you really think you could get away with releasing photos of cats in cute race helmets for April Fools’ Day and not start selling them?
Good morning! Welcome to The Morning Shift, your roundup of the auto news you crave, all in one place every weekday morning. Here are the important stories you need to know.
I previously wrote about my confusion over Lotus dredging up a one-off Lotus Evora ‘themed’ around the famous Esprit that everyone loved from 1977's The Spy Who Loved Me. I said the Evora itself was good. I also said that such a tribute right now would not make any sense.
Being a huge James Bond nerd, this latest teaser for whatever Lotus has planned for the upcoming Geneva Motor Show next month should have me very excited. Except I’m not, because if it’s what I think it is, it’s practically irrelevant already.
This year Lotus showed up to the party, and brought with them the best example of “Vehicle Showing Brand’s Color Scheme” anywhere in the entire Tokyo Auto Salon. The Lotus 3-Eleven easily outclassed all but the actually-used-in-a-race racing livery at the Salon.
Remember that Lotus Esprit concept from 2010 that never happened? A bit generic, but still handsome.
The 2017 Lotus Exige 380 is a shot straight down Main Street of the company’s known ethos: more power and less weight than the last car. Specifically, this little monster has been dialed to 375 horsepower and 2,424 pounds. But I still think the exposed-linkage stick shift is the coolest feature.
In the early 2000s, Lotus (the world’s pluckiest car company) built a turbocharged mid-engine convertible for General Motors (the world’s least plucky car company) called the Speedster. The problem is now nobody can exactly agree why. So we talked to Lotus and got to the bottom of it.
The fundamental idea of Lotus cars is to be made as cheaply as possible. No wait, that’s not it. To have as old an engine as possible. No, wrong. Oh right, it’s to be as light as possible. And a new limited-edition Elise does that perfectly, weighing in at 1,982 pounds.
Nobody ever said “simplifying and adding lightness” was cheap. Besides, look how sexy that carbon fiber is. Here’s why I bring this up: the Lotus Evora 400, apparently a very good track car, can get even better for about 125 percent of its normal price.
There’s no five-star resort. There’s no gluten-free, farm-to-table luncheon. No thumping video presentation. At this press launch, there’s just a man, a creaky, folding metal chair, and a garage completely devoid of air conditioning on a day where the temperature threatened triple digits. Oh, and there’s also the best…
I am a woman of simple tastes. Take a simple car, make it lighter, and add some purposeful looking aerodynamics and you have my attention. The new Lotus Elise Race 250 looks like all that is right with racecars—and Lotus says it’s their fastest racing Elise yet.
The good news is that Lotus expects to make a profit for the first time in 20 years in the next few months. The better news is this means it can go ahead with plans to introduce a new Elise in 2020.
Look at the goofy grin of the Lotus Elise Cup 250. It looks like it’s having fun. And it’s having fun because it has the performance of a genuine giant-killer on the track. It takes immense pleasure in making light work of trackday amateurs.
Yea, sure, the three Lotus Eleven racecars are cool and all, but check out the custom roof-mounted tire platform on that racing lorry.
Three major crashes happened on the second day of the 74th Goodwood Members’ Meeting, and while everybody will live to tell their tales, that was down to luck as well as Goodwood’s crew doing their jobs flawlessly. And that’s why it doesn’t need to change.
Lotus needs to sell cars in the United States to survive, and to sell cars in the United States, it needs cleaner cars. That’s where a simpler, lighter Evora comes in.