Lotus Is Dead, Long Live Lotus

Illustration for article titled Lotus Is Dead, Long Live Lotus

The spirit of Colin Chapman died today, as a creepy green dude watched on. Today's E-gasmic unveiling of the 2015 Lotus Elise, 2014 Lotus Elan, Elite, Esprit and Eterne only revealed that yes, the old Lotus is dead.

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Lotus was created in the early 1950s by engineer Colin Chapman to build road cars and racing machines designed to conform to the mantra: simplify, then add lightness. In the years following the company faithful churned out cars that did just that. The number of models were few, the number of variations many.

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Illustration for article titled Lotus Is Dead, Long Live Lotus

The company changed hands to GM in the mid-1980s, which explains cars like the Lotus Carlton, Vauxhall VX220, and "tuned by Lotus" Isuzu Impulse. In the early 1990s, a group made up of European businessmen purchased the company before selling off most of it to Malaysian car company Proton.

The last few years have seen the introduction of a better Elise, a sexy Exige, and a much-admired Evora. All these cars generally fit into the original Lotus vision, and apparently gave the company enough room to do what they did today, which is debut five new models covering a range of classes.

Illustration for article titled Lotus Is Dead, Long Live Lotus
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Is this what we're getting, the car world equivalent of Stephen Baldwin?. Instead of hip, cool Alec we've got a bloated American actor with no talent who struggles with his weight. He's the anti-thesis of Colin Chapman in every way, even if both have ties to cocaine.

He's D-list and that's exactly where Lotus is going, because instead of being the lovable scamp comparable to no one they're now having to compete with the Ferraris, the Lamborghinis, the Porsches, and McLarens of the world.

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Given what Lotus has done in the past there's no reason to believe every single one of these cars can't be great. And the new Elise appears, at least, like it won't completely offend the sensibilities of current Lotus owners.

But let's just face reality. The simple lightweight cars that were the last pure expression of classic performance car thinking are gone. The era of high tech, extraordinarily fast cars are here; cars built for the Stephen Baldwins of the world, not the Graham Hills.

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DISCUSSION

sami
Sam I - Texalopnik Ambassador

Adding lightness: The Chapman Theorem

How does one add lightness? Simply, the Chapman Theorem states:

Adding lightness = subtracting heaviness. (or +LI = -HE).

Using his theorem, he applied this to known principles of "Less is More" (abbrev as SUB), and excellent mechanical engineering (abbrev as ME) to his car building. Therefore, we can see that the solution to his equation (as related to driving experience to the driver):

SUB+LI+ME

This solution rang true until his demise. Recently certain people have decided to alter this formula, rendering the result very different. This new theory begins with Japanese-esque styling (called the "Domo Factor", abb. DO), and mixing in the result of John Delorean's Conondrum. Deloreans's Conondrum involves creating the "Ultimate Car" (abbrev. UC), but realizing that there can never be only one car.

To finalize this equation, HE is actually ADDED to the equation, instead of LI. Due to modification of Chapman's Theorem, the solved equation does not relate to the driver's personal experience, but to other's experience of the driver:

DO+UC+HE