Lotus obliterated several dozen Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tire as part of its 70th birthday bash.
Its not too often that the “Lotus” name is associated with epic burnouts, but that’s exactly what he company brought to the party. Head of attributes Gavan Kershaw and vehicle dynamics engineer Daniel Peck used an 410hp Exige Cup 410 and a 430 hp Evora GT410 Sport to scrawl an enormous ’70’ on Lotus’ official skidpad in Hethel, England.
The Exige Cup 410 is the newest member of the Lotus family and is based on the track-focused Exige Cup 430. A Toyota-sourced 3.5-litre supercharged V6 that produces 410 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque is capable of propelling its svelte, 2,368 lbs (1,074 kg) body from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in just 3.4 seconds, nearly as quickly as the Ferrari 488 GTB.
As for the Evora GT410, it is the most powerful variation of the crazy Evora GT and makes due with 430-hp and 325 lb-ft. of torque from the same aluminium block V6 with an Edelbrock supercharger. A curb weight of 2,833 lbs (1,285 kg) means it’s slightly heavier than the Exige Cup 410 and, thus, slower to 62 mph; however, it has a higher top speed of 491 mph (305 kph).
Both models make easy work of the corners, thanks largely to significant weight reduction, lightweight chassis, and the tear-jerking amounts of downforce produced by their carbon rear wings.
You can watch the insanity below.
Lotus Wants To Rival Ferrari And Porsche
A nearly $2-billion cash injection could help transform the brand into a world-class performance name.
Lotus has seen better days. Having been passed around from owner to owner, it has’t released an all-new mainstream car in over a decade. However, now that it’s majority-owned by Geely, the same company that saved Volvo from the brink and has a stake in Mercedes-Benz, there now appears to be light at the end of the tunnel.
In fact, the multinational Chinese automaker has set the ambitious goal of transforming the struggling Brit into a Ferrari-fighter.
Geely boss An Cong Hui justified the decision in a past interview with British magazine Autocar, stating:
“We are making plans; we want to bring back the heritage of Lotus to be one of the top performers in the luxury sports car segment,” “Lotus used to be ranked alongside Ferrari and Porsche, so we need to come back in that rank again.”
According to a new report from Automotive News Europe, Geely is currently considering investing around $1.9 billion in Lotus and hopes to expand its Hethel plant. It could potentially also open a second production facility elsewhere in the U.K., as well as a new design and innovation center in Coventry.
The company is betting on the proposed investment to not only help make Lotus relevant again, but also turn it into a credible rival for Ferrari and Porsche in the future by embracing new designs and technologies.
We think $1.9 billion is good start, and although Geely should be able to tap into Volvo and even Mercedes-Benz’s engineering know-how, it will have to dedicate a lot more money down the line to gain some real traction with the little automaker’s revival.
What do you think?
Lotus Exige Sport 410 Sports Car Strikes A Balance
Lotus has added a new member to its Exige family — the Exige Sport 410.
Slooting between the Exige Sport 350 and Exige Cup 430, the Lotus Exige Sport 410 benefits from many of the Exige Cup 430’s parts and is powered by the same 3.5L V6. Recalibrated to generate 410 hp at 7,000 rpm 310 lb-ft. from 3,000 rpm to 7000 rpm, the engine allows it to can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) in a supercar-like 3.3 seconds on route to a top speed of 180 mph (290 km/h), which is the same as the Exige Cup 430.
The Exige 410’s chassis, suspension and dampers were are borrowed from the Exige Cup 430, but it gains Eibach adjustable front and rear anti-roll bars and its three-way adjustable Nitron dampers have been retuned for a more comfortable ride on everyday roads.
Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires fill the wheel wells (285/30 ZR18 rear and 215/45 ZR17 front), while stopping power is provided by AP Racing forged, four-piston calipers and performance two-piece J-hook brake discs.
Other performance highlights include a full exhaust system in titanium and a number of high-gloss, visible weave carbon fiber components inside and out. Buyers can equip their car with such motorsport options as electrical cut-off and fire extinguisher controls, airbag deletion, a non-airbag steering wheel, 4-point harnesses and a dealer fit FIA compliant roll cage.
Inside, the Exige Sport 410 gets an Alcantara steering wheel and carbon fiber sports seats upholstered in either a combination of Alcantara and leather or full leather.
Unfortunately, the Lotus Exige Sport 410 will not be sold in North America.
A Lotus SUV is Possibly On The Way
Traditionally a sports car maker, Lotus may expand its lineup to include its first-ever SUV, with company CEO Jen-Marc Gales revealing at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show that the next all-new Lotus will most likely be a sports utility vehicle.
Gales was brought to Lotus back in May 2014 to turn around the ailing car company. To improve profitability, he has spearheaded a program to update its lineup.
The Evora 400 — described as the fastest and most powerful Lotus to date — is the first model to come out of the program and may be joined by a sedan, as well as the aforementioned SUV. If approved for production, the latter will “reinvent the category,” instead of simply joining it.
“We’d do an SUV that is very light, very fast on the track and has outstanding handling,” Gales told Reuters in an interview.
An SUV that’s ultra-light and nimble around a track? We expect nothing less from Lotus…