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Lotus

World-renowned Lotus Engineering has entered into a collaboration with Queen’s University Belfast and Jaguar Cars to develop an engine which maximizes fuel efficiency when running on renewable fuels. The OMNIVORE concept will employ novel engine architecture to achieve a high thermal efficiency when fuelled on any alcohols or gasoline. ideally suited to flex-fuel operation, the design features an innovative variable compression ratio system and uses a two-stroke operating cycle with direct fuel injection. Read More
Lotus Cars, the team behind some seriously cool Gravity Racing machines, has redeveloped a slightly different racing machine – a competition sled for the Royal Air Force Bobsleigh Team. After over 70 hours of engineering time, the company turned it from a safety hazard to a place-winning racing machine. Read More
Lotus has taken a different approach to 'green' car building with the announcement of its Eco Elise - featuring hemp-based bodywork and other renewable materials. Taking the position that too many 'green' cars concentrate solely on CO2 emissions at the tailpipe, Lotus has overhauled its entire manufacturing process to reduce energy and water usage, boost recycling, use locally-sourced, renewable and carbon-neutral materials, and provide dash instrumentation to encourage greener driving habits. It's an unique 'holistic' approach to environmentally friendly car building - and the stunning Eco Elise should make at least two sales when the news reaches Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong. Read More
November 2, 2007 Police in East Sussex have added a Lotus Exige S to their arsenal as part of a campaign to promote road safety. The fully liveried Lotus police car has proved an ideal ice-breaker in opening up lines of communication and educating drivers in the high-risk group 17-25 age group. Read More
October 31, 2007 Major automotive manufacturers recently showcased their visions for the automobile of the future as part of the LA Auto Show Design Challenge, but now comes a competition of a very different kind. Clean fuel and artificial intelligence take a back seat as speed, power, performance and attitude become the key criteria in Mattel’s 40th anniversary Designer’s Challenge™ in which leading manufacturers were invited to create an original vehicle for the company’s die-cast Hot Wheels® toy range… but there is one special requirement: each vehicle must be able to perform a loop on classic Hot Wheels® orange track. Read More
August 28, 2007 Although Australian performance cars have tended to have a reputation for tyre-shredding hooliganism at the cost of outright speed, Lotus Australia is releasing a souped-up Aussie-exclusive Exige aimed squarely at delivering maximum racetrack speed and handling without any sideways action. The Lotus Sport 240 will feature a supercharged engine capable of feeding 240 horsepower to the tarmac through sophisticated adjustable traction control and launch control systems that should see the AU$149,990 roadster tearing up more expensive competition on the racetrack as well as the road. Read More
April 16, 2007 Malaysia’s National auto manufacturer Proton has unveiled its first Hybrid prototype, designed in collaboration with Lotus Engineering. It is just over two decades since the company bolted together its first cars from Mitsubishi parts imported from Japan, but as the company has grown in strength, it has acquired considerable engineering design, development and manufacturing expertise, pulling off a major coup with its acquisition of Lotus in 1996. The 'EVE Hybrid' (Efficient, Viable, Environmental) research and development project was a collaboration of Proton and Lotus and EVE sports some impressive vital statistics. EVE has a 1.6litre petrol engine, which uses a 'micro-hybrid' start-stop system, a full parallel hybrid drive and a continuously variable transmission to achieve fuel economy of 5.6 litres/100km. maximum torque of whopping 233Nm at 1500rpm and maximum power of 105kW at 5500rpm enabling the car to accelerate from 0-100km/h in 9.0 seconds with a top speed of 188.8 km/h. Read More
February 16, 2007 Lotus Cars Australia has donated a special new recruit to the NSW Police Bankstown Local Area Command with the arrival of a high performance Lotus Exige. The lightweight, high performance Lotus Exige sports car will be used by Bankstown Local Area Command for a number of community policing roles over the next six months, including most importantly, helping to build better relations between police and local performance car enthusiasts and youth. The precedent for this co-operation with the police was set in the UK where Lotus forged a similar relationship with the Norfolk Constabulary lending the force a Lotus Elise to achieve similar goals. “Following the success of the co-operation with Norfolk Police we saw the chance to link up with NSW Police to help it achieve similar goals,” said Lotus’ Jon Stretton. “The Norfolk Police had similar challenges to Bankstown Local Area Command with performance car enthusiasts and in establishing stronger relations to help prevent unacceptable behaviour.” Read More
August 24, 2006 Lotus has always danced to a different drum. When the rest of the world was building muscle cars in the sixties and seventies, it went the other way. Light weight, superb handling, miniscule frontal areas and svelte aerodynamic efficiency became the hallmarks of Lotus roadsters which always did more with less. Now the Lotus brand is further extending its values towards the responsible use of resources with the Lotus Exige 265E which runs on environmentally friendly bio-ethanol E85 - 85% ethanol alcohol and 15% petrol! As the Exige uses a supercharged and intercooled engine, Lotus engineers saw the opportunity to prove the point that green sportscars can offer high performance by exploiting the performance characteristics of ethanol. Ethanol has a high octane rating, which allows an optimum timing for engine ignition and has a fast flame speed in the combustion chamber, so the fuel burns faster, increasing the efficiency of the engine. Ethanol has less stored energy per unit volume than gasoline so the fuel economy is less, however as E85 ethanol is 85% sourced from renewable bio matter, there is a net reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2). The beauty of using ethanol though, is its ability to produce more power in the engine than with conventional petrol and the Exige 265E is the most powerful road Exige ever. The Exige 265E now produces 264 bhp at 8000 rpm (up 21% over the petrol Exige S), and 184 lbft of torque at 5500 rpm (up 16%). The performance figures are pretty healthy for a green machine: 0-60 mph in 3.88 seconds, 0-100 mph in 9.2 seconds and a top speed of 158 mph! Read More
The rise in popularity of gravity (aka soapbox) racing has been spectacular in recent years, and one of the most successful teams has been the Lotus team from the famous motorsport constructor and design studio. Now the team is heading for a showdown at the Brooklands Museum Soapbox Derby on 16 July, 2006. The Lotus Type 119c soapbox racer is the reigning Goodwood Festival of Speed Gravity Racing champion and record holder, beating Bentley and B.A.R in the final event held in 2004. Following the omission of the downhill event from the crowded Goodwood Festival of Speed line-up, attention has turned to the Extreme Gravity Racing (XGR) Series in the USA, and the UK-based Brooklands Soapbox Derby which ran for the first time last year, being won by the gravity racer of another famous motorsport group – Lola. Accordingly, two unbeaten cars will face off for the Brooklands title. The closed-cockpit Lotus Type 119c "streamliner" features an aerodynamically-efficient ultra-light carbon-fibre monocoque, remaining true to the "performance through light weight" philosophy of Lotus founder Colin Chapman. It will be lining up once again against familiar automotive constructors such as Lola, Vauxhall and Ford as well as entries from schools, colleges and privateers. Excellent image library with this story. We have previously covered several extreme gravity racing stories such as Motorsport without the motor, the design of the Volvo Extreme Gravity Car and The billycart goes (WAY) upmarket! Read More
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