Anyone who goes to Hethel will know than an essential part of any visit is a tour of the Classic Team Lotus facilities. Later this year, they will be moving into a much larger and more modern purpose-built premises, but for the past 20 years they have been working from a series of small buildings left over from the site’s WWII heritage.
Last year I had the chance to sit down with the head of Classic Team Lotus, Clive Chapman (son of Colin) and talk to him about the challenges of maintaining a fleet of heritage racing vehicles.
The powers that be here at SELOC have invited me to share with you some of the videos from my channel. Each week I want to highlight some content, new or old, with the hope it will provide a good basis for discussion.
I’d like to start with this video. My friend Stephen had a Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG and despite loving the car, felt that it wasn’t what he really wanted. Thus began a search to try and find something that felt faster, more special and was capable of going on track without costing a fortune.
We arrived at the Exige Sport 350 – quite a change I’m sure you’ll agree! So I’d like to know what else forum members were driving before their first Lotus, did you make a similar change or was it a more gradual discussion?
For years Maidstone Sports Cars have been popular with enthusiasts offering servicing and Honda engine conversions. Now, following the decision by Lipscomb Group not to renew their Lotus Dealership, they joined the Lotus family as a Lotus Heritage Repairer.
Maidstone Sports Cars have been officially appointed Kent’s only Lotus Heritage Repairer.
After news broke that the Lipscomb Group would not be renewing their Lotus Dealership, MSC have been chosen to maintain an official Lotus Heritage Repairer in Kent. The transfer has already begun, ensuring there is no disruption to the Lotus Owner.
Our technicians have received the latest Lotus training from the Hethel factory, bringing us up to date on the current Elise, Exige & Evora Range.
What does this mean for Lotus Owners? MSC now have access to the latest Lotus diagnostics and technical data, along with a better discount on Genuine Lotus Parts. We will also not be increasing our labour rate or fixed price service costs. MSC aim to provide main dealer service at independent specialist prices.
This is an exciting new venture for MSC and we look forward to working with Lotus Cars and the Lotus community
Lotus showed the latest entries to their product range at the Geneva International Motor Show 2016 this week, with the new 3-Eleven, and lighter, more powerful Elise Cup 250, Evora Sport 410 and Exige Sport 350 Roadster models on display.
The Elise Cup 250 builds upon the foundations of the existing Elise Cup 220 model, but boosts power to a new high a factory Elise model at 243bhp.
Along with this power increase it also brings a new Carbon Fibre Aero Pack to the option list, which helps shed another 10kg, and helps make this the fastest ever road going Elise, with a 0-60mph time of just 3.9s and producing 66kg of downforce at 100mph.
Based upon the Evora 400 released last year, the Evora Sport 410 also follows the same philosophy of reducing weight and increasing power, with a modest increase to 410bhp more than matched by a hefty 70kg weight saving compared to the already lighter Evora 400.
To achieve this the Evora Sport 410 takes a significantly more hardcore approach, and will surely satisfy those who want a road racer in the vein of the Exige with the comparative ease of access of the revised Evora chassis.
That 70kg weight saving is achieved by extensive use of carbon fibre as standard, with the front splitter, front access panel, roof panel, tailgate, rear diffuser and seats made from the light weight material.
Finally the Exige Sport 350 Roadster was unveiled at the show, bringing the improvements and weight reduction of the coupe model across to the Roadster, along with some new options as well.
The car debuted with the optional Carbon Aero Pack, which adds carbon fibre front splitter, rear wing and rear diffuser, however as standard the car should be available without these additions. Even so other lightweight options can finally help the Exige Sport 350 Roadster dip under the 1100kg mark, and allow it to complete clock a 0-60mph time of just 3.7s.
0-60 mph in 2.9 seconds, 0-100 mph in 6.0 seconds and a top speed of 180 mph (Race version)
Deliveries of Road and Race cars from March 2016 with production limited to 311 cars worldwide
The Lotus 3-Eleven is the most powerful road car to wear a Lotus badge and Hethel’s quickest ever road car. It joins the ranks of those rare cars that can reach 60 mph in under three seconds and 100 mph in six seconds. To complement these figures, the Lotus 3-Eleven possesses a purity of the driving experience and the benchmark handling for which all Lotus cars are renowned, enabling a lap of the challenging Hethel circuit to be completed in 1 minute 19.5 seconds for the Race version. Continue reading →
Lotus announced today a new limited edition variant of Lotus Exige V6 Cup, the Lotus Exige 360 Cup. Limited to just 50 units, the Lotus Exige 360 Cup gets an eponymous 10 ps increase in power and new lightweight tailgate and front access panel.
This increase in power and reduction in weight will help improve on the Exiges already strong power to weight ratio, and makes it an even more formidable track day contender.
Lotus Motorsport redefines the Exige V6 Cup with the introduction of the Exige 360 Cup. New lightweight panels and an increase in power mean the Lotus Motorsport Cup model continues to provide a benchmark in handling and performance. Continue reading →
After weeks of teasing Lotus pulled the covers off the new Lotus 3-Eleven this morning at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
The new model, built upon the Exige V6 platform, produces 450bhp from a revised version of the Evora 400’s 3.5-litre V6, and completes the 0-60mph dash in under 3 seconds in race trim. Deliveries are due to start mid-2016….
Lotus have announced a pair of new model derivatives this week, with the Elise 20th Anniversary special edition and the Exige S Club Racer.
The Elise 20th Anniversary special edition celebrates 20 years since the Elise was first unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1995, and combines the specifications of the Elise S Club Racer with special edition colour schemes, the optional matt black exterior trim and forged alloy wheels, and 20th Anniversary badging.
The Exige S Club Racer takes the standard Exige S model and combines it with the weight saving features of the Elise Club Racer, with a modest 15kg weight reduction, Matt Black exterior detailing, lighter doors, seats and battery and the standard fitment of the Race Pack.