Group Lotus/Lotus Cars Questions

How can I contact Lotus Cars?

Group Lotus
Hethel, Norwich
Norfolk NR14 8EZ
Voice: +44 1953 608000

Lotus Cars USA
1655 Lakes Parkway
Lawrenceville, GA 30243
Voice: +1 404 822 4566

This is the US distributor.

If you wish to buy a new Lotus and you live outside of the US and you do not know where to buy one, please contact Lotus' Sales and Marketing Department at +44-953-60800 (+44-953-608281 (fax)).

What does Group Lotus currently sell?

According to Patrick Peal:

      Lotus Cars sells the Esprit V8 in virtually all major markets
      worldwide.  The Elise is sold in most markets for the street.
			However, it is not available in the USA.  Lotus Cars USA does sell
			versions of the Elise for track use only.

      Lotus Engineering sells mainly engineering contracts (which will
      include contract-specific hardware, e.g., prototype engines,
      suspension, styling models, etc.).  In addition, we offer certain
      software and hardware packages for the engineering community, e.g.:

           Lotus Data Collection and Analysis System
           Lotus Instrumented Steering Wheel (for vehicle handling analysis)
           Lotus Active Valve Train (fully computer-controlled inlet/
             exhaust valve actuating system, which dispenses with camshafts
             completely, for research purposes)

What kind of Lotus might I see on the street?

Seven (Types 7, 60)
1953 - 1973
Elite (Type 14)
1958 - 1964
Elan (Types 26, 36, 45)
S1 1962 - 1964
S2 1964 - 1966
S3 1965 - 1968
S4 1968 - 1971
Sprint 1971 - 1973
Cortina (Type 28)
Mk 1 1963 - 1966
Europa (Types 46, 54, 65, 74)
S1 1966 - 1967
S1A 1967 - 1968
S2 1968 - 1971
S2 Fed 1969 - 1971
Twin Cam 1971 - 1972
Special 1972 - 1975
Elan +2 (Type 50)
+2 1967 - 1969
+2S 1969 - 1974
Elite (Type 75)
1974 - 1982
Eclat (Type 76)
1975 - 1982
Esprit (Types 79, 85)
S1 1976 - 1978
S2 1978 - 1981
S2.2 1981
S3 1981 - 1990
Turbo Esprit (Type 82)
1980 - current
Excel (Type 89)
1982 - 1992
Elan (Type M100)
1989 - 1992, 1994 - 1995

A complete list of Lotus cars can be found on this Web site.

Why were Lotuses sold as kits?

From John O'Connor (

      In the UK, for most of the post war years, one of the main forms of
      tax used by the government was purchase tax. This was a sales tax
      levied at various percentages on a wide range of goods.

      In this environment, cars were considered to be a luxury item and
      thus a high level of purchase tax was levied against them. For some
      reason, along with food, childrens clothing and books, kit cars
      were not taxed with the purchase tax.  Thus, in the UK, kit cars
      were a lot cheaper than fully assembled cars and the market

      In the early 1970s, the UK joined what was then called the European
      Economic Community (now known as the European Union). One membership
      condition of the EEC was the imposition of a tax known as Value
      Added Tax or VAT. This is another sales tax and is used by the EEC/EU
      as a revenue gathering instrument for it's own purpose. To gain
      equity across the organisation, each country must levy a similar
      rate of VAT on a similar range of items and a proportion of that tax
      is then taken by the EEC/EU to fund its activities.

      One thing that happened in this process was the the tax rate on kit
      cars was made the same as the tax rate on assembled cars. Thus,
      assembled cars cost less and kits cost more, narrowing the price gap
      between them. This had a major impact on the sales of kit cars in the
      UK. many kit car manufacturers disappeared at this time.

Is the DeLorean a Lotus?

The DeLorean (also known as the DMC-12) was designed by DeLorean. John DeLorean contracted with a specialist U.S. subcontractor to design and build a prototype based on some ideas that he had. He then contracted Lotus to develop and certify the production car and set up the manufacturing system. The final chassis design looks very much like the Esprit chassis. The cars were actually built at the DeLorean factory in Dunmurry, south of Belfast, Northern Ireland.

If you chose to believe the British Government and others (and the evidence is compelling), John DeLorean, Colin Chapman and Fred Bushell (Chapman's financial man) took the British Government for a lot of money in loans and assistance that were given because the DeLorean was built in Northern Ireland.

Is the Jensen-Healey a Lotus?

The Jensen-Healey was the first production car to use the Lotus 907 engine (developed by Lotus and later used in the Esprit, Elite, Eclat and Excel). Some say that Lotus used Jensen-Healey to pay for the engineering costs of the 907 engine and to work the problems out of the engine before using it in their own cars.

Is the first-generation Toyota MR2 a Lotus?

The first-generation MR2 was introduced during a period of close cooperation between Lotus and Toyota. The Lotus Eclat was reworked with some Toyota parts to make the Excel during this period. Toyota was also involved in design and specifcation of the M90/X100 prototype.

There are two rumors about Lotus' involvement with the MR2. The "official" rumor is that the MR2 was designed "in-house" at Toyota by Lotus suspension engineer Roger Becker. The other rumor is that the MR2 was an abandoned Lotus design (possibly the M90/X100).

According to Doc Bundy, Lotusport Esprit driver, the MR2 is the X100.

Is the Corvette ZR-1 a Lotus?

Lotus designed the LT5 engine used in the Corvette ZR-1 in cooperation with engineers at Chevrolet and Mercury Marine (a manufacturer of marine (boat) engines).

According to Patrick Peal at Group Lotus, Lotus Engineering did not do any suspension work on the Corvette.

Is the [insert car name here] a Lotus?

Many people have asked about a variety of other cars that Lotus may have done some work on, including, for example, the Saturn.

The official statement from Lotus on this subject is:

"Lotus Engineering operates a policy of total client confidentiality, and does not discuss its client base. It is the client's prerogative to disclose its links with Lotus Engineering if it so wishes."

Is Lotus making bicycles?

Lotus is responsible for the LotusSport Olympic Pursuit bicycle that Chris Boardman rode to win the Gold medal in the Individual Pursuit at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. Also, he went on to set two world records (4000m and 5000m). This bicycle was assigned Lotus Type 108.

The Lotus Type 110 is a road-going production bicycle from LotusSport featuring an aerodynamic carbon-fiber monocoque frame.

Copyright 2003 (c) GGLC