The first production Exige S came off the assembly line today and very soon the first customers will experience this exciting new Lotus, a car which has already produced very positive headlines in the automotive media
Lotus Chief Operating Officer, Aslam Farikullah stood proudly by the production line and talks about the significance of this event
How do you feel about reaching this particular milestone?
Aslam Farikullah: We are very proud of the Exige S. It marks the first step towards consolidating and then growing the company. I know that customers have been eagerly waiting for this car, and I assure them that it will be worth the wait. We wanted to be sure that we had a product that was absolutely ready before launching it. We are confident that the right time for the Exige S is now.
Our new philosophy is simple: We will keep announcements about our planned products to a minimum. New models will only be launched when the product and timing is right. Once we do launch a new product, we will ensure that we can deliver to customers anywhere in the world as scheduled.
What else will be different at Lotus under your leadership?
Aslam Farikullah: Our emphasis now is on the finer details of what we do. I believe that the ability of our engineers and workforce makes them among the best in the world. We will leverage on this key strength as we revitalise and strengthen the Lotus brand.
We can all look forward to exciting times ahead as we bring the company to the next level. But I am not a fan of the limelight; I will let our cars do the talking.
So what is your vision for Lotus?
Aslam Farikullah: I want the Lotus name to become a by-word in the automotive industry for integrity, which means delivering quality products on the dates we say we will deliver them. As a start, we will refocus our human resources in order to further strengthen our Quality Department by 20%, clearly demonstrating our future intent.
I would also like to reiterate that DRB-HICOM is committed to the future of Lotus. When I arrived I found a company full of talent, ambition and pride in the Lotus name. It’s my job now to re-galvanise the company and we will be doing that by investing in our existing talent.
(Left to right) Dato’ Abdul Rahman Md Ali – Board Member of DRB-HICOM Berhad, En Aslam Farikullah – Chief Operating Officer of Group Lotus, Dato’ Syed Mohamed Syed Murtaza – Chairman of DRB-HICOM Berhad, Dr Vince Cable – Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Dato’ Sri Mohd Khamil Jamil – Group Managing Director of DRB-HICOM Berhad, HE Dato’ Sri Zakaria Sulong – Malaysian High Commissioner to the UK, Tan Sri Marzuki Mohd Noor – Board Member of DRB-HICOM Berhad
New Lotus owners DRB-HICOM welcomed Business Secretary Vince Cable to the Lotus Originals flagship store on Regent Street today. Present during the visit was His Excellency Dato’ Sri Zakaria Sulong, Malaysia High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.
The DRB-HICOM delegation led by DRB-HICOM Chairman Dato’ Syed Mohamad Syed Murtaza and DRB-HICOM Berhad’s Group Managing Director and Executive Chairman of Proton Holdings Berhad, Dato Sri Hj Mohd Khamil Jamil met with the Business Secretary before showing him around the new flagship store in London.
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The boards that have recently been covering number 52 Regent Street in the heart of London’s Piccadilly have been removed to unveil a new flagship store and Lotus takes pride of place to showcase its iconic brand in a new and accessible way.
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Ahead of schedule, Lotus’ new Evora 414E Range Extender Hybrid Electric Vehicle (REEV) has started its dynamic and durability testing at the Lotus HQ in Hethel, Norfolk.
Brimming with innovation, technology, performance and power, the Lotus Evora 414E is a series hybrid technology demonstrator which shows some of the headline technologies that Lotus Engineering, one of the world’ s leading automotive engineering consultancies, has within its portfolio.
The Evora 414E is powered by two electric motor packs driving the rear wheels through its Xtrac transmission with a battery pack that can be charged by the Lotus range extender engine or directly from mains electricity. The Lotus 3 cylinder range extender engine has been design protected to run on either gasoline or renewable bio alcohol fuels (methanol and ethanol). It drives an EVO electric generator which produces electrical energy to either charge the battery pack or power the EVO traction motors directly. In normal driving, the Evora 414E will run purely on electricity stored in the battery pack for up to 30 miles (48 km). With the Lotus range extender and the electric traction motors powering the vehicle through an Xtrac 1092 transmission, the Evora 414E is targeted to produce just 55 g of CO2 / km emissions on the Northern European Driving Cycle (NEDC).
Should the driver require more performance, under hard acceleration, for example, the electricity will come from both the battery storage and the small range extender engine.
It’s all Torque
Now that the car is undergoing testing, what does 1000 Nm in an Evora feel like?
Simon Corbett, Principal Vehicle Dynamics Test and Development Engineer at Lotus Engineering, has been doing the majority of the development testing, over the last few weeks, “The Evora S has 400 Nm of torque which in such a lightweight car is already a healthy figure. But the Evora 414E has two and a half times that amount! The acceleration sensation is almost indescribable, the surge of torque is like an ocean wave!”
See under the skin of the Evora 414E at the Goodwood Festival of Speed
As part of the REEVolution consortium, funded by the government’s innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board, Lotus will show a cutaway version of the Evora 414E, with the addition of regenerative braking, HALOsonic and realistic 7 speed paddle shift technologies at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, giving an unusual insight into this pioneering vehicle.
Recalling Sixties spy-fi show The Avengers, the first thing men of a certain age remember is Mrs Peel’s black leather cat suit. But the character’s object of desire was her cute-as-a-button Lotus Elan.
The Elan was launched in October 1962 at the British Motorshow, just as the Sixties started swinging. Jaguar had launched the E-Type the previous year, and AC had the Cobra and Ferrari the GTO. Big, expensive, powerful muscles cars. The Elan was very different, and typically Lotus – ultra modern, lightweight, rapid and huge fun.
It summed up the Sixties: a playful topless two-seat ticket to freedom, it was technically innovative with the first backbone tube chassis of any road car, a fiberglass body, four-wheel independent suspension, 670kg with a peachy power-to-weight ratio, bang up-to-date styling beloved by Kings Road cruisers, and a liberating, rock n’ roll attitude.
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