Founded by Colin Chapman, the Lotus company is known for their small, yet powerful cars. In much of Europe and around the world, they can be seen flying down the streets – beating even some of the fastest luxury cars. In this article, you’ll learn about how Lotus got started, what cars are currently available, and more.
How the Company Got Started
Lotus was founded by Colin Chapman in 1948 in the United Kingdom. Coming from humble beginnings, Chapman designed the first Lotus model in his garage when he was just 20 years old. What started as just a hobby turned into one of the most unique exotic car brands in the world. There are two facets to Lotus: the standard automobile manufacturer and “Formula One”, which is the racing brand. Chapman manufactured Lotus cars at several factories around England until he settled in Hethel, Norfolk. The company has also transferred ownership several times, as well as partnering with global car companies like Toyota to create vehicles. Throughout its history, Lotus has always been known for being successful in markets across the world. They have maintained a positive reputation and continue to make exotic cars for every driver. Currently, they are owned by Geely.
Lotus’ logo has remained relatively similar throughout the years, maintaining a green, yellow, white, and black color scheme. The logo has always featured the name of the company and a small insignia with the letters “ACB,” which stand for the initials of the founder of the company.
Lotus has always been a smaller, yet successful brand in the North American market. Their prime was between 2005-2008, where they consistently sold over 2,000 vehicles (estimated) each year. In 2009, sales dropped considerably and have since plateaued.
In Europe, each model since 2015 has been independent.
Many Different Models
Like many exotic and luxury car brands, Lotus keeps their model lineup small and exclusive. Here’s a list of the vehicles currently available for purchase or that are upcoming:
Unavailable, coming 2023.
“The all-new and all-electric Lotus Eletre is a striking and progressive Hyper SUV. It takes the core principles and Lotus DNA from more than 70 years of sports car design and engineering, evolving them into a desirable all-new lifestyle car. Eletre has an elegant and exotic look with active aerodynamics and a dramatic porous design. The use of pioneering sustainable materials gives a new level of premium for every journey.”
“The Lotus story continues with a new icon: Emira. A car that doesn’t just turn heads but turns conventional thinking on its head, with its exotic supercar looks, everyday usability and enhanced comfort combined with class leading Lotus driving dynamics.”
“Efficient aerodynamics have been at the heart of every Lotus since the very beginning. Emira is no exception. Intelligent engineering means it is the only car in its class to generate significant downforce, generating outstanding performance and exceptional grip at all speeds.”
"The Lotus Evija is a true Lotus, in that it elegantly balances stunning aesthetic forms with ingenious technical solutions to create a beautiful car with innovative design features. It will re-establish our brand on the global automotive stage and pave the way for further visionary models." – Russell Carr, Design Director
All pictures are from www.lotuscars.com.
Most Popular Model
Currently, the Evija and the Emira are both popular amongst Lotus buyers.
In its history, the Elite is one of the most popular models that Lotus has ever built. It was produced between 1958-1963, but made a huge impact on the way that the automotive market (especially the British market) thinks about small sports cars.
Other popular models are the Elan, the Cortina, the Europa, the Esprit Car Series 1, Elise, and Evora, among many others.
Lotus cars are sold in almost every country across the world, but do the best in the United States, Japan, and the United Kingdom are their three biggest markets. According to Motor 1, the U.S., UK., Japan, Germany, and France saw the highest sales percentages for Lotus vehicles in 2021.
In the past, Lotus cars have not been extremely popular in the United States because of legal restrictions and safety concerns. However, in recent years, the American market has grown substantially.
Known as the company that produces the “world’s most premium sustainable car,” Lotus has always been known as a brand that promotes and embodies sustainability. The Evija “hypercar” is recognized across the world as having an “aerodynamic aesthetic” and a “seductive style.”
Lotus also has a battery waste program, where drivers can take their “starter” battery to a dealership, garage, recycling center, or vehicle dismantlers. While this program is primarily in the United Kingdom, the United States has many places where drivers can take their batteries as well.
Lotus cars are also known for being extremely safe, despite their small size. They feature:
- Anti-lock brakes
- Stability control
- Front-impact airbags
- Side-impact airbags
- High-Tech security system
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