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Offline mondi

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Lotus CEO Dany Bahar has floated the idea of breaking away from Proton.

Speaking at a recent press event, Bahar said that Lotus cannot continue to develop models on their own. Instead, the company needs to form alliance or be sold to a larger automaker like Toyota.

No time frame was given but, in the meantime, Lotus will continue to develop the six models they announced at the Paris Motor Show.

Reader Comment:

Imagine that, Alfa Romeo and Lotus under one ownership. We'd have VW, Audi, Alfa and Lotus versions of the same 'sporty' car.

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Offline futurism

  • Joined: Jan 2009

  • Drives: Regretfully sold my GT3
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  • Name: David
I dont really understand what proton does and doesnt own
I know they own lotus cars, but do they own lotus engineering as well?

My assumption is that these are different companies sharing the same employees

If thats the case
I dont understand why Lotus need someone else to develop cars for them to stick a body on, since for the last 20 years or so they have developed cars for other much larger car makers

Offline Stingray69

  • Joined: Apr 2011

  • Drives: Magnum's car but grey
  • Location: Melbourne
  • Name: Rennie

I have a real soft spot for Lotuses and I like some of Dany Bahar's ideas for Lotus but the execution of his plans leave a lot to be desired. Group Lotus has been poorly managed for a long time despite producing brilliant cars. The first is losing the F1 image since the eighties. Even when they had Senna racing for Team Lotus during the eighties, they rarely (if ever) used him to promote the road cars but I do recall Andretti and Peterson being used to promote the Esprits in the seventies. And then there's the Clark and Rindt association with the Elan during the sixties and early seventies. It's going to take a long time for Group Lotus to restore the racing connection to their road cars.
I do like the fact that Group Lotus are using mass produced engines for their road cars now. It means that they can rack up higher mileages and be relatively cheap to repair. In some ways, I think of the current Evora in the same way as I do of the Pantera. In the late seventies and eighties, the Pantera become one of the best, if not the best handling exotic of its day (read a John Miles road test of the Pantera GT5 if you're not convinced-and he was a Lotus F1 racer and tester) and it had that bullet proof Ford 351 powering it. It was similarly priced to a Ferrari 308. And a good Pantera, especailly a GT5 is more expensive as a used car now then a Ferrari 308 because it handled so well and is so cheap to run. Ditto for the Evora (and even a Europa, which has held its value well as a used car in the UK). In years to come, I think people will look at an Evora and truly appreciate its Toyota sourced power plant rather then the disdain it gets nowadays. And the Evora handles so well too.
I think the re-skin planned for the Evora (and the planned improvements for the gearbox) will boost its sales considerably.
If you ain't living on the edge, then you're taking up too much space

Offline Stingray69

  • Joined: Apr 2011

  • Drives: Magnum's car but grey
  • Location: Melbourne
  • Name: Rennie

its difficult for the current generation to understand Lotus but there was a time when Lotus was more successful then Ferrari as a F1 constructor.At one point in the late seventies, they even had more F1 victories the Ferrari, a feat only once repeated by McLaren when Senna won the Adelaide GP in 1993.
Imagine the most avant garde and successful F1 time of its day producing affordable sports cars that were the best handling cars of their time. That was the magic of Lotus. I got a friend in Adelaide that has a 1970 Lotus Europa S2 powered by a Renault TS16 engine and to this day, its a remarkable car. Its quick, small and cheap to repair.
It might be heresy to say this, but I wished either Lotus continued with Ford based engines during the seventies rather then producing their own 4 banger or with the Esprit, they continued with the clam shell engine cover on the original Giugiaro Esprit show car so that way, it would be far easier (and therefore cheaper) to work on the engine.
If you ain't living on the edge, then you're taking up too much space

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