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Offline AshSimmonds

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Funny - I saw the same story mentioned in this note where a Lotus employee had no idea and I thought that was odd.

I thought I heard the story behind the E before - and it wasn't this one, but I can't remember now.


Story behind Lotus ‘E’

I READ with interest the article Loyal Lotus staff (StarTwo, Oct 8), which quoted a Lotus official admitting that he did not know how the name Lotus came about and why all the model names start with the letter ‘E’.

I have had the privilege to work with Lotus founder Colin Chapman’s protégé, Michael J. Kimberley, the man instrumental in the development of the Lotus Evora. So allow me to provide the answers.

Why the name Lotus?

The Lotus name was actually a simple reference to an unsold car in a lot called Lot US which Chapman later used to build his cars.

Why the letter ‘E’?

In the early 1960s, Chapman’s minimal weight design philosophy culminated with the introduction of the Lotus Elan, which became the first commercial success for Lotus. The car was featured in the popular British TV series The Avengers.

In keeping with Chapman’s philosophy and the success of the Elan, Lotus has stuck to the letter ‘E’ for its cars.

As for the Evora, the name refers to a small town in Portugal. There were proposals for various names but, in the end, the makers settled for “Evora”.

True to Chapman’s principles of minimalism, Evora is easy to utter and easier to remember – one of the key ingredients of success.

Rosazizan Rosli

Shah Alam


Offline SiFi

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That doesn't tie in with the E-story I've heard either. It doesn't really explain the naming of the Elite, which preceded the Elan.

It makes you wonder (or likely not) if the Europa (first type) was named to commemorate an obscure Anglo/Euro postal and telecommunications administrators conference......

Offline mondi

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There is very little on the history of how the name came to be and what the significance is of the "E" but I did remember some thing I read about the badge once.

The letters above are the initials of its founder, who is Anthony Colin Bruce Chapman.It’s unknown why he chose the name ‘Lotus‘ for his car company. The background is green due to the British Racing Green. During his days, green is the color of British cars. The yellow signifies the hope that lies ahead for the company.


Offline mondi

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In 1948 Chapman started with the Mk1, a modified Austin 7, which he entered privately into local racing events. He named the car "Lotus"; he never confirmed the reason but one (of several) theories is that it was after his then girlfriend (later wife) Hazel, who he nicknamed "Lotus blossom".


Offline Aedo

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There are many stories speculating as to the names - the ones I know and like are:

Hazel (his wife) referred to him dissapearing into the "land of the Lotus eaters (who forgot time and all else when eating the lotus blossom)" when he went off to work on his cars.

The first Lotus production car was the Lotus 6 (following on from several one offs), which was followed by the famous Lotus 7 etc.   When they got to the Lotus 11 the wrote the number down as "eleven" (to ensure that it wasn't referred to as the one-one).   Colin apparently liked the way Eleven sounded and thus the naming convention started!

Naturally there is no proof to either theory :)

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