Lotus Set To Bloom in New Zealand
LOTUS SET TO BLOOM IN NEW ZEALAND
Legendary British sports car and motor sport brand, Lotus, has made its official debut in New Zealand with the opening of Lotus Auckland, the first official dealer for the Lotus range of sports and supercar in New Zealand.
The official launch of Lotus in New Zealand has been masterminded by leading New Zealand business and sportsman, Neville Crichton, who took over responsibility for the distribution of Lotus in Australia and New Zealand two years ago and he has set-up Lotus Auckland.
“It has always been our plan to launch Lotus in New Zealand as part of our business on both sides of the Tasman,” explains Neville Crichton, the Executive Chairman of the Australasia’s largest independent car importer group of companies, which include Lotus importer, European Automotive Imports, and the Ateco Group. “However before doing so we wanted to ensure that the full range of Lotus models was correctly positioned for the New Zealand market in terms of price and equipment, there was full and free supply of those models and that we had the ideal representation in New Zealand for Lotus. We have achieved these targets and we are now pleased to be able to launch Lotus on the New Zealand market.”
Lotus is a byword for performance, both on the road and on the race track. The list of innovations the company has brought to Formula One is unique and it is has competed just as successfully in rallying and sportscar racing during its illustrious motorsport career, right up to today with cars carrying the Lotus name at the forefront of the battle for the 2013 Formula One World Championship, its cars competing in the 2013 Le Mans race and development underway of a car for the European tarmac rally championship.
The Lotus reputation for performance and technology is no less remarkable for its road cars, from the original Lotus Seven, through the classic Lotus Elan, the first mid-engine Lotus Europa, the Lotus Espirit driven by James Bond to the current range of Elise, Evora and Exige that will now be offered in New Zealand by Lotus Auckland.
“For some car companies, the link between their motorsport achievements and their road cars is little more than the badge,” says Neville Crichton. “But with Lotus every road car is built to the same parameters as its racing machines, whether it is light weight achieved with the latest construction techniques, advanced aerodynamics, engines designed for optimum performance and chassis performance honed to perfection at the Lotus test track in the UK by the same people working on its racing machines. The absolute link between race and road technology that produces road cars that have the response, performance and true feel of a track based car and which has made them coveted to the point of obsession by motoring enthusiasts around the world. ”
Lotus will open its official New Zealand account with three models, the Elise, the Exige and the Evora, each offering their own unique interpretation of the Lotus legend.
The Lotus Elise
The Lotus Elise is the epitome of the Lotus ethos of minimum weight and the minimum number of parts deployed in the most effective manner to produce a car that is entirely focussed on providing the driver with a driving experience that, in terms of performance, chassis, steering response and involvement is as close to a racing car as it is possible to achieve in a road going car. Yet, while the Elise is highly capable on the race track, it is more than capable of being a car for regular daily use
It is, therefore, no surprise that it is also one of the most successful and acclaimed models that Lotus has produced, accounting for 42 per cent of its sales. The technology developed for the Elise, its bonded and extruded aluminium chassis and composite crash structure, has also been used with great success for other car makers and other Lotus models.
Now in its third incarnation following its launch in 1996, the Lotus Elise has a design that is a clear evolution of the original car, with a crisper cleaner, more dynamic look with a more planted, purposeful shape. This has been provided by new bumpers, blended headlights, new engine cover, a more aggressive rear diffuser and new detailing.
The Lotus Elise is offered in two versions in New Zealand, the 100 kW Elise priced at $86,990 excluding dealer costs, and the supercharged Elise S with 162.5 kW with a price of $96,990 excluding dealer costs.
The Lotus Exige
If the Lotus Elise is the epitome of the Lotus ethos of minimum weight and the minimum number of parts deployed in the most effective manner to produce a car that is entirely focussed on providing the driver with a unique driving experience, making it the ultimate road-going track day car, then the Lotus Exige tips the balance decisively towards race track, making it the ultimate track day car that may also be used on the road. Indeed, despite its epic track performance, it is a remarkably useable road car.
The Lotus Exige S is the ultimate combination of compact size, low weight and big engine, in the form of a supercharged 3.5 litre V6 engine that punches out 257.5 kW and 400 Nm of torque with a weight of less than 1200 kgs, which is lighter than some of the smallest hatchbacks.
The result is performance that can only described as shattering. The blast to 100 kmh is dispatched in four seconds and continues unabated, as shown by a zero to 160 kmh time of 8.5 seconds, to a top speed of 274 kmh.
Of course power is nothing without control and, as would be expected from a company that built its legend on chassis design, the Lotus Exige S is as equally masterful in the corners as it is in a straight light.
Using the light, responsive steering to fling the Exige S into a corner invites an instantaneous response that is both accurate and resolved in its ability to corner at speeds and with lateral loads that reveal its remarkable track performance. At the same time, recognising that not all roads and even some race tracks are smooth, the chassis offers remarkable levels of compliance to smooth out bumps and maintain the maximum tyre footprint contact with the road surface for the highest levels of adhesion.
The is achieved with the perfect blend of mechanical design and electronics that not only seamlessly combine to produce the ideal chassis response for changing road conditions but which also, through a Lotus DPM (Dynamic Performance Management) switch allows the driver to switch between three driving modes: Touring, Sport and DPM off, allows the driver to tailor the chassis to his specific requirements and track or road conditions.
Supercar performance it may have, but one thing the Exige S lacks is a supercar price, with a recommended retail price of $131,990 excluding dealer costs for its official entry into the New Zealand market.
The Lotus Evora
The first all-new Lotus since the iconic Elise roadster made its debut in 1995, the Evora entered the sports car market as the world’s only production mid-engined 2+2.
The Evora provides a tremendously rewarding driving experience: the mid-engined layout gives exceptional agility and the Lotus engineered suspension ensures incredible ride and handling. Powered by a Lotus-tuned 3.5-litre V6 engine producing 206 kW @ 6400 rpm, and weighing just 1382 kg, the Evora delivers an exhilarating experience true to the Lotus DNA characteristics.
With the zero to 100 kmh sprint taking just 5.1 seconds a top speed of 261 kmh and an Official European Combined Cycle fuel economy just 33.2 mpg (8.5 litres / 100 km) and emissions of just 199 g/km CO2 the Evora stays true to the ethos of performance through light weight. The other economy figures are equally impressive with Official European Urban Cycle of 12.1 litres/100 km) and 6.3 litres / 100 km for the Official European Extra Urban Cycle all combined with exceptional ride and handling.
With the Evora S, Lotus have taken the award winning Evora and re-created it with a 257.5 kW 3.5l V6 engine. With a Harrop HTV 1320 supercharger assembly utilising Eaton Twin Vortex Series (TVS) Technology developed by Lotus, performance is lifted into the supercar bracket, with a 0-100 kmh time of 4.8 seconds and, where permitted, a top speed of 277 kmh. Yet, thanks to the advanced light weight engineering pioneered by Lotus, the Evora S still offers fuel consumption that borders on an economy car, with 7.3 l/100 on the open road and a respectable 10.0 l/100 km on the combined cycle.
Because one of the roles of the Evora is to attract new customers, as well as performance aficionados to the Lotus brand, the Evora offers a more refined ownership experience than Lotus’ existing smaller four cylinder models. Its elegantly styled cabin is beautifully trimmed and its equipment list includes contemporary features such as an advanced touchscreen multi-media system and electric power-fold door mirrors. Careful attention has also been paid to its ease of use; with wider, taller door apertures, narrower sills and higher seating position making getting in and out of the cabin a less athletic undertaking than it is in Lotus’ smaller sports cars whilst the design of the cabin itself will accommodate two 99th percentile (6ft 5in / 196 cm tall) American males in the front seats.
There are no less than four versions of the Lotus Evora available for the New Zealand motoring enthusiast looking for a unique driving experience. The Evora with its 206 kW normally aspirated V6 is priced at $129,990 in six speed manual form and $145,990 as the Evora -IPS with a six speed self-shifting gearbox. With a supercharged power boost to 257.5 kW, the Evora S is pitched at $153,990 with a six speed manual gearbox and $165,990 with the IPS self-shifting gearbox, with all prices excluding dealer costs.
Positioned in the automotive heart of Auckland at 425 Broadway in Newmarket, Lotus Auckland has a team of experts who understand the needs and desires of motoring and racing enthusiasts. Personally selected by Neville Crichton for their expertise and passion for performance cars and driving, the team is led by Dealer Principal James Berry, whose career has seen him work on some of the world’s leading car marques from Italy and Germany, indeed this is common factor with aftersales manager, Guy Starling, Senior Sales Executive David Nilsson and chief service advisor Neil Griffiths.
With a total area of 768 square metres, Lotus Auckland is available to offer space to admire and inspect the latest models and the latest service facilities in which they may be maintained in optimum condition. As an official supplier, Lotus Auckland has a direct link to the Lotus factory for the latest training, information and updates on the Lotus range, past, present and future.