Any true exotic car maker has a story of their unique history. At Manhattan Motorcars in NYC, we have discovered that even though the Lotus company went through many changes throughout its history, the quality and tradition of Lotus Cars have never wavered. Lotus is known for their high performance and sleek, lightweight racecars and sport cars. Many might not know the true history behind Lotus’ beginning. For those in NY who are not familiar with the Exotic Lotus cars, the four letters in the middle of the logo stood for Anthony Colin Bruce Chapman. In 1948, the racing enthusiast and British Engineer built the first Lotus in old stables of Hornsey, North London. Chapman personally competed in races behind the wheel of his Lotus cars. Lotus Cars Ltd unveiled the innovated Lotus Elite. The exotic race car was known for its featherweight status because of its fiberglass unibody construction. However for many, the use of fiberglass body wasn’t really unique. What is really unique about the Lotus Elite was that it was the first vehicle to incorporate fiberglass into its framework as well as the body. The ultra lightweight helped Lotus distinguish the car at Le Mans and other well known races around the world.
Since 1966, Lotus is located in the former RAF Hethel base in Wymondham using sections of the old runway as a test track. Lotus began expanding the Lotus line with the Elan, its first roadster equipped with a twin-cam engine, four-wheel disc brakes, and four-wheel independent suspension. Lotus even made its movie debut in two James Bond movies and began to compete with highline models like the Ferrari and Porsche. General Motors took control of Lotus and created Lotus Cars USA in 1987 until 1993 when Lotus was sold by GM to Bugatti. Bugatti sold Lotus to a firm in Malaysia in 1996 and the Elise quickly became the company’s main product. The first Elise was imported to North America in 2004 and spawned to several racing variations such as the 349R, the supercharged Elise S, and limited editions such as the Jim Clark Type 25. Available Lotus models: the Supercharged Exige S, the Project Eagle known as Evora, the “0-60 in 3.8 second car” Lotus 2-Eleven, and the Formula 1 inspired T125 Exos; only available for the track. The only Lotus model currently sold new is the Evora.
Lotus still remains as Chapman’s true vision of lightweight, race oriented sports cars. For the New York enthusiast looking for world class handling with an unfiltered connection between car and driver, come see the Lotus at Manhattan Motorcars in New York. Our specialty is exotic cars, like the Lotus, and you will be impressed.