Mr Chapman starts out by modifying a 1928 Austin Seven for local trials races and his small 15-hp car wins a number races, essentially funding Chapman’s next car. Doing this a few times, Chapman starts Lotus Engineering Company to build race cars, the first of which is the Mark IV trials car.

Essentially a formula car for the road, the lightweight, quick, and responsive Mark VII—known today simply as the 7—starts production in 1957 and continues on today as the Caterham 7.

To make enough money to keep racing, Chapman develops his first dedicated production car, the Elite, which features a lightweight fiberglass body and structure. Powered by a single-overhead-cam Coventry Climax 1.2-liter engine making 102 hp, the fiberglass Elite weighs in at 1705 pounds.

Next was the Lotus Elan, an instant classic. The two-seat roadster mounts a fiberglass body onto a steel backbone with a small four-cylinder engine. Lotus continues development, adding larger (more powerful) engines over time. This simple formula is what makes Lotus cars unique and loved by enthusiasts.

Lotus_logo_vector.svgIn 1976 Lotus launches the mid-engine Lotus Esprit. With a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine making 140 hp the futuristic wedge-shaped Esprit runs from 0 to 60 in 9.6 seconds.

It wasn’t till the Esprit S2 that performance improved but we had to wait till 1980 and the turbocharged Esprit with its 210 hp engine to really enjoy the sweet chassis.

More recently, Lotus went back to basics and starts building the mid-engine, lightweight, two-seat Elise. Underpinned by a novel tub made of aluminum sections glued together, the Elise weighs a scant 1500 pounds. A love-fest starts and the Elise and later on the Exige are the track day choice for serious amateur racers.

All Lotus Cars, News & Reviews


All Lotus Cars
1955 Lotus 10
1956 Lotus 11
1959 Lotus 15
1959 Lotus 17
1963 Lotus 23B
1999 Lotus 340R
2015 Lotus 3-Eleven
1957 Lotus 7
1955 Lotus 9
1964 Lotus Cortina
1964 Lotus Elan 26R
2013 Lotus Elan Prototype
1964 Lotus Elan S2
1966 Lotus Elan S2 S/E
1971 Lotus Elan Sprint DHC
1971 Lotus Elan Sprint FHC
1996 Lotus Elise
2011 Lotus Elise
2004 Lotus Elise 111R
1999 Lotus Elise 111S
2000 Lotus Elise 111S
2003 Lotus Elise 135R
1999 Lotus Elise 49
2003 Lotus Elise 99T
2009 Lotus Elise Club Racer
2012 Lotus Elise Club Racer
1997 Lotus Elise GT1
2015 Lotus Elise Prototype
2006 Lotus Elise S
2005 Lotus Elise Sports Racer
2008 Lotus Elise Type 25 Jim Clark
2002 Lotus Elise Type 72
1958 Lotus Elite
2014 Lotus Elite Prototype
1995 Lotus Esprit GT2
2013 Lotus Esprit Prototype
1976 Lotus Esprit S1
1993 Lotus Esprit S4
1995 Lotus Esprit S4s
1993 Lotus Esprit Sport 300
1999 Lotus Esprit Sport 350
1980 Lotus Esprit Turbo
1997 Lotus Esprit V8
2002 Lotus Esprit V8
1991 Lotus Esprit X180R
2015 Lotus Eterne Prototype
1984 Lotus Etna
2006 Lotus Europa
1965 Lotus Europa John Player Special
2008 Lotus Europa SE
2009 Lotus Evora
2015 Lotus Evora 400
2010 Lotus Evora Cup/GT4
2011 Lotus Evora GTE
2011 Lotus Evora GTE Road Concept
2010 Lotus Evora S
2010 Lotus Evora Type 124 Racecar
2000 Lotus Exige
2004 Lotus Exige
2006 Lotus Exige Cup
2012 Lotus Exige R-GT
2006 Lotus Exige S
2012 Lotus Exige S
2010 Lotus Exige S240
2006 Lotus Exige S British GT Edition
2008 Lotus Exige S Club Racer
2008 Lotus Exige Sprint
2012 Lotus Exige S Roadster
2009 Lotus Exige Stealth/Scura
2010 Lotus Exige S Type 72
2013 Lotus Exige V6 Cup
2013 Lotus Exige V6 CupR
2000 Lotus Extreme Concept
2000 Lotus M250 Concept
1981 Lotus Sunbeam
2013 Lotus T128
2006 Lotus Engineering APX Concept
2007 Lotus Sport 2-Eleven
2007 Lotus Sport 2-Eleven GT4 Supersport
2005 Lotus Sport Exige
2005 Lotus Sport Exige 240R
2008 Lotus Sport Exige Cup 260
2006 Lotus Sport Exige GT3
2007 Lotus Sport Exige GT3 Concept