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Lotus Drivers Guide

Newsletter issue 70, August 2013

The first words....

Thank you for the reactions I had after publishing last month newsletter. My aim with this newsletter is to collect Lotus related news, coming from Group Lotus and from the media, and share this with other Lotus enthusiasts. This time some extra attention for the Chinese "toy" modelcars, as these are reasonable quality diecast models for low prices.

As usual I have collected Lotus related news items covering Group Lotus, the Lotus F1 Team, model cars, events and more. I hope you will enjoy it and please do not hesitate to give me your comments.

If you like to stay up-to-date with Lotus related developments I suggest that you follow the Lotus Drivers Guide Facebook page, just give it a like and follow the news. And the news page on the website, that has regular updates.

Ronald Ringma


Lotus Exige S is launched in Japan

As one of Lotus’ biggest and most important markets, the introduction of the Exige S marks an important milestone for Japanese Lotus importer LCI and its network of 20 enthusiastic dealers.

Lotus Chief Engineer of Test & Development Matthew Becker and Territory Manager Paul Bing were at the Reppongi Hills complex to unveil the Exige S and talk about it’s capabilities to guests keen to get a first glimpse of the car.

Currently, Elise and Exige sales for Japan reflect a significant parentage of Hethel’s production such is the demand for the British brand steeped in racing heritage. The Evora, which is available in all variants in Japan continues to sell well too, but what everyone wanted to know was, what’s next? Lotus did confirm that further variants of the Elise, Exige and Evora will be introduced to Japan in due course.


(source: Group Lotus)

Formula One update

Hungarian Grand Prix

Kimi Räikkönen took second place at the Hungaroring to jump back into second in the Drivers’ Championship after a hot and hard-fought Hungarian Grand Prix. Kimi used a two-stop strategy for his sixth podium of the season, spurring the advances of Sebastian Vettel in the final laps. Romain Grosjean drove a storming race, withstanding a drive-through penalty and a twenty second addition to his race time to finish in sixth position. Kimi is now second in the Drivers’ Championship with 134 points to Sebastian’s 172. The team was the second highest scoring in the Constructors’ Championship today, remaining in fourth place on 183 points, but closing the gap to Ferrari on 194. Read more here.

Silly Season

The so called "Silly Season" has apparently started now, with lots of rumours about drivers changing teams. Direct after the Hungarian Grand Prix Kimi admitted to Germany's sport1.de that, like in 2012, again there is a problem with his salary. He is still waiting on some money from Lotus. "This happened last year, now again so it is not ideal," said Räikkönen.

If I remember correctly, it has happened before that people had to wait for money from a Lotus related company, but one may wonder if this is wise if a team likes to extend the contract with a good driver. In the media we have seen that Red Bull could be interested in Kimi, and Red Bull team boss Christian Horner already stated that Räikkönen's considerable salary demands would not be a problem at Red Bull. But Red Bull is also looking at Daniel Ricciardo.

Germany's Bild newspaper recently explained that Kimi Räikkönen is now also a contender to drive a Ferrari in 2014. He did drive for Ferrari before and won the title in 2007, before leaving Ferrari at the end of 2009 when the team replaced him with Fernando Alonso. And Alonso is supposed to be approached by Red Bull...

Another rumour tells us that Kimi and Lotus F1 Team are now very near to a new deal, so Kimi will continue to drive for Lotus...

Let's wait and see.


DRB-Hicom: revitalising Lotus

With rumours of a future for Lotus swirling, the company will live on as its new owner DRB-Hicom has signed off on a three-year plan to fund the British sports car maker.

It has been confirmed that DRB-Hicom has already spent more than £100 million keeping Lotus afloat, and that the rise in sales during that time has been enough to convince it that Lotus is worth investing in.

“We have cleaned up and we are moving ahead,” DRB managing director Tan Sri Mohd Khamil Jamil told Malaysian media, highlighting the financial, technical, marketing and product planning problems the firm inherited when it took control of Lotus’s parent company, Proton.

“We are coming out with the variants based on existing products — variants with improved technology, improved performance, improved quality as well as improved costing,” he said.

Lotus Exige S Roadster

The first of these was the Lotus Exige S roadster, and Jamil confirmed that the firm plans to launch more variants of the Evora and Elise. Of the Exige S roadster, Jamil said: “It is not going to sell in big volumes, but it is a big step.”

Jamil also confirmed that Lotus sold 70 cars up to the end of May — as opposed to 80 in all of 2012. Production is now said to be stepping up to 40 cars per month, with 85 per cent of them exported. It is this revival that is said to underpin business secretary Vince Cable’s willingness to sign off a £10 million investment as part of the Regional Growth Fund. The RGF is designed for new jobs and training and for R&D projects.

Jamil also confirmed that the five-car, five-year plan developed under the stewardship of Dany Bahar has been officially killed off. However, speculation continues that the Esprit project was close to fruition when DRB took over and that it could be revived at relatively little cost.

(Source: Autocar, Autoguide)


Lotus Originals Outlet Store

I guess that we all know about the high quality Lotus related products that Lotus Originals is offering for sale for the real enthusiasts. As there are new products available, last years items are now offered with a friendly discount in the Lotus Originals Outlet Store. If you like to have a look, click here please.

Sound Engineering

Lotus is (still) busy with sound engineering, as proven by the prepared Evora that was driving at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Lotus had this Evora at Goodwood but is also experimenting with other cars. According to one of the engineers, the purpose is to reach a better sound. We all know that Porsche has been doing this for years now, and Jaguar uses it in the current F-Type. I guess Lotus will be next, with two people from their staff concentrating fully on the sound of the cars.

Do you like to hear this sound? Have a quick look at the videopage of my website! Click here.


New Lotus Dealer in Germany

At the 20th of July, Exklusive Kollektion GmbH & Co. KG has opened its second Lotus dealership in Germany, Lotus München. The other location is in Dresden.

If you like to contact Lotus München, this is the address:
Lotus München
Gewerbepark 8a
85646 Anzing bei München

Website: www.xn--lotus-mnchen-jlb.de/

When Kimi visited Hethel

During a recent visit to Group Lotus HQ Kimi put the latest and greatest Lotus cars through their paces. First up was the Solar Yellow Exige V6 Cup R followed by a Laser Blue Exige S coupé as featured in the new Hollywood movie "RED 2" which opens in cinemas this month, the brand new Lotus Exige S Roadster and an Aspen White Evora S Sports Racer.

Group Lotus Chief Engineer of Test & Development, Matt Becker took Kimi out on his maiden lap of the famous Hethel test track and later commented "Kimi very quickly found a rapport with the car and the circuit - we were not even half way round the first lap before he was optimising grip and coming out of each corner with remarkable speed. Kimi is a world champion so I was not surprised how relaxed and quick he was, or even to see him take a different line around the track, but what was significant was the sensitivity he showed the tyres; normally we would expect to replace tyres after such a heavy track session, but the skill in which Kimi preserved the tyres was astonishing -- they looked like they had barely been driven on!"

Do you want to see Kimi driving? Have a look here!






Here is a better image showing you the new 1:12 scale Lotus Type 49 that is announced by Acme Trading, as mentioned in last months newsletter. This picture was made at the Nürnberg Toy Fair by Carel van Kuijk.





This is the new 1:24 scale Lotus Elise kit by GCM Models, available as street version and as Cup version




On the left you can see the first Lotus Type 73 miniature model that I have seen. This is a new 1:43 scale model by MEA kits, available either as a kit or as a hand built model.

(Image courtesy of Grand Prix Models)



In 1985 Ayrton Senna started from pole and finished first in the Portuguese Grand Prix. Ixo has created this 1:18 scale miniature model representing the Lotus Type 97T that was driven by Senna.


The new Honda N360 1:43 model by Spark should be there any moment now:


Made in China, the following diecast models by Kinsmart, scale 1:32. Not the best quality that I have seen, but nice models for a nice price.





Exige S R-GT by Kinsmart, diecast, 1:32

And how about this Exige S, also scale 1:32. Diecast model, made in China by Kinsmart. "With pull back action"....



The Exige model that you see on the right is also a 1:32 scale Chinese diecast model, made by Caipo Toys.

Workin glights and pullback action.




The same company also produces a 1:24 scale diecast version




Another Chinese manufacturer, name unknown, also produces diecast 1:32 Exige models and these have working lights.

Seen in yellow, black, red and white colour.






Also made in China, this 1:32 Lotus Evora diecast model with pullback action, made by Caipo Toys.



Spark recently produced more versions of their 1:43 Lotus Type 18 model:

Type 18 1961 Monaco Grand Prix - Cliff Allison

Type 18 1961 Monaco Grand Prix - Michael May

Type 18 1961 Belgian Grand Prix - Bianchi



Model Factory Hiro is ready to start the production of their new Lotus Type 79 white metal kit, scale 1:43. Here is one of the first images of this kit, this is the 1979 version.


(image: MFH)



Classic Models Museum is a small workshop that creates miniature models for a private collection. These enthusiasts/craftsmen sometimes make some extra models, next to the original order so that that they can finance the construction of a museum in Guadalajara, Mexico. More information can bee found at their website: www.classicmodelsmuseum.com. Here are some 1:12 Lotus resin kits that they have produced:

Type 25, 1:12 kit

Type 99T, 1:12 kit

Type 98 T, 1:12  kit


Freddy Nordström is an Anglo-Swedish racing driver based in London and Weybridge, UK. In 2011 he competed in the British GT championship with an Evora GT4 and ended this season on a shared third place after 7 races. A company called Code 3 Models has produced this 1:43 scale model representing Freddy's Evora. This model is based on the Spark Lotus Evora and has been altered by Code 3 Models. Two have been made, one for each driver in the team.



More news from Spark, this 1959 Dutch Grand Prix Lotus Type 16 as driven by Innes Ireland, 1:43


This 1:43 Type 76 model was announced by Truescale Miniatures for 2012 and will now be in the shops any moment. Its the 1974 German Grand Prix car that was driven by Ronnie Peterson.


(Image courtesy of Grand Prix Models)

News without images:

Ixo has announced a new version of their 1:43 Lotus Exige S, this time in red/white colour scheme.


Books and video

Racing Cars of Australia

History of every Lotus sports and racing car that has raced and "lived" in Australia since the first car in 1955. This book includes many never before seen photos, colour or black and white, of each car.

Hardcover, 208 pages

Chapman, issue 3, Splendeur et drames

Issue 3 in this series. Comic book, French language, hardcover, 48 pages, size 31,8 x 23,8 x 1,2 cm.

These books also exist in hard- and softcover in the Dutch language.

ISBN-10: 2723494594, ISBN-13: 978-2723494595
Lotus Elan, the complete story

The Lotus Elan was Lotus' definitive roadster. It replaced the elegant but expensive Lotus Elite and was the first car to employ the innovative Lotus steel backbone chassis. The original Elan was produced as a two-seat, open-top sportscar and hardtop coupe from 1962 - 1973. The range was extended by the addition of the 2+2-seater Plus 2 from 1967 to 1974. Lotus introduced an all-new front wheel drive Elan in 1989, the M100, which was produced until 1995.

Publisher: The Crowood Press Ltd (16 July 2013)

Hardcover, 262 x 222 x 20 mm, 176 pages

ISBN-10: 1847975100 , ISBN-13: 978-1847975102



Rare cars for sale



Lotus Elite - Dennis Ortenburger

For Sale. The Ortenburger Elite. 1960, Series 2, LHD. All the good stuff; FWB engine, new block, new crank, steel timing gear, new clutch and pressure plate (all balanced to crank) ZF, NACA duct, oil cooler duct, alloy brakes F&R, chrome wheels, reinforced front A arms, 4.2 diff, driver and passenger parcel trays, Derrington exhaust, twin Weber 40DCOEs balanced drive shaft.

This is a daily driver, ready to head for the twisties.

Documentation relative to the car's provenance, photos from 9 seasons historic racing. Photos and awards from car shows. Further details and photos on request.

dennisortenburger@gmail.com - tel USA 805 927 2980 - asking $79,500.00



Mansell’s Lotus – 1984 Lotus 95T

This particular 95T is an ex-Mansell car. One of four chassis built, it is the car he used in both Dallas and Monaco. It is available at the upcoming Mecum Monterey Sale, scheduled for August 15-17, 2013. It carries a pre-sale estimate of $500,000-$600,000.





Lotus Type 17

This restored 1959 Lotus 17 is offered for sale, indeed a rare car.

Contact the owner: + 44 (0)1285 831 488



The Lotus Festival, 24 - 25 August 2013

A celebration of Britain's most charismatic sportscar marque and its illustrious heritage spanning over 60 years. From coveted cars to Formula 1 glories, Norfolk's famous brand will be on display over one glorious weekend.

On track, demonstrations of Colin Chapman's famous racers, rally and road cars will be complemented by superb action from the Elise Trophy, Lotus Cup UK and FIA Lotus Cup Europe with a packed support bill.

Meanwhile trade stands and club displays presenting the very best from the iconic brand makes this a weekend to remember on a track that has provided many of the marque's most glittering moments.

Find more information here



Goodwood Revival, 13 - 15 September 2013

The Goodwood Revival really is a magical step back in time, a unique chance to revel in the glamour and allure of motor racing in the romantic time capsule of the world’s most authentic motor circuit.

On the 50th anniversary of the first of his two Formula 1 World Championship victories, this year’s Goodwood Revival annual driver tribute will be to the legendary Scottish racer Jim Clark.
Find more information here





I hope you have enjoyed this newsletter, untill next time, cheers!

Ronald Ringma


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