Lotus to produce Roger Becker special edition Elise and Exige

June 22nd, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

With the exception of founder Colin Chapman, there is probably no other individual that’s been as influential at Lotus than Roger Becker. Until his retirement earlier this year, Becker spent 44 years at the niche carmaker, including many years pulling the strings as the director of vehicle engineering. Cars like the Elise, Exige and Evora would not have been built the way they were without Becker’s guidance and input.

Coinciding with Becker’s retirement in 2010 is the end of production for the current generation supercharged Elise and Exige for the European market. The premature shut-down of these models is caused by the Toyota four-cylinder engines used no longer meet Euro 5 emissions standards. To celebrate the end of these models, Lotus will close out the run with the Elise SC and Exige S RGB Editions. The Elise gets a 217 horsepower engine while the Exige gets the 257 hp powerplant from the S260.

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Lotus Exige Car Review with Apache Helicopter Gunship

December 20th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham
Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond introduce the new Lotus Exige, specifically engineered for America. See Jeremy’s test drive and review of it here, as compared to the Apache helicopter – literally

Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond introduce the new Lotus Exige, specifically engineered for America. See Jeremy’s test drive and review of it here, as compared to the Apache helicopter – literally

GT-R Evolution – Best Motoring DVD trailer

December 16th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

DVD Trailer for GT-R Evolution. We start with the Amuse R35 GT-R Phantom time attack at Tsukuba Circuit. Followed by the IS-F VS M3 comparison and battle. The R35 GT-R VS The World 2. This giant battle at Motegi includes the new Nissan R356 GT-R, Lamborghini Murcielago LP640, Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera, Porsche 911 Turbo 6MT and -Lotus Exige S. Finishing up with the R35 GT-R 2008 “Kouki” Model R&D undercover at Nurburgring with an interview with the GT-R’s Chief Vehicle engineer Kazutoshi Mizuno.


Special Edition Lotus Exige Scura

October 20th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Lotus Exige Scura fq

In some ways, all Lotus cars are limited-edition, in that they don’t produce hundreds of thousands of vehicles per year. Then again, there are some truly special models, like the new Scura, or “Stealth,” revealed yesterday ahead of the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show.

Just 35 examples of the Scura will be built globally, making this Exige exclusive extremely exclusive. It’s mainly an appearance package, however, with the vehicles mechanicals already deserving to be called special-edition.

It’s official unveiling is set for tomorrow, but yesterday’s press release reveals the car in all its matte-black glory. High-gloss Phantom Black stripes offer some muted contrast, while a carbon fibre front splitter and rear spoiler give a high-tech accent.

Inside, the Scura gets more carbon fibre trim and a corresponding weight reduction, cutting the 0-100kph sprint time to just 4.1 seconds. An anthracite anodized aluminum gearknob and handbrake lever help further push the dark theme, though the interior carbon fibre elements are finished in a gloss lacquer rather than matte black.

A number of Lotus options come as standard on the Exige Scura, including standard launch and Lotus adjustable traction control, Ohlins two-way adjustable dampers, and a track pack aerodynamics kit that generates about 90 pounds of downforce at 160 kph.

Pricing starts at £45,000 in the UK and about €60,000 in the EU and that’s only if you can get an order in quick enough.

2010 Lotus Exige Cup – track or street

August 31st, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Lotus Exige Cup 260 fq

The Lotus Exige Cup has developed a cult following and a devoted fan base since the first Lotus Exige Cup 240 was unveiled in 2006. Over the last 4 model years several hundred Exige Cup Cars have been sold, either specifically for race and track use or for a pure road going driving experience. The latest Exige Cup 260, with 260 PS, takes the 38 kg weight savings introduced in the last years model, combines them with the extensive body and aerodynamic improvements and revisions introduced on the 2010 Exige in March 2009 and tops them off with new components and technologies to produce the most focused and pure Exige yet.

The track focussed homologated-for-the-road 2010 Model Year Lotus Exige Cup 260 takes design clues and technical innovations from the Lotus Exige GT3 racecar and combines with class leading emissions of just 199 g/km CO2 and exhilarating performance of 0-100 km/h in just 4.1 seconds.

The new model uses carbon fibre extensively has lightweight motorsport wheels¨ and Ohlins 2-way adjustable dampers¨. The rear chassis has had its stiffness increased by 30%.

A Subaru WRX STI Version 8 Type-RA Spec C by any other name would drive as sweet

July 13th, 2007 by Darren Cottingham

Names of cars can achieve mythical status, and this is why teams of branding people spend millions of dollars ensuring that names like the Nissan Cedric happen as infrequently as possible. But, they do slip through, either as a result of a poor translation or a looming home-time deadline on a Friday afternoon.

Car names evoke emotions, and emotions invoke opening your wallet. So, before you’re suckered in, check out these tricks:

Car names as animals and birds

There will never be a Ford Wombat. No, it must be deadly, like the Shelby Cobra or Dodge Viper; stealthy but swift, like the Ford Puma; elegant and graceful like the Triumph Stag; efficient and ruthless killers like the Ford Falcon or Plymouth Barracuda; or it can be a prey animal as long as it’s in a noble, workmanlike, industrious way, like the Hyundai Pony, Dodge Ram, and Volkswagen Beetle.

Car names as places

Giving a car a desirable place name gives it added credibility, even if the car is bad (that means you, Hyundai Santa Fe and Pontiac/Opel Le Mans). The Americans love naming their cars after places¦usually their own places seeing as the vast majority of them only know about other countries if they’re at war with them. So, the Shelby Daytona Coupe, Pontiac Bonneville, Dodge Dakota and Chevrolet Tahoe all fit the bill.

Car names as mythical creatures

TVR do a good line in dredging up names from Greek mythology — Cerbera and Chimera, for example — but other manufacturers have also dabbled, such as the Renault Clio (Muse of History) and the various incarnations of the Phaeton (son of Helios and the Sun). They’re not making any more mythology, though, so the number of names is limited.

People’s names on cars

This one has a mixed track record. At one end we have the Ferraris (Enzo and Dino), and at the other we have the aforementioned Cedric and the Ford Edsel. Nissan kept the trend alive with the Silvia, and the Serena. It’s probably best to steer clear of names, especially ones like Rupert and Hitler.

Names in other languages

As most of the major car manufacturers are from non-English-speaking countries it’s hardly surprising that many names derive from other languages such as Lupo (wolf), Viva (alive), Astra (stars) and Ignis (fire).

Numbers, series and classes

Probably the safest, and the ultimate cop out, is to use a series of numbers or classes. Mercedes has an enormous range of classes — A-class, B-class, C-class, CLK-class, CLS-class, E-class, GL-class, M-class, R-class, S-class, SL-class and SLK-class, not to mention the AMG-tuned range. BMW has its 1-series, 3-series, 5-series, 6-series, 7-series, M-series, X-series and Z-series, and then there’s the crossover with the Z4M¦confusing! Peugeot has a monopoly on numbers with a zero in the middle, after objecting to Porsche’s use of 901-909 (hence the birth of the 911). But, they did not challenge Ferrari over their 208GT4 and 308GT4, and they would most likely leave 007 alone.

There are also overused letters — GT, RS, R, GTR, L, LX, T, etc. Adding a letter on the end often means you get one or two extra features, but it now seems more sporty or luxurious in your mind.

Names that are ridiculously long

With the plethora of initials and names, we’re presented with names that are so long that by the time you’ve finished reciting them you’ve forgotten how you started. Peugeot’s 206 GTI 180 has nine syllables without the manufacturer’s name, and don’t even go there with Subaru and Mitsubishi’s rally weapons, or anything tuned by a third party like Nismo, Alpina, Rinnspeed, Techart or Brabus.

Invented names

Jackaroo, Korando, Ceed, Impreza, Exige, Hiace, Legnum. Would an infinite number of monkeys on typewriters come up with some of these? Probably not.

Names that should never have been

A Hummer is English slang for flatulence, Pajero is often used in Mexico to mean ‘one who pleasures himself’, and Toyota’s Enima is far too close to enema. But, the popular urban legend around Chevy’s Nova meaning ‘does not go’ in Spanish is not true.

Real words

Discovery, Polo, Legacy, Commodore, Accord, Laser. Well, let’s just thumb through a dictionary until something pops up. There’s always the problem of trademark infringement or accidentally picking a name that has a non-competing undesirable product though, so prep those intellectual property lawyers!

So, you can always modify a real word slightly: Integra, Multipla, Agila, Previa, Octavia. Shove an a on the end of a word, and you’re on your way.

Are all the cool names used?,

Well, if you want to get the .com of your new car name, you’d better be prepared to make up something wacky. The more history we have, the less opportunity there is for cool new names, but the more opportunity there is for resurrecting evocative older names. With global markets naming is more complex than ever, so suddenly those numbers and codes look mighty attractive.

Words Darren Cottingham

Real words

Discovery, Polo, Legacy, Commodore, Accord, Accord, Laser. Well, let’s just thumb through a dictionary until something pops up. There’s always the problem of trademark infringement or accidentally picking a name that has a non-competing undesirable product though, so prep those intellectual property lawyers!

So, you can always modify a real word slightly: Integra, Multipla, Agila, Previa, Octavia. Shove an a on the end of a word, and you’re on your way.

Are all the cool names used?

Well, if you want to get the .com of your new car name, you’d better be prepared to make up something wacky. The more history we have, the less opportunity there is for cool new names, but the more opportunity there is for resurrecting evocative older names. With global markets naming is more complex than ever, so suddenly those numbers and codes look mighty attractive.

Words Darren Cottingham,