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With headquarters in Hethel, UK, Lotus was founded in 1952 by English design engineer Colin Chapman. In the early days of the company, Lotus actively encouraged customers to race the cars they’ve bought.
In 1958, the company entered into the Formula One competition via Team Lotus. Two years later in 1960, Stirling Moss drove the Lotus F1 car that won the F1 Grand Prix. In 1963, Lotus won its first F1 World Constructors Championship with a Lotus 25 prototype driven by the famous Jim Clark.
Team Lotus continued to be a strong competitor in F1 through years, even after Colin Chapman passed away.
The very first model launched by Lotus was the Mark I, a sports-car entirely based on the Austin 7. Development and production went through ten variants, ending with the Lotus Mark X in 1955, a sports racer featuring a Bristol/BMW 2-liter engine. Lotus went on to produce no less than 125 models until recent times.
Some of the better-known road-legal cars include the Lotus Elise S1, Lotus 340R and the Lotus Espirit. During the 2010 Paris Motor show, Lotus came forward announcing five new models to be added to its lineup in the upcoming 5 years. The main focus was replacing the Elise model as well as adding the two sports coupes. Unfortunately, neither of the plans were successfully carried due to financial difficulties. Later on, in 2011, Lotus CEO Jean Mark Gales announced the development of a Lotus SUV is undergoing.
Lotus Engineering is a fork of Lotus Cars, dealing mainly with engineering consultancy for other automotive companies. Some of the projects undergone by Lotus Engineering feature the famous DeLorean DMC-12, where Lotus Engineering designed the chassis, the 1991 Dodge Spirit R/T and the chassis of the Aston martin DB9. The company was also hired in testing and development of the V8 engine found on the Chevrolet Corvette C4 ZR-1 and styling of the 2008 Tesla Roadster.
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