Lotus and newly promoted Premier League football team Norwich City Football Club have today announced a new multi-year global partnership. The collaboration sees the state-of-the-art training facility renamed The Lotus Training Centre, and the all-new Academy building renamed The Lotus Academy. Lotus branding will feature on the first-team ‘walk-out’ jackets, on all Academy shirts from the Under-23s squad through to the Under-9s, and on pitch-side branding at the Carrow Road stadium.
The partnership is announced on the eve of the Canaries’ first game of the 2019-20 Premier League season against Liverpool at Anfield. The agreement sees two long-standing Norfolk brands coming together as they each enter a new and exciting phase on the global stage, and with the local community at the heart of their ambitions.
Lotus is embarking on a major global transformation. Last month it unveiled the world’s first fully electric British hypercar and most powerful production car, the Evija, which is designed, engineered and produced at Lotus’ headquarters in Hethel, Norfolk.
The launch of Evija is the first visible step in Lotus’ plan that will see the company invest significantly over the next few years, to expand its product range and become a global premium performance car brand. Lotus has been making cars at Hethel, to the south of Norwich, since 1966 and currently employs around 1,200 people in the region.
Lotus and Norwich City Football Club have released an entertaining film featuring owner Delia Smith and former player Darren Huckerby to mark the start of the partnership.
Simon Clare, Executive Director, Global Marketing, Lotus, said: “Lotus is a brand born for and out of performance and competition, so this partnership is perfect for both parties. Together Lotus and Norwich City Football Club share core values – commitment, passion, focus, hard work, a winning mindset – and the success that flows from them.
“This partnership joins two iconic Norfolk brands as they accelerate on to the global stage together. Both share a desire for innovation and, as we herald a new era together, we are incredibly excited about playing a part in the development of Norwich City Football Club and its talent. Today we are investing in that future.”
All Lotus branding reflects the company’s new corporate identity, which features a revised roundel and new typeface for the wordmark. Simon Clare explained: “We’ve looked back at the original Lotus roundel and thought about Colin Chapman’s philosophy – to simplify and add lightness. We’ve applied that to create a new roundel, taking the weight out of the lettering and adapting the spacing. We’ve also straightened the word ‘Lotus’ so it’s consistent with the Lotus wordmark.”
Ben Kensell, Chief Operating Officer at Norwich City Football Club, said: “This is a momentous deal for us. We’re so thrilled to partner with one of the most iconic and high-profile brands, not just in Norfolk, but across the UK and internationally. I’m proud that our resurgent Club is partnering with Lotus at a time when it is relaunching its brand into a new and exciting future. The synergies between our two businesses are striking, and for our Academy players to be proudly wearing a shirt that has such a well-loved logo on is really special.”
Unlimited in every sense, the new series production Exige Cup 430 is Lotus’ wildest incarnation of its fire-breathing, point-to-point two-seater sports car.
New to the Exige, the Cup 430 sees the introduction of a savage, high-performance engine installation, mated to a new supercharger and chargecooler, designed specifically for the unique demands of this vehicle. A development of the powertrain recently used on the phenomenal Lotus Evora GT430, it’s perfectly paired with a newly-designed body, which delivers enhanced aerodynamic performance to reveal the model’s true potential. The result is a strikingly different beast of pure performance, that’s not for the faint of heart.
• New engine installation, delivering 430 hp and 440 Nm
• New design generating 220 kg of downforce
• 407 hp per tonne provides unrivalled performance
• 0-60 mph in 3.2 secs, dry weight from 1,056 kg
With 55 hp, or 13%, more power than the limited production Exige Cup 380 model it succeeds, and 220 kg of downforce, it’s a monster of a car. Compared to the Exige Sport 350, it has 24% more power and generates the same downforce at 100 mph as the Exige Sport 350 does at its maximum speed of 170 mph.
Lotus’ expertise in lightweight design has played its part in reducing the overall dry weight by 12 kg to 1,059 kg, with the vehicle down to 1,056 kg in its lightest configuration. This, combined with the dramatic jump in raw power, raises the Cup’s power to weight from 355 hp / tonne (Cup 380) to 407 hp / tonne.
With 430 hp at 7,000 rpm and 440 Nm (325 lbft) of torque from 4,000 rpm, 0-60mph is dispatched in 3.2 seconds (0-100 km/h in 3.3 seconds) with a top speed of 180 mph (290 km/h). Helping to harness all that power, the Cup 430 benefits from a comprehensive range of new aero elements. A new ultra-lightweight front clam with unique carbon fibre ducts has wider radiator apertures and a new mesh pattern grille to provide a more combative aspect and to allow for a new front splitter and air curtain mechanism to reduce drag. The lightweight rear clam panel supports the larger, straight motorsport wing to increase downforce without impacting upon the car’s overall drag coefficient. The new design front and rear clam panels are 6.8 kg lighter than those on any other Exige.
Focused fairly and squarely on aggressive track performance and point-to-point supremacy, the new Lotus Exige Cup 430 is capable of covering the Hethel circuit in 1 minute 24.8 seconds – the fastest production car to lap the famous circuit – 1.2 seconds faster than the Lotus 3-Eleven (Road).
Jean-Marc Gales, CEO, Group Lotus plc said, “This is the car that we have always wanted to build, and I am sure that all Lotus enthusiasts will be delighted with the end product. As well as a significant power hike, the Cup 430 has benefited from extensive development in areas essential to Lotus’ DNA, in order to ensure that the full potential of the Exige’s incredible chassis can be exploited. This car has no rivals – inside or outside of its price bracket – and it’s no exaggeration when we say that nothing can keep up with this Exige on the road or track.”
Lotus’ most extreme Exige packs the company’s most potent powertrain into its smaller vehicle architecture to provide a level of performance that is a step beyond what most drivers can exploit. The car’s distinctive and aggressive new styling perfectly matches the character of the new Exige Cup 430.
Signalling the most motorsport focused models in Lotus’ range, the Cup variants are centered on only the essential. Extending this philosophy to its limit, the new Cup 430 is at the apex of the Exige line-up – with only a track-only racer capable of exceeding the car’s abilities.
With the Exige already regarded as the standard for purity of purpose, Lotus’ engineers have built upon this benchmark, ensuring that the application of more power is complemented by a class-leading handling balance, characterised by precision and tactility.
At the heart of the car lies Lotus’ most formidable engine, a 3.5-litre supercharged and charge cooled V6 producing 430 hp and 440 Nm.
Unapologetically aggressive, the Exige Cup 430’s 220 kg of downforce is developed through the careful management of airflow under and over the car. Vital in keeping the Cup at the top of timing sheets, it’s designed to make the most of 440 Nm (325 lbft) of torque delivered from 4,000 rpm, and delivering the lowest of lap times not matter the track. This not only includes the new front clam panel, incorporating a new design of splitter and carbon fibre air blades, but also the high mounted rear wing. The new body introductions combine form and function, with the new hybrid carbon composite panels not only saving weight, but also delivering the car’s distinctive new styling and aerodynamic set up.
Balancing downforce over the entire car was a priority with, when compared to the Exige Cup 380, a greater percentage of downforce allocated to the front to ensure accurate high-speed turn in (36% increased to 45%). The new front splitter with trailing lip helps separate and speed airflow under the car and the inclusion of new air curtain elements into the front clam panel efficiently moves air though to the front wheel cavities to help reduce turbulence and drag generated by the front wheels. The front louvers reduce the pressure within the front wheel arches, increasing downforce. The cut-out sections behind the rear wheels, also reduce wheel arch pressure, whilst the new lightweight aluminium diffuser is 1 kg lighter. Crowning all of this is the carbon fibre straight rear wing, raised higher to further boost downforce, clearly signaling the car’s aggressive intent and pursuit of aerodynamic excellence.
As you would expect, the intense use of ultra-lightweight carbon fibre only adds to the overall performance, as well as reinforcing the Exige Cup 430’s physical presence. The hand-made composite components include front splitter, front access panel, roof, diffuser surround, large aperture air-intake side pods, one-piece tailgate and the race derived rear wing.
Scratch the surface of the Cup’s capabilities, and you’ll find its motorsport-derived credentials. In addition to revised steering arm geometry, to increase bump steer, the car’s handling characteristics can be altered via the introduction of new Nitron three-way adjustable dampers (adjustable for rebound and low and high-speed compression, giving the ability to fine tune the damping) and Eibach adjustable front and rear anti-roll bars, both as standard.
The substantial Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres (215/45 ZR17 front and 285/30 ZR18 rear) are fitted to ultra-lightweight forged alloy wheels, available in red, black or silver as standard.
The faster the car, the better the brakes need to be, and the Exige Cup 430 uses some of the largest calipers and rotors of any Lotus road car. With forged, four-piston AP Racing brake calipers and new performance two-piece, J-hook brake discs (with higher thermal capacity) front and back, the system is designed to give improved bite and debris clearance and reduce distortion and vibration and to deliver consistent pedal feel and stopping power lap after lap.
The Cup 430 also comes with a tremendously strong, yet light, T45 steel roll over bar, new seatbelt anchorage frame (saving 1.2 kg), a Lithium-Ion battery and front towing eye as standard, as well as a host of options including, a dealer fit FIA compliant roll cage, electrical cut-off and fire extinguisher controls, airbag deletion and a non-airbag steering wheel.
Key to the Cup’s potency is the Exige’s newly-developed powertrain. Based on the benchmark engine from the recently launched Evora GT430, it features an Edelbrock supercharger and water to air charge cooler to generate more power through cooling the higher pressure charged intake air. Specifically developed for the Exige, the engine’s calibration allows for a redline of 7,000rpm, helped in part by a new intake system and larger throttle body. In order to handle the extra power, a new oil cooler configuration and uprated clutch are required.
Available as standard with a close-ratio, six-speed manual transmission, the Exige range features Lotus’ acclaimed open-gate manual gearbox design. Precisely aligned for fast and seamless shifts, it has recently established itself as a favourite of Lotus customers. To transfer the increased power and torque from the engine to the gearbox, a new 240 mm diameter clutch has been fitted (up 12 mm compared to the Exige Cup 380) which increases the clutch surface area by 11%.
Engine note and tone also play big parts in the Cup’s repertoire. With the new induction and supercharger configuration, and a high-flow titanium exhaust system as standard, the Cup 430 sounds like no other Exige at speed. In addition, the titanium exhaust removes 10 kg from beyond the rear axle.
The Lotus Exige Cup 430 includes a variable traction control function, linked directly to the ECU. The six-position rotary switch is located on the steering column, and only active with ESP switched to off, with five pre-set traction levels (1%, 3%, 6%, 9%, 12% slip) as well as “off”, displayed via the instrument cluster.
The composite concept continues into the Cup’s cabin with visible-weave, handmade sections including a new lightweight carbon fibre binnacle surround, Lotus’ bespoke carbon race seats, with new lightweight seat runners, and carbon door sills. Colour keyed inserts for the revised lightweight sports seats, transmission console, HVAC surround and window switches are also standard, along with a centre console, door cards and dashboard trimmed in Alcantara®, with leather or tartan as a no cost option, along with contrast stitching and an Alcantara® steering wheel. In total, the lightweight interior of the Exige Cup 430 is 2.5 kg lighter than on the Cup 380.
All the lightweight standard items help reduce the total mass by 29 kg which more than offsets the increase in weight from the chargecooler and cooling system (+15 kg), new higher rated clutch (+0.8 kg) and wider brake discs (+1.2 kg) resulting in an unladen weight of 1,093 kg and 1,059 kg dry. By selecting the airbag deletion option, the customer can take the lightest possible dry weight of the Exige Cup 430 to 1,056 kg.
For owners wanting to brand the new Exige their own, the Cup 430 can be personalised through Lotus’ Exclusive programme. Combining traditional British craftsmanship with modern design, the service inspires customers to spend time tailoring the character of their Lotus with a comprehensive array of options. Since its introduction this has proved increasingly popular, with over 25% of all new cars undergoing some form of personalisation.
Launching the new Lotus, Jean-Marc Gales said, “The Exige continues to push the boundaries of what is possible in terms of performance, agility, aerodynamics and rapid covering of ground from A to B in a production road car. There isn’t another car on sale that can match the new Exige Cup 430; it will go down as a ground-breaking car in the history of Lotus.”
The Exige Cup 430 is available as a series production car and can be ordered now, priced £99,800 including VAT (UK) and €127,500 (Germany) and €128,600 (France).
Here at AIB we offer exceptional bespoke insurance cover for Lotus owners and understands that owning and driving a Lotus is a unique experience and deserves one-of-a-kind insurance call us now on 02380 268351 for your Lotus insurance!
The 2014 Lotus Festival is in it’s 7th year for the event and despite a couple of very brief showers (!) the day went very well for all involved at Brands Hatch. With an on the day official presence from Lotus Cars, displaying their current range including an Pewter Grey Evora SR, Exige S V6 coupe and Roadster and Elise Club Racer along with Lotus Motorsport who attended with the full carbon bodied Evora GTE we last saw in Geneva in 2012, the $1m T125 track car, Elise Cup R and Evora GT4. Classic Team Lotus didn’t disappoint with a selection of cars showing of the race team livery over the years with a green and yellow Type 32B as driven Jim Clark, the Gold Leaf Type 49B which Graham Hill won the Monaco GP driving in 1968 and 1969, JPS Type 79 and Camel Type 99T which was the last car Team Lotus won a GP with in the hands of Ayrton Senna in 1987.
The trade village, which this year was 50% bigger than the previous event reported a brisk day and car clubs were all packed out with terrific examples of their chosen niche. On track, there were demo’s of some classic F1 cars including the Lotus 101 and Micheal Schumacher’s Benneton 109B among others. The LoTRDC racing was eventful and enjoyable and we’re pleased to report than Marcus Jewell, who had a significant off on the GP circuit was released from the Medical Center and seen walking around the paddock later in the day.This story has been provided by our friends at www.thelotusforums.com and artwork courtesy of www.nineteen80one.com
The weekend of the 19th and 20th of July saw the return to the track of the Rainwater Harvesting Evora at Snetterton, Norfolk for the GT Cup. A five week break in the Cup Championship calendar gave both the teams and drivers a chance to re-gather their efforts for the second half of the season. For the Evora, a return to Lotus Motorsport at the factory in Hethal for a mid season re-fresh meant the car would be in the best shape possible for the rest of the season. Car owner and driver Adrian Lester explains, “We are very happy with the performance of the car and we know we have a great package, so we don’t need to change anything too much. We’ve simply replaced a few of the parts that were coming to the end of their working life and had everything checked over. Everyone knows the car at the factory and they are keen to see it do well so that gives us great confidence going into a weekend, knowing the guys have put some great effort into the preparation.”
Although it was over a month since the pairing of Adrian Lester and his pro driver and coach, Andrew Bentley had driven the Evora, they were hopeful to pick up where they had left off all those weeks ago at Silverstone, where despite failing to finish the weekend’s races due to a suspension failure thanks to contact, they had set fastest times in their class and were looking to be in a good position to put in a strong result. “Silverstone was disappointing on one hand but on the other it hinted at the potential we have in the car and the driver pairing. We went into Silverstone with a healthy lead in our class in and an incredible 4th position in the overall Championship standings, sadly, this was not to last. Adrian had the strongest run of his season in qualifying and it was looking great for the race. Sadly, a hangover from some contact earlier caused the suspension to give up and the team, despite a big effort, were unable to fix it for the races.” Said Andrew
Arriving at Snetterton with plenty of energy the Rainwater Harvesting team quickly showed strong pace in testing and warm up, being able to put in lap times ahead of their fellow Class A competitors. A tough qualifying for Adrian flowed however, earning 7th in class after his best laps were thwarted by traffic. On review of the data, Andrew could see that Adrian was capable of a quicker lap, which was a great boost for the upcoming 1st race of the weekend, the 45 minute two driver battle.
Andrew was proved correct, with Adrian being able to lap some 2 seconds clear of his qualifying pace in the opening laps of the race. The Evora got stuck into a great battle with last year’s overall champion and current class points leader Jeff Wyat which lasted through to the 1st safety car period caused buy a car spinning and stopping out on track. At the same point, the pit lane opened for driver changes, with a flood of cars jumping at the chance to gain an advantage. Unfortunately, the Evora was unlucky to be caught out by the timing of the safety car and instantly went one lap down on the rest of the field. A superb stop and driver change by the team and the Evora was back out, this time with Andrew now in the car and pushing hard, setting fastest lap after fastest lap. Again, another safety car and more bad luck meant the unlucky team got stuck in a pack of cars, loosing even more time. “We got the worst possible end of the stick with both safety cars there. Through no fault of anyone’s, we got caught behind as it was released from the pits to neutralise the race and slow everyone down so the marshals could retrieve the stranded cars. It effectively ended our race, but we still managed to end up with a few championship points which are critical for the season as a whole.” Said Andrew.
Traces, each 25 minutes long. No driver changes in either of these so they are flat out duels to the flag. As has been the case in the previous rounds, Adrian drove in the first of these, round 11 of the championship, with Andrew taking the wheel for the second race later in the day, round 12.
Another strong performance in the qualification session for Adrian saw him setting his best times of the weekend, reporting the car feeling great on new rubber, this gave him a lot of confidence for the race. This confidence was well placed, coming away with a solid 5th in class after a fractured race due to safety car making an appearance yet again. Adrian reported after the race “I felt I could have actually gone a bit quicker and made up another place but, with the safety car periods as they were, it stopped our flow. The car’s been great this weekend and I’m looking forward to the next round at Silverstone already!”
Next up was Andrew, starting from grid 8 in Class A for the third and final race of the weekend. Andrew knew he had to play a tactical race as up ahead were the Class A cars he had to beat, but because of Adrian’s sterling efforts in the previous race, he had a number of more powerful cars behind. Andrew explains “Having cars in the higher classes around us at the start of a race, which are much quicker than us on a straight, makes it very difficult as they are able to blast past, but when we get to the braking and cornering, they often aren’t as quick as us. If you get caught behind a car in a section of bends it can really hold you up.”
A steady start to the race may have signalled that little progress was to be made, but by lap two, Andrew started to pick off the competition, one by one. Quick work was made of Ben Tompkins in the Ginetta G50, with Harding next up in another G50. A move down the inside of the tight left of Agostini, gained another place. A battle with some faster Class B cars halted progress for a lap but once these were despatched with Andrew was able to chase down Peter Parsons in another Ginetta and Mark Short in his BMW M3. These two were having a great battle for the lead of Class A and Andrew was keen to join the party. A neat move down the inside at Oggie’s caught Parsons unaware, allowing Andrew into 2nd in class and some space to chase down Litherland in the quick M3. The BMW has the legs of everything on the straight but Andrew was able to make up ground in the brake zones and corners. This became evident when he pulled off a rare move around the outside of Agostini’s and into the lead of Class A. From there, he got his head down and won with a solid 12 second gap. Andrew said after the race “I knew I had to play this one smartly. We have the pace in the Evora over the lap, but the quicker cars around us made the opening lap tricky. I didn’t take any silly chances and bided my time. Picking the Class A cars off one by one took some planning but once I got past, I got my head down and was just working on setting fastest lap and being consistent. I have to thank Rainwater Harvesting, Adrian and the guys at Lotus Motorsport, they work so hard and wins like this are what we all do it for.”
The next round of the GT Cup will feature on the stunning Silverstone GP circuit on the weekend of 16th and 17th of August. Andrew, a senior instructor at Silverstone has a good bit of local knowledge which he is sure to use and Adrian has always shown well around the GP track. All in all, the Rainwater Harvesting team are looking for another strong performance.
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