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Whether or not they can do it is another question entirely.
Lotus Cars is owned by Group Lotus, which is managed by Dany Bahar. Bahar is attempting to redefine Lotus, moving them up into a new market - but leaving their old one behind. They're attempting to do this by creating a new brand image, one based on performance. To this end, Bahar is positioning Lotus within motorsport; Lotus Cars sponsor the Renault Formula 1 team, and the ART Grand Prix GP2 and GP3 Series (the feeder series for young talent) teams, developing an engine and aerodynamic package for the Indycar ICONIC project, and making the Lotus Evora available under GT3 touring regulations. The whole thing is perceived as being an expensive and high-risk exercise - and one that could destroy Lotus entirely (though I suspect this to be hyperbole).
The problem is that when Colin Chapman founded Lotus, he separated the road car (Lotus Cars) and racing (Team Lotus) divisions. Bahar controls Lotus Cars, but he does not have the rights to Team Lotus. Team Lotus was one of the most famous names in the sport, running the likes of Clark, Senna and Mansell. It faded into obscurity in 1994 (though they did give Mika Hakkinen a start in the sport, and he was the only man Michael Schumacher was ever afraid of). It existed in limbo until 2011, when it was picked up by AirAsia's Tony Fernandes. And this is where things start getting complicated.
In 2010, the Formula 1 grid was opened up to four new teams: USF1, Manor, Campos and Lotus. USF1 collapsed, Virgin bought the naming rights to Manor, and Campos was renamed Hispania. Lotus was operated by Tony Fernandes, but because they did not own the rights to the Team Lotus name, they operated under a licence issued by Lotus Cars. The team became known as Lotus Racing. But, around this time last year, Fernandes and Bahar had a falling-out. Lotus Cars announced sponosrship of ART Grand Prix, while Fernandes announced his own GP2 team, Team AirAsia. And in the middle of it all was a cease and desist notice: Lotus Cars wanted Fernandes to stop using the Lotus name.
Excatly what happened is unknown, though it seems to revolve around Fernandes marketing an energy drink called "LR8", or "Lotus Racing 8". The LR8 decals vanished from the Lotus Racing cars shortly after Lotus Cars terminated the five-year licencing contract. Fernandes countered the termination, taking Lotus Cars to the High Court, claiming that they had wrongfully terminated the contract. It has never been confirmed, but it is believed that Lotus Cars felt the LR8 product mis-used their name. Lotus Cars attempted to stop Fernandes from using the Lotus name, but Fernandes managed to acquire the Team Lotus name - leading to a scenario where there are two Lotus teams on the grid that have nothing to do with one another. At the end of a very expensive and time-consuming court case, it was decided that Fernandes had the rights to the Team Lotus name, and Lotus Cars were entitled to terminate the contract; effectively, they spent a whole lot of time, effort and money to change absolutely nothing. It divided a lot of fans, most of whom feel the whole affair has dragged the Lotus name through the mud.
The situation is further complicated by the internal structure of the the Lotus Cars-sponsored Renault team. Renault decided to sell the team at the end of 2009, and it was purchased by Genii Capital, a Luxembourg-based venture capital firm. At the end of the year, Formula 1 teams are entitled to a share of the broadcast rights paid to Formula One Management. This share is based on their final championship position. However, under the rules of the Concorde Agreement - the treaty that dictates the commercial payments - if a team changes their name, they may lose the money they are entitled to under the payout system because they would be considered a new team. Renault left the sport two years ago, but "they" are still competing. Lotus Cars originally intended to buy the team and change the name to Lotus or 2011, but Genii Capital borrowed heavily from a Russian banker named Vladimir Anotnov to buy the team. The money from Lotus Cars was supposed to pay off the debt to Antonov, but this upset the Malaysian government - they didn't want the taxpayer money given to Proton (who own Lotus Cars) to be spent that way. The money that is supposed to go to the team is tied up in red tape, and won't be available until the debt to Antonov is paid in full. The last few races have seen Lotus Renault GP acquire a whole host of minor sponsors as they try to pay off the debt and get the money from Lotus Cars. The whole thing is beginning to feel suspiciously like a Ponzi scheme, because if the debt is not paid off in time, Antonov will come to collect, and the money from Lotus Cars will not be available. Bahar's entire investment hinges on Lotus Cars having a presence in Formula 1, but if the team is liquidated, then the tens of millions that he has spent on Renault, ART and Indycar will have been wasted, will undercut Lotus Cars' profits, and possibly send the company into receivership. And that's without taking into account talk that Renault - the car company - will buy the entire team back, pay off Anontov and keep running it under their name to prevent their reputation from being destroyed.
So, theoretically, a Lotus could appear in a future James Bond film. But the company would have to pay for the car to be there - and Dany Bahar will have a hard time justifying such an expense after a long and embarrassing court case with Tony Fernandes and the Antonov situation.
see what you think.
Well this could be James Bond car one day. Don't this thinking of it going underwater like Spy Who Love Me Lotus Esprit.
My favourite Lotus has always been the Europa.
I won't expect James Bond to be in a Lotus again but it will be good. Also I expect The Saint Simon Templar to ditch Volvo for a Lotus.
http://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/new-cars/new-2023-lotus-eletre-officially-revealed-592bhp-electric-suv Here it is. Great for The Saint ,James Bond or any Characters
Electric cars will not solve our environmental issues. Moreover, the art of car manufacturing is about to be lost for the sake of soulless computers on wheels.
Sorry about the rant, if it’s your cup of tea, that’s absolutely fine of course. To each his/her own. It’s definitely not for me, even though one day I’m afraid I’ll be forced to give in.
I’ll always have TSWLM and FYEO to enjoy a real Lotus however, at least there’s that ;)
I don't care about the environmental side of the EV equation. Having driven a few performance EVs, all I can say is that they redefine just how amazing driving a car can be. I think you will find one that puts a smile on your face the day you are forced to give in.