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  1. Lotus Engineering did develop a DCT but it was not a project for Lotus Cars: As far as I remember, the GTE was supposed to get an AMT gearbox but it did not materialize after the DB debacle. The new sport car that will be unveiled in 2020 will probably have a more modern auto unit, I'm betting on the 8 speed from Aisin AW (AW8G45) as it is already used throughout the Group performance offering, but it could also get a 6 speed sequential as it seems Lynk and Co and Cyan Racing ( formerly known as Polestar) have been working on getting this thing to cope with the numbers produced by their homologation special the Lynk & Co 03 Cyan. The difficulty as Martin said is to get a transverse gearbox to cope with over 400bhp and Torque, so I guess Cyan an Lynk and Co opted for a 6 speed that could have chunkier ratios. As for the manual, which Lotus will most certainly keep until the world completes the switch to EV only propulsion system, I guess they'll keep improving the Aisin BG6.
  2. ^^Which i far as i know is a proprietary design and can't cope with over 480nm according to Getrag its supplier. Geely group has developed its own DCT so maybe Lotus will be able to build it up for its own purpose... the other option being to purchase a unit from Borg Wagner or ZF...
  3. Lotus decided not to push the envelop on the gearbox from a reliability, but it doesn't mean the gearbox can't take a bit more, the question is how much were they willing to bet on the gearbox being able to last. The gearbox provider, Aisin, rated the gearbox at a maximum at 450nm at 6600 rpm... Lotus hence fitted a gearbox oil cooler to keep it from going too high in temps and managed to get 450 at 7000 rpm, obviously it gets the job done... But Lotus is not Komotec, they want to retain the warranty they get from Aisin. if Aisin only warrants the gearbox till 450, then logically Lotus would not produce a gearbox outside this frameset... Even if as we know Lotus puts its own gear ratios in the BG6 UNIT, I believe they have an agreement with Aisin so that they still get some form of limited warranty on the case. Now with support from Geely they have the money and free reins to work with Aisin on removing this limitation and essentially creating and warranting a bespoke version of the BG6 for Lotus The only thing it takes is some R&D and a whole lot of testing in order to ascertain that the gearbox will last a million mile ; and an order book big enough to justify the upfront investment, knowing that this gearbox will pretty much only be used on Lotus products in the future as Volvo has gone entirely 8 speed auto at the top end, Geely, and Lynk and Co are either using 6 speed auto or 7 speed DCT on their top end models.
  4. The new manufacturing hall is going to be heavily automatized and Lotus Lightweight Structures (Worcester) and Lotus Fabrication (Vulcan Road) are also getting a cash, tech and staff influx, they can manufacture the stamped and casted parts to have an all alloy chassis and body. The next generation of cars will probably be all alloy and will possibly add something akin to the Volvo/Polestar carbon fibre spine to help getting maximum stiffness.
  5. I think that Geely is actually quite pragmatic and strategic about their motorsport decision. Geely Group Motorsport is the umbrella company for all motor racing activities of almost all the Geely brands but some programs are ran outside of it for now, like the Geely Cup in China. Lotus being Lotus will probably retain its motorsport program in house. It make sens if only for the sake of theatre to have a hall dedicated to building motorsport cars. Besides with the skeleton building soon to be completed and fitted to build the next generation of cars, which will share platform heavily the old production hall is likely going to be repurposed to some extent, in adition to receiving the new museum outgrowth, having the office of the boss "sceneryzed" a small but functional motorsport hall could easily set up, it's not like the old one was a massive F1 factory. Yes, Cyan racing GGM track arm did run the Evora GT4 last year in Swedish GT but this was really a program put together to keep some of the crew from an unwanted gap year + a bit of good PR with a swedish prince driving the car. As for the GT4 concept, it is supposed to have been developed by Gavan Kershaw himself, GK is the new chassis guru at Lotus and he now heads vehicles dynamic attributes but before that he was head of motorsport before the division was mothballed... The team that did develop the GT4 concept was probably a bunch of week end warriors who pitched the car at some point and Geely and Popham decided to go with it... it is a refresh on a recipe that is true and tested and with an engine that has the oomph it needs to compete on any tracks while the previous GT4 was too much of a momentum car which ran out of go when the straights were too long.
  6. I'm betting on 2022. The factory will be ready sometime next year. If the patent drawings have been approved and I don't see a reason why not since they were published quite a few months after the takeover, back when Feng Qinfeng was running the company, So if C.A.D is going on now, the stage 1 prototype should not be too far from seeing road testing. Because Lotus is part of a significant group with a f-load of SUV we won't even know it is the SUV development mule until they decide to leak it. By the time they start leaking pictures it will probably be in winter testing or hot weather testing phase which will be lengthy. I do expect the SUV to have the longest development time a Lotus product has ever had until now ; so unveil in 2021 and launch a full year later so 2022.
  7. I'm pretty sure that talent wherever it comes from will be welcome, the new office in Coventry will be Design, advanced engineering and R&D if people have a desirable skillset they'll be hired. Also I will bet my 2 cents that the bulk of the engineering of the upcoming SUV and sedan will come from that centre, because, I'm not buying the "we haven't decided yet". Geely is building a factory in China, the wheels are moving. The SUV will have a bespoke chassis but it will use Geely modules and components. I wonder how many portacabins will pop up near the LEVC facility in the next few weeks.
  8. Everybody is talking about Lotus... The skeleton building lis finally in the process of being completed. More recruits, new computers for the staff and automation on the new production line.
  9. When they say Warwickshire, they do mean the Geely/ LEVC Coventry campus, right?! Good gosh This place is going to be crowded with brains, between Polestar, Lotus, Geely design... Geely is essentially creating its sixth R&D Excellence centre - the second in Europe after CEVT in Gotenburg - and the level of cross pollination is going to be off the charts : The London Taxi may become the fastest hybrid taxi on the Nurburgring if both Polestar and Lotus are let loose on it
  10. Looks like a road GTE with some level of racing garb, I do think it is a GT4 (possibly a GTS or GTN considering it does have road going side mirrors) underneath, in a different froc, with some custom elements: rear bumper, rear wing, roof scoop ; but definitely a good old privateer effort. Hopefully the GT4 Concept sees some action in British GT by the end of the summer and next year Lotus gets a slew of cars racing in at least Europe and Asia possibly America if they feel like it can help the marketing.
  11. I Used airbnb as both a host and a guest a few years back. I Really like the fact that guests have some form of track record that allow hosts to gently scan and agree to host who they really want to have at their place. On two occasions I ended having party people going to the local festival... It did no go well but nothing got broken or stolen, they just lost and took it upon themselves to recover my spare set of keys. It could have been much worse...
  12. It is very possibly going to be in the same building ... In the meantime Lotus keeps bolstering its head office : All hail the man that will be in charge of the sales and aftersales network.
  13. When you provide car to the journos... and they do what they want with it.
  14. I do think it is happening, I don't think the SUV will be priced beyond the means of that many. I think it will be the first Lotus darling for leasing and financing companies just like the Maccan brought a much younger and not that wealthy clientele, it shall bring Lotus to the masses. I also think we will get more than one SUV and I do think that at some point down the road some kind of sedan (Lotus Eterne) will also see the light of day. By the look of it the SUV is more a crossover than a true SUV, it is more V60 XC, than XC60 dare I say. It will therefore be quite "easy" to derivate a bigger version from it, if there's demand for it, and an "Eterne", which actually share quite a few DNA traits with the render of the SUV. And again Lotus evolved VVA and Volvo Geely SPA modules should combine quite nicely. We know Geely is building a factory for its luxury vehicles in Wuhan, It will be shared between Lotus products and other Geely products , But Geely and Volvo already have factories able to produce their luxury models, So Lotus may in the end get the lion share of a factory geared for 150,000 vehicles yearly.
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