Just in time for Christmas, one of the UK’s best-known track experience days – the Lotus Driving Academy (LDA) – has announced its diary for the first half of 2023. The chance to drive the thrilling Emira sports car on the iconic Lotus test track is the perfect festive gift for any petrolhead.

  • Online booking for next year’s Hethel track day experiences now available at  https://experience.lotuscars.com
  • Revamped structure means four courses instead of three, creating extra customer choice
  • Option to include Hethel factory and Classic Team Lotus tours
  • Prices start at just £199
  • Hethel factory tours available to book through same link

LDA sessions run on a Thursday, Friday and Saturday two weeks out of every four, using the iconic 2.2-mile circuit at Hethel, the home of Lotus since 1966. The booking platform is now live at https://experience.lotuscars.com and tours of the Hethel factory are available through the same link.

New for 2023 is a revamped structure, with the LDA now offering four distinct courses rather than three. All courses begin with a comprehensive safety briefing from the expert Academy instructors. Offering something for everyone, the four courses are as follows:

A Taste of Lotus – guests have a five-minute circuit familiarisation with an Academy instructor before sliding behind the Emira’s steering wheel themselves. They’re guided from the passenger seat by the instructor for 2 x 10-minute sessions on the full Hethel test track. This course is aimed at those who want to experience or gift the chance to drive a Lotus Emira in a truly iconic location.

Dynamic Emira – new for 2023, this half-day experience allows guests to compare both the Touring and Sports suspension set-ups of the Emira in a back-to-back comparison. The course includes 4 x 10-minute sessions on the south test track, with the instructor assisting guests to identify the vehicle characteristics previously discussed. Time between driving sessions is filled with a visit to the Chapman Production Centre, where the Emira is built, for a tour of the sub-assembly area to see how the car’s suspension is put together.

Introduction to Sports Cars – a full-day programme, guests will have 2 x 20 minutes of driving with a Academy instructor, understanding basic sports car control and the Emira’s different drive modes. That’s followed by a guided Hethel site tour, which includes access to the Chapman Production Centre where the Emira is built. Guests will also see other parts of the Lotus facility which have benefited from a £100million upgrade as part of the transformation of Lotus into a global performance car brand. The day is completed with a tour of Classic Team Lotus, just across the road from the main Lotus site, to see its unique collection of historic Lotus race cars.

Tailor-Made Advanced – with a 3-to-1 ratio of guests to instructors, this tailored course will help drivers achieve their personal goals through the use of skills training including slalom, oversteer and understeer activities. The course runs over a full day, allowing guests time to learn, practise and master their new skills. 

The LDA is delivered by Lotus Advanced Performance, the bespoke vehicle and experiential division of the business launched earlier this year. Stewart Croucher, Manager, Motorsport and Drive Programmes, Lotus, said: “Relaunching the Lotus Driving Academy earlier this year has been a great success with hundreds of happy customers thrilled to experience the amazing dynamics of the Emira sports car.”

He added: “Opening up the 2023 diary gives us the chance to restructure what we offer, adding one extra package for even greater choice. There is something for everyone, whether you’ve never driven a sports car before or you’re an experienced racer looking to improve your lap times. And we can now include the Hethel factory and Classic Team Lotus tours as the icing on the cake of a great day out.”

LDA prices are £199 for A Taste of Lotus; £450 for Dynamic Emira; £699 for Introduction to Sports Cars: and £960 for Tailor-Made Advanced. Book now at https://experience.lotuscars.com

This is just the start for the LDA. The Hethel courses are the first step of a three-year growth plan that will see the current USA Lotus experience centres – in Utah, Georgia and Arizona – become full LDA operations. The existing LDA in Italy, in Pavia, just south of Milan, will also relaunch with an Emira fleet. In addition, two all-new LDA teams will open in all-new locations. More details will follow closer to launch.

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