From Group Lotus plc.
Set up in 1999 at Hethel Headquarters, the Lotus Driving Academy (LDA) quickly gained global popularity with over 5000 drivers experiencing the Elise, Exige and Evora under expert tuition on the famous Lotus test track in Norfolk. So as not to detract from the day to day vehicle testing and development activities on the Lotus test track, the Lotus Driving Academy could only normally take place at weekends.
As part of the planned global expansion of the Lotus brand, new Lotus Driving Academies have been set up around the world in the last two years in the USA (Thermal, California and Houston, Texas), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Grand Sambuc (France) with more Lotus Driving Academies planned to be opened in the future.
The popularity of the Hethel based Lotus Driving Academy has put the Lotus business in an enviable but challenging dilemma, where the day-to-day development and testing of Lotus cars is starting to be affected by the demands for more LDA courses. This means that Lotus is now looking at a number of options for customers, drivers and Lotus fans to experience the Elise, Exige, Evora and 3-Eleven sports cars beyond Hethel. This means that at the end of the 2016 season, the LDA at the Lotus HQ will finish.
Customers who have already purchased a Lotus Driving Academy event at Hethel will be given a full refund.
Official Lotus Factory Tours continue as always with full and comprehensive tours taking place every Wednesday at the Hethel Headquarters.
In addition, Lotus Motorsport, which develops specific track and motorsport versions of current Lotus sports cars for national and international motorsport competition, has been integrated within Lotus Cars Product Development under Gavan Kershaw, Head of Vehicle Engineering.
This combining of expertise of motorsport and road car engineering will ensure that all new Lotus cars in development are designed from the initial concept not just for high performance road and track driving but also for the extreme demands of a competitive race track environment. Specific motorsport engineering development will continue in Lotus’ Hethel based high tech engineering facilities.