British-born sports car brand Lotus has reinvented itself with a fresh direction and reimagined branding, and its first new-look showroom has opened in Bahrain.
The retail centre is in the high-end Moda Mall, in the heart of Manama. It's where car enthusiasts will soon find the all-new Emira and possibly even the Evija, the company's first fully electric "hypercar", which is due to launch later this year. The Lotus Exige Final Edition, or the "race car for the road", should also be available before the end of this year.
Until then, it's the Lotus Evora GT that's taking centre stage in the space, run in partnership with Adamas Motors, which distributes the cars across the Middle East.
“It is the perfect location for the world debut of our new retail identity and it looks brilliant," said Geoff Dowding, executive director of sales and aftersales for Lotus. “Our new identity has been designed to adapt to the different markets that Lotus sells in around the world today – and will sell in tomorrow – and to reflect the cultural nuances and different consumer preferences in those markets.
"The inherent flexibility of what we have created will be perfect for all environments, whether they’re solus or multi-franchise, urban or out-of-town, high street or shopping mall, single or multistorey, pop-up, seasonal or permanent."
Lotus's new aim is to be a mainstream sports and luxury car manufacturer, taking on giants such as Ferrari, Bentley and Porsche. "This year is a pivotal one for Lotus, particularly with our sports cars, because we reach the end of one era and begin another," Matt Windle, managing director of Lotus Cars, told The National.
“The spirit and passion that gave the world models like the Elise, Exige and Evora will live on in the next generation of cars such as the all-new Lotus Emira.”
Four new engineering platforms provide the cornerstone to the Lotus renaissance, which covers sports cars, hypercars, premium cars and electric sports cars, as part of a 10-year plan.
Lotus will bid farewell to its signature models – Elise, Exige and Evora – to make way for a fully electric line-up.
Formed in 1952 by Colin Chapman as a means to fund his motor racing business, Lotus Cars has always been a niche manufacturer operating out of its original building in Hethel. It’s maintained a solid following of enthusiasts who buy their cars more as track-day toys and for club-level racing rather than for daily use.
But as a 10 to 20-fold production increase with a Dh10 billion ($2.7bn) investment from its joint owners, China's Zhejiang Geely Holding Group and Malaysia's Etika Automotive, comes to fruition, those days are over.