If you haven’t heard about or seen a Lotus vehicle, do yourself a favor and search on Youtube “Lotus cars.” Within that search query, you’ll see some of the best videos on Lotus vehicles, how they look, and what they do. But the strange thing is that, outside of car and racing enthusiasts, not many people have actually heard about Lotus, as a manufacturer or as a car.
Based out of Hethel, Norfolk, Lotus Cars has been responsible for creating high-performance sport and race cars with fine-tuned handling capabilities. Founded by Anthony Colin Bruce Chapman in 1952, the manufacturer can be tied to some of the top racing vehicles in history. In fact, Team Lotus (their Formula One racing team), won the world championships a staggering seven times. For the next several decades, Lotus Cars produced some high-performance vehicles that left onlookers stunned and amazed, including the Mark VII, Lotus Elan, and Lotus Espirit, which is viewed as one of the most iconic models in the Lotus brand.
But even with the production of these popular vehicles, Lotus Cars faced financial troubles. Along with the world falling into financial rescission, sales in North America plummeted. The company signed on with Acura to help with their struggles, and they helped create the Supra, which is a model that is still offered today. Along with creating a new American company — Lotus Performance Cars Inc. — sales started to see an uptick, reaching the triple digits. Sadly, Chapman passed away soon after in 1982. His passing, along with major scandal surrounding the company, set the company down into a spiral, and by 1983 (only one year later), were facing bankruptcy.
Fortunately for the brand, they saw new leadership and even had General Motors purchase a controlling stake in the company, which helped rejuvenate the company. Even so, Lotus Cars continued to see their fair share of controversy, with the most recent incident coming in 2012. They are now broken up until two parts — Lotus Cars and Lotus Engineering — and are releasing their latest models, the Evora and Evija.