DRIVEN INITIALLY BY HIS PASSION FOR MOTOR RACING, COLIN CHAPMAN WOULD HAVE HAD NO IDEA OF THE ENORMOUS IMPACT THAT HE AND THE BRAND HE CREATED, WOULD HAVE ON THE AUTOMOTIVE WORLD…
Over more than 60 years in the making, Lotus has become both a class-leading manufacturer of sports cars and a globally respected automotive engineering consultancy, working with many of the world’s most prestigious car manufacturers.
From humble beginnings, when Chapman built his first trials car in a lock-up in 1948, motorsport was the driving force; indeed it was Chapman’s desire to create competitive race cars that drove him to produce road cars in order to finance his racing ambitions! The motorsport influence has continued throughout the company’s evolution and led to a continuous thread of innovation and pioneering FIRSTs, as can be seen from this brief history.
The link between Lotus race cars and road cars is a critical and powerful one. It was obviously a winning tactic, because the racing team Chapman formed, Team Lotus, went on to win seven Formula One Constructors’ Championships and six Drivers’ Championship titles, and a string of other titles and conquests.
The motorsport heritage remains at the heart of Lotus today and the strategic link to developing cars which offer superlative handling and performance for driving on the race track or on the road. The following history pages demonstrate that innovation and a single-minded desire to produce the best sports cars in the world, has always been in Lotus’ blood.