- Emira owners and fans can lap the iconic Hethel test track with expert tuition
- Three different LDA experiences means something for everyone
- LDA global expansion plan over next three years revealed
- Hethel sessions start from 22 June – book now online
Hethel, UK – 18 May 2022
One of the UK’s best-known track experience days, the Lotus Driving Academy (LDA), is relaunching, offering customers the chance to get behind the wheel of the thrilling all-new Lotus Emira.
The completely revamped programme is the next exciting project delivered by Lotus Advanced Performance, the bespoke vehicle and experiential division launched earlier this year.
LDA sessions start on 22 June and will run on a Thursday, Friday and Saturday three weeks out of every four on the iconic 2.2-mile test track at Hethel, the home of Lotus since 1966. The booking platform is now live at https://www.lotuscars.com/en-GB/driving-academy
Simon Lane, Director, Lotus Advanced Performance, commented: “Relaunching the Lotus Driving Academy for the UK’s warmer summer months has been a top priority for the team. With the all-new Lotus Emira sports car now in production, it means we can support owners and fans in getting the most from what is a sensational car to drive.”
Initially three distinct LDA courses will be available:
- A Taste of Lotus – a 20-minute drive in an Emira on the full Hethel test track. Guided from the passenger seat by a highly experienced professional instructor, this course is aimed at those who want to experience or gift the chance to drive a Lotus Emira in a truly iconic location.
- Introduction to Sports Cars – a full-day programme, guests will have 2 x 20 minutes of driving with a professional instructor on the test track, understanding basic sports car control and the Emira’s different drive modes. That’s followed by a guided Hethel factory tour, which includes access to the Chapman Production Centre where the Emira is built. Guests will also see other parts of the Norfolk site 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 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.
Stewart Croucher, Manager, Motorsport and Drive Programmes, Lotus, added: “Relaunching the Lotus Driving Academy has given us the chance to restructure what we offer to customers to guarantee them a fantastic experience. With three distinct packages 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. That we can now include the Hethel factory and Classic Team Lotus tours is the icing on the cake for a great day out.”
Prices are £180 for A Taste of Lotus, £720 for Introduction to Sports Cars, and £960 for Tailor-Made Advanced.
And this is just the start for the LDA. The relaunch at Hethel is 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.
The relaunch of the LDA is the second experiential activity to be started at Hethel in the last two months. The first is the Hethel factory tour, as detailed above, which can be booked separately at https://www.lotuscars.com/en-GB/factory-tours
Lotus Cars is based in Hethel, Norfolk, UK, and is the global HQ for sports car and hypercar manufacturing operations, Lotus Advanced Performance and the iconic 2.2-mile test track. Lotus Cars builds world-class high-performance cars, born out of legendary success on the racetrack including 13 FIA Formula 1 world titles and many other championship honours. In July 2021 Lotus unveiled the all-new Lotus Emira, its last petrol-powered sports car and best-of-breed, and in July 2019 it launched the Evija, the world’s first all-electric British hypercar. Customer deliveries of both cars will begin during 2022. In March 2022 Lotus revealed the Eletre, the world’s first all-electric hyper-SUV. Customer deliveries will begin in 2023. The Lotus Type 135, an all-electric sports car, is currently being designed and engineered at Hethel.
Lotus Engineering provides comprehensive consultancy services to many of the world’s OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers. It is internationally recognised for its long-standing contribution to ground-breaking engineering and innovative vehicle development. Its expertise extends beyond automotive; in August 2021 a Lotus Engineering-developed track bike helped Team GB’s cyclists win seven medals, including three golds, at the Tokyo Olympics. An international consultancy with offices around the world, Lotus Engineering is headquartered at the Lotus Advanced Technology Centre on the University of Warwick’s Wellesbourne Campus in the UK.
Lotus Tech is an affiliate company of Group Lotus, established as part of the Vision80 strategy established in 2018. With operational assets across China, the UK and Europe, Lotus Tech is dedicated to delivering smart lifestyle battery electric vehicles (BEVs) such as the Eletre. Lotus Tech is focused on R&D in next-generation automobility technologies such as electrification, digitalisation and more. In addition to the Lotus Eletre, Lotus Tech plans to launch further BEV models including a sports sedan (Type 133) another SUV (Type 134) and more, as Vision80 reaches maturity in 2028.
Group Lotus is either the parent company of or affiliated with the above. In 2017, Geely Holding Group, one of the fastest growing automotive group in the world, acquired a 51% stake in Group Lotus. The other 49% is owned by Etika Automotive, a Malaysian conglomerate.