- Track bike developed by Lotus Engineering helping riders win medals at Commonwealth Games
- Consultancy division of Lotus provides comprehensive consultancy services to many OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers
- Commercial capabilities grouped under three pillars – Platforms, Control Systems and Technical Services
Hethel, UK – 3 August 2022
With track riders from the home nations winning medals at the Commonwealth Games, attention has again turned to the innovative Hope / Lotus track bike that they’re using. Its unique front end, with forks far wider than anything else in the velodrome, was developed by Lotus Engineering. Such high-profile success on the global sporting stage is the perfect opportunity to profile the portfolio of capabilities offered by the consultancy division of the business.
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.
Mark Stringer, Commercial Director, Lotus Engineering, explained: “Our expertise and capability is grouped together under three pillars – Platforms, Control Systems and Technical Services – but there is a huge range of diversity within those.”
The Platforms pillar is very simple to explain; it’s the commercialisation of Lotus’ vehicle architectures, so other businesses can develop their own cars on them. Lotus has four unique platforms, three of which are fully electric, plus the chassis on which the petrol-powered Emira is built. In addition, what Lotus Engineering calls ‘legacy architectures’ – on which the Elise, Exige and Evora were built until last year – are also available.
Mark explained: “These platforms offer significant flexibility in terms of dimensions, powertrain, layout and performance. We can help companies to realise their new-product aspirations through an accelerated timescale and with reduced investment because we’ve already done the development work for them. And, because we also have access to Lotus Design and production lines, we can offer whole-vehicle programme delivery, from first sketch to full-scale manufacturing,”
The Control Systems pillar is about selling the technology that accompanies the platforms. Examples include engine controllers, Lotus Active Valve TrainTM and active noise control. The Lotus engine control unit (ECU) is a great example of in-house innovation and has been in continuous development for more than 30 years. It’s been proven in numerous petrol-powered Lotus cars, as well as hybrid and EV demonstrators programmes and, more recently, production hypercars for Lotus Engineering’s clients, where low volumes and high technical complexity make Lotus control systems a great fit.
“With expertise in EV powertrains stretching back more than 20 years, Lotus Engineering is the perfect partner as the automotive world moves into the all-electric era. Our solutions can be used to support another company’s own R&D, reducing the time to market and cutting their development costs,” said Mark.
Technical Services is the third pillar, and encompasses everything else that Lotus Engineering can offer. That ranges from intelligent design and product concept development to proof-of-concept, validation work, and attribute development. The Hethel site – just to the south of Norwich, in Norfolk, UK – even has its own 2.2-mile test track for dynamic evaluation.
It’s under Technical Services that the Hope / Lotus track bike fits, with innovation and expertise in light-weighting, advanced materials and aerodynamics all playing their part in helping riders win medals at the velodrome.
Mark continued: “Lotus Engineering is a world-class consultancy that’s completely unique in the global automotive business. As part of the ongoing transformation of Lotus, we are rapidly expanding our client base and our portfolio of expertise. It’s a hugely exciting time for us.”
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.