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Lotus (car)

Lotus Cars is a British manufacturer of sports and racing cars based in Hethel, Norfolk, formed as Lotus Engineering Ltd. by the engineer Colin Chapman (1928-1982) in 1952.

The company encouraged its customers to race its cars, and itself entered Formula 1 as a team in 1958. Major success came in 1963 with the Lotus 25, which - with Jim Clark driving - won Lotus its first World Championship. Clark's early death - he crashed driving a Formula 2 Lotus 48 in March 1968 - was a severe blow to the team and to Formula 1. He was the dominant driver in the dominant car, and remains inseparable from Lotus's early years. That year's championship was won by Clark's team-mate, Graham Hill.

Chapman died in 1982, leaving behind the messy financial scandal of the DeLorean project, for which it is likely he would have been convicted.

Until the mid-1980s, Lotus was still a major player in Formula 1. Ayrton Senna drove for the Lotus from 1985 to 1987, winning twice in each year and achieving 17 pole positions. By the company's last Formula 1 race in 1994 the cars were very uncompetitive. Lotus won a total of 79 Grand Prix races.

In 1986 the company was bought by General Motors. On August 27, 1993 GM sold the company for 30 million to ACBN Holdings S.A. of Luxembourg, a company controlled by Italian businessman Romano Artioli who also owned Bugatti Automobili SpA. Both the Lotus and Bugatti operations went bankrupt and in 1996 Lotus was sold to Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional Bhd (Proton), the state-owned Malaysian car company.

The company now also acts as an engineering consultancy, performing development, particularly of suspension, for other car manufacturers.

Formula 1 driver's world championships:

Previous Lotus road cars include:

Current models:

Lotus also produces the Vauxhall VX220 / Opel Speedster for General Motors, based on the same aluminium chassis design as the Lotus Elise.

Many classic Lotus cars feature the 2.2 litre 16-valve engine which was closely based on Vauxhall's Slant Four.

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