IN THE WORLD OF MOTORS
The column materials were prepared by Mikhail GZOVSKIY, Alexey VOROBYEV-OBUKHOV
The English company "Lotus" has been producing sports cars since the mid-50s. Overcoming the financial crisis with the support of the Malaysian company Proton, Lotus is gaining momentum. There is a re-equipment of the plant in Norfolk, where they plan to increase the annual production of cars to 10 thousand units. Recently, Lotus invested more than £ 19 million in the development of production and engineering base and recruited five hundred specialists into its ranks.
Now the company has announced preparations for mass production of one of the most striking cars shown by it in recent years. For the first time, the prototype M250 coupe could be seen at the Frankfurt Motor Show a year ago, it also adorned the company's stand at this year's Geneva Salon. Now it became known that in early 2002, the first M250 will find their customers. I must say, very wealthy - the price of the latest "Lotus" will be at least 40 thousand pounds. However, before this, a number of problems still have to be solved, the main of which is related to the engine: it is not yet known exactly what power unit will be under the hood of the new product. They are talking both about the engine of its own production, and about adapted versions of the six-cylinder engines "Opel-Omega", "Renault Laguna" or "Nissan-Maxim". The uncertainty is connected with the fact that Lotus traditionally expects large-scale export of a new car to the United States, where there are more stringent toxicity and noise levels, and the current Lotus engines hardly answer them. However, this does not prevent the company from indicating some parameters. It is known, for example, that the engine will develop 250 liters. sec., the maximum speed will be limited to 250 km / h, and the acceleration of the coupe "to hundreds" will take less than five seconds.
The rest of the M250 is almost ready for launch in a series. The car is made according to the layout traditional for Lotus: a centrally located engine, rear-wheel drive and independent suspension of all wheels on wishbones. Perhaps the most interesting is the Lotus body, made of composite materials, and the chassis of the machine, in which, like the Lotus-Elise, aluminum was widely used. As for electronic systems designed to help the driver in driving and have become familiar on mass models, then, with the exception of the power steering and ABS, nothing here will “hinder” true connoisseurs of speed.