ENTER THE DRAGON
The 2012 Beijing International Auto Show kicks off today, and Lotus Cars is showing off its full model range for the first time, including a very special supercar that's been custom-made for China.
When the Lotus Evora GTE was unveiled at the Frankfurt show last year, the Chinese market went crazy for this, Lotus' most powerful road-going model ever. Now the British sports car company has prepared the Evora GTE China Limited Edition, which makes its world debut in Beijing.
Lotus' eminent chassis engineers have adapted the GTE to suit Chinese roads, and the interior comes with more leather and carbon fibre to make it more luxurious inside, without compromising performance at all. Its 3.5-litre supercharged V6 engine fires out 444 horsepower. Well, this is the year of the dragon!
Only 118 examples of the limited edition will be put on sale, making it all the more exclusive and collectable. Each car features a numbered plaque inside, marked with the China Limited Edition insignia.
Making its first appearance in China, the Lotus Evora IPS and its automatic paddle-shift transmission is a sure-fire hit. Its 3.5 litre V6 engine provides 280 horsepower, which the acclaimed chassis fully exploits. The Intelligent Precision Shift allows a high and even level of power transfer as well as quick, smooth shifts. It makes for more comfort in the city, better fuel efficiency, and huge fun when it comes to the twisty stuff.
Accompanying these premium Evoras, stablemates Elise and Exige have also made the trip to Beijing.
Also on the stand, Lotus presents the black-and-gold Lotus F1 Team car which is impressing on the Grand Prix circuit this year. Team-mates Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean are flying the flag for Lotus just like heroes of yesteryear, like Mario Andretti, Ayrton Senna and Jim Clark.
Lotus China are taking the opportunity of the Beijing show to announce the Lotus China Racing Club. It's currently the only world-class club of its kind in China, offering its members track days, performance and race driving instruction, race car rental and exclusive access to Lotus events. A car refitted by the Lotus China Racing Club as well as the Lotus T125 - the first F1-inspired single-seater race car to go on sale - are on display in the outdoor exhibition area.
Lotus China Racing Club, the Lotus Evora GTE China Limited Edition, and very encouraging sales in the past 6-months attest to Lotus China's proactive development strategy and Group Lotus' strong confidence in the potential of the Chinese sports car market and the global appeal of the legendary marque.
Dany Bahar, CEO, Group Lotus: "As the top potential market for sports car brands, China is a vital part of the five-year revival plan we announced 18-months ago. We are committed to bringing our unique products, distinctive style and rich history to China to provide Chinese customers with diversified and personalized product choices."
Lichen Zhang, President & CEO, Lotus China: "Within six months of Lotus Cars' entry into China, orders have exceeded our expectations, which has strengthened our confidence in developing the China market. At the same time, in accordance with the China market's characteristics and customer requirements, we have developed the Lotus Evora GTE China Limited Edition which we are launching here in Beijing, together with the Evora IPS."