- 1948: Anthony Colin Bruce Chapman started racing the
Austin 7 based 'Lotus Mk1'.
- 1952: 'Lotus Engineering' was founded by Colin Chapman.
- 1954: 'Team Lotus' created.
- 1957: Lotus Seven minimalist sports car.
It was even available as a "kit car".
(From 1973, Caterham Seven.)
- 1957: Lotus Elite (type 14)
was shown at the Earls Court Motor Show.
- 1958: Team Lotus entered F1 with the Lotus 12.
- 1962-1973: Lotus Elan sports car
50 +2 (1967)).
- Emma Peel (Diana Rigg) drove a Lotus Elan in
the TV series 'The Avengers'.
- 1962: The type 25 F1 car featured a stressed monocoque
- 1963: Jim Clark won the F1 drivers' world championship
driving a Lotus 25 (#R4), and
again in 1965 driving a Lotus 33.
Graham Hill 1968 (L.49),
Jochen Rindt 1970 (L.72) posthumously,
Emerson Fitipaldi 1972 (L.72), and
Mario Andretti 1978 (L.78 & 79).
- 1965: Jim Clark won the Indianapolis 500
driving a Lotus 38.
- 1966: Lotus moved to a new factory at Hethel, Norfolk.
- 1966: The rear (mid) engined Lotus Europa (type 46)
- 1968: The wedge-shaped Lotus 56, powered by a
rear-mounted Pratt and Whitney gas-turbine, and
with four wheel drive (4WD),
ran well at Indianapolis before retiring.
- 1969: Lotus dabbled
with 4WD in F1,
while 4WD was allowed, with the Lotus 63.
- 1974: Lotus Elite (type 75) 2+2 sports car.
- 1975: The Lotus Esprit (type 79)
was officially launched at the Paris Motor Show.
(Esprit Turbo 1980,
Esprit Turbo SE 1989,
3.5 V8 1996,
- 1975: Lotus Eclat 2+2 (type 76) shown in London.
- 1981: In response to the FIA ban on
moveable ground-effect "skirts",
the Lotus 88 "twin chassis" F1 car featured a stiffly-mounted
bodywork chassis doing only the aerodynamic ground-effect work, and
a separate inner chassis carrying the driver and mechanicals.
It practised at some races but was soon banned.
- 1982: Lotus Excel 2+2 (type 89) was launched,
replacing the Eclat.
- 1982, December 16: Colin Chapman (54) died.
- 1983: "At the request of Lotus,
Toyota acquired a 16.5% stake in Lotus, [later] 21.5%" -- Lotus.
a 1984 Excel
- 1986: GM bought Lotus,
selling it in 1993.
- 1989: The new front wheel drive Lotus Elan (type 100)
was launched at the London Motorfair - interesting but not popular.
- 1993: "Bugatti International of Italy ... formed in 1990,
bought Group Lotus from General Motors. This company had only the
name in common with the
company." -- Lotus.
- 1994: Team Lotus last competed in F1 (but see 2010).
- 1995: The rear (mid) engined Lotus Elise
was unveiled at the Frankfurt Auto Show.
- 1996: A V8 version of the Esprit.
- 1996: Lotus Cars was taken over by Proton (.my).
a 1999 Esprit
a 2001 Elise
- 2002: "Proton acquired the remaining shares from ACBN Holdings
and so become 100% shareholders in Lotus Group International Ltd." -- Lotus.
- 2008 July 22:
Lotus Evora (project Eagle) prototype
debut at the British Motor Show, London,
2+2, 1350kg, mid-engined, 3.5-litre V6 206kW@6400rpm, 342Nm@4700rpm,
tyres 225/40 ZR18 (f) / 255/35 ZR19 (r),
fuel consumption 7.8 l/100km, 205gm CO2/km.
On sale May 2009,
- And the Evora S, 257kW, 400Nm, supercharged 3.5-litre DOHC V6, was
unveiled at the 2010 Paris Motor Show
- 2008: Lotus's 60th Anniversary,
with an Open Day at the Hethel HQ on Sun., Sept. 14.
- 2010: The Lotus name,
as 'Lotus F1 Team', returned to F1 racing with the T127,
led by Tony Fernandes (.my) and backed by Proton.
In September, Lotus bought 'Team Lotus Ventures Ltd'
(under David Hunt since Lotus left F1 in 1994)
in order to get back the name 'Team Lotus' for the 2011 season.
- 2010, October: At the Paris Motor Show, Lotus showed protypes of
a new Elan for 2013,
much revised Elise for 2015,
new Elite 2+2,
with a front-mid mounted 5-litre V8 and KERS, intended for 2014,
reborn Esprit for 2013 with a supercharged V8, and
new Eterne 4-door for 2016.
The lawyers were happy when 'Team Lotus' (see 2010) and 'Group Lotus',
the latter now attached to the 2010 Renault team, both
competed in F1 and squabbled in the courts about naming rights.
This was resolved late in 2011 when Team Lotus settled on
Caterham F1 Team
- 2012, January:
DRB-HICOM (.my) bought Proton and thus Group Lotus.
- 2012, June 7:
Lotus chief executive Dany Bahar was dismissed.