World Encyclopedia of Cars
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Lotus is an English company dedicated in production of sport and racing cars. Since 1996 it belongs to Malaysian "Proton" concern. Company was founded in 1953 by Antony Colin Bruce Chapman and was named as "Lotos Engineering Co.". Soon famous "Lotus-Seven" was created and in 1957 its mass production was started.

In 1954 appeared sportive "Lotus -8" and it was followed by more light and short "9" model. In 1955 Chapman participated in 24-hour races in Le-Man, but an accident occurs and his car went off the road.

In 1955 was created a streamlined В«Lotus-11" with a four-cylinder engine (1098 cm3) and power of 84 hp. A famous racing driver and a double world champion in "Formula 1" Graham Hill started his career on this car. At average speed of 160 km/h this car spends 1 liter of fuel to drive 11.5 km.

In 1982 Collin Chapman suddenly died. He worked without repose and was really run ragged. He lived only 54 years.

Without ideological mastermind and energetic leader company suffered a setback. But G. Dukarouge and P. Wright designed "99T" model. The car with twin power turbo has active suspension controlled by computer. On this car in 1987 young Ayrton Senna entered the top three winners of "Formula 1" and the team took a third place in World Constructors' Championship. But then things got worse. In the season of 1995 "Lotus" was no longer involved. Serial cars production suffered a setback too.

In January 1986 the company was bought by GM concern.

In 1996 the company was bought by English automobile company named Proton. As a result, last time Lotus snapped back. In 1997 there were assembled 2248 cars that three times more than in 1996.

Most of sales were a two-seat Elise roadster. Besides, the Lotus has another model - Esprit which has been issued since 1975 without subnational modifications.

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