Lotus’ cars are now so light owners should be encouraged to tie them down at night to prevent them from floating away.
The small, British sports car maker announced today that it has slashed a combined 207 kg, or about 456 pounds, from all of its models during this year alone.
That kind of announcement from almost any other manufacturer would be a mundane affair — a common event as models are further developed.
But from Lotus, whose motto has always been “simplify, then add lightness,” eeking away that much weight is yet another sign of a long history (or obsession, really) with doing away with speed-sapping pounds.
The adorably financially woeful company’s founder, the legendary automotive engineer Colin Chapman, believed that lightness was just as important as horsepower. His unprecedented success in international racing proved him correct many times over, and a good number of his innovations are now used in almost all modern cars.
“To perfect a pure sports car, you must consider weight your enemy,”
Jean-Marc Gales, the current CEO of Group Lotus plc, said in a statement.
“Lose weight and you will make significant gains: harder and faster cornering, better braking, greater agility and responsiveness, along with faster acceleration.”
The statement included an almost comical list of ways in which Lotus has pulled off its latest crash diet:
Carbon seats — 6 kg; louvered tailgate — 3 kg; ultra-light forged wheels — 1.5 kg; a lithium ion battery — 10 kg; a redesigned gear knob — 3 kg.
The company declared that their “holistic” approach to weigh-saving would further add to their main objective: driving enjoyment.
“As an antidote to sterilized and attenuated modern cars, Lotus’s approach continues to deliver a pure, undiluted driving experience. Avoiding systems that rob cars of their fun factor, including electric power steering, it places function over convenience, to produce truly involving vehicles,” the company said.