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Team Lotus.

the unofficial website for the Lotus car enthusiasts everywhere

Lotus Enthusiasts


Team Lotus is the unofficial site for Lotus car fans across the UK! Share your Lotus stories, learn about Lotus history and chat with fellow fans!

Lotus was founded in 1952 by UCL graduates Colin Chapman and Colin Dare. The company has undergone dramatic changes since its birth. In 1954 Team Lotus split from Lotus Engineering. Team Lotus was focused on Racing and was active in Formula 1 from 1958 to 1994.

In 1959 the Lotus Group of Companies was formed. This was made up of Lotus Cars Limited – which focused on manufacturing road cars and Lotus Components Limited which was dedicated to customer competition.
Production of the Lotus Excel spans the period between 1982 and 1992. During this time only around 2,160 cars were manufactured. The standard 2.2 litre Excel subtly replaced the very first Excel which didn't have louvers in the bonnet and lacked a rear spoiler. In 1986 the SE model was manufactured with a more powerful engine uprated from 160 bhp to 180 bhp.

The rear spoiler was increased in size along with the rear window which improved visibility. Flares above the wheel arches and a restyled front spoiler completed the external changes. The round ACBC badge was replaced with a more oval shaped badge. In 1988 the round Lotus badge was reintroduced. Apart from new road wheels and a small extra spoiler at the front, there was little change in the exterior.

In 1989 the suspension was upgraded. By this time sales had begun to decline with 193 cars being built during 1989. Only 66 cars were manufactured during 1991 and Lotus announced the end of the Excel by 1993. The last Excel was given to Hazel Chapman.


Around 1982/83 when the Excel was introduced there seems to also be a hybrid model known as an Eclat Excel. This was actually another example of Lotus finding loopholes in the law. Just as earlier models were offered as kits to avoid purchase tax, Lotus put forward the Excel as an improved Eclat. This was to steer clear of Type Approval which every new model must undergo. To complete the illusion Lotus rolled over the name and the first Excels were badged Eclat on the boot, Excel on the rear wings.

After a short while the Eclat badge was dropped and by late 1983 the Excel was home and dry. You may find your logbook telling you that you own an Eclat when you know you definitely have an Excel in the drive. Insurance companies have been known to imply that you never owned the Excel you insured in the first place.

 

 

 
 

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