Lotus logo

Lotus Difference - Advanced Materials


Normally, the inevitable downside of building faster, more powerful sports cars and improving the driving experience is that cars gain weight in a number of areas, including the greater powertrain mass from bigger engines and heavier superchargers; heavier cooling systems, bigger brakes, stronger body structures and the greater amounts of material required for both the interior trim and effective soundproofing. But not at Lotus. All racing fans know that the Lotus team pioneered the monocoque chassis, carbon fibre, aerofoil wings and ground effects – changing Formula One forever. With the launch of the original Elise 20 years ago, Lotus famously adopted the multi-material concept and was a pioneer in using special adhesives to glue cars together – now common practice for car manufacturing – when other car-makers were still making things from steel. Today, Lotus Lightweight Laboratory now provides a framework for evaluating every component – on its own, as part of a sub-assembly and even the whole car – allowing each to be assessed, optimised and re-engineered. Precisely, Lotus know-how is also about using the most appropriate materials for the right parts – carbon fibre (spoilers, wings, tailgates, engine covers, roof panels…), aluminium (chassis, engine…), sheet moulded compound (SMC) and resin transfer moulded (RTM) composites (body panels and parts), or even titanium (exhaust).