New technology centre and collaborations set to reinvigorate Lotus Engineering
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Lotus Engineering is the consultancy division of the Lotus business. As part of the ongoing transformation Lotus, the Engineering consultancy has a new home in Wellesbourne, Warwickshire – on the University of Warwick campus.
The consultancy is engaging with many new collaborators and customers. Just last month, an exciting new technical tie-up with Alpine, the performance division of Groupe Renault, was announced. As part of it, Lotus Engineering will lead the development of a new EV sports car architecture, from which both Lotus and Alpine will launch new models later this decade.
It’s exactly the sort of project that Dan Burge, the division’s Commercial Director, wants to see more of. Here he explains more…
“We’re hugely proud of what’s been achieved by Lotus Engineering over the decades. There have been many hundreds of third-party projects, stretching right back to the mid-1950s when Lotus founder Colin Chapman did his first consultancy work for Formula 1 race team Vanwall.
And while the technologies have advanced and continue to do so, the principles which are driving the reinvigorated Lotus Engineering team remain the same. We are focused on leveraging what we’re already developing for Lotus cars, and the quest for innovation through developing new and more efficient technologies is a daily endeavour.
It all starts with the DNA of a Lotus car. Our engineering excellence has always been expressed through three core competencies – exceptional chassis and vehicle dynamics, a lightweight design, and overall aerodynamic efficiency. Every Lotus must have these, and the experience and expertise of what Lotus Engineering can offer to third-party clients has always been driven by that trio. That won’t change.
Today Lotus Engineering is an internationally recognised consultancy, providing a comprehensive range of technical services to many of the world’s best-known automotive manufacturers and suppliers. But we passionately believe it can be so much more, and there’s great support and ambition within Lotus and the wider Geely family to grow it exponentially.
Part of that is the restructure which we implemented last year. Lotus Engineering now sits within the Sports Car Engineering division, led by Executive Director, Engineering, Richard Moore, and that means greater alignment and collaboration within our technical teams, both on live projects and future opportunities.
We have also spent time reviewing what we want the business to be. We’ve looked at market demands and used those to create a new growth strategy. As a result, our services are now categorised under three pillars:
EXPERIENCE: advanced design, Human Machine Interface (HMI), user interface (UI), user experience (UX), ergonomics and haptics, active noise, driver engagement
PLATFORM: concepts, structures, architectures, propulsion, manufacturing
DYNAMICS: ride & handling, lightweighting, aerodynamics, simulation, chassis systems
We see huge potential to put Lotus Engineering right at the cutting edge of automotive innovation, further building on the traditional competencies of Lotus as well as increasing our capability in growth areas.
An example is electrification; the challenges around weight reduction and improved dynamics are a major factor in the quest for more efficient electric vehicles, and those link back directly to our core values. With what we continue to learn on the Evija hypercar programme, we strongly believe Lotus Engineering has a role to play because we have knowledge which we can use to help other businesses.
Our new home will be at the Lotus Advanced Technology Centre, located on the Wellesbourne campus of the University of Warwick. Moving there will support the transformation we have planned; we expect the facilities and job opportunities it will create will be in great demand as we build our portfolio of external clients and projects. We’re particularly looking forward to collaborating with our new neighbours; the UK’s Midlands is well-known for the wealth of automotive, motorsport and performance engineering businesses, suppliers, research partners and universities based there.
Last month’s new of a technical collaboration with Groupe Renault is just the start. We’re already making progress with some exciting new opportunities and are currently working on a number of powertrain programmes, supporting engine management, calibration and electric propulsion. On vehicle dynamics we’re already collaborating with partners across the Geely family on their future models, and working on vehicle platforms for a number of start-up manufacturers from all corners of the globe. Sadly, the nature of the business means much of it is confidential. All I can say for now is that the future of Lotus Engineering looks very exciting indeed.”