Ashton’s President’s Prattle for June, 2022

Lotus Emira

Welcome to winter everyone! Not that those of us in NSW would have known the difference from the misery of the last few months, but enough of that.

On far more exciting matters, May saw the arrival of the launch model of the Emira into Australia, and to Sydney for two weekends.

Accompanying the car (or perhaps it might be more appropriate to say accompanied by the Emira) were the very engaging Matt Windle and his senior leadership team, full of enthusiasm and, frankly, very encouraging and grounded hope for the future of Lotus. This included a clear articulation of the sportscar versus ‘lifestyle’ car ranges, and go-to-market strategies, which encouragingly keeps a discrete differentiation between the Emira and the recently announced Eletre (which, by the way, will be a rocketship!)

Included in the unveiling ceremony in Sydney was a concise and very informative set of presentations from Matt and the team on the company, product and engagement strategies (collectively Vision 80) for the next few years through to the 80th anniversary of the founding of Lotus in 2028.

There are certainly exciting and different years ahead for Lotus as they navigate into the future of EVs with parent company Geely. Add in Lotus Engineering opportunities such as the exciting collaboration recently announced with Alpine, the until-recently nascent performance car arm of Groupe Renault, and there is definitely an exciting future ahead.

Having arrived earlier that week into Melbourne, the Emira (and the Lotus leadership team) then headed off to the Simply Sports Cars’ Bathurst track day before heading to Brisbane, and then back to Sydney.

The comments and reviews from those who have now seen the car in the flesh are overwhelmingly positive, and those lucky enough to drive it (or be driven in it by e.g. Gavin K at Hethel :)) have commented that the poise and set up belie the slightly larger size of the car. And that’s before we get a view of the recently announced GT4, six of which are already ordered for Australian customers.

Other than that excitement, the month was a bit quieter than we would normally expect, largely due to the terrible weather that has persisted, dampening everyone’s enthusiasm for getting open-topped cars out even for a short run to the Tyre Kick and Coffee events.

We are, however, continuing planning for the events later this year (and of course the next round of the CSCA series is on June 25th, in case you haven’t entered yet!) The Shannons Classic is on the 14th of August (tickets available from Evan). It will be celebrating the Elan’s 60th birthday, so anyone with an Elan wishing to join me (or better yet a concourse-standard one to put in pit lane) please get in touch with Evan.

The All British Day (oh my goodness, remember them?!) will hopefully be happening at Kings School on September 11. We will get the usual fistful of tickets, and hope for fine weather between now and then to allow us to drive onto the fields.

Our Tour of Tasmania is coming together really well, and we’ll be issuing an updated itinerary, costings and firm booking details shortly. Currently with the EOIs we are almost fully subscribed, so if you are still wavering, I would recommend getting a shimmy on, as EOIs get first dibs, obviously! We will at this stage stick to the cap of 25 cars as it makes for a most convivial event.

Finally, the planning for the Club’s Golden Jubilee celebrations are progressing well, with the most likely location being in the Blue Mountains sometime around the middle of next year – keep an eye on this space.

Lotus Eleven

On a personal note, my Eleven is finally ready for pickup from the Automotive Craftsmen’s workshop in Brisbane, so I am heading up there next weekend to ‘accept’ it back from them and load it on a transporter (no, I’m not trusting myself with either trailering it or driving it down), and very much looking forward to catching up with long-unseen friends up in the Gold Coast. I can’t believe it is over three years since I was last there (finishing Gidget before she went to China).

Suffix F Range Rover

I’ve also finally got the first of the Range Rovers in under cover so I can start getting it stripped out and the rust repairs undertaken to enable it to get a pink slip. Plan is to get the Suffix F roadworthy and useable, then spend a bit longer doing a proper job on the Suffix D as a keeper, and then the Suffix F will be for sale. Any takers? Photo above doesn’t do it justice 🙂

Take care, and I look forward to seeing you out and about soon. In the meantime, keep safe, upright and on the blackstuff.

Pip pip,

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