Lotus – British company specializing in the production of sports and racing cars. Since 1996 it belongs to the Malaysian concern Proton. The company was founded in 1953 by Anthony Colin Bruce Chapman (Collin Chapman), and was called “Lotus Engineering Co”. Soon was created the famous “Lotus-Seven” (ie, “seven”), and in 1957 it started its mass production. In 1954 he appeared sports “Lotus-8? for racing, then followed by a lighter and a short model “9”. In 1955, Chapman even participated in the 24-hour race at Le Mans, but it has failed – the car went off the road. Create racing cars all keen on the designer. In 1955 it created a streamlined “Lotus-11? with a four-cylinder engine (1098 cm3) with a capacity of 84 liters. s., where he started his career famous racer Graham Hill, then a double world champion in Formula 1. With an average speed of 160 km/h the car drove 11.5 km on a single liter of fuel. October 16, 1957 at the London Motor Show was presented “Lotus Elite” – elegant coupe with a fiberglass body. Motor “Coventry Klaymeks” (4 cylinder, 1216 cm3) developed 76 liters. from. at 6100 rev/min (VERSION GT – 104 l. c.). Easy car reaches 200 km/h and have excellent maneuverability. Chapman admitted in the European automotive circles, but he wanted the world of racing and began to build cars Formula “Junior.” In 1957 it built the first racing car “Lotus-12”, which marked the beginning of a successful company in the field of machines for the F-1. Lotus Formula 1 cars built since 1958. But only in 1961 there was the first of the cars, which brought worldwide fame Chapman. It was one of the lightest and most elegant cars an F-1 for its time, the legendary “Lotus-25”. The driver was located reclining as a pilot in the plane (handy aviation experience Chapman), holding the steering wheel arms outstretched. Behind the wheel of “twenty-fifth” Jim Clark sat down – and in 1963 became the world champion! So Lotus has entered the elite of motorsport. Then there is double “Elan”. In 1962 appears “Lotus Elite S-2”. In 1965, Clark Lotus-38? He won the famous race “Indy 500? in the United States! ” In sports circles started talking about “invincible combination of” Clark “Lotus”. In 1966 a new plant in Hitele, Norfolk, Chapman begins production of the “Europa” c coupe and mid-engined. In 1967, Chapman won the exclusive rights to a beautiful engine “Ford-Cosworth-DFV” Keith Duckworth work that equipped the “Lotus-49”, developed with M. Philip. A year later saw the release of “Lotus-56”, designed by Philippe Maurice (Maurice Philippe). It is interesting racing car – with a gas turbine, “Pratt & Whitney” to the same four-wheel drive! The machine had no clutch or gearbox. Multiple-row chain Morse transmitted forces on the center differential Ferguson, who shared it equally between the axles. Disc brakes are located at the main gear. In the 60 names of Chapman and his company were on everyone’s lips, and the racing stable “Lotus” – the first cast in Formula 1. But the firm first thickened the clouds. April 7th, 1968 on the road at Hockenheim crashed Jim Clark, a favorite of the fans, and even the British public simply adored. Still, in 1968 became the champion rider from the team Chapman – Hill won the 435-strong “Lotus-49B.” A 1970 season brought a new tragedy. The F1 championship unconditionally led Jochen Rindt (Jochen Rindt) in the “Lotus-72”. But training in Monza, approaching the turn of “parabolic”, which is a bad name, the car Rindt at the speed of 280 km/h left the road and hit the guardrail. Rindt’s death has stirred up the public. In the early 70-ies. a new sports car “Elite” with a body made of fiberglass coupe, equipped with 2-liter 4-cylinder engine. Chapman was the first racing cars painted in the colors of the team sponsors. Black gold “Lotus-JPS”, which looked very impressive, was completely painted in the colors of the sponsor – the tobacco company “John Player Speshl.” On the “Lotus-JPS” in 1972 he became the champion Emerson Fittipaldi (Emerson Fittipaldi). Chapman again felt triumphant. Seeing as he runs on the road (even if this were possible), welcoming its riders winning, just I knew that Chapman lives for these minutes. Until 1973, it was released about 2,900 vehicles four series. And then – because of the new tax – the license for production of the company was sold to “Katerhem car Sales”, which is already six years engaged in the sale of “lotus”. Do not forget about the company and production machines: there was the elegant Esprit (“Spirit”) with a body of work Giugiaro. A formula 1 slump. In the season 1978 presented “Lotus-79” with a completely new aerodynamics, “car-wing”, who had the same effect “suction” to the road could quickly take turns. The engine produced 475 liters. from. at 10 750 rev/min. Everything seemed made for success, but … again the shadow of the tragedy lay in the triumph. September 9 at Monza at the beginning of the race had an accident a second pilot of Ronnie Peterson (Ronny Peterson). He died the next day. In 1982 Colin Chapman died suddenly. He worked without a break, really wear, and lived only fifty-four years… Deprived of the ideological mastermind, energetic leader, the company experienced a downturn. However, J. and P. Dyukaruzh Wright designed the model of “99m”. Machine with Twin Turbo was one of the first active suspension equipped with computer-controlled. On it in 1987, a young Ayrton Senna in the top three winners of Formula 1, and the team won the third place in the Constructors Championship. But then things got worse. In the season of 1995 “Lotus” is not involved. Manufacturing production vehicles also experienced a decline. In January 1986, the Company acquired the concern GM. In 1996 he bought an English car company Proton, as a result of the recent case from Lotus went on the mend: in 1997 were collected in 2248 cars, which is three times more than in 1996. Most of the sales took place at two-seater roadster Elise. Besides him, the program from Lotus there is another model – Esprit, produced since 1975 without significant changes. Relatively new product can be called one of the modifications of the model Elise coupé, which was named Exide. In fact – it is adapted to the urban environment the sports version of Elise, designed for circuit racing.