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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
News from the factory:

Over the last few days, key magazines around the world have been driving an early prototype of the Lotus Exige on the Test Track at Hethel. These "first-drives" follow on from our global announcement to the world on 08 September 2003 about the Exige.

Autocar Magazine will be the first magazine to publish their impressions of their drive of the prototype Exige and this issue will go on sale on Tuesday 23 September 2003. Also in this issue, will be an interview with Victor Kiam and Simon Wood and a situation report at Lotus including the latest on Lotus
Engineering's developments.

Over the next few weeks, Exige prototype drives will be seen in the following media:

* Automobile Revue (Switzerland)
* Automotor und Sport (Germany)
* Auto Hebdo (France)
* Evo (Italy)
* Evo (UK)
* Car Graphic (Japan)
* Motor (Australia)

On 17th and 18th September, 25 journalists from across Europe were invited by Pininfarina to its test facility near Paris to drive its Enjoy concept car, for which Lotus Engineering is a key technical partner.

Gavan Kershaw from Lotus' Ride and Handling team attended the event to explain Lotus' work on the vehicle dynamics of the Enjoy, and to offer demo drives for journalists who wanted to experience its optimum performance.

The Enjoy, originally shown at the Geneva Motorshow in March 2003, is based on the Lotus Elise's epoxy-bonded extruded aluminium chassis. The one-off 'barchetta' was at Hethel from mid-July to mid-August for ride & handling development, and for an engine upgrade to 135bhp.

The inevitable question around whether the car would be put into production was answered by Andrea Pininfarina, the Italian company's CEO. He explained that with Lotus, Pininfarina is currently investigating the feasibility of producing the Enjoy. If given the green light, only around 100 units would be produced, and the car would not be badged a Pininfarina or a Lotus.

Pininfarina judged the event a resounding success, and were very grateful for Lotus' co-operation. Coverage of the Enjoy drives is expected over the next few weeks in publications across western Europe.

Once again Lotus have taken the honours at the annual Autocar Sideways Challenge held at Silverstone. Gavan Kershaw and Matt Becker headed off stiff competition in the face of such stars as Justin Wilson, Phil Bennett, Markko Martin, Tiff Needell and Autocar's Chris Harris, to come first and second respectively.

With no practice laps and the need to put a car sideways three times in a single run around Priory, Brooklands and Luffield, the guys, using the Autocar supplied BMW M3, beat off more than 85 other drivers to bring the title back home to Hethel for the fifth time in the event's six year history.
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