Lotus has launched the new division Lotus Advanced Performance (LAP) to cater to growing demand for personalized cars, unique customer experiences, and even bespoke projects that could extend to coach-built creations.
The division is based at Lotus' headquarters in Hethel, U.K., where it can work closely with the Lotus design and engineering divisions, and running the show is Simon Lane, who previously headed the similar Q by Aston Martin division.
“I have always been a Lotus fan, and this has to be one of the most exciting roles in the automotive industry right now—a blank sheet of paper and the opportunity to launch a completely new division at the world’s most ambitious car brand,” he said in a statement.
To mark the launch, Lotus on Wednesday released a teaser photo of a project car being developed by LAP. The teaser hints at a wild, open-wheel track car of some sort. Two pipes exiting the car are likely exhaust tips, pointing to the project car running an internal-combustion powertrain.
Lotus Advanced Performance logo
In addition to unique vehicles like the track car, LAP will also develop special-edition models, customization options, official accessories, and customer racing programs. LAP has already been charged with supporting and delivering the new Emira GT4 race car to customer teams around the world.
As mentioned above, there will also be customer experiences. These will include things like factory tours, track meets, and the running of performance driving schools at locations around the world, including the company's Hethel test track.
Such bespoke divisions have proven lucrative to exotic brands. Ferrari has been a pioneer with its Special Projects and Corse Clienti programs, and most rivals now have similar offerings.
There's also British coachbuilder Radford that has a coach-built Lotus currently on offer. It's an Evora-based sports car inspired by the Lotus Type 62 race car of the 1960s.