This is so much more than just another bespoke division.
Previously the reserve of Bentley and Rolls-Royce, in-house bespoke services have become a big business for carmakers. Mercedes-Benz has also joined the fray, rebranding designo as Mercedes MANUFAKTUR. This provides well-to-do clients with untold levels of customization. Put simply, if you have the money, Mercedes will do it.
Not to be left out, Lotus has also launched its own bespoke design and experiential division, called Lotus Advanced Performance. The brand notes the new introduction is part of the company's transformation from a UK sports car maker to a "global performance car business and brand." Not only will the new division be able to personalize the new Emira with exclusive trims, materials, and colors, but will also create "halo projects" and special editions.
This, says Lotus, will consist of ultra-exclusive and unique vehicles "that expand the Lotus product portfolio in exciting new directions." The image below of a rear wing from Lotus Design hints at a future project from the brand.
Aside from the halo projects and bespoke services, the Norfolk-based brand will also offer limited editions of its current range, providing customers with highly-specced and desirable cars. But it's not just vehicle-related products; Lotus will arrange experiential packages such as tours of the new $135,5 million Hethel production lines to so-called 'money can't buy' experiences globally.
Those keen to experience everything their Lotus has to offer will be pleased to hear of the Lotus Driving Academy which is a part of the new initiative. The carmaker is offering expert tuition behind the wheel of a Lotus at several locations across the globe, including the legendary Hethel test track in Norfolk.
Should the training pay off and you fancy yourself a race car driver, Lotus Advanced Performance will also incorporate customer racing with the support and delivery of lightweight competition racers, starting with the Emira GT4). This will enable Lotus to compete with automakers like Porsche which already supplies the 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport for customer racing.
The new division will be responsible for special options and accessories, too, describing the options as "exclusive extras' while the accessories will all be brand merchandise "for the drivers."
All of these programs will be headed up by Simon Lane, who has experience with this sort of venture thanks to his time with Q by Aston Martin, the luxury carmaker's own bespoke service.
Lane, who will serve as director of the program, said "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. The LAP team and I have some fantastic and truly innovative ideas with very broad appeal, for Lotus fans young and old to those in search of unique experiences and collectible opportunities."
The Emira's ultra-realistic configurator already show Lotus is already offering buyers more choice and customization from the factory than ever before. The Advanced Performance program has the potential to heighten the customer experience, lending the brand more prestige by allowing buyers to tailor vehicles to their very specific requirements.