Lotus restarts Hethel factory tours after £100 million upgrade
- Home of Lotus since 1966 reopens to visitors
- Tour the all-new production facility that’s home to Emira sports car
- Visit the Lotus Cars website to book now, tours start on 4 April
Hethel, UK – 24 March 2022 One of the world’s best-known performance car production facilities – Hethel, the home of Lotus since 1966 – is reopening to the public.
Factory tours of the iconic Norfolk site were paused in November 2017 as the £100 million redevelopment began. With the Emira, the last petrol-powered car from Lotus, now in production in an all-new, state-of-the-art assembly hall, they will restart.
The tour programme has been developed by the experiential team within the recently launched Lotus Advanced Performance division, and will begin on Monday 4 April. The booking platform is live now on www.lotuscars.com.
Simon Lane, Director, Lotus Advanced Performance, commented: “Tours of the Hethel site were part of the Lotus story for many years and hugely popular. We get emails and calls every week with people asking about them but, with all the development work on site, it was not appropriate to have the public here. With the Emira now in production, I’m delighted to announce that the time is right to relaunch the factory tours.”
Guests will arrive and gather in the Retail Centre where refreshments will be available. There they will learn about the ongoing transformation of Lotus, and experience for themselves how all Lotus showrooms will look in the future.
Under the leadership of an expert guide, the story of Lotus at Hethel – past, present and future – will be brought to life. Guests will walk through older sections of the factory where, most recently, the Elise, Exige and Evora were built, before heading into the all-new Emira hall. They will see the new automated elements of the car’s production – a first for Lotus – as well as how much of the process remains ‘hands-on’.
Outside, the walking route will pass the dynamic test areas, including the famous 2.2-mile Hethel test track that has hosted some of the most famous names in the history of motorsport – Jim Clark, Mario Andretti, Emerson Fittipaldi, Ayrton Senna and countless others.
The Hethel factory tours will run Monday to Thursday every week, with tour groups consisting of up to eight people. There will be two groups per day with starts at 10am and 2pm, with each tour lasting approximately two hours.
On selected days there is the option to upgrade to a Heritage Tour, which includes a visit to Classic Team Lotus. A separate business situated just across the road from the main Lotus facility, it’s run by Clive Chapman – the son of Lotus founder, Colin Chapman – and includes countless historic Lotus race cars.
Minimum age for guests on all tours is 10 years and all under 18s must be accompanied by an adult, with not more than two children per adult. All elements are fully accessible to wheelchair users, and all guests will receive a specially designed lanyard and pin badge as a memento of their trip to Hethel. No photography will be allowed.
The Lotus Factory Tour is priced £95 per person and the Lotus Factory & Heritage Tour is £140 per person. Book now at https://www.lotuscars.com/en-GB/factory-tours
Notes to Editors
For more information please contact the Lotus Communications team:
James Andrew, Executive Director, PR and Communications
+44 (0) 7384 830903
Rob Borrett, Head of Media and Launch Programmes
+44 (0) 7718 560789
Richard Yarrow, Head of News and Technology Communications
+44 (0) 7471 994525
Alastair Florance, Group PR Manager
+ 44 (0) 7802 918662
Samantha Thomas, PR Officer, Product Press and Digital Media
+44 (0) 7909 813785
The Lotus media site – https://media.lotuscars.com – contains news, images, specifications and full details of current models, as well as heritage cars and engineering technology.
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Lotus Cars is based in Hethel, Norfolk, UK, and is the global HQ for sports car and hypercar manufacturing operations, the Lotus Advanced Performance Centre and the iconic 2.2-mile test track. Lotus Cars builds world-class high-performance cars, born out of legendary success on the racetrack including 13 FIA Formula 1 world titles and many other championship honours. In July 2021 Lotus unveiled the all-new Lotus Emira, its last petrol-powered sports car and best-of-breed, and in July 2019 it launched the Evija, the world’s first all-electric British hypercar. Customer deliveries of both cars will begin during 2022.
Lotus Engineering provides comprehensive consultancy services to many of the world's OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers. It is internationally recognised for its long-standing contribution to ground-breaking engineering and innovative vehicle development. Its expertise extends beyond automotive; in August 2021 a Lotus Engineering-developed track bike helped Team GB’s cyclists win seven medals, including three golds, at the Tokyo Olympics. An international consultancy with offices around the world, Lotus Engineering is headquartered at the Lotus Advanced Technology Centre on the University of Warwick’s Wellesbourne Campus in the UK.
Lotus Tech is the global ‘intelligent technology’ division based in Wuhan, China. Its role is to accelerate innovation in the fields of batteries and energy management, electric motors, electronic control systems, intelligent driving, intelligent manufacturing and many more. Lotus Tech will oversee the manufacture of a range of premium Lotus lifestyle electric vehicles in Wuhan starting in 2022. European operations are based at Lotus Tech Creative Centre, a state-of-the-art design studio in Coventry, UK, and Lotus Tech Innovation Centre, a world-class engineering facility in Raunheim, Germany.
Lotus Group is either the parent company of or associated with the above subsidiaries and others. Lotus Group is part of Geely Automotive, the fastest-growing automotive group in the world. Geely has a 51% controlling stake, with 49% owned by Etika Automotive, a Malaysian conglomerate.