Lotus to Supply Le Mans Engines, CEO Bahar Looking for New Partner

Lotus Group will dip its hand even further into the realm of racing by providing engines for Le Mans LMP race cars built by Lola Group. The announcement, which will see the Lotus-powered cars purchased by German race team Kodewa, comes as CEO Danny Bahar looks for a new business partner to buy out parent Proton's share.

The Lotus-powered cars will compete in the FIA World Endurance Championship and the 24 Hours of Le Mans race this year. Building on Lotus' heritage, Lola will paint the B12/80 LMP2 coupes in a combination of black and gold, recalling Lotus race cars from the 1970s.

At the same time that Lotus gets more involved in racing, the company's road car business may need more funding. A report from Auto Express suggests CEO Danny Bahar is searching for a new business partner to buy out Proton's stake and help fun future road cars. Malaysian company Proton purchased Lotus in 1996, and was in turn recently purchased by Malaysian group DBR-Hicom.

Bahar reportedly would seek an investment of around $790 million to pad development of the next Elise, Eterne, Elan, and Esprit sports cars. European group Genii Capital, which owns the Lotus Formula 1 team, as well as several Chinese investors, have reportedly expressed interest in partnering with Lotus Group.

Sources: Lola Group, Auto Express

Well if nothing else, at least the Ice Man, Kimi R. is back in F1. Welcome back Mr. Freeze, I hope you show them how the FINN's can WIN!
It's just sad to watch what they are doing to this company. $790M to "pad development", which means they have no product ready yet, and have killed the Elise/ Exige , the only cars that ever made them money. They are out of cash. Another victim of the awesome consulting of Bob Lutz. We have some wealthy investors buying and selling the Lotus brand, but the real Lotus died last year. They might as well start making SUVs.

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