Lotus has opened the doors to its first flagship European global brand centre in Mayfair, London. Located at 73 Piccadilly; the heart of luxury, culture, and art in the UKs capital city.
The store brings together Lotus’ long-standing commitment to technology, performance, and heritage, and provides customers with what is described as an ‘immersive experience with the Lotus brand’.
Alongside the immersive experience, the store offers a VIP lounge and bespoke digital experience, providing customers with the ability to personalise their own vehicles.
In addition, the store will act as a gallery for the brand, regularly displaying classic car designs from its 75-year history.
Lotus London will act as a showcase and launch venue for the latest vehicles and products, including the next-generation vehicle line-up which includes the Lotus Eletre hyper-SUV, Emira sports car and Evija hypercar.
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Frankie Youd spoke with Niels de Gruijter, executive director, Lotus cars Europe, at the London store launch to discuss the new store and the upcoming Lotus announcements.
Frankie Youd (FY): What is the goal of the store, what does it hope to achieve?
Niels de Gruijter (NG): The goal of the centre is to tell the Lotus story, to tell the product story, and combine it all in one location. It’s like Lotus is coming home and that is paired with having this iconic location in Mayfair where it’s all about cultural, art, and luxury. To have a store here for Lotus is a huge milestone.
If you speak to anyone who works for Lotus you see that they have that heartbeat for the brand, for all the brand stories that are there, and the Lotus DNA. That is what drives us.
We are a British brand; all cars are designed in the UK. The sport cars are manufactured in the UK, they’re engineered here, we have some engineering in Germany and Scandinavia as well and a production facility in China. It starts with a piece of paper and a pencil, that happens here. The DNA of the brand is so important.
We have an amazing future in front of us. We have the bigger sedan being revealed at the end of this year – it will start selling next year. We then have a smaller SUV coming in 2025, then a new sports car coming after that. You won’t be bored!
What would you say to customers who are slightly hesitant on making the switch to an EV?
It is a very simple answer; get in one and drive. If you’re a long-term Lotus customer and you’ve driven an Elise or an Esprit before, you know how a Lotus car feels and how it drives. If you get in one of the cars upstairs, you immediately feel that it’s a Lotus. So, then you understand why we took this decision to go to a full electric and not go for hybrids or for any other powertrains, but for electric because it still gives us that Lotus feeling because that is what makes it a Lotus.
We are enormously proud of our heritage, 75 years. Our past, our heritage is inspiring. If you look at the design lines on the older cars, they’re still in our products.
If you are in Coventry at our design centre, or you speak to the designers, they will all reference the first iconic models from the past because for us it’s a continuous story. It’s not like the chapters close then it’s a new book; rather, it’s a continuous story.
Out of all the Lotus models, which is your favourite and why?
I would choose the Eletre. Eletre is really our first lifestyle EV car which will bring us the growth curve that we are aiming for. That’s why we are all here, this is the focus.
I would also say the MK1 Esprit, for the very simple reason that it was the first Lotus that I ever drove. Back in the early 90s, together with a salesman I knew who worked for Lotus, he knew I was a complete petrol freak, so he let me take it for a drive.