18 The official industry newsletter of Lotus Engineering
The hydrogen promise of Mazda’s rotary engine
UK: GM strays from its common architecture strategy
Ten Years of proActive!
Change the Rules
Dave Leggett looks back at over 50 issues of Lotus Engineering's magazine
It is hard to believe, but a full decade has passed since the first issue of Lotus Engineering's proActive. I have just had a flick through past issues and a few things stood out which I'll list here. In particular, thinking about the interviews I have done triggered some unusual memories on the production side of things that I thought I'd also share. Do you remember the APX concept car that Lotus produced? The 'Jekyll and Hyde' car that delivered performance, but with safe MPVstyle functionality. It showed off Lotus design capabilities. Nice styling, I thought at the time (Issue 15, 2006). Ah, the Lotus Exige 265E biofuel. Naughty but environmentally responsible. I loved the idea encapsulated in a neat article header: “British, racing and very green”. Well done to whoever thought that one up (Issue 16, 2006). I interviewed then Lotus CEO Mike Kimberley in his office at Hethel in 2007. That was a real pleasure as not only was Mike able
to lay out, very openly, the business strategy for the company, but he also shared some historical anecdotes with me (and Mr Kimberley has Lotus history and DNA in spades). Charming and considerate bloke also (Issue 22, 2007). I recall interviewing Trevor Rudderham, Carbon Motors Corporation VP in 2008. It was a telephone interview and he was sitting outside somewhere in the afternoon sunshine near Atlanta, Georgia, with some delightful birdsong as a background accompaniment. Fascinating project, too, to design and build a purpose-built police patrol car that would be better suited for purpose than a converted Ford Crown Victoria. Alas, this was a start-up for whom things did not go altogether smoothly, so the idea is still out there (Issue 26, 2008). The Lotus Evora is, by all accounts, a very good car. I remember Jeremy Clarkson on Top Gear being very complimentary about it. Evora was launched in 2008 and proActive carried some interesting articles on its development and engineering (Issues 27 and 28, 2008).