You have to admire the ambition of Dany Bahar and his team at Lotus, despite doubts over the scale and achievability of their New Era strategy, they’ve certainly raised the brand’s profile during the two months since their Paris Motorshow announcement.

Turning the small Norfolk car maker into a worthy Aston Martin, Ferrari and Porsche rival is on a par with Red Bull winning the F1 World Championship – an unlikely ambition and yet we’ve just witnessed the Austrian drinks company achieving just that. Stage one has been to create headroom for the brand, positioning Lotus within the rarefied segment of the sports car elite, stage two will be to deliver the product and ownership experience that lives up to such a promise – a far tougher challenge and one that we hope they’ll have the measure of in time.

Just days ahead of the LA Auto Show (Friday 12th November), Lotus took the City of Angels by a storm with a sensational party in the hills of Hollywood. Industry icons, movie stars, musicians and artists gathered at a private residence to celebrate the exclusive US unveiling of the new Lotus range and witness the handover of a Lotus Evora to the Baldwin Foundation.

A host of celebrities were on call including Alec Baldwin (30 Rock), Billy Baldwin (Parenthood), Chord Overstreet (Glee), Colleen Bell, Dani Janssen, Daniel Baldwin, Demi Moore, Grey Damon (True Blood), Ione Skye (Say Anything), Kyle Richards (The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills), Michelle Rodriguez (Avatar), Nicollette Sheridan (Desperate Housewives), Olivia Munn (Ironman 2), Perry Farrell (Musician), Peter Gallagher (Burlesque), Stephen Baldwin, Taryn Manning (Hawaii Five-0), Vanna White (Wheel of Fortune) and more…

Added into the already packed evening Lotus also showcased the evolution of the brand by revealing seven oversized prints, created by famed award-winning French photographer Gérard Rancinan, that chronicle Lotus’ metamorphosis. We’ll leave you with the seven Rancinan images (above) depicting each of the 5 new Lotus models, plus two montages that are worth a study all on their own.

Friday’s VIP event was the forum used to launch the new Lotus Magazine, featuring Kate Moss on the cover and packed full of lifestyle-driven content including a Great British Icons feature and a retrospective of Lotus “Moments,” such as the role of the brand in James Bond 007 movies. But true to recent form, that’s not all they launched – any self-respecting fashion brand these days needs a designer clothing collection, so Lotus unveiled not one, but three ranges for eager customers to choose from: Lotus Heritage, Lotus Originals and Lotus Performance.

You can view both the magazine and the private label clothing in a new ‘Lifestyle’ section in Lotus’ website, and you’ll also be able to purchase these items from the first of a series of brand concept stores beginning with a flagship store in London.

As you can see, there’s a lot going on at Lotus these days, so keep an eye out for more news during next week’s LA Auto Show.

Written By

Steve Davies

Steve is an investor, private equity advisor and former Partner at KPMG, PwC and Bain.   Most importantly he's a life-long car enthusiast, mountain biker and active sports enthusiast. He designs and builds technology platforms and is the architect behind Transmission.

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