Consultancy and or Manufacture: Case Study 1. SUV’s – Reaching the Summit or Over the Hill?


This article if about Chapman’s /Lotus’ attitude to consultancy, market research, potential new products and customers. To draw real and meaningful parallels we seek to explore how modern day Lotus might develop a SUV platform range and capitalize on its significant design strengths and image.

A&R articles and neither linear or nostalgia driven.

The editors seek to interpret Colin Chapman’s design engineering achievements during his life time as well as explaining their continuing relevance in the present and how they might be adopted in the future. Of course of equal importance is the entrepreneurial aspect of successful car production and marketing. In fact there is little published about Chapman’s market research but an attempt will be made to assess this. It is extremely relevant to assessing how Lotus might develop a successful SUV or other specialist product range.

To this end the editors read widely around the subject and study trends, developments and societal impacts within the motor industry with specific reference to the specialist sector.

We attempt to bring our subscribers a combination of critical thought provoking, analytical challenging interpretations of the Chapman design philosophy. It’s also intended that as far as possible that the subjects dissected can be converted into equally entertaining, educational and interpretative exhibitions.

Motor manufacture and design and developments in the 21C cannot be undertaken without reference to geo-politics, globalization, corporatism and multinational manufacture and we compare/ contrast this with the Chapman era.

Inspiration and sources for this article came from the following:-

  • Lotus consulting its track record from Chapman era to present
  • Reading books [see references below]
  • Magazine /newspaper articles
  • Example or case histories particularly with reference to Britain and in particular Land Rover

In this piece there is some advantage to looking back to go forward. We will attempt to explain the Chapman /Lotus mystique, the philosophy of lightness and how this might crystalized into a successful profitable product range.

Subscribers might like to see A&R articles:-

  • Minimalism and the Motorcar
  • Lotus the Performance Saloons
  • Lotus Elite and Elise Design Studies

Lotus Consulting

Chapman and his engineering colleagues developed consultancy as an income stream, as a fund to contribute towards racing and to diversify or as a hedge against dependency /over specialization .It has been very successful. The achievements and reputation of Lotus engineers have ensured a flow of commissions .It’s very possible that there are more Lotus designed engineering solutions in the world’s cars than we realize.

The editors believe in varying degrees Chapman and Lotus may have made engineering contributions to some of the following list of vehicles:-

Lotus consulting and co-production /developed vehicles:-
Date Marque Model Details
Ford Cortina I&II
Rover 3500 Vitesse
Kia Sportage
Lotus Carlton
Isuzu Piazza
Chevrolet Corvette ZR1
M.G. Metro Turbo
Talbot-Sunb’ Lotus
Vauxhall Corsa
Vauxhall Tigra
Daewoo Leganza

Of course Lotus has undertaken reseach in other areas our subscribers are likely to be familiar with this .If not a paragraph in David Hodges “Lotus-The Legend [see both Lotus innovations and Collaboration] is a good introduction.


The Isuzu badge that makes a clear reference to Lotus

In the models listed the A&R has written articles and quote sources that explain the extent of the involvement .In particular the A&R have studied the Ford Cortina and Vauxhall Carlton [ see article Performance Saloons]

Despite research the editors have been unable to establish the exact work undertaken on the Isuzu.

This might have merely been a form of badge engineering in order to raise the desirability and exclusiveness of the product for which a licence was bought.[ see quotation below justifying assessment] Alternatively the model might have been passed to Lotus in order that significant measureable improvements could be adopted. These would be expected to be detected by road testers and possibly attributed to Lotus thus improving the product and marketability.

As we develop below the SUV has undergone significant evolution and subtle changes of emphasis, which are likely to continue into the future. 

The diagram below is taken from the Vauxhall Monteray Owners Handbook. This is believed to have been a rebadged version of the Isuzu Bighorn. The editors speculate if Lotus undertook improvements to handling?


 The Lotus Elise: Consultancy and Symbiotic Manufacture

Subscribers do not need to be reminded about the phenomenal success and reputation of the Elise. Its success might be attributed to its concept, aesthetics, performance, affordability, value for money Vis competitors and timing i.e. societal /cultural/ demographic factors. Many have attributed the Elise success to the fact it did not suffer from corporate committee design or long procrastination or protracted development. In fact many restrictions worked in its favour giving the concept an originality integrity and authority of assurance and correct first time stamp.

Lotus role in consultancy possibly had a sophisticated symbiotic interrelationship with the Elise. It’s possible that the lessons and theory Lotus engineers learnt were mutated into highly innovative new product that successfully extended and updated the design and manufacturing practice that Chapman had initiated. Lotus comprises two essential divisions of car manufacturer and engineering consultancy. It’s possibly these are linked through a beneficial spiral. Consultancy feeding and inspiring Lotus products the success of which wins research commissions etc.

In a later chapter we will explore the nature of this relationship with regard to potential new products such a SUV.

Chapman and Lotus Market Research

Lotus cars both competition and road are known for the innovation and lightness. Many have been sold in volume but not all have been a success and Lotus have lurched through some extremely difficult times often on the brink.

Producing a product for the market is never easy. It requires considerable expensive research, an element of risk assessment [even gamble] and foresight.

During the Chapman era it’s possible that market research and product development contained some of the following:-

  • Producing and racing cars who’s success generated demand
  • The continued production of same until replaced by new range or peer intervention [Lotus history demonstrates both]
  • Chapman was aware of opposition and some models were designed to compete against these
  • Chapman’s possibly idealistically believed he could create superior products at competitive prices to match mass production rivals. He was also sole owner and took responsibility for both product specification and sales success
  • During the 1970’s Chapman was aware the public’s expectation and sophistication were changing and he took the Lotus up market
  • Chapman possibly studied and predicted emerging technologies and markets and tried to align existing skill and competency with these. The best examples are the motor boats and micro lights

Chapman possibly considered his instincts and superior products were sufficient and cost effective in relation to demand and production volumes. The editors consider in the 21C this cannot be totally adequate. This is due to legislation and complex socio-economic, geo-political conditions impacting on demand entwined with demographics. As a result products must be planned in detail especially as development costs and safety and a host of restrictive legislation impact on product viability. Aspects of Chapman’s marketing is outlined by Read in his book [see A&R articles on the Lotus Seven]

We will explore the factors that might need analysis in more detail in relation to a new SUV

During the same Chapman period saw Linsay Campbell undertake sales and marketing for the Mini. [See Golding “Mini”].Campbell set out to analyses and rationalize the Mini mystique and this she reported in 1977 to Leyland Cars, in her assessment of Mini buyer types she breaks down the pattern into gender age, occupation category and age group. The simplified result concluded:-

Gender           Occupation Category          Percentage

Female           Secretary                               10 percent

Male               Middle manager                   10

Male               Worker                                   10

Female           Housewife                             15

Female           Retired gentry                       20

Male               Low skilled                            10

Male               Retired gentry                       20

Female           Self-employed / second job            05

Campbell also used statistics to indicate buying patterns e.g. in 1977 45 percent of owners were prepared to buy another Mini or Leyland car. She also deducted that the age of car ownership had come down and the percentage of female owners had increased. No doubt further analysis would reveal socio-economic and demographic factors relating to women in the labour market, income, skills and general emancipation through the 1960’s [see A&R articles on Lotus Design Decades and Carnaby Street]

The editors appreciate these figures are dated but they illustrate an extremely important point with regard to profiling audience.

This has become more important over time and more sophisticated. Later in this article we will suggest the profiling and projections that may be needed with regard to a future SUV or crossover vehicle.

SUV’s from the net


According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a “sport utility vehicle” is “a rugged automotive vehicle similar to a station wagon but built on a light-truck chassis”. The “SUV” term is defined as “a large vehicle that is designed to be used on rough surfaces but that is often used on city roads or highways.” The “SUV” acronym is still used to describe nearly anything with available all-wheel drive and raised ground clearance.

A sport utility vehicle or suburban utility vehicle (SUV) is a vehicle similar to a station wagon or estate car, usually equipped with four-wheel drive for on- or off-road ability. Some SUVs include the towing capacity of a pickup truck with the passenger-carrying space of a minivan or large sedan.
Popular in the late-1990s and early–mid-2000s, SUVs sales temporarily declined due to high oil prices and a declining economy. The traditional truck-based SUV is gradually being supplanted by the crossover SUV, which uses an automobile platform for lighter weight and better fuel efficiency, as a response to much of the criticism of sport utility vehicles. By 2010, SUV sales around the world were growing, in spite of high gas prices.


Although designs vary, SUVs have historically been mid-size passenger vehicles with a body-on-frame chassis similar to that found on light trucks. Early SUVs were mostly two-door models, and were available with removable tops. However, consumer demand pushed the SUV market towards four doors, by 2002 all full-size two-door SUVs were gone from the market. Two-door SUVs were mostly carry-over models, and their sales were not viable enough to warrant a redesign at the end of their design cycle. The Jeep Wrangler remained as a compact two-door body style, although it was also joined by a four-door variant starting with the 2007 model year, the Wrangler Unlimited.[13] The number of two-door SUV models increased in the 2010s with the release of the Range Rover Evoque and the Nissan Murano convertible, although both vehicles are unibody.

Most SUVs are designed with an engine compartment, a combined passenger and cargo compartment, and no dedicated trunk such as in a station wagon body. Most mid-size and full-size SUVs have three rows of seats with a cargo area directly behind the last row of seats. Cargo barriers are often fitted to the cargo area to protect the vehicles occupants from injury from unsecured cargo in the event of sudden deceleration or collision.
SUVs are known for high ground clearance, upright, boxy body, and high H-point. This can make them more likely to roll over due to their high center of gravity. Bodies of SUVs have recently become more aerodynamic, but the sheer size and weight keeps their fuel economy poor.

SUV: Brief History: A British Perspective
The editors have gained insights into this subject from Robson”Land Rover “and other reference books listed below.

Modern SUV’s are considered a derivative or evolutionary trend growing out of utility vechicles.These in turn are fundamentally a product of the Jeep, although from the birth of motor transport people and manufacturers have built vehicles suitable for exploration or military applications e.g. Citroen.. The Jeep was an American designed and manufactured for general purpose work that provided such sterling service in nearly every theatre of war during 1939-1945. Possibly the great success of the Jeep can be attributed to the specification it was allocated [which incidentally is not well documented]. Some of its requirements were:

  • Transport 600 lbs.- increased to 800 lbs. [ 272-363 kg]
  • Transport soldiers and casualties
  • Transport ammunition, supplies, petrol and medical supplies
  • To perform overall role that possibly included reconnaissance and scout car

The achievements are so well known there is no need to repeat them here.

The Jeep inspired the Land Rover. It was the right product and the right time in the right place. After the Second World War nations required extensive reconstruction. Men had been lost and labour availability reduced. War time innovations had possibly driven up productivity and yields in agriculture and on plantations etc. Women had performed responsible jobs. Many had learnt to drive. The Land Rover had the potential to bridge and deliver with reserves of durability and reliability.

However success was function of a beneficial spiral that included:-

  • Military applications
  • British Empire where conditions required the rugged Land Rover and other nations had a demand for industrialization /mechanization of agriculture to increase output. The era was one of oil exploration of oil and other minerals including forestry
  • New Government agencies and activities in rebuilding and reconstruction or nationalization where contracts for volume purchase would follow
  • Rover had plant and
  • Skilled personnel
  • Demand could be harmonized with other resources/factors of production
  • Minimal capital investment was required
  • The economic conditions in Britain were difficult but there was no real competition and few imports
  • The Land Rover was considered a commercial vehicle and attracted no tax [i.e. making it an attractive proposition

There was a down side but this could significantly be turned to advantage. Of course post war Britain was suffering austerity and particularly steel shortages. However the Land Rover a utility outdoor vehicles often used and stored without shelter in the most extreme climatic conditions would benefit from an aluminium body. This would be lighter, corrosion resistant and when designed in very elementary body forms easy to work, repair or replace.

The Land Rover was to be a multi-purpose vehicle capable of being a substitute to the tractor or at least complementary .Having qualities of the car it might allow a farers wife to drive and therefore increase productivity on the farm. The editors believe that the Land Rover was more heavily influenced by the Jeep than credited and that Jeep applications as well as technology/specification influenced its design /role etc.

It had the capacity to:

  • Plough
  • Haul logs or tree trunks
  • Carry livestock
  • Drive complementary machinery via power take-off
  • Deliver traction on hostile surfaces and weather conditions
  • To be generally more versatile than tractor
  • Capacity to tow trailer etc.

The Land Rover and other utility vehicles had no pretention other than practicality. It was almost by definition:-

  • Rugged and hard wearing
  • Large
  • Sparse
  • Noisy
  • Uncomfortable
  • In order to deliver the workhorse outcomes they were physically large, powerful and sacrificed fuel consumption and engine emissions to do so

Some motoring critics believe that the Land Rover gave birth to the modern SUV during the 1970’s.The Land Rover was the benchmark for 4X4 and had held this position almost since inception and it helped usher in the Range Rover in 1970.It was possibly not predicted that the utility vehicle would become a status symbol and life style accessory; however this was the case and is evidenced by the Range Rover HSE and Vouge, Sport etc. .Some critics have suggested the mutation into the Range Rover created a new class of vehicle –the luxury SUV.The development of the Range Rover has been in part attributed to a desire to compete in the American market; possibly in the station wagon arena where possibly Jeep had already pushed boundaries.

Other manufacturers and nations had also requirement for utility vehicles from America to Europe and the Far East. They would respond to the opportunity [our list above] and indicates how competitive the market has become.

Once the market was established there was competition to retain and improve the 1989 the Land Rover Discovery was launched to critical acclaim. Gradually a mutation was taking place where style and presence triumphed over function.

For the serious student or bibliography provides extended analysis of the world’s SUV manufacturers and products. For a contemporary perspective the editors list some of the most recent:

SUV’s: the Market Place

Manufacturer Model Name
Subaru Forester
Toyota 4 Runner
Kia Sorento
Subaru XV Crossover
Jeep Wrangler/Wagoner
Hyundai Santa Fe
Jeep XJ Cherokee
Dodge Durango
Toyota Land Cruiser

Land Rover

Land Rover



Range Rover









Land Rover







ToyotaGrand Cherokee




ML- Class


















The Isuzu Lotus Edition

As stated above we are not sure how much reengineering Lotus undertook on the Isuzu Bighorn.

However it does set an important precedent for the future.

5 6

Engineering v Market Research

In this section the editors debate the relationship between market research, product development and engineering. All are extremely dynamic and there is requirement to maintain an optimum across all disciplines. This is easier said than done.

The editors contend that good as an engineering solution might be it might be a commercial failure if not correctly specified, financed and marketed.

In the Chapman era of course product development was relatively cheaper, faster possibly due to simpler products /requirement for less coordination /greater personal accountability / risk taking and possibly without so much changing legislation [although through the 1970s it was changing]

Modern Lotus [see official website] comprises Automotive Engineering Consultancy and Manufacture. They possess 4 core engineering competencies:-

  • Lightweight architecture
  • Efficient performance
  • Electrical and electrical integration
  • Driving dynamics

The editors are unsure if they undertake their own market research .If not they might be at a disadvantage and reliant upon the quality of the brief they are handed. Even so finance and volumes still play an important role in product success,

The editors consider the role of market research invaluable and believe it’s worth detailing the discipline in some detail. We include some descriptions/ definitions of Market research from the net. Subscribers might like also to study concepts and management of product development.

“Market and marketing research

There are two main types of market research – quantitative research and qualitative research. Quantitative research focuses on coming up with numbers: for example, what percentage of the population buys a particular product. It is gathered using surveys and questionnaires. You can do simple quantitative research yourself by talking to your customers. More in-depth quantitative research can be used to identify markets and understand customer profiles – vital if you’re launching a new product.

Qualitative research gets behind the facts and figures to find out how people feel about products and what prompts them to spend. Researchers use questionnaires and focus groups to gather this intelligence, while interpreting the results is a skilled job.

You can also do desk research with existing surveys and business reports. Much information is available online and from industry organisations, and some of it is free. This information provides data on market size, sales trends, customer profiles and competitor activity. Your customer records also provide a wealth of information, such as purchasing trends.

For forecasting, it can help you assess key trends to anticipate how the market may change. This is a vital step towards identifying new market segments, developing new products and choosing your target market.

Market research needs to be a regular planned part of your marketing. Even if you are an established business, you need to stay in touch with your customers’ needs as well as market trends and your competitors. It measures the effectiveness of your own marketing, giving you information about attitudes to everything from packaging and advertising to brand name awareness.”

The editors would venture that some specific market research and profiling specific to the development of a new SUV ought to contain some of the following with the proviso.

Nb all projections linked to time of launch and reasonable period into life expectancy

  • Owner profile including gender , occupation income, family size and demographics
  • Prevailing culture taste and fashion
  • Legislation in consuming nations and geo-political tends
  • Petrol, insurance and running costs
  • Costs of materials ,labour etc. associated with manufacture assembly
  • Manufacturing bases /bases and export
  • Flexible platforms, interchangeability  component deployment and economies of scale through range
  • Celebrity ownership and indetification with mass markets
  • Risk assessment/SWOT analysis
  • Product placement and marketing
  • Competitor intentions
  • Resale values/trade in factors
  • Related cultural and hobby aspects such as caravanning and holiday destinations

All the above are not easy to answer or construct, equally important and even more allusive are aspects of multinationals and mergers. The reason for this relates to loyalties between manufacturer and market place/ nations. A good product and its company can be bought and exploited successfully but equally a competitor can be eliminated by merger. The motor industry is littered with examples.

An extremely important role and one not easily defined or allocated is to whom or which discipline conducts and interprets market research. Some would argue this is primarily the role of designers. Against the impossibility of making the predictions listed above the designers may be allowed to use hunch and instinct and under certain circumstances this may be valid. There are instances that the design makes the market, or determines taste. Resources and timescales possibly also determine outcomes. The shorter distance into the future the easier the exercise. A form of design risk assessment and or SWAT might include a platform architecture that permits an easy alteration of the bodywork.

Future Niche Markets

The editors are aware of the dynamics within the motor industry and degrees of cross pollination and differentiation that are taking part. We therefore include a brief outline from the net

A crossover (or CUV: crossover utility vehicle) is a vehicle built on a car platform and combining, in highly variable degrees, features of a sport utility vehicle (SUV) with features from a passenger vehicle, especially those of a station wagon or hatchback.

Using the unibody construction typical of passenger vehicles instead of the body-on-frame platform used in light trucks and the original SUVs, the crossover combines SUV design features such as tall interior packaging, high H-point seating, high center of gravity, high ground-clearance or all-wheel-drive capability — with design features from an automobile such as a passenger vehicle’s platform, independent rear suspension, car-like handling and superior fuel economy.

A crossover may borrow features from a station wagon or hatchback, such as the two-box design of a shared passenger/cargo volume with rear access via a third or fifth door, a liftgate — and flexibility to allow configurations that favor either passenger or cargo volume, e.g., fold-down rear seats.

Crossovers are offered with front wheel drive, rear wheel drive or all-wheel drive configurations. Crossovers are typically designed for only light off-road capability, if any at all.[1]

Jaguar F-Pace SUV/Crossover

As the editors were completing this article Jaguar announced their new F-Pace.
Their designers and managers have said this about the product [Quoted from “Telegraph”
“Ian Callum, Jaguar’s director of design, said: “We received such an overwhelmingly positive response to the C-X17 concept car last year that we just had to make it a reality.

“The Jaguar F-Pace, inspired by the F-Type, represents a perfectly judged balance of performance, style and practicality. It offers a unique combination of Jaguar sports car inspired exterior design, fused beautifully with a thoroughly practical and spacious luxury interior. The F-Pace is our family sports car.”

Speaking at the Detroit motor show, Andy Goss, Jaguar Land Rover global sales director, said: “In 2015 we will celebrate Jaguar’s 80th year. We have started it by announcing our first performance crossover which we consider to be the ultimate practical sports car – a car that builds on the marque’s founding ideals of Grace, Pace and Space to become one of the most innovative Jaguars we’ve ever developed.

“The F-Pace has now begun its engineering and development testing programme ahead of the new model going on sale in 2016.”

A Future Lotus SUV?

The editors consider that Lotus might be able to develop a SUV.There might be questions if they do this on behalf of a manufacturer or under their own brand name.

The editors believe and will try to substantiate why they believe this is possible.

Before any design exercise it’s possibly necessary for Lotus to have a thorough review of its structure and might like to examine itself in relation to any new product and its:-

  • Size
  • Role
  • Costs
  • Contribution
  • Location
  • Value for money vis in-house design /R&D/marketing teams
  • Perception of brand

Both in our study of Lotus and other manufactures particularly our focus on SUV’s there needs to be an optimization across so many disciplines that are not easy to achieve. In the Chapman era speed and flexibility were a function of a relatively small organization and output. However we know the impact of change and the risks and cultural changes that occur as a result of growth and bureaucracy that accompanies legislation.

Should Lotus consider persuing   SUV option it might be necessary first to decide the optimum grouping or matrix of resources. There is no easy quick fix formula as at various stages in history large and small organizations have possessed advantage. In this intensely complicated world with seismic geo-political shifts impacting on globalization the editors cannot offer any simplistic solutions. Possibly a significant question might be to ask what ought we comprise Vis product or services and align accordingly.

The editors believe that Lotus might be capable of developing a successful SUV.

Lotus can capitalize on what is believed to be anticipated needs embracing

  • Light weight potentially aluminium chassis
  • High performance
  • Handling
  • Sustainability, energy efficient, recyclable, cleaner with eco-friendly credentials
  • Cheap to manufacture
  • Safety for driver, passenger and pedestrian

What it would find difficult to overcome is perceptions relating to brand image [many positive aspects particularly racing] but whether the brand values could embrace ruggedness and reparability. The main manufacturers have to advantage of economy of scale, cross subsidization, shared platforms and interchangeable componentry on a global shared multinational organizational scale.

The editors further believe that a Lotus SUV would also incorporate these industry experts’ predictions:-

Chapman has said:-

“The modern SUV is the result of car owners trying to satisfy both male and female notions of “commanding” with their four-wheel drive and high riding stance,,,,,,,,happily for car makers impending legislation aimed at protecting pedestrians in collisions also calls for a relatively high –albeit protrusion free –frontal area. So cars have become visually bulkier, less svelte and need to employ ever more surface design trick to lay on character”

Fiala observed:-

“Japanese customers have a liking for models with higher performance and extra equipment, such as the Bighorn special Edition by Lotus or the Irmscher S&R”

Clive Birch quoted in “Moving Forward”

We have to find new routes to individual mobility……. The car may be king, but it’s not a city beast and the focus is on the journey-how to travel swiftly, safely…………”

The editors believe that Lotus could produce a highly differentiated product both capable yet green within the new direction the SUV is taking .A machine with shared values where green represents responsible environmental holistic design that also without compromise delivers performance. The concept would be distinctive externally and, internally and with regard to sustainability and possibly most significantly costs in use. Furthermore the editors believe this might have mass appeal in the merging eastern markets .A Lotus SUV would be able to embrace competition where its brand heritage could be used and its experience incorporated. The traditional SUV competition includes events like the Dakar, Camel Trophy and Rallies.

Some markets might not be able to comprehend the brand making such a diametric change of class yet we have seen Lotus is steeped in lightness [ sustainability] and competition and is therefore in many respects well placed to create a credible new SUV for a new world and geo-political conditions. Many of the world’s most successful cars were not at the luxury end but conceived for the masses See A&R article Minimalism and the Motorcar] in times of world economic crisis and when populations were expanding and inexpensive personal transport was needed.

The editors would suggest that Colin Chapman was a man of extraordinary vision even futuristic and able to extrapolate technologies and materials. For most of its existence Lotus has lead and determined .Therefore the editors conclude that with the thorough and creative integration along with some luck it can make the lights align and like Rover before it can demonstrate the same foresight and innovation

Scale Models and Brochures in the A&R Collection

The editors believe scale models and brochures provide a convieient source of inspiration to designers with their ability to be easily studied and held. A model provides a stimulating means of comparing form and function and the manner in which objectives are realized and packaged.

The A&R have many examples of Land Rover models in the collection at various scales. It is considered that the Series 1 Land Rover is an excellent starting point for any designer of a SUV.In particular we hold a very nicely detailed 1/43rd scale Mk.1, 80” [HUE 166] Full model review on request.

The materials of the A&R are at the disposal of subscribers and should a user wish or be involved in any project please ask if items are needed.

The Proposed CCM&EC

The proposed museum believes that commercial considerations are both necessary and complementary with its educational objectives.

For these reasons our Business Plan includes provision for promoting products and services which share Chapman’s ideals of mechanical efficiency and sustainability. In addition we propose merchandising that explain and interprets the social and cultural context of Chapman’s designs in period. It’s suggested there will be catalogue for on line purchasing.

In particular we propose holding a series of interpretative, education based exhibitions exploring marketing, demand, design and development past present and future. By this means it’s hoped to equip engineer designers with inspiration and trends and the means to see these in the flesh. In the process it’s possible to demonstrate that Chapman’s principles of lightness apply equally well outside sports cars and racing.

It’s hoped that the proposed CCM&EC will have links with off road driving experiences in order that visitors might be able to compare contrast the differing driving experiences but also appreciate the core principles behind each.


In this article we hope to demonstrate that Chapman’s and Lotus dedication to lightness has underscored sustainability and performance. These qualities are important in motoring transport in a responsible world concerned about resources. Furthermore light efficient vehicles are democratic and allow a higher proportion of the world’s population to own an affordable vehicle and feel they are stake holder’s .Should the CCM&EC come into existence its education and exhibition policy would focus in part on the wider societal role to which it could positively contribute. Sir David King has said generally of the future transport challenge but perhaps just as applicable to individual vehicles like a Lotus SUV:-

“The transport challenge of the next fifty years will be to use technology to deliver infrastructure that will stimulate economic growth, support social cohesion and be environmentally sustainable” [nb quoted in Evenden]

If anybody can Lotus Can!


Britain’s Favorite Cars of the Decades.Leonard.Parragon.2014.

ISBN: 9781472364098

Land Rover Series 1 to Freelander.Robson.2006.

ISBN: 186126903X

The Land Rover Experience.Sheppard.Land Rover 1994.

ISBN: 0951449346

Range Rover 2nd Generation.Taylor.Crowood.2004.

ISBN: 1861266235

Range Rover 1970-1992. [Clark]Brooklands.

ISBN: 185520150X

Four Wheel Drive Vechicles.Fiala.Rebo

ISBN: 9036616980

4 Wheel Drive.MacNamara.Hamlyn.1985.

ISBN: 1844251152

Mini: Thirty Years On.Golding.Osprey.1979.

ISBN: 0850459257

Moving Forward: New Directions in Transport Design.Evenden.V&A

ISBN: 978185774913


SUV: The World’s Greatest Sports Utility Vechicles.Chapman.Merrell.2005.

ISBN: ISBN 10: 1858942748 / ISBN 13: 9781858942742

Please note the editors of the A&R attempt to give the broadest spectrum of references but not all are available for consultation in an article. However by noting their existence it may assist students in their research.

*Items in italics non A&R library books.