Sporting Trials and the Story of Lotus Cars

To find out the full story we travelled down to rural Kent in Caterham's latest homage to the original Lotus 7: the Euro-spec Caterham 165.

In pre-war Britain, when there wasn't a surplus of smooth tarmac airfields to go circuit racing on, the predominant form of motorsport for the amateur clubman was cross-country trialling. Initially, these were long distance reliability events, but in the '40s a new breed of nimble, flyweight machines emerged to compete in sporting trials set out on tight, steep courses where the general aim was to keep going as far as you could before … Read more

'Tron' designer creates Lotus motorcycle minus the blue glow

It's a simple equation. You watch "Tron" or "Tron: Legacy" and then you want a Light Cycle. But you can't have a Light Cycle, because they don't really exist (this crazy custom bike being an exception). You can, however, have an upcoming Lotus C-01 motorcycle, which has "Tron: Legacy" designer Daniel Simon's fingerprints all over it.

The clean lines, low riding position, and silhouette of the C-01 are definitely reminiscent of the "Tron" bikes. Instead of glowing blue, it has gold-painted accents, but you could always repaint it to get closer to the "Tron" look through a customization service that will be offered for the machines.… Read more

Mitch Kapor remembers Lotus' Macintosh bomb

This article is part of a CNET special report on the 30th anniversary of the Macintosh, looking at the beginnings of Apple's landmark machine and its impact over the last three decades.

As the Macintosh was going through its painful development process in California, Mitch Kapor was sitting on top of the world. In 1982, after a stint with VisiCorp, makers of the first spreadsheet, he co-founded Lotus Development, which created 1-2-3, a spreadsheet application for the PC that quickly became the market leader.

Lotus shipped 1-2-3 in January 1983 for $495, and by year's end the company … Read more

Lotus Exige S Roadster: All other soft tops are sissy

Many moons ago it was easy to tell the difference between a Lotus Elise and an Exige. The Exige had a roof and it looked like it was going to shank you. Not any more, though, as Lotus has taken the roof off the Exige. But would doing that remove some of the Exige's hardcore edge?

On the looks front it certainly does. As well as losing its wig, the Exige S Roadster loses the coupe's spoiler and front splitter. For good reason, though, as the spoiler needs a fixed roof to do its job properly, so why … Read more

Profile: Lotus Carlton

Then, as now, Lotus earned more from using its technical skills on behalf of other manufacturers than it did from building its own cars, and it had just finished engineering the mighty Corvette ZR1 for its General Motors stablemate Chevrolet. First thoughts on a high-performance Vauxhall Carlton/Opel Omega involved inserting the whole ZR1 powertrain into the saloon body, but that was soon shelved in favour of a highly developed version of the Carlton's straight-six engine, mated to the 'Vette six-speed gearbox.

p>By today's standards, a big saloon with 3.6-litres, twin turbos and 377 bhp … Read more

Can more power make the Lotus Elise better?

Lotus has been turning out the Elise since 1996. It's still praised as being dynamically brilliant, too. Try finding another 17-year-old car that's not only still being produced, but isn't criticized for being outdated...

Its first incarnation was Lotus all over. It was light, stripped-out and low-powered, but it was an astonishing car to drive. It was everything a Lotus was supposed to be and was instantly adored.

The second generation built on the first's success: it was better-looking, a touch faster, and still wonderful to drive. Partway through its life it was given Toyota engines … Read more

Crave Ep. 142: Electronic makeup gives new meaning to inter-'face'

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Blinklifier, which consists of metal false eyelashes and conductive eyeliner, lets you power devices on and off just by blinking. We video-chat with Fido -- and remotely give him a treat -- while at work. And guess who bought James Bond's Lotus submarine? The answer probably won't shock you. All that and more on this week's Crave show. Read more

A tour of the Vault at the Petersen Automotive Museum

You can't take pictures. Well, not normally. During a regular tour, there's the tour guide, and a separate minder who keeps an eye on you and your phone or camera.

Welcome to the Vault, the sprawling underground storage of some incredible and historic cars, beneath the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles.

By special arrangement, I got to take my camera, so I can show you some of the cars on display. From a 1903 Cadillac to a 1953 Ferrari, to a gold-plated DeLorean, there's lots to see.… Read more

Elon Musk is the anonymous buyer of the James Bond Lotus submarine

Like something out of a Storage Wars fairy tale, the Lotus Esprit submarine -- dubbed "Wet Nelly" on the set of the 1977 James Bond classic "The Spy Who Loved Me" -- was discovered in a Long Island locker that was purchased for less than $100. The prop, a fully functioning underwater vehicle that was revealed to be the real deal and once piloted by Roger Moore as 007, later went on to net $968,000 in an auction in London last month.

Now it's been revealed that the secret buyer, who allegedly got the best of a fervent competitor in a heated bidding war, is none other than Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, reports Jalopnik. Despite its rare function, the Esprit is not the most expensive Bond car to go to auction; the 1964 Aston Martin DB5 from "Goldfinger" and "Thunderball" went for a little more than $4 million in 2010.

We've reached out to Musk's representatives at SpaceX for comment and will update the story if we hear back. … Read more

Crave Ep. 137: The Listening Cloud rains on your social-media parade

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This week on Crave, we stand under the Listening Cloud, an LED sculpture that storms according to social-media activity. Jimmy Kimmel reveals that he's been making fake viral videos on YouTube, and a frog photobombs a NASA rocket launch. Oh yeah, and we listen to the soundtrack of outer space. All that and more on our latest episode. … Read more