For many visitors to this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, the star of the show was the brand-new Lotus Emira sports car, which made its public debut last weekend, and which Lotus is hoping will revitalise the company under its new Chinese ownership with Geely.
The Emira delighted the crowds by taking part in the Hill Climb as well as being featured on the Michelin Supercar Paddock live stage and took part in the spectacular Lotus Moment parade in front of Goodwood House.
The Lotus stand also proved extremely popular, where visitors were able to get up close to see the new Emira as well as Lotus’ new all-electric Evija hypercar.
The festival’s organiser, the Duke of Richmond, also took to the wheel of the Emira alongside Matt Windle, Managing Director of Lotus Cars, who was in the passenger seat.
Less than 48 hours earlier, the Emira’s world premiere took place at Lotus’ headquarters in Hethel, Norfolk, in front of invited guests and via a livestream broadcast to all corners of the world.
Lotus was the ‘Featured Marque’ this year, as the Festival celebrated the peerless sporting and technical achievements of Lotus. It was also the theme of the Festival’s ‘Central Feature’, a dramatic art installation directly in front of Goodwood House.
The sculpture, called the Lotus ‘Aeroad’. Viewed digitally via a smartphone app, the sculpture uses the latest augmented reality technology so that users can watch four iconic Lotus cars speed through the air on a virtual racetrack. For those unable to be at the Festival itself, the app features an ‘at home’ mode, giving them the chance to launch a virtual version of the sculpture as well as the racetrack and cars. Once launched, users can take a photo or record a short video of their journey round the augmented track and save it to their device to share with friends.
Managing Director of Lotus Cars, Matt Windle summed up this year’s Festival by saying:
“Our stand staff didn’t stop talking to people about the Emira all day. So many had watched the livestream on Tuesday, love the way the car looks inside and out, and wanted to share how thrilled they are to see the transformation that is taking place at Lotus. We had an amazing day at Goodwood and are looking forward to the rest of the weekend.”
For more information on the new Lotus Emira, please visit: www.lotuscars.com.
Simon Burrell is Editor of Our Man Behind The Wheel, a member of The Guild of Motoring Writers, professional photographer and former saloon car racing driver.
Photographs by Gary Harman