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Lotus cars took the wraps off their new Exige S sports car as they opened a flagship store in the heart of London’s West End. The new car is the centerpiece of a state-of-the-art store, which is spread over 4,800 sq. feet of floor space in a landmark building that once housed the famous Café Royal, just a short distance from Piccadilly Circus. The shop opening and sports car unveiling mark a new chapter for both Lotus and its parent company PROTON after being taken over by Malaysian conglomerate DRB-HICOM earlier this year. DRB-HICOM with its vast experience and presence in the entire automotive industry value chain, coupled with long-standing collaborations with other global automotive giants reiterated their commitment to drive this iconic British brand to greater success. Group Managing Director of DRB-HICOM and Executive Chairman of PROTON Dato’ Sri Haji Mohd Khamil Jamil said: “We can derive many synergies between DRB-HICOM, PROTON and Lotus; and we reaffirm our full and long-term commitment to raise Lotus to the next level of success. With a future of increased productivity and cooperation ahead, Lotus is destined to join the ranks of the great luxury performance brands of the world.” The 170mph high-performance Exige S with a supercharged V6 engine caused a sensation when it was announced at the Frankfurt motor show last year. The first cars will begin rolling off the production line at the company’s HQ at Hethel, Norfolk, later this month. Lotus Chief Operating Officer Aslam Farikullah said: “The car represents the very best of Lotus. Its aerodynamic appearance is race-track inspired, as is the interior. Every detail from the racing twin-piston front caliper brakes, to the glossy black wheels and lightweight aluminum bonded structure has the Lotus mark of excellence about it.” The board of DRB-HICOM met with British Trade Secretary Dr Vince Cable on Wednesday, shortly before the store was officially opened by Malaysian High Commissioner to the UK, Dato’ Sri Zakaria Sulong. The store focuses on providing clothing, memorabilia and luxury goods aimed at three generations of Lotus followers. There are four collections available: Lotus Originals which targets Lotus owners and its new young audience. It features a relaxed range of clothing aimed at the 25 to 45-year-old age group. The Lotus Heritage collection is inspired by the glorious racing days of the Sixties and Seventies. It has a retro look and it aimed at the top end of the market. Whilst the Performance collection reflects the engineering soul of the brand and its high-performance technology; the range includes polo shirts, T-shirts and outdoors wears. Lotus F1 wear is fast, fun and exciting with a range of clothing and racing accessories. The store also stocks items like scale model cars for collectors and bespoke bicycles designed by Lotus engineers. Opening the store, Mr Sulong highlighted the Lotus brand’s history. “Lotus is such an iconic brand, not just in the UK but internationally as well,” he said. “It represents a heritage that has impacted the world’s automotive industry and a brand that holds so much more potential and relevance in the automotive industry and motorsports today. “I am indeed honored to be part of this special occasion.”