Jump to content
  • Welcome to Midlands Lotus Owners Club (MLOC)

    Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to contribute to this site by submitting your own content or replying to existing content. You'll be able to customize your profile, receive reputation points as a reward for submitting content, while also communicating with other members via your own private inbox, plus much more!

    This message will be removed once you have signed in.

Mark H
Mark H
Sign in to follow this  

Lotus unveils grand design for new Customer Experience Centre, Heritage Centre and Museum at Hethel

Major developments planned for Lotus’ Hethel HQ
• Customer Experience Centre, Heritage Centre and Museum all
proposed
• Renovation of original buildings including Chapman’s office
• A destination to experience the brand’s history and heritage
• Home to Lotus for over 50 years, development ensures Hethel remains
the heart of Lotus
As the company prepares for the culmination of its 70th celebrations, Lotus has unveiled the latest stage
in its investment plan, which will see the 100 acre site undergo extensive development and renovation
work.
With a new Customer Experience Centre, Heritage Centre and Museum designed by architects
Feilden+Mawson and submitted for planning, the British marque has outlined a bold vision for its future
at the famous Hethel facility, its home for over 50 years. The plans were unveiled just ahead of the
company’s 70th celebrations in Norfolk, marking the anniversary of the founding of Lotus by engineering
genius Colin Chapman.
Combining the creation of brand new facilities and the renovation of some of Hethel’s historic sections,
the scope of the work perfectly reflects the company’s ambitions going forward. The planning application
also includes a spacious, modern new restaurant catering for all staff and visitors to the Lotus site.

Speaking at the unveiling of the plans, Group Lotus’ chief executive officer, Mr. Feng Qingfeng said:
“The progress of these developments at Hethel demonstrates our commitment to Lotus and its bright
future. Hethel is rightly the centre of the brand and what better place for customers, aspiring owners and
staff to experience our values? Hethel is, and will always be, the heart of Lotus and our plans are the
next step in readying the site for the next 50 years.”
The future of Hethel
Dynamic and modern in their design, the plans for Hethel are the next chapter in the story of the famous
site. In 1966 Lotus’ founder Colin Chapman reimagined the old WW2 airbase as the company’s
headquarters and manufacturing facility that have evolved into the Lotus of today, encompassing all
aspects of the modern sports car company.

 

The new purpose-built Customer Experience Centre will be located alongside the pitlane of the famous
test track to create a focal point at Hethel and afford fantastic views across the entire site. Showcasing
the Lotus brand and its range of vehicles, it will provide a destination for customers as they develop the
specification for, and later return to take delivery of, their vehicles. With a two-storey display area, the
building will include private vehicle specification salons and delivery areas, as well as preparation and
service facilities.

An impressive Heritage Centre and Museum will also be created, incorporating the site’s original main
office and executive suites. This extensive renovation and conversion work will provide a modern space,
fit to display a wide range of Lotus vehicles and exhibits. Bringing the original executive suite, including
Colin Chapman’s office, to life, the Heritage Centre and Museum will allow visitors and staff to
experience the history and heritage at the heart of Lotus.

 

Alongside the Heritage Centre and Museum, a modern new restaurant facility will extend forward from
the existing buildings to create an impressive, and uniform façade. With views over the garden areas of
the site, it will provide hospitality facilities for a wide range of activities.
The site’s existing clubhouse (the control tower of the former airbase) will be extensively renovated as
part of the plans. Located near the test track, it will incorporate a new roof terrace and modern facilities
for track-based activities and customer or staff events.

As well as the new buildings, the development of Hethel will see extensive enhancements and the
landscaping of the site, including improvements to access, parking areas for staff and security.

 

 

 

 

 

Screenshot_3.jpg


Sign in to follow this  


User Feedback

Recommended Comments

There are no comments to display.



Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Thoughts on my new motor - NLC

    Collected the Aston Vantage today. Drove it from Macclesfield to Buxton over the 'Cat and Fiddle' and then down the A515 to Ashbourne and then back home. So about 55 miles. Initial thoughts:

    Ride quality is brilliant. Looking through the paperwork I've found out it actually has the 'sport pack' fitted which was an AM aftermarket upgrade. I knew it has the lightweight forged N400 wheels on but didn't realise it also had uprated Bilstein shocks and springs. OK on really bad surfaces it's a little bit harsh but otherwise it's great. Apparently the new(ish) Pilot Sport 4S tyres it has on also help a lot.

    Steering is pretty direct. It's no Lotus but it goes where you point it and doesn't feel as heavy as it actually is - 1600kg!! Bit heavy at parking speeds but fine once you are rolling along.

    Very quiet inside the cabin and comfortable too. I have the earlier seats as it's a 2006 MY car. The later ones were supposed to be an improvement but I like mine. I think they are slimmer which for someone skinny like me actually means they grip you better. Good driving position and very good visibility all round I reckon.

    How you get it to do 0-60 in 4.9 secs I have no idea. It feels dead slow when you are starting off and the long accelerator and heavy flywheel mean it seems to take an age to wind up. It's actually very docile and easy to drive slowly. To get it to feel fast you need to get it over 3.5-4k revs and it then comes alive and starts feeling fast(ish).

    Gearbox is pretty nice. A tiny bit notchy but overall it's good. Feels like it will get a bit smoother with technique as you get used to it. Clutch is heavy and hill starts are difficult - the smell of burning clutch was testament to this! The fact mine is biting quite high didn't help. I know it will wear eventually, just a matter of time.

    Reverse gear is a nightmare! Far too high, why they set it up like this I have no idea! Apparently the technique it so not use the accelerator at all and let the idle control deal with the small amount of throttle needed.

    I think the interior might have been worked on by someone from Lotus . A few creaks (moving leather) and a few rattles. On the way back the TPMS box fell out from behind the glove box and is now hanging down in the passenger footwell.

    Oh and it is very thirsty. Speed limits were all 50mph on the way back, lots of cameras (some average speed), lots of other traffic, artics and the like. So it was really an economy run and it did an average of 23mpg

    Overall it's a great GT car that looks and sounds awesome and feels pretty well screwed together. A lighter flywheel and a smidge more power would make it feel a lot quicker........
     

    Dr H
    Dr H
    General Talk 6

    Caffeine & Machine

    Just been down to Caffeine & Machine, near Stratford for some lunch. They've been open since October but I only just found out about them. http://www.caffeineandmachine.com/ Absolutely superb. My 99 Elise was one of the least interesting cars in the car park. Several other Lotus there, all newer, including an Elise S3. Were those anyone on here? Would be a great location for a South Midlands meet.  

    99 Elise
    99 Elise
    General Talk 7

    Nlc - Lister Bell Stratos Build Thread

    This is the build thread for my Lister Bell Stratos. It will be a long and arduous thread I'm sure!

    I want to build something like this:



    Lister Bell is a small company near Newark that build a Stratos replica kit called the STR. The owner is ex-Ultima and ex Gardner Douglas. http://www.listerbell.com/

    Steel spaceframe chassis:



    GRP body.

    It's a very comprehensive kit:





    Aluminium uprights, double wishbone front suspension, custom exhaust with built in cats, replica 'coffin spoke' alloys, air con and lots of other nicely made bits.

    Although they do a version that will use a Ferrari V8 and a version that takes the Yota V6 (a la Evora / Exige) the most popular choice is the Alfa V6 in either 2.5, 3.0 or 3.2 guise.

    So the main donor in most cases is an Alfa 156, or 166. You need the engine, gearbox, wiring loom, ECU, and some other bits and bobs.

    The secondary donor car is a Fiat X1/9! This is used for door handles, body catches, door catches, steering column and stalks and a few other bits.

    I've placed an order on a chassis which currently has a 12 month waiting list. So in the meantime I purchased this beauty for £450:



    Mainly for this:



    It's got 156k on it and the gear shift is really bad. But no matter as the plan is to have the whole thing rebuilt. The plan is:

    Strip and check all tolerances on engine
    Skim head to raise compression
    New head gaskets etc.
    Bores and pistons checked. New rings or more if needed.
    New big ends and small ends (if needed but apparently they never wear out).
    Cams reprofiled to higher lift
    New cambelts and re-time cams (standard pulleys are adjustable).
    Gas flow the head and clean and lap valves if needed.
    Fit remote oil cooler (prob laminova)
    New water pump, thermostat, air con pump, alternator, etc. etc.
    Ultimately ITBs but might just get the car going first and then do the ITBs as an upgrade.

    Strip and check gearbox, replace any worn pats and install a Quaiffe LSD

    Remove dual mass flywheel and clutch. Fir GTA clutch and solid flywheel. All balanced to the engine.

    And whatever else I see fit to do. With a standard Alfa ECU, gas flowed head, hotter cams and an induction kit it should raise the power form 230 is to 280 or more.

    I'm going to try and get all this done in time for the arrival of the chassis next sept.

    I've also started to buy X1/9 bits and so far have:

    2 pairs of targa roof catches (used as clam catches on the Stratos) - £135 second hand!

    Steering column and control stalks - £35

    Steering column upper and lower cowls - £14

    Now need a lot of other bits

    Once all the bits I need are out of the Alfa I'll be trying to make some bag by selling bits of it. Interior is full leather with heat and electric. Front callipers a 4 pots and worth a bit apparently. Tow bas and electrics must be worth a few quid too.

    The aim is to end up with something like this:



    So watch this space over the next.............................2 years :lol

    I'm sad to say the 340R will be going at some point to help fund this and give some space in the garage. I've had it 9 years and think it's time to move one. It will be a sad day when I decide to let it go though :cry . But I might paint the Startos green in tribute (y)

    Dr H
    Dr H
    General Talk 483

    Any meets in the West Midlands area?

    So I've been scanning the events forum from time to time hoping to see something happening vaguely near me, but nothing ever does.  Are there not many members in the West Midlands? I'm talking Worcester, Evesham, South Birmingham area.  I'd like to start using my car a bit more, but driving all the way to the East Midlands just to start a run or meet is a bit much when I have family commitments to take into account, the Peak District is out of the question for a casual run out. Anybody interested in such a thing?

    GreyKnight
    GreyKnight
    General Talk 6

    If you didn't drive a lotus......

    As possionate lotus fans it's hard to imagine not driving one of norfolks finest. But if the brand didn't exist what car do you think you would be driving  

    richbk
    richbk
    Polls 15
  • MLOC classifieds

  • 20181219135303-c8aee63d.jpg

    Mark H
    Mark H
    We wish you Merry Driftmas and a Hethel New Year

    20181219135303-b668c63e.jpg

    Mark H
    Mark H
    We wish you Merry Driftmas and a Hethel New Year

    20181219135302-d0fea8fe.jpg

    Mark H
    Mark H
    We wish you Merry Driftmas and a Hethel New Year

    20181219135302-c54529eb.jpg

    Mark H
    Mark H
    We wish you Merry Driftmas and a Hethel New Year

    20181219135302-4a383ffb.jpg

    Mark H
    Mark H
    We wish you Merry Driftmas and a Hethel New Year
  • MLOC garage

  • Member Statistics

    3,104
    Total Members
    462
    Most Online
    JoeFowler
    Newest Member
    JoeFowler
    Joined
×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. Terms of Use