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by Matt Brogan

The British Royal Automobile Club has named Lotus as the winner of the historic Dewar Trophy for 2008.

The Dewar Trophy is awarded annually for technical excellence in the automotive field with this year’s panel unanimously agreeing Lotus should be recognised for the company’s development of its Versatile Vehicle Architecture (VVA) chassis technology.

This technology has been developed by Lotus to exploit the benefits of producing at low to medium volumes but for niche markets.

Engineering a bespoke, low-volume platform is both expensive and time-consuming, whilst sharing a mainstream chassis normally results in compromises in performance and design.

VVA however exploits Lotus Engineering’s expertise in aluminium, steel and composite body engineering, joining techniques, and vehicle systems integration and allows this innovative technology to allow the group a fast-to-market, cost-effective approach without the compromise that stems from conventional ‘platform sharing’.dew_002

The new chassis design will feature underneath the new Lotus Evora.

“The thing that particularly impressed the judges was the single minded determination with which the team at Lotus had sought to find the best possible solution to the particular problem of building an uncompromised lightweight chassis for a low volume road car, and then continually developed and refined that concept to respond to emerging requirements,” said John Wood, Chairman of the Royal Automobile Club’s Dewar Trophy Technical Sub-Committee. “What they have now is a platform system that is not only ideal for high performance sports cars, but also almost infinitely versatile and well suited to the needs of niche vehicle manufacturing in an era where environmental concerns are driving a demand for lightweight structures for a multitude of applications.”

“I would like to thank the Dewar Trophy Technical Sub-Committee for the award, and all at Lotus are most honoured to receive this accolade. It is a fantastic achievement for Lotus to win such a prestigious and recognised award for our Versatile Vehicle Architecture technology which is used in our stunning new Lotus Evora sportscar,” said Mike Kimberley, Chief Executive Officer of Lotus. “This award is for everyone at Lotus; those who created the VVA technology, those who delivered the Evora engineering programme and those who are building our car. With incredible hard work and dedication at Lotus, using this technology our excellent staff have delivered the Lotus Evora in 27 months from a clean sheet to the first production car driving off the line, a great achievement. The automotive industry is changing fast, and technology needs to be robust, faster to market and more cost and mass effective than ever before, and Lotus will be there at the forefront of this exciting period for the future of personal transport.”

The Dewar Trophy Technical Sub-Committee was set up to study automotive engineering excellence and determines if the candidates meet the strict terms of reference for the awarding of the Trophy in a particular year.




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