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Lotus and 'E'


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Mar 3, 2024
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The tradition of naming Lotus road cars with the letter ‘E’ began in the 1950s, but its roots trace back to 1948.

Colin Chapman, the founder of Lotus, initially named the first-ever Lotus road car “Mark I.” This naming convention continued until the Lotus Mark XI. To avoid confusion with numeric symbols, Chapman decided to call the next model the “Lotus Eleven.” Since then, every Lotus car model has started with the letter 'E’

The convention of naming cars as a Mk 1, Mk 2 etc. was from the war years. Most of the engineers were from the aviation industry during World War II. The standard convention for British aircraft versions were named with a Mark or Mk. The most famous of course was the Spitfire beginning with the Mark 1, but the Hawker Hurricane and other models were also identified that way. The dashboards with all their instruments that you see in the post-war years, up through the 50's were reminiscent of the cockpit instrument layouts of aircraft.

No computers or 3D anything; just brains and a slide rule. It was quite an era.
It made sense when they were using actual words like Elite, Esprit, Exige etc, or named after a person like Elise. Now they're just making up e-words.
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