Poll: As Lotus is hailed as Britain’s best car manufacturer, what is the best British car?

1969 Lotus Elan. Picture: Matthew Usher. 1969 Lotus Elan. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014
7:56 AM

Hethel-based Lotus was named the most popular British manufacturer by readers of Autocar magazine, the world’s oldest motoring title.

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The Lotus Esprit.The Lotus Esprit.

Eight Lotus cars were named in the poll of the 100 best British cars list. The classic Lotus Seven made it in its own right, alongside the Elise, Esprit, Elan, Cortina, Evora, Carlton and Sunbeam.

Hot on the Norfolk car maker’s heels were Jaguar and Ford, both with six models on the list. Aston Martin was up next with five.

A Lotus spokesman said: “We are delighted that Autocar readers have recognised Lotus as the most popular British manufacturer.

“This poll demonstrates the popularity and desirability of Lotus as a marque today and also recognises that, since the first Lotus in 1948, Lotus has produced many ground-breaking cars that were so successful that they are still at the forefront of people’s minds.

The last Lotus Esprit from the production line at Hethel is signed off.The last Lotus Esprit from the production line at Hethel is signed off.

“It is worth noting that the highest-ranking Lotus is the Elise, and we build the latest version at our hi-tech production facilities at Hethel.”

The original Mini, first introduced in 1959, was voted the best-ever British car in the survey.

Autocar brand editor Chas Hallett said: “It comes as little surprise that the original Mini has topped the list of all-time British greats. It’s such an iconic vehicle and represents a lot more than the British car industry; the Mini is associated with Great Britain around the world and, in many ways, it was ahead of its time.

“Again, it’s no surprise that a manufacturer that is held in such high regard tops the list of manufacturers. Over the years, Lotus has produced some wonderful examples of British engineering, so it is a worthy winner of such a prized accolade.”

Lotus in China

Lotus cars may have got British motoring enthusiasts in a spin – but the company is also hoping to step up a gear internationally with an increased focus on the Chinese market.

Group Lotus recently opened its first 4S Centre in Beijing. Spread over four floors and 1,000sqm at the Golden Motor Park, the centre aims to offer a “complete Lotus experience” which features a showroom, service centre, “merchandise retail corner”, and club lounge for Lotus car owners.

Lotus has eight dealerships in China, with the Lotus Evora, Exige and Elise models currently available to the China market.

Aslam Farikullah, chief operating officer, said at the official opening of the centre that China’s growth had fuelled a rise in international car brands opening factories and dealerships in the country.

“China’s growth has not only opened the eyes of the international business community, but it has also inspired us to open this new Lotus 4S Centre,” he said.

“The company has been receiving positive demand for Lotus cars in China, hence there is a need for Lotus to position itself strategically and it is only fitting that these valued customers are able to enjoy the level of services and comforts that befit the brand’s iconic status.”

 

BRITAIN’S BEST-EVER CARS

 

100. Range Rover Evoque

99. Ginetta G40R

98. Vauxhall Astra

97. Marcos TSO

96. Honda Civic

95. MG A

94. Vauxhall Chevette HSR

93. Triumph Dolomite Sprint

92. Allard J2

91. Honda Jazz

90. Sunbeam Tiger

89. Nissan Juke

88. Invicta Black Prince

87. Noble M12

86. Lotus Carlton

85. Caterham Seven 160

84. Caparo T1

83. Rolls-Royce 10 HP

82. Triumph TR5 PI

81. Radical RXC

80. Triumph 1300

79. Daimler SP250 ‘Dart’

78. Morgan 4/4

77. Renault Megane RS 225

76. Noble M600

75. Lotus Sunbeam

74. Morgan Plus 8

73. BAC Mono

72. Gordon-Keeble

71. Austin-Healey Sprite

70. MGB GT

69. Bristol Fighter

68. Ford Cortina 1600E

67. Bowler EXR

66. AC Ace

65. Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow

64. Austin FX4

63. Napier-Railton

62. Caterham Supersport

61. Triumph 2000

60. Jaguar F-type

59. Morgan 3 wheeler

58. Reliant Scimitar

57. TVR Sagaris

56. Ford Escort RS2000

55. Bentley Continental GT

54. Ford Capri RS3100

53. Delorean DMC-12

52. Aston Martin V8

51. Ascari KZ1

50. Aston Martin V12 Vantage S

49. Subaru Impreza WRC

48. Hillman Avenger Tiger

47. Triumph Stag

46. Hillman Imp

45. Lister Storm

44. Rover P5B

43. Lotus Evora

42. Rover P6 3500S

41. Nissan Qashqai

40. Ariel Atom

39. Vauxhall Prince Henry

38. Aston Martin One-77

37. Rover 75

36. Jaguar XJ

35. Austin Seven

34. Bristol Blenheim

33. Lotus Cortina

32. Austin-Healey 3000

31. Aston Martin Vanquish

30. Lotus Seven

29. Land Rover

28. Jensen-Healey

27. Lotus Esprit

26. MG Midget

25. McLaren 12C

24. Morris Minor

23. Lotus Elan

22. TVR Speed 12

21. Rover SD1

20. TVR Chimaera

19. BMW Mini

18. Bentley Blower

17. Jaguar XF

16. Ford GT40

15. Rolls-Royce Phantom

14. Lotus Elise

13. Jaguar D-type

12. Ford Sierra RS Cosworth

11. Jensen FF

10. Ford Escort Mexico

9. TVR Griffith

8. Aston Martin DB5

7. Jaguar XJ220

6. McLaren P1

5. Yamaha MOTIV.e

4. Range Rover

3. Jaguar E-type

2. McLaren F1

1. Original Mini

6 comments

  • Horses for courses - some of us prefer a car that is a thrill to drive, or one that is pleasing to the eye, or one that 'never misses a beat'. One would imagine that Autocar's readership would be mostly driving enthusiasts, rather than reliability enthusiasts.

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    GoodRockinDaddy

    Wednesday, May 7, 2014

  • The best car is the one that is 100% reliable,I am not interested in image or speed,a broken down Lamborghini is no use to anyone! My ancient Vauxhall Cavalier has done 248000,never missed a beat,23 years old! If any make or model can do this,it is the best car in my book! Having said that I suspect there is more German than British technology in my car!

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Harry Rabinowitz

    Wednesday, May 7, 2014

  • Owned Ford`s from new and after a few years the locks, switches window winders etc start to fail. Had my Mercedes thirteen years now and it has never missed a beat, Never again would I buy a car built in Britain, German every time.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    John Bridge

    Wednesday, May 7, 2014

  • Even with the local connection etc. I still think Jaguar, Aston Martin, Bentley & Rolls Royce come above Lotus,

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Piranha24

    Wednesday, May 7, 2014

  • Britain's only car manufacturer?

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    marty r

    Wednesday, May 7, 2014

  • Norfolk John

    Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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