Aftermarket

Lotus launches plug and play digital instrument pack that's loaded with 4,000 race tracks

The new Lotus Digital Instrument Pack is perfect for a track day.

Photo courtesy of Lotus Cars

Life at the track in your Lotus is getting easier thanks to the company's new Digital Instrument Pack. The digital dashboard features integrated GPS technology and lap performance indicators allowing drivers to measure, display, and record data.

The system is designed for Lotus Elise and V6 Exige models that were built from 2008 to today.

It comes loaded with the details of 4,127 race tracks worldwide and, using GPS technology, automatically recognizes when a driver is near a track. Drivers are able to download start/finish line co-ordinates so they can calculate lap times, then analyze their performance in real time on the digital display or later by downloading data to a laptop.

Lotus Digital Instrument Pack

Lotus digital instrument pack

Photo courtesy of Lotus Cars

The system's branded start-up imagery appears on the display of the high-contrast six-inch TFT screen. The pack features a camera input that allows drivers to add a portable action camera that would capture the action from each lap.

Chris Hinks, Aftersales Director, Lotus, said the Digital Instrument Pack is designed for drivers who want to take their Lotus track day experience to the next level, "We know our customers appreciate the motorsport heritage of Lotus cars and love to use their own vehicles on track days. Integrating a Digital Instrument Pack into an Elise or Exige is only going to enhance that experience."

The pack fits into the Elise or Exige dashboard, seamlessly. It replaces the original factory instrumentation.

Lotus is making the pack available in all markets where the two cars are sold. In the U.K., the pack is priced at £1,470 including VAT and a fitting service is available at an extra cost. When fitted by a Lotus retailer the pack is covered by a two-year warranty. Prices in other markets will vary.

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The Emira will be Lotus' last gas-powered car.

Lotus

Automakers of all sizes and shapes are going electric, and tiny British automaker Lotus is no exception. Known for building small, impossibly lightweight cars with amazing handling, Lotus is rolling out one last fossil fuel-burning sports car before its world changes completely.

Lotus EmiraThe Emira will be available with a four- or six-cylinder engine. Lotus

Lotus says the Emira will be its last gas-powered vehicle before its shift to an all-electric lineup. The Emira is available with both a V6 and a twin-turbocharged inline four-cylinder - a version of the world's most powerful four-banger. Orders for the V6 model have far exceeded expectations, and the automaker notes that traffic to its website has grown considerably due to the car's popularity.

Lotus borrowed the engine from AMG, but the power numbers are different than the specs announced in 2019. At that time, Mercedes-AMG noted that the engine could produce up to 416 horsepower, but Lotus is only squeezing 360 ponies out of the inline-four. That said, Lotus' ability to build featherweight performance cars means that 360 horsepower will be plenty to motivate the Emira with enthusiasm. An eight-speed dual-clutch transmission is standard and brings paddle shifters to a Lotus for the first time.

A load of options are available for the car, including seven interior color options, six exterior colors, four options packages, and multiple wheel designs. Though some sports and luxury automakers hold the best options back to charge more, Lotus offers a surprising number of standard features, including 12-way power seats with memory, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a 10.25-inch touchscreen, and a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster.

Lotus EmiraSeveral colors and options will be available. Lotus

Reservations for the First Edition model open on April 8 for customers in the UK with deliveries starting later in 2022. The Emira First Edition starts at $85,900, while the entry-level four-cylinder model starts at around $79,000. Lotus says more specs and pricing details will be made available this summer.

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Some owners have discovered that their car's video games work when the car is moving.

Tesla

Tesla's vehicles are among the most advanced and forward-thinking products of any kind, but serious innovation doesn't come with tradeoffs. The automaker has been in the news recently because of issues with how its advanced cruise control systems function, and now, Autoblog reports that the NHTSA is asking questions about Tesla giving drivers the ability to play video games and browse the internet while driving.

Tesla Arcade hands-on: the Model 3 is your video game consoleyoutu.be

The feature is intended to be used while the car is parked, such as while charging, so the discovery that people can use them while driving is a serious one. Vince Patton, the person who filed the complaint with the NHTSA, tested his car and found that he could play Solitaire and a fairly involved action game while it was in motion. Internet browsing was also possible, meaning the driver could take their attention completely off the road ahead for extended periods of time.

Tesla Model 3Tesla's screens offer advanced functions that many others do not. Tesla

Tesla was already under investigation over crashes involving its Autopilot feature. Several collisions have occurred between Teslas and emergency vehicles stopped on the side of the road. Following the initiation of that investigation, the NHTSA raised other questions with the automaker over a buggy software update that was pushed out, retracted, fixed, and reissued outside of the normal recall process. Despite their names, it's important to clarify that neither the Autopilot nor Full Self-Driving features are capable of driving the cars without driver awareness and input.

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