“We haven’t allocated 130 to sales; we said that we would never build more than that, and we won’t build any that aren’t ordered,” he says. “The Evija isn’t really based around sales figures; it’s what it does for the brand. It’s a halo product, one that shows where we’re going in the future. We wanted to put Lotus back on the map with it, and that’s what we’re doing – and that will increase later this year when we prove the performance level.”
Another heart-over-head decision is motorsport, with Windle agreeing that Lotus’s lack of factory racing activity doesn’t match with the brand’s historic legacy. He says: “It’s a huge part of our heritage – every day, I walk past the big sign outside the entrance with the seven [Formula 1] world championships on it and the pictures of the cars. That nags at me.”
Rejoining F1 is unlikely any time soon, but Windle says Lotus should make a more modest return to GT4 racing with the Emira next year.
It might seem odd to be asking about this in his first interview, but the proven hotness of Lotus’s hot seat makes the question of Windle’s legacy with the firm seem justifiable. How does he want to both change it and pass it on when the time comes?
“It’s all about turning it into a sustainable business, getting to where revenue can fund new products so you’re not trying to borrow or raise money all the time,” he says. “I suppose my job really is to set us up for the next 70 years. In the previous 70, there have been some points where we’ve only just survived. It’s that security, that sustainability, which is really important.”