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Auto blogTue, 30 Oct 2012 18:20:00 EST
This has been a tumultuous year for Lotus - to say the least - from the company being sold off back in January to its CEO Dany Bahar being fired in June to its questionable financial status and rumors of the British automaker being sold off to another automaker. First, we heard that Volkswagen was interested in acquiring Lotus and parent company Proton, a rumor that was later dismissed. Now Automobile is reporting that fellow Brit Aston Martin could be in the market to work with or possibly even merge with Lotus.
While this is pure speculation at this point, such a venture could prove to be beneficial for both independent companies. That's because with Lotus focused on lightweight, relatively affordable sports cars and Aston Martin producing high-end performance cars, there is virtually no product overlap between the companies. The article suggests that a person or company wanting to merge these two automakers would have to raise between $1.1 billion and $1.6 billion in order to make a go of it, however.
We're not sure what to think of this latest rumor, but anything that can help get the struggling brand back to health at least has our interest.
As part of an increasingly close partnership, Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler is reportedly preparing to increase its stake in Aston Martin by another one percent, bringing the German automaker's shares in the British company up to five percent.
The rapprochement between the two has been in the works for years now, and is finally beginning to take form. Mercedes-AMG is in the midst of developing a new engine with and for Aston Martin in an apparently similar arrangement to that which it has with Pagani. But that's not the extent of it.
Daimler will also furnish Aston Martin with electrical systems and other components, said to lead up to the eventual sharing of platforms: one to underpin future GTs and another to serve as the basis for a long-mooted Aston Martin crossover, now said to be back on the table and slated to launch in 2017. The prospect of using the partnership to reinvigorate both the Lagonda and Maybach luxury brands, however, has since been taken off the table, with both parties continuing those projects independently.
Can the Tesla Model S electric motor's 443 pound-feet of torque from zero rpm and equivalent of 416 horsepower trump the Aston Martin Rapide S V12's 457 lb-ft from 5500 rpm and 550 hp? Autocar attempts to answer that question by drag racing them - which only leads us to ask more questions. Which is the fastest around a race track? Is the Tesla's relatively low top speed of 130 miles per hour (the Rapide S can reach 190 mph) forgivable in light of its astounding torque? Does that even matter?
We hope Autocar's Steve Sutcliffe will pit the Tesla and the Aston Martin against each other again in the near future to answer those questions, and pick once and for all which one is the preferred luxury sedan. But until then he entertains us in the video below by raving about the Model S's attributes, pitching it into medium-speed sweepers and getting it a bit sideways with nothing but road and tire noise permeating the cabin - something people in the UK can experience for themselves once right-hand-drive cars go on sale there this spring.