Durability testing of new Lotus cars in the 1980s often involved a very specific challenge – Rome and back in a weekend.The reason was to put as many miles as possible on a test car in as short a period as possible. Engineers would leave the company’s Hethel HQ in Norfolk on Friday morning, photograph themselves outside The Colosseum in the Italian capital during Saturday, and be back at their desks on Monday.
To celebrate the feat, Lotus challenged popular UK petrolhead destination Caffeine & Machine to make the same road trip in a Lotus Exige Sport 410. Its team could take any scenic route to Rome, but had to recreate the same Colosseum picture to prove they had completed the challenge.
From its base in Warwickshire, the team took in the historic pit lane of the Reims-Gueux circuit, high Alpine passes and tight historic Italian streets – all perfect driving roads for the Exige Sport 410.
Documenting its adventure, Caffeine & Machine updated its social media audience regularly with photos and films – a truly engaging way to take fans of both brands along for the ride.
Phil McGovern, founder of Caffeine & Machine, commented: “I had never experienced a Lotus before and it exceeded expectations. It was exciting. It was sonorous. It was direct and it did everything I asked of it. It was the choice vehicle for the trip. Dynamically it is among the best of all the other sports cars I have owned and driven.”
Gavan Kershaw, Director, Vehicle Attributes, Lotus Cars added “These iconic durability tests are part of our company’s engineering heritage and just as relevant today, Caffeine & Machine were the perfect partner to take up the challenge of #RomeinaLotus.”
This weekend (9-10 November) fans of Lotus and Caffeine & Machine have the chance to see the very car which completed the challenge. It will be on display at Caffeine & Machine’s ‘Best of British’ event, which takes place across the weekend of 9th and 10th November.
Caffeine & Machine was established in 2015 and opened its first permanent residence at The Houndshill, Ettington in 2018. The venue has fast become the destination of choice for fans of anything that moves in the UK, providing a place where a huge and diverse community can meet, talk, eat, drink and inspire.
Road trips and driving engagement have long been at the heart of Lotus cars – the brand which is ‘For the Drivers’.