A jet flight with GM's ex-chief, Bob Lutz
Top Gear's mag boss is taken for a spin by a true captain of the industry...
Posted: 19 Dec 2011
"Absolutely. I don't do failure real well, so I wouldn't be involved if I didn't think they can deliver. In five years, Lotus will be on its way to being seriously competitive, and I see it doing at least three times the current volume."
It's worth remembering at this point that among Lutz's fellow board members at Lotus are F1 legend Gordon Murray; Frank Tuch, the former quality czar at Porsche; and Wolf Zimmermann, the AMG engine builder who's already got the bespoke Lotus V8 developing 600bhp on the bench back at Hethel. These are not bit-part kind-of guys.
Just as he finishes talking, Bob pulls us up out of the low-level blast. The g-load forces me to tense every muscle in my lower body, desperately trying to push the blood back into my head. Fair to say that it's probably not a pretty sight - I'd imagine this is how I'd look giving birth. Bob doesn't bat an eyelid. We turn and climb up and onto our flight ceiling of 17,500ft in the blink of an eye.