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1 november 2005

North Carolina and Lotus Engineering to Design Advanced Vehicle Research Center


New proving ground in North Carolina provides industry

with advanced testing capabilities

Testing Expo, Novi, Michigan, (October 26, 2005) - Today AVRC and Lotus Engineering announced that they have partnered to design the Advanced Vehicle Research Center (AVRC) automotive proving grounds in North Carolina.

Located on I-95 in Northampton County, AVRC will feature a high-speed track, ride and handling track, vehicle dynamics area(s), advanced emissions laboratory, hydrogen and alternative fuel refuelling stations, client offices and workshop areas.

"As a leader in vehicle development, Lotus Engineering has the experience and knowledge to design a test facility with unique capabilities," said Don Graunstadt, CEO, Lotus Engineering Inc. "We look forward to providing a resource to the industry that will assist in the further development and validation of advanced technologies."

The state of North Carolina has an impressive background in technology development through its strong education system and initiatives such as the Research Triangle Park near Raleigh, N.C. To further its commitment, the state has allocated funding for start-up and development of the AVRC with additional funding from other institutions and the federal government.

"North Carolina has long been recognized for leadership in information technology, pharmaceuticals, and medical research" said Dick Dell, Executive Director of the AVRC, "Supported by pre-eminent universities in North Carolina and in partnership with the automotive and transportation industry, we will build a world-class testing and development center. "

The 630-acre facility will be independently operated with engineering support available on-site through Lotus Engineering. The first stage of the AVRC is expected to be operational and available to industry clients and partners in late 2006.

"As energy issues continue to be a challenge in the U.S., advanced powertrain research and development are vital to the future of the automotive industry," said Don Graunstadt. "Having a facility like AVRC to test technologies such as clean diesel, hydrogen and hybrid-electric systems in a year-round use environment will be crucial in overcoming these challenges."