The Lotus name has become synonymous with high-performance race and sports cars. Its machines are sleek, lightweight and equipped with high-revving engines, and possess superior handling capabilities. Racing enthusiast Anthony Colin Chapman built the first Lotus car near London in 1948; however, he didn’t found Lotus Cars Ltd. until 1955. Over the years, the brand has been owned by GM and Bugatti, but has always stayed true to its race car roots. Lotus was purchased by the Malaysian company Proton in 1996. While Lotus vehicles are not people-movers (they have tight cabins, few luxury amenities and almost no storage features), they offer enthusiasts world-class handling and style at a relatively affordable price.