As the world’s richest man and one of the most famous people on the planet, Elon Musk can draw a crowd just by walking down the street.
But back in the mid-Noughties, the tycoon and his team from Tesla raised fewer eyebrows during visits to the headquarters of Norfolk-based sports car company Lotus in rural Hethel.
Tesla had recognised that Lotus produced the best-handling sports car on the road, according to the electric car company’s co-founder Martin Eberhard. It wanted to tap that expertise.
When Tesla unveiled its first car in 2006, the Roadster, it had an obvious similarity to the Lotus Elise – hardly surprising given the basic Roadsters were built at Lotus’s Potash Lane factory, before being shipped off so Tesla could install an electric drivetrain.
The link between Tesla – now the world’s most valuable car company, worth $800bn (£580bn)