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Javelin
Javelin SuperDork
10/1/10 9:54 a.m.

As if the 3600Lb Lotus wasn't enough, the new Elise is heavier with "more luxury" (and more ugly). And now a 4-door Hybrid Lotus. Really? Now can I claim that Lotus is truly dead?

RossD
RossD Dork
10/1/10 9:58 a.m.

This is their "jumping the shark".

Schmidlap
Schmidlap Reader
10/1/10 10:21 a.m.

This is their "holy crap, we're no longer the only player in the 'super light, stripped down car targeted at 0.000001% of the public' segment and the novelty has certainly worn off the Elise so it isn't selling nearly as well as it did when we introduced so we need to do something to keep from going out of business, and maybe we can flourish like Porsche did when they expanded their model line beyond their traditional market".

Lotus has a plant that is designed to build 10,000 cars a year. They had sales of 4135 units in 2004, 2633 in 2006, and 2280 in 2008. They were supplementing their own sales with building cars or chassis' for Tesla and Opel, but only Tesla's still doing that and they want to build their cars entirely on their own. So you've got a plant building at 20% of capacity. Do you know what happens to a plant that is designed to build 10,000 cars but only builds 2,000? Ask any number of unemployed GM, Chrysler or Ford employees and they can tell you all about over capacity, and how it drives a company to bankruptcy if it's not corrected.

Can I counter all this doom and gloom about Lotus with the 3190lb, 620hp KERS equipped 2013 Esprit?

http://www.insideline.com/lotus/esprit/lotus-esprit-concept-2010-paris-auto-show.html

Bob

oldsaw
oldsaw SuperDork
10/1/10 10:29 a.m.

In reply to Schmidlap:

Quit making sense, Bob!

gamby
gamby SuperDork
10/1/10 10:37 a.m.

Well, the Cayenne put Porsche in the black enough to keep them making the "cool" cars, despite the hatred of the enthusiast community.

If it does the same for lotus, then fine.

kreb
kreb Dork
10/1/10 10:49 a.m.

I've been seeing so much Lotus hate here and Jalopnik. FWIW, as long as they don't overextend and kill the company in the process, I'm basically good with it. $45,000 Elises were hardly an everyday man's car anyway. I'd suggest that if someone has the joneses for traditional Lotus virtues, there's a number of other companys who've moved into that nitch: The Seven replica industry, the kit-car industry including but not limited to Atom and Factory Five, the X-bow, et cetera.

Javelin
Javelin SuperDork
10/1/10 10:52 a.m.

Did I mention that only one of the new 5 models can even be had with a manual?

Oh and the Porsche argument is crap. The Boxster is what allowed them to stay in business, the Cayenne money was used to try and buy VW and look how well that turned out for them. The Cayenne and Panamera make me sick. Porches died awhile ago and just didn't know it till VW took them back over.

tuna55
tuna55 Dork
10/1/10 11:24 a.m.

I am not a fan of any of them. Odd, though, when the Lambo concept weighs less than most of the Lotii. Personally, I can see the Esprit line as a halo car, pricey with gadgets to compete with the 458 or whatever, the Evora pretty much as is and the Elise as is. The only thing I'd add is a super low cost car. Make a modern 7 with a body, cheap everything, but four seats. Make it do what the Datsun 240Z did to the Camaro/Mustang whatever. Make people cross shop it for typical 30K-40K performance-ish stuff. That is a goal they can actually accomplish. Trying to make what they conceptualized at Paris is going to break them.

nderwater
nderwater HalfDork
10/1/10 12:58 p.m.
bravenrace
bravenrace Dork
10/1/10 1:14 p.m.

Lotus should do whatever Lotus needs to do to survive and thrive. They currently aren't thriving on lightweight bare bones sports cars, so it shouldn't surprise anyone that they decided to go a different direction. Yes, it's counter to Colin's philosophy, but business is business, and things change with time. I wonder how many of the critics here have purchased a new Lotus? (I don't really want an answer to that.)

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker SuperDork
10/1/10 1:29 p.m.

The difference between Porsche selling products to a different market and Lotus selling GT cars to Porsche's market is that Porsche has a long, storied and well respected brand. People don't buy a Cayenne because its a great car, they buy it because its a Porsche. (well, really, because they are tools.... or they would save $30k and buy the VW).

Lotus has a long, storied and well respected brand too; among the 1 in 1000 citizens that have actually heard of them. It is solely based on shoddily built cars that you and two friends can change tires on w/o a jack... and they go like stink. The people who are hatin' be hatin' because they can buy a nice GT car anywhere but they can't get a damn lightweight, no compromises, sports car ANYWHERE else.

oldsaw
oldsaw SuperDork
10/1/10 1:30 p.m.
bravenrace wrote: I wonder how many of the critics here have purchased a new Lotus? (I don't really want an answer to that. )

You already know the answer...........

If these critics could even afford a new Elise or Exige, they'd still opt for a used model.

alfadriver
alfadriver SuperDork
10/1/10 1:44 p.m.
bravenrace wrote: Lotus should do whatever Lotus needs to do to survive and thrive. They currently aren't thriving on lightweight bare bones sports cars, so it shouldn't surprise anyone that they decided to go a different direction. Yes, it's counter to Colin's philosophy, but business is business, and things change with time. I wonder how many of the critics here have purchased a new Lotus? (I don't really want an answer to that.)

I'm glad you asked that, 'cause I was going to, too.

Complain all you want- but if you never buy a new car, you do know that your opinion is moot, right?

alfadriver
alfadriver SuperDork
10/1/10 1:46 p.m.
Giant Purple Snorklewacker wrote: The difference between Porsche selling products to a different market and Lotus selling GT cars to Porsche's market is that Porsche has a long, storied and well respected brand. People don't buy a Cayenne because its a great car, they buy it because its a Porsche. (well, really, because they are tools.... or they would save $30k and buy the VW). Lotus has a long, storied and well respected brand too; among the 1 in 1000 citizens that have actually heard of them. It is solely based on shoddily built cars that you and two friends can change tires on w/o a jack... and they go like stink. The people who are hatin' be hatin' because they can buy a nice GT car anywhere but they can't get a damn lightweight, no compromises, sports car ANYWHERE else.

Lotus's real problems is not that only 1 in 1000 has ever heard of them, it's that 1 in 1,000,000 new cars are theirs. Change that by one order of magnitude, and they suddenly have a viable business.

kreb
kreb Dork
10/1/10 1:54 p.m.

I don't mean to be a prick, and I'm a huge Lotus fan; but I've never seen a Lotus run really fast. At the Lotus club track days that I've done, The quickest cars were non-Loti: Turbo Miata, Cayman S, Stalker, Noble, Z06 and such.

nderwater
nderwater HalfDork
10/1/10 1:55 p.m.
alfadriver wrote: Lotus's real problems is not that only 1 in 1000 has ever heard of them, it's that 1 in 1,000,000 new cars are theirs. Change that by one order of magnitude, and they suddenly have a viable business.

Change that by one order of magnitude, and they suddenly they are competing directly with rest of the well established and well funded manufacturers who already sell expensive exotics: Aston Martin, Audi, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, McLaren, Mercedes Benz, Porsche, etc. Good luck with that.

alfadriver
alfadriver SuperDork
10/1/10 2:00 p.m.
nderwater wrote:
alfadriver wrote: Lotus's real problems is not that only 1 in 1000 has ever heard of them, it's that 1 in 1,000,000 new cars are theirs. Change that by one order of magnitude, and they suddenly have a viable business.

Change that by one order of magnitude, and they suddenly they are competing directly with rest of the well established and well funded manufacturers who already sell expensive exotics: Aston Martin, Audi, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, McLaren, Mercedes Benz, Porsche, etc. Good luck with that.

At the prices they sell the cars at, they need to change the number by two orders of magnitude. Otherwise- they ARE up against the high volume exotics. None of which live on their own (P cars came the closest, but otherwise, all are owned by a parent now- MB doesn't count).

Ian F
Ian F Dork
10/1/10 3:17 p.m.

In reply to Schmidlap:

I agree with everything Bob says, but still... it would be nice if one Lotus car stayed true to the original vision... maybe at a low enough price-point that I could consider buying one.

Twin_Cam
Twin_Cam Dork
10/1/10 6:11 p.m.
Schmidlap wrote: This is their "holy crap, we're no longer the only player in the 'super light, stripped down car targeted at 0.000001% of the public'

They aren't?

mblommel
mblommel Reader
10/1/10 6:18 p.m.

Perhaps the "old, out of date" Elises will drop in price. I would guess the typical douchebag exotic car buyer they now seem to be persuing would have no need for something that is clearly not the latest model, with no paddle shift or cupholders. I'm sad for the demise of the true Lotus ideals. I guess you can always still buy a Caterham, Atom or similar.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH SuperDork
10/1/10 8:26 p.m.

I saw it and came crying over here right away. RIP Elise

I usually like the angular hyper-futuristic cars but this one's butt ugly.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH SuperDork
10/1/10 8:35 p.m.
Schmidlap wrote: Can I counter all this doom and gloom about Lotus with the 3190lb, 620hp KERS equipped 2013 Esprit? http://www.insideline.com/lotus/esprit/lotus-esprit-concept-2010-paris-auto-show.html

3190lbs? Not really

nderwater
nderwater HalfDork
10/1/10 8:59 p.m.

I was depressed when I first heard that the current Evora was just shy of 3,000 pounds. In stretching the chassis a few inches, swapping the i4 for a v6, and upgrading the interior, the car gained about a thousand pounds on the Elise, though it is built using the same architecture.

wcelliot
wcelliot HalfDork
10/1/10 10:12 p.m.

I'm glad you asked that, 'cause I was going to, too. Complain all you want- but if you never buy a new car, you do know that your opinion is moot, right?

I absolutey agree with your point, but I assume that you do realize that many of us here could but a new car, but choose not to do so because of either the car offered or the economics involved?

For me the Elise was an inferior car to my V8 transplant S1 Esprit and was definitely not worth the $35k+ that they cost....

Frankly I could drive most any new car that I wanted to... but I choose not to.

With the current deprecriation model, few people than undertstand basic math will buy a new car based on logic alone.

Several years ago, a senior business leader described his "target market" as a subset of "customers with plenty of cash" and "ignorant customers". That doesn't seem to conflict with the current automotive marketing trends....

TOZOVR
TOZOVR Reader
10/1/10 10:31 p.m.
oldsaw wrote: In reply to Schmidlap: Quit making sense, Bob!

Yeah man, don't confuse me with logic, my mind is made up!!! (forgive me if this seems out of place...that's usually my wife's stance)

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