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Javelin
Javelin SuperDork
9/21/10 8:33 a.m.

http://www.autoblog.com/2010/09/20/paris-preview-lotus-elite-shows-the-way-forward-with-slick-new/

3600Lb Lotus? Colin Chapman is going lead the rising of the zombies...

ReverendDexter
ReverendDexter Dork
9/21/10 8:37 a.m.

+1 on the WTF. You buy a Lotus because you understand that --weight is better than ++power. This violates that. With a broom handle.

EricM
EricM Dork
9/21/10 8:43 a.m.

Silly Malaysians... I did like my Prodona though.

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker SuperDork
9/21/10 8:48 a.m.

If my specialty was ultra lightweight cars that have no competition from any other manufacturer... and people accept my shoddy build quality as part of the "charm" I would think twice before trying to compete with Porsche, Aston, etc in a market where people will piss and moan if the brakes squeal or the hatch rattles.

There is a lot more "compromise" in a GT car than Lotus is used to. About 2 tons of it.

4cylndrfury
4cylndrfury SuperDork
9/21/10 9:30 a.m.

hmmm...retractable roof, spaceshipZOMFGcrazy body lines, V8...looks like they hopped on the euroluxobarge-in-a-racecars-skin bandwagon...too many other cars in that segment. KISS must have been rmoved from their playbook

ReverendDexter
ReverendDexter Dork
9/21/10 9:37 a.m.

If they're smart, this won't be a "Lotus". It'll be a something else with a "Tuned by Lotus" sticker.

Otto_Maddox
Otto_Maddox Reader
9/21/10 9:58 a.m.

Why do so many manufacturers figure that success in their niche is best followed up by branching out? Sometimes people should just stick to what they do best.

MacLotus
MacLotus None
9/21/10 10:12 a.m.

I think just like many Porsche, Ferrari and BMW owners, they want a variety of same-brand performance cars in their stable. This has opened up a new market for performance car companies, which is vital to their growth in a competitive market. R&D is EXPENSIVE, and if you want to keep up with the Jones's, you need big revenue.

Example:In addition to the Cayenne, Porsche now has the Panamera, a four door performance car for taking the family to dinner in. It carries your golf clubs too.

Sure you want the Carrera GT in the garage, or the new 918 Hybrid, but the Panamera's and M5's offer a more civilized approach for the everyday driver.

Point is, the market for this new type Lotus (Evora too) is WAY bigger than the light track car market. The good news is that the increased revenue generated from these cars will develop the new technology Elise/Exige track cars... and that's good!!

Of course... I'll stick with the track car.

oldeskewltoy
oldeskewltoy Reader
9/21/10 10:17 a.m.
Underneath that front hood sits a version of the 5.0-liter V8 from the Lexus IS F,
It is widely expected that the new team's current drivers will be retained for another season, and that Lotus Racing will take on the historic Team Lotus moniker for 2011 and beyond.

Me thinks you folks don't read between the lines very carefully

http://formula-one.speedtv.com/article/f1-lotus-to-team-with-toyota-in-2011-formula-one-season/

MacLotus
MacLotus New Reader
9/21/10 10:17 a.m.
Otto_Maddox wrote: Why do so many manufacturers figure that success in their niche is best followed up by branching out? Sometimes people should just stick to what they do best.

Porsche started as a track-only car. Ferrari too. The racing $ revenue funded R&D that developed technology in your street car. Now it also takes manufacturing revenue to fund high-tech R&D ($$$), and that means selling cars non-racers might buy (or women).

This is good. I've always been worried Lotus may not survive without these investments.

Cheers,

4cylndrfury
4cylndrfury SuperDork
9/21/10 10:17 a.m.
Otto_Maddox wrote: Why do so many manufacturers figure that success in their niche is best followed up by branching out? Sometimes people should just stick to what they do best.

probably for the same reasons that civics are now a ton and a half+

some people cant just leave well enough alone. Never underestimate a corporations ability to snatch fail from the jaws of win

MacLotus
MacLotus New Reader
9/21/10 10:19 a.m.
oldeskewltoy wrote:
Underneath that front hood sits a version of the 5.0-liter V8 from the Lexus IS F,
It is widely expected that the new team's current drivers will be retained for another season, and that Lotus Racing will take on the historic Team Lotus moniker for 2011 and beyond.
Me thinks you folks don't read between the lines very carefully http://formula-one.speedtv.com/article/f1-lotus-to-team-with-toyota-in-2011-formula-one-season/

As an owner of a 1600lb track Lotus, If I'm going that fast.... I want 3000lbs around me.

dj06482
dj06482 Reader
9/21/10 10:19 a.m.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who's eyes bugged out when I saw the weight

Schmidlap
Schmidlap Reader
9/21/10 10:29 a.m.

But it's a hybrid!! ZOMG...Greencar...SAVE THE PLANET...

So it's a 3600lb, 2+2 with a 600+hp V8 coupled to an automatic transmission with hybrid assist. How much could they have cut the weight down if the car was not built to take the extra weight and torque of a big V8 with hybrid assist? Would a high revving, 350-400hp V6, manual transmission, non-hybrid drivetrain allowed them to cut the weight to 3000lb? How much would the straight line performance have suffered? The top speed wouldn't be close to the quoted 195mph, so maybe that's a deal breaker for them. Hopefully a lighter version is also in the cards as an "entry level" version, although if the chassis is still designed to handle a V8, the possible weight savings will be compromised. As a comparison, the 2 seater Esprit V8 weighed just under 2850-3030lb depending on the version, with an engine that could supposedly put out 500hp, but a transmission that couldn't handle it. How much heavier would a stretched Esprit have been? Were the Esprit's aluminum of steel bodied? Is this new Lotus aluminum bodied?

On the other hand, it's still lighter than a Jaguar XK8, Aston Martin DB9, Ferarri 612, Nissan GTR and most other high end 2+2s, but is still heavier than a 911 (if you believe that the 911 has useable rear seats, making it a 2+2). Speaking of Porsche, a lot of purists thought the Cayenne was heretical and that the entire management team should have been dragged out back and shot, but the profits from the Cayenne has allowed Porsche to offer a lot of special models (Boxster Spyder, GT2, GT3 etc) so most have accepted it as a good thing. Hopefully this ends up being a good thing for Lotus.

Bob

96DXCivic
96DXCivic SuperDork
9/21/10 10:37 a.m.
Schmidlap wrote: Speaking of Porsche, a lot of purists thought the Cayenne was heretical and that the entire management team should have been dragged out back and shot, but the profits from the Cayenne has allowed Porsche to offer a lot of special models (Boxster Spyder, GT2, GT3 etc) so most have accepted it as a good thing. Hopefully this ends up being a good thing for Lotus. Bob

I still say the designers of the Cayenne should be dragged out back and shot along with the designers of that thing which is supposed to be a Lotus.

triumph5
triumph5 HalfDork
9/21/10 10:42 a.m.

Lotus is following the disposable-income," I can afford it," halo car market to get its name re-associated with Ferrari, Lambo, Porsche, and others when one lays down $180K, wants 0-62mph in 3.2-ish sceonds, and tops out around 190mph. Also has an air of exclusivity desired by that buyer.

And there's room in the back (sounds wierd with Lotus) for kiddies/stuff.

In short Lotus is working on expanding their customer base and name association---qualities every company needs to survive.

96DXCivic
96DXCivic SuperDork
9/21/10 10:45 a.m.
triumph5 wrote: Lotus is following the disposable-income," I can afford it," halo car market to get its name re-associated with Ferrari, Lambo, Porsche, and others when one lays down $180K, wants 0-62mph in 3.2-ish sceonds, and tops out around 190mph. Also has an air of exclusivity desired by that buyer. And there's room in the back (sounds wierd with Lotus) for kiddies/stuff. In short Lotus is working on expanding their customer base and name association---qualities every company needs to survive.

They have survived since 1952 with just bare bones sports cars. Why do they need to change now?

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker SuperDork
9/21/10 10:47 a.m.
96DXCivic wrote:
Schmidlap wrote: a lot of purists thought the Cayenne was heretical and that the entire management team should have been dragged out back and shot

I still say the designers of the Cayenne should be dragged out back and shot along with the designers of that thing which is supposed to be a Lotus.

Lets not forget the Panenema design team. They should be burned at the stake.

To the Cayanne justification... It made them more money for sure. They didn't use that money to make anything new at all. They just gave model names to option packages. A GT3 RSR is a GT3 RS with a different spring rate, cams and paint (and bling). A GT2 is a Turbo with more boost. Its marketing drivel we used to call "options" not models. All they did is what GM used to do - make "specials" ala the Richard Petty Edition Grand Prix.

They actually used the money to attempt to take over VW and almost ended up in the crapper.

So as not to totally jack this thread.... 911s... THEY ARE TOO berkeleying HEAVY TOO.

4cylndrfury
4cylndrfury SuperDork
9/21/10 10:50 a.m.
Giant Purple Snorklewacker wrote: To the Cayanne justification... It made them more money for sure. They didn't use that money to make anything new at all. They just gave model names to option packages. A GT3 RSR is a GT3 RS with a different spring rate, cams and paint (and bling). A GT2 is a Turbo with more boost. Its marketing drivel we used to call "options" not models. All they did is what GM used to do - make "specials" ala the Richard Petty Edition Grand Prix. They actually used the money to attempt to take over VW and almost ended up in the crapper.

^this - a jack-of-all-trades will always be a master of none.

/thread

Otto_Maddox
Otto_Maddox Reader
9/21/10 10:53 a.m.

In reply to MacLotus:

Yeah, I agree completely but you have to draw the line somewhere. Don't you? Ferraris have always made sports and GT cars, so I don't think they've really gone out on a limb. The same is true with Porsche, but with the notable exception of the Cayenne. I like that it makes them money, but I am not sure how it adds to the company otherwise.

Others have mentioned BMW. I don't think they really fit into the discussion. Two seat sports cars are as big of an anomoly for them as SUVs. I'd have no problem with them making a minivan as long as it had superior driving dynamics.

wcelliot
wcelliot Reader
9/21/10 11:08 a.m.

Lotus has made heavy, semi-luxury GT's before... Eclat, Elite (70's not original), etc... some of the most beloved Lotuses ever built. Or maybe not. ;-)

m4ff3w
m4ff3w SuperDork
9/21/10 11:15 a.m.
wcelliot wrote: Lotus has made heavy, semi-luxury GT's before... Eclat, Elite (70's not original), etc... some of the most beloved Lotuses ever built. Or maybe not. ;-)

The Elite/Eclat/Excel were sub-2500lbs, no?

mblommel
mblommel Reader
9/21/10 11:20 a.m.

This is the work of new CEO Dany Bahar who came from Ferrari. It should be expected since the word has been since he replaced Mike Kimberly that the brand was aimed to go "up-market" with more luxury, power and of course weight. I think it's a dumb idea, but it's a different mindset in control. Soon we'll only have 3500lb $100,000+ "Luxury GT's" available. Yuck. The designer for this new Elite is an ex-Ferrari guy too brought in by Bahar I suppose.

'ol Colin must be really spinning in the grave right about now.

ReverendDexter
ReverendDexter Dork
9/21/10 11:24 a.m.
mblommel wrote: 'ol Colin must be really spinning in the grave right about now.

Quick, wrap him in wire and put some magnets around him, and we'll sell the electricity!

And when he slows down, just get a GM engineer hired at Lotus to make a pickup.

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker SuperDork
9/21/10 11:25 a.m.
m4ff3w wrote:
wcelliot wrote: Lotus has made heavy, semi-luxury GT's before... Eclat, Elite (70's not original), etc... some of the most beloved Lotuses ever built. Or maybe not. ;-)

The Elite/Eclat/Excel were sub-2500lbs, no?

1974 Elite and Elite II were ~2150lbs. 1974 Eclat 2326 lbs 1995 Esprit S4 S 2899 lb

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