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Bee

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Posts posted by Bee

  1. Top Gear: 'How much you would use [the Exige] depends how committed you are to lap times and spanners'

     

    It's not surprising that Lotus finds it difficult to change perceptions about the improved quality of its products when one of the leading motoring magazines makes unwarranted statements like that to the public! What factual basis does Top Gear journalist, Dan Read, have about the reliability of the Lotus Exige S V6 to tell the general public that the car will be unreliable?

     

    The JD Power survey for 2013 places Alfa Romeo as second from bottom. Their Mito was second from bottom out of 116 cars! Dan doesn't tell his readers that they will need a spanner.

     

    Personally, I'm finding Top Gear's journalistic standards to be increasingly unreliable; I'd suggest that they need a spanner but it looks like they are already employing one to write unsubstantiated drivel for cheap digs.

    • Like 1
  2. Like Michael, I'm very impressed with the 'oomph' in 6th gear!

     

    430 hp is very close to the 440 figure Lotus were claiming for the abandoned GTE model for which they were hoping to charge £120,000; it's a very impressive result! I'm very interested what sorts of acceleration figures the car can give with that sort of grunt.

  3. Fair comment with regard to large-scale advertising but there are cheaper ways to get your name/image out there. It's good to see the Evora Sports Racer with PistonHeads for an extended loan/review, for instance, so perhaps I shouldn't really complain! A bit of occasional news from Hethel and maybe an occasional invitation to journalists/TV crews would create column inches and get their name out there. I know people might argue that Porsche don't 'advertise' like that but they're already all over the roads - people see them on a daily basis!

     

    As always with Lotus, I (and I think most Lotus fans) do realise that miracles have had to be performed just for them to get great product out of the doors. It's just frustrating when you hear people, who profess an interest in cars/motoring, not even realising that the Evora is a product out in the marketplace!

  4. This is what to expect when a car company refuses to promote itself! Sports car fans all know about Lotus; motoring enthusiasts know Elises and remember Esprits; the general public at large often seem to know next to nothing about them.

     

    I've twice in the past year had someone ask if the F1 team is starting to make road cars like McLaren does and had another ask me if that Evora concept car is going to come out ...

  5. With the best will in the world, the Evora, as it stands, is virtually dead in the water. It's only serious exposure to the general motoring public was around its launch in 2009: the first genuinely new Lotus in almost fifteen years. Said exposure was repeated to a lesser degree with the Evora S.

     

    The raft of improvements for the 2012 models seemed to split opinion between those who praised Lotus and those who pointed out that the car should not have been launched with so many quality issues in the first place. Some disastrous televisual PR was twice provided by Top Gear. Once when the car appeared to be found lacking in a powersliding precision test (interior trim falling off the car during J Clarkson's time driving) and even more so when it was obliterated in a race by the cheaper Cayman and BMW 1M, cars which the figures suggest that the Evora should be as fast as if not faster than. It's easy for Lotus fans to say that Lotus cars are not about outright pace but, like it or lump it, Top Gear is watched by millions who form perceptions based upon what they see. Other pace-comparison videos on YouTube don't exactly help the case.

     

    As I've stated before - personally, I adore the Evora but I've loved Lotus since I was a little lad watching James Bond take his Esprit for a dip in the ocean. For the general public, however, it's virtually invisible, and that's not surprising given that Lotus has only sold a little over 450 Evoras in the UK since launch. I've only ever seen one on the roads during all my travels. Further interest must have been lost with the cancellation of the Roadster and GTE models; they, at least, did seem to garner serious public enthusiasm! The Sports Racer versions look great to me but all we saw was a momentary glimpse in the press and nowadays it is a five year old model competing with rivals who consistently update and improve. It's not in the same situation as the Elise which has few competitors, given its niche in the marketplace.

     

    I hate to sound like I'm Lotus-bashing; I can't stress enough how much I admire what they've achieved on the tightest of budgets. However, I just don't see what could possibly be done with the current model to impact sales. If they sold it for another five years and doubled sales, it would still only sell another 900 - a sum total of around 1350 or so in a decade.

     

    Although I, personally, would be gutted to lose the Evora, I can't help but believe that their best chance would be to drop the underpinnings into another body, add a little more power and re-launch under a new name. Whether the cost of doing that could be confidently justified is another matter; when sales for the Evora have been so low, the business case would surely be on shaky ground.

  6. Honda's new engines look very promising and their 8-speed gear box doesn't look too shabby, either! I'd love to hear an Esprit announcement but I'm starting to think that project's gone the way of the dodo and the Evora Roadster ...

     

    Perhaps a new/updated dash/interior for the Elise/Exige line-ups in order to rid themselves of one of their biggest criticisms?

     

    To be honest, I'll be glad if they have another steady year, building the quality and increasing the orders, but to succeed, they need something new and all the new jobs being created do suggest that 'something' is in the offing ...

    • Like 1
  7. That Exige S Roadster show car interior is a very significant improvement upon what was tried with Dany's Elise. (Well, if you ignore the steering wheel!) It's a shame Lotus felt that they couldn't deliver it for production models (I believe Mansory did the interior for that show model?) but I'm sure they had good reasons and if they couldn't maintain a high enough quality then it was obviously the right decision in the long run.

  8. “I am pleased to announce today that our flagship economic plan to create jobs outside of London - the regional growth fund - is awarding Lotus a £10 million grant which will help them develop their next generation of cars and create over 300 new jobs in East Anglia."

    - Vince Cable

     

    Does he know something we all don't, or does that just mean new variants of existing models?  :huh:

  9. DRB's refusal to share information really is a depressing state of affairs! Constant refusals to even share information about upcoming Evora updates is frankly counterproductive. How many potential customers will  get bored of waiting and simply plump for a Porsche/Jag/Aston instead! Promoting upcoming variants/models/updates creates and maintains interest and enthusiasm for fans of the marque; encourages and persuades potential customers to wait for a Lotus rather than go elsewhere; and, shows the world that Lotus has a positive and vibrant future.

     

    There's are good reasons why every automotive manufacturer on the planet promotes their upcoming products; for the life of me, I can't understand why DRB think they are doing Lotus any favours whatsoever by doing the opposite.

  10. Three times current sales strikes me as a huge ask unless the new variants are genuinely offering something very new over the standard models. The fact that the US is mentioned as a major market suggests some substantial work going on; gaining type approval there is - as has been frequently been pointed out in many posts on the site - a very expensive business. It's certainly great news for US Lotus fans currently scraping by with just the Evora!

     

    A re-launched Elise would have to be significantly revised, far beyond the S1 to S2 update. No matter how much how the purists point to it being a superior drive, it will have to be a very different proposition to the current model in order to contribute towards the kinds of sales figures Jamil is suggesting by only March 2015 (not much more than 16 months away!) I suppose a completely new interior for the Exige would also be there for the Elise which would allay the greatest criticism thrown at both cars and significantly increase their desirability in the open market. I can't see them selling in especially high numbers in the US if they are virtually identical to what was offered when they were launched there in 2005. Frankly, that would be an embarrassing state of affairs which would do very little for Lotus' US reputation. US demand for the new Exiges is obviously very strong from all the comments I've seen!

     

    I can't help but think that the Evora remains a huge challenge in contributing to [at least] a three-fold increase in sales, needing a re-styling exercise and the ability to 'more than' hold its own against Porsches et al when thrown together with said competitors in all the inevitable group tests. Lotus fans/enthusiasts recognise its charms but potential new customers (in the numbers quoted) want to see that they are buying the best sports car for the money. Too few people buy cars simply because they are more 'exclusive'!

     

    I may be entirely wrong about all of this, of course; DRB might simply be extremely confident about selling a lot of Evoras, Elises and Exiges in China! Either way, it's surely going to involve a great deal of expansion at Hethel which is great news for all concerned there.

     

    I just wish DRB would give us some clues as to what is going on. The fact that they are confident about selling in those kinds of numbers suggests that they have a lot up their sleeves that we don't yet know about ...

  11. I understand the suggestion that some extra power wouldn't have gone amiss; it would help to alleviate the perception that the Elise S CR is little more than the same car, yet again, mildly re-fettled. The weight reduction, unless you go on the also remove the airbags, roof ect. isn't particularly impressive, but if that was combined with another 30-40bhp, I'm sure the combined effect would be noticeable.

     

    I absolutely love Elises (I'm avidly saving up for one, atm) but I do understand the criticism some people make that these new variants come out and they are not significantly different to an Elise you could go out and buy 5 years ago.

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