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The Pits

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The Pits last won the day on May 10 2020

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    GT430, 1981 Turbo Esprit, 1991 Lancia Integrale Evo, Ford Focus RS, 1997 Caterham Superlight R, Supercharged Caterham CSR, Kawasaki ZX10R
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    South Pole

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  1. Exciting idea but would probably end up with a huge price tag and there’s something about uncontrollable savagery that doesn’t quite sit right when it comes to a Lotus. Isn’t being over-chassis’d part of the Lotus way of doing things? I guess Evija is about to change all of that. The speculated 500bhp sounds instinctively like it would make a better balanced package than 640bhp V8. But very happy to be proved wrong on that!
  2. Apologies if already posted before but spotted this. Notably wider track than Evora.
  3. Corona virus excuse will be used to get them out of jail with Geely who would be giving them some serious hairdryer treatment. The numbers must look apocalyptic. It’s very unlikely that they have sold many Evijas to date, lovely as it is. But delays and inactivity were well underway long before the virus showed up. Anyone who buys a Lotus must be an optimist almost by definition! I still hope for the best and always will but Lotus racing and road cars have been a lifelong passion of mine. I happen to believe that Lotus are capable of making better drivers cars than Porsche and Ferrari. That actually comes from first hand experience. I bought into the hype around Ferrari briefly and traded a Lotus Carlton for an F355. It remains the biggest disappointment of my automotive life. I sold it and bought an Esprit V8 GT and back to back comparison was overwhelmingly in favour of the Esprit in every regard, measurable and unmeasurable - apart from the posing in London/wealth statement angle perhaps. The Esprit wasn't as well finished in some areas but it was half the price of a new F355 at the time, on another level dynamically and so much faster in a straight line it wasn't even funny. So that was all the convincing I needed that Lotus have gifted engineers who really know what they're doing. I have never looked back since and have remained wary of motoring press/internet hype around certain cars and brands. For me, the rest promised so much while Lotus quietly delivered. I only want the very best for Lotus but have yet to be convinced that it's what they're getting. This really is the last chance to transform the company into a major player and it won't happen without an inspired vision, massive investment and endless reserves of passion for Lotus - past, present and future.
  4. Yup a Lotus with a big development budget was always the dream. Though it’s often been said that we’d never have had a creation like the Exige from a big company. It would have been watered down by committees, too much money at stake for anything so extreme, the need to appeal to a wide audience would have resulted in a more conservative, more sensible, less exciting outcome. Other hateful nonsense like being restricting the engine to ‘protect’ the Evora and allow future token power upgrades. Regardless, expensively engineered thoroughly developed and optimised versions of what we already have is a compelling thought. It was a chance squandered by Dany Bahar. Sadly I fear the crowd we have now have very different priorities and little appreciation of the current cars. I don’t think we’ll see lower, longitudinal mounted more engines for instance, I still dream about an Elise with the GT86 flat four but I don’t think they would see the business case for it or believe anyone really cares where engines go, as the 911 continues to prove. But by happy accident we might just get a last update on the current cars with more modern Volvo sourced interior switchgear. I did wonder if the Elise announcement last week was going to feature some new interior parts at the very least but it wasn’t to be. Another missed opportunity to move things on but new crowd just will not invest time or money in the current cars. I like the designs themselves but the presentation was cheap and very poorly done, I genuinely thought one of them was grey and gold. We had to tolerate stuff like this with JMG because he had no money. Yet we’re told Popham has access to over £1.5bn. I thought we were long past the days of selling cars based on cheap CG renders? It reinforces negative stereotypes about Lotus and sends out the message that nothing has changed right at the time when giant strides need to be taken. I could genuinely do better colour matches myself. How those renders got past Popham and his many very well paid new recruits is alarming frankly. No pride. No progress. Remember we were supposed to be seeing the Evora based new car this year which should have meant some final editions of the current cars already revealed and on sale. Instead all we’ve had so far is a return to a 2015 spec Evora. I have no doubt the GT410 is a very fine car but it’s a retro step. Necessary perhaps but a day late and a dollar short. Now a very half-hearted attempt at flogging a few Elises. I don’t get the business case at all. 100 Elises is neither here nor there in terms of revenue, drop in the ocean of debt. If it was an attempt to promote the brand then you don’t putting out cheap renders will undo that. Can’t be the final edition Elise. If that follows soon it will make 100 people very upset. The mystery as to what they are actually up to in Hethel these days continues.
  5. That's exactly what the GT430 offers in my opinion. It might not match the Exige 430 for ultimate lap time but it runs it very close. Closer than it has any right to given a weight penalty of over 200kg. Exige is only faster through superior power:weight, it shows up mostly on the brakes in my experience and the Evora was actually the more benign, balanced and composed car on the limit. This is of course subject to the set up of the Exige Cup 430 I drove, I'm sure it could be improved by someone who knew what they were doing with the dampers.
  6. Loads of fake and enhanced ICE sounds around already. Even in F1 nowadays. I'm sure we all prefer authentic sounds where possible but one of the biggest drawbacks of electric cars (lack of noise) is easily fixable. Compulsory artificial sound would be absolutely loathsome but to be able to choose from a range of different sounds from sci-fi noises like a TIE fighter to an F1 car, all silly and just for fun but they would definitely beat not having any choice other than a milk float electric whine. Totally silent noise cancelling mode would be nice too (another Lotus initiative from decades ago). Not really much to debate about. Porsche Taycan and Jaguar I-Pace already have unique sounds developed for them.
  7. Given the alternative is the sound of a milk float? I should have mentioned that there was also a button which synthesizes Turbo Esprit wastegate flutter!
  8. My first thought was a day trip to South Wales. Will have to put that back on the back burner. I have stuck to the guidelines throughout lockdown, I haven't been out on the bike or Lotus at all. But most nights I can hear bikes and cars charging up the hill near where I live. Definitely makes it harder for those of us trying to do the right thing.
  9. Stanzani "As you can see we didn't give a rat's ass about luggage space." Jim Clark is still thinking about the transverse V12...
  10. I welcome any kind of radical thinking at Lotus, we haven't had any to date. It's probably best for them to go all-in on electric at this point and get the jump on everyone else to make the first range of electric sports cars that are fantastic to drive. Though I don't think that's the plan. But the virus lockdown will fast forward environmental/climate change agendas, it has already by proving that we can all travel less than we used to and there will be reams of data showing the benefits of this unique global experiment. Consumption of No point in continuing ICE cars just because they sound nice. You can make an electric car sound like anything you want with a little imagination. How about a button to make your electric Elise sound like an Esprit V8, Exige 260, Cosworth DFV, or F1 Renault V6 Turbo, the Lotus 102 had a Lamborghini V12! However no actual detail in the press release at all, just empty puffery still at this stage. Not easy to decipher the buzzword heavy blurb but it suggests that buying an electric Lotus will come with a deal to switch to Centrica. Does point heavily towards all-electric Lotus range asap. The plans to do one last V6 must be hanging by a thread!
  11. You have to say the garage is doing a good job of promoting the sale. It's being picked up by a variety of car content websites. Publicity will help a lot with the sale I'm sure. Even though I still think Lotus should have it in their heritage museum. In terms of provenance, regardless of how many miles ACBC actually drove in the car, what is more significant for me are the modifications he was trying out. It suggests some things that may have appeared on the Esprit had he lived. We know about the power steering and different door seals but who knows what other tweaks he had made to the suspension and whatever else? TLF group buy?
  12. Most significant message for most of us here, as of Wednesday “people in England will be free to drive as far as they like” 🤩
  13. I believe Olive car at B&C is ex @Trevsked, reg DSY knicknamed Daisy. Sounded amazing in the slipstream behind it at Silverstone.
  14. I know that very car quite well, ex Trevor Skedge, while not my absolute favourite green of course, car still looked amazing. Colour suits an Elise well too, though Kawasaki Green takes the prize for me.
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