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simon mac

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Posts posted by simon mac

  1. 2 hours ago, yeller77 said:

    FWIW, the Tesla Roadster had an Elise foundation and the Dodge EV was Europa-based but the point is well-taken. 

    That was certainly the PR.  The thing that makes me wonder if it's not entirely true, is the lowered sills in the Roadster are much closer to the Europa tub, as well as some other small bits like the use of 5 stud hubs, etc. etc.   At the time Elon / JB were trying to put as much distance as they could between the Elise and Roadster as possible, so claiming they demanded the lower sills etc was IMHO probably a bit of bravado for their key US market where the Europa never sold.

     

    2 hours ago, yeller77 said:

     I've got a mate who works in management and is mostly hired by companies to get their books and management structure in shape to sell the company at the best value to the owners or shareholders. He works in tech companies and this kind of thing is a way of life in the industry, and, when once in that mode, has little to do with the product they're putting out. He just has to look forward to changing jobs every couple of years. Despite his initial vibe, JMG seems to be leading Lotus more in that direction. Unfortunately, to the industry at large it looks a bit more like what we call a dumpster fire (skip fire?) so I fear we have an uneasy ride ahead and can only hope that the next phase of Lotus would be one that would allow it to flourish.

    I've been on the other side of that game(recently selling a tech company), and I tend to agree, it looks like the business is being organised for "sale optics".  Get rid of anything that has legal ramifications, is non "core", boost attractive measures (volume and gross margins), etc. even if some is at odds with profit making. In many ways it's all about the "multipliers" rather than the actual profit. 

  2. On 17/10/2016 at 17:09, The Pits said:

    The whole Malaysian thing didn't work out. The sale can't come soon enough. The trouble is, the industry is looking towards autonomous cars and hybrid tech. The (frankly quite baffling) success of the BMW i8 has shown that the punters think such things are cool and futuristic. As long as it looks cool they don't care too much about what's underneath. Hybrid, as you all know is not, in any way, a lightweight or efficient solution but if that's what the punters want, that's what they'll get. A small, simple, efficient, petrol powered sports car makes far more sense to engineers and for the world but hey look this two ton tub of lard has got an ipad in the dash, woo hoo! But since when did making sense have much to do with it? An estate car makes far more sense than an SUV and look what's happened to them...

    Oi! as an owner of a 2* ton tub of lard with an iPad in the dash, I resemble that remark :D  (*Using the same set of scales Lotus uses, 2.4t+ is more like it for the AWD cars :o)

    The i8 is an odd machine for sure, I looked at one, and a "hybrid garage" rather than a hybrid car made more sense. The new NSX is even stranger, without the all important electrical socket, it misses out on all the tax advantages the i8 has. (An i8 costs a fraction of an Exige as a company car)

    This hybridisation/electrification has been clear to me for years, and while it goes against the grain of the Lotus ethos of lightness, it's unfortunately market reality (driven by legislation as much as consumer demand). Lotus had opportunity to address this, after all they have built a few electric cars already (Tesla Roadster, Detroit Electric, Dodge Circuit).  So while many have been calling for Esprits and other halo cars, I have suggested many a time on here, Lotus needs to sell an EV under their own banner, not just as a contract manufacturer.  The alternative is to continue even further down the path of "specialist niche manufacturer" of non SVA'd vehicles :( 

    In my Utopian vision, Lotus would become a leader in EV engineering (in much the same way they are on the suspension side), enter Formula-E, and build a better version of the Tesla Roadster that was actually track capable. The Exige v6 is a far better platform than the Elise* was. (*Having looked at the Tesla Roadster quite carefully, I think it is actually Europa S based).

    This would at a stroke also eliminate all the worries about noise limits ;)

     

     

    • Like 1
  3. Sorry not been on the forum for a while, a lot of stuff going on at work...

    I haven't put the roof back on yet, though it will be being reattached this week.  I'll take some more photos then :)

    In the end I didn't take it on this year's road trip (Nottingham UK, to the Transfagarassan Highway) instead opting for the soft-top. In hindsight I probably should have taken it though, because it was so hot in Romania, we ended up with the roof on and A/C running so much. The Visium probably would have been a better compromise. 

  4. 7 hours ago, Bibs said:

    Oh, and to the lad who read our 'Special Offer - 18 months for the price of 12' FFM sign while I was standing 2 yards away saying to his pals how expensive £20/year was to join, while stood at a free event organised for him for love and giggles, up yours :thumbup:

    No pleasing some people :(

    FWIW I enjoyed last year so much, esp. Brooklands which is such a historical treasure that TLF is indirectly supporting, I bought club membership there too :thumbup: 

    So it's swings and roundabouts, as we aren't all that tight ;)

     

    • Like 2
  5. 22 hours ago, LotusPilot said:

    Okay, we just turn-up - but when?  I assume you're at least looking to organise the Concours entries into being in the right place at the right time :-)

    Perhaps I'm missing something, a specific post, or a forum thread with specific useful event info, or something else?

    Not wishing to sound negative (quite the opposite actually) but I can't be the only visitor trying to plan arrival - and for for the day's entertainment...

    FWIW Derek, I'm planning on getting there around 10 am.   In terms of the days entertainment, there is plenty to do, before you add in the TLF specific events.

    My daughter wants to drive an ML with the "Kid's Mercedes Experience", and I want to spend more time around the aero exhibits of Brooklands (I ran out of time last year). 

    Brooklands is easily more than a days worth, and the Stratospheric Chamber being a particular highlight. In terms of MBW,  the exploded F1 car is good to look at, the classic stuff is interesting , and the AMG section is pretty good.  I wouldn't necessarily say it's a full day though.

    I'm just posting up on MLOC a potential meet up at Leicester Forest East, though I'm flexible.

     

    • Like 1
  6. 2 minutes ago, C8RKH said:

    Ok. Standard range is bloody awesome already as Jim has already done the hard R&D work and the products are well and truly proven in the field. That could be really good and thanks very much for the update and confirmation. 

    Maybe the new owners could offer the standard products through local dealers / agents. Take away the hassle of dealing with customers and provide volume to reduce build price to support margins. After all, the R&D £'s and hours  have been sunk by Jim  so sweat the asset. Failing that, sell the designs on to recoup some acquisition £'s to support R&D for the new stuff they want to focus on. Either option is a win.

    In some ways a blessing in disguise?

    I know people have been put off with the sporadic timescales on the bespoke stuff (myself included, I toyed with the idea, but frankly heard far too many stories over delays to go through with it).

    A standard range, which are high quality, with consistent delivery timescales would be good all round.  

    As you say for Jim it means less front of house hassle, for the new owners it's reasonably profitable as  the R+D has been done,  for us as we get a bit more delivery certainty.

    = Win, win, win.

     

     

    • Like 2
  7. 230 / Simon Mac

    @Mark77a I'll vouch for you!  Hopefully you can park next to me, it will give us a chance to share the question loading over our roofs!!! ;)

    Besides I'd be interested in the collective wisdom of the "TLF Massive" as to if the Tesla Roadster has an Elise cockpit, or a Europa S one ;)  (Either way the Roadster is a fascinating car that I'm sure lots of Lotus owners would find very interesting!)

    • Like 1
  8. @LotusPilot Thanks for the tips :)

    I wouldn't say mine was bad, I did have the fitting tweaked on my 1000 mile service, and is fine at normal speeds.   I might give it a tweak next time it's on to check the current fitment again.  I like the idea of the aero tabs, makes a lot of sense!

    As for roof off.  At 140+ mph it is LOUD and not particularly pleasant. Fun to do once, but not something you look forward to repeating.

    With such critically of the setup of a user removable part, and potential hearing loss claims with it stowed, I still think it's wise to limit the top end. ;)

     

     

  9. On 3/1/2016 at 09:19, Neal H said:

    I think thats more to do with keeping the soft top in place. Any lawsuit is more likely to come from the driver behind when they get a Lotus soft top wrapped around their windscreen at 150mph :)

    Sorry late to the conversation, but I'm convinced this is the case.

     

    I tried mine on the Autobahn and if anything the speed limiter is still set too high when using the soft top. I could see daylight between the frame and the roof at those speeds, and was forced to slow down.

    Weirdly the car feels much safer with the roof off and is perfectly stable all the way up to 150 indicated.

     

    On 2/29/2016 at 19:16, The Pits said:

    I'm struggling to see the advantages of the Coupe version now. I guess as long as the orders roll in it doesn't really matter to Lotus which one people go for. But I think I'd be going for the Roadster.

    I can see this from the track / performance perspective. The previous Coupe was certainly more focused.

    From a road car perspective, the new Roadster is in some ways less attractive (to me). I preferred the glass from a visibility perspective, the splitter is nice to look at, but ground clearance is more problematic. I haven't driven one to confirm, but my understanding is they have brought the suspension into line across the range. 

    I can see why Lotus are doing this though, more customers choosing the Coupe, and the elephant in the room is that in all honesty if you want a 2 seater fast convertible for road use, then a certain other manufacturer is more compelling for most people.  So Lotus are wise to choose their battles. 

    Of course the car that would best suit my needs is an Evora Roadster, so maybe I will have to wait. (Maybe another reason Lotus are making the Roadster more hardcore, as it leaves a better gap for that car when it arrives?)

     

    I visited the factory yesterday. Majority of Exiges were still Coupes on the line, and looking at the pre-delivery staging area, Evora 400 (lots of) > Exige Coupe > Elise > Exige Roadster in terms of numbers (of course this is anecdotal based on one visit, and could be due to batching).

    P.S. The 400's coming out the factory sounded lovely, I want that exhaust on my Exige :)

  10. 3 hours ago, Edwin Chan said:

    Hi Simon,

    I have a roadster as well, was wondering if you needed to purchase any additional mounting component to fit the roof on? Also if the removal/installation process takes long at all... Cheers great roof I have seen it installed on an Elise before, the owner loved it.

    Hi Edwin

    Nope, no additional fittings, it has a set of pins that locate in the front where the soft top locks in. These are on a aluminium plate, with a hex key bolt that tightens the plate in a guide built into the roof's frame for adjustment.  

    The rear has a pair of aluminium "hooks", which clip under the plastic molding where the rearward soft top pins go. These are held into the roofs frame with two bolts that pass through a slot to allow the hooks to slide fore/aft for adjustment.  There is a notch cut into the bottom of this plastic piece from the factory (I'm guessing for the OEM hard top).  These hooks are finally dressed with a nice capping to make it all look "factory".

    Sub 10 minutes to fit on first attempt. I suspect I could get this down a bit with practice.  I would say faster than the old S2 hardtop I had on my previous gen Exige many moons ago. (This had 5 covers + a central fixing in the middle of the hoop, but I'm testing my memory as that was 5+ years ago).

    TBH Removal / refit time isn't really the problem. More of the issues is, in the same way as my old Exige, once the roof is on you are committed for that journey as you have the same storage issues. I'm planning on driving to the Black Sea over the summer (c. 4k mile trip), and I'm torn whether to take it or not. It will be a god send on the Autobahns* on the way down, but a draw back on some of the mountain passes where you just can't beat some wind in the hair.   If I do take it (and that's the way I'm leaning) I guess it will be a pretty good test, and I will post back my findings :)

     

    (* speaking from experience about finding the limits of the soft top at speed, I now know why the Roadster has an electronic speed limiter ;) )

     

     

     

  11. On 4/16/2016 at 10:27, C8RKH said:

    Wow, totally loving that glass roof. Superb and nice one.

    It would be areal shame if Lotus could not offer this, or, at least provide the access for a local UK manufacturer to create a version and offer up. We have a wonderful heritage of "garage workshops" and "automotive engineers" and this would I am sure be a popular product for Elise and Exige owners and would truly transform the ownership experience in the winter.

    Just love this mod. Any chance I can get one for the Evora too!!! Now that would be cool, a dark tinted see through roof that would be SR'esque....

    Thanks.

    I've been out in the car a fair bit since the roof arrived, and you are right it definitely transforms it in this sort of weather. (Sunny with intermittent rain, but still a little chilly). I really love it.

    Time will tell if it turns the car into a hot box in the height of a UK summer, but so far so good.  A work colleague has a Merc SL with pano roof, and he hasn't had many issues in this regard, so I'm hopeful.  Admitedly I am a tiny bit concerned the Merc has a better A/C system designed for this from the outset... we will see.

    This is the view of the sky yesterday ;)

    Look up.jpg

     

    I'd love for an OEM one (or even a UK manufactured item) to come available.  I'm going on the MLOC factory tour at the end of the month, and have been in touch with Neil Turner in customer services (looking to source the double din central binnacle from the Tesla Roadster among other things, my car has been perfect and I have no complaints). I suggested he might to have a look at the roof while I'm there. (Not holding out much hope anything will come of it, but if you don't ask... ;) )

    As for the Evora, I guess it depends if a Roadster version ever materialises, certainly I've heard plenty of rumours since the 400 became federalised again. Given what I use my Exige for, I'd be close to the front of that queue, and first mod would be trying to find a manufacturer for another pano roof ;)

     

    • Like 2
  12. 18 minutes ago, Buddsy said:

    Wow I bet that changes the whole feel of the car. (Im not being sarcastic either!) That looks an ace idea.

     

    Buddsy

    Huge difference Buds.  Very hard to explain, but subjectively the car just "feels" bigger.

    Compared to when I used the soft top,  I find my self sitting up straighter, not trying to scooch down to see under the top of the windscreen frame as much.  Of course the space is the same, and the top of the windscreen is still somewhat in line of sight at times, but obviously something is hardwired into our brains. ( I guess a bit like the trick roller coaster designers use to make you duck as you go under bits of support which are miles above your head!)

    8 minutes ago, LotusPilot said:

    Perhaps we should start thinking about our "North of Watford" convoy to MBW; two sparkly-grey roadsters already :-)

    Sounds like a plan.

    • Like 1
  13. 29 minutes ago, silverfrost said:

    Looks stunning , like you say fantastic mod that i am sure plenty of people are going to want after seeing it, I think the Italian guy will be a lot more busy pretty soon me thinks..:)

    Well I know at least one chap (a Tesla guy) that wants one.. I suppose a possibility of a group buy if there's enough interest.

    They have been around for a while, but I suspect it was a bit niche back in the day.  Realistically few would pay nearly £2k for a roof for an Elise back in 2008, but the Tesla guys thought nothing of dropping this kind of money on their £100k + cars.  

    Add to that the GBP to EUR swing since then makes them a chunk less expensive, and Lotuses prices are creeping ever upward, maybe now is the right time ?

    TBH This would be a fairly easy thing for Lotus to source themselves, Targa option would be pretty fashionable given the 911 Targa release ;)

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