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Everything posted by blindside

  1. Looks rather tasty. Great driving, lap time and induction noise. Good aiming mark for the Emira GT4 in due course.
  2. I sincerely hope that Lotus succeed & prosper; obviously we all do on here. But not at a the cost of key elements of their DNA. That’s the rub that we both share & might become more of an issue downstream!
  3. Perceptive comments @jimichanga However, most of the premium sports car makers (Porsche included) have had their backs to the wall business wise at some stage in their history. How they’ve dealt with it (or not) may be a pity, but ultimately you can’t buck the market. If any car manufacturer produces great cars that customers want to buy then good for them. Seeking to penalise any company by not buying their products because they are too successful is unrealistic and worse than the “anti-variety” concern. Regardless of pricing aberrations, market supply manipulation, publicity hype etc. Regarding the gearing comparisons, the ratios may well be similar on paper, but the GT4’s higher revving engine encourages holding lower gears for much longer to get the best from it. The supercharged Toyota V6 is more conventional around its power delivery at lower revs. In my humble opinion Anyway.😊
  4. Variety is the spice of life. Especially in the petrolhead firmament. The ultimate ownership goal if you are fortunate enough should be a repeatedly big smile on your face. Both the GT430 & GT4 do that in spades. 😉
  5. It’s hard to give you an objective answer. The engine characteristics are very different and obviously have a big impact on how you get the best out the gears. The GT4’s ‘sweet spot’ is much higher up the rev range. Once you get used to it the GT4 is (for me) a little easier to drive quickly on B roads, with less of a need for fine tuning gear selections. As the stats in your link confirm you can get 80mph plus at the top end of 2nd gear & 115 in third. Whether that’s a good thing in a road car is a moot point. Probably depends on your mood & desire to be challenged.
  6. @C8RKH Andy, I’ve hesitated about giving a fuller update as I’ve not tracked the GT4 yet. That said I’m fairly certain that it will be very capable and just as entertaining as the 430. It has taken some time to get used to because the naturally aspirated flat six and the unusual gearing for a road car requires a significant change in driving style. It would be similar to the way you needed to drive the early Honda Civic Type R VTec to get the best out of it. (Rev the nuts off it, but obviously with a little more delicacy due to the power on tap). Because of this with the long gearing you can drive most of the time in 2nd & 3rd gear. The engine doesn’t really come alive below 4500 revs. From there to the 8000 rev red line is absolutely epic. The engine is a revelation and has made me want to get into a GT3 to see how it compares. Other than that it is extremely comfortable, supremely well engineered and I think it looks great in its own functional Teutonic way. The only real downside is the super low ground clearance which takes some care on uneven cambered roads, of which there are many in this part of the world. Am I happy with it? Absolutely! It’s given me a much greater understanding and respect for Porsche GT cars. To the extent that I will probably look to trade up to a 992 GT3 in a year or 2 when the availability is better and the current pricing madness, (cars currently changing hands for £100k+over list), has hopefully calmed down.
  7. Perhaps it is the beginning for the Evora in terms of wider recognition rather than the end. The Evora represents essential Lotus DNA in a mellower, easier to live with format. However, that DNA (very low volume, hand built, low weight, track friendly, British made), is still there in abundance. I believe that good examples, particularly the more significant limited edition models, will trade at a very healthy premium in years to come. In the meantime I’ll happily continue driving my 430 on & off track, but with the additional TLC that a very rare and special car deserves! 😎
  8. Jonny @The Pits provided this factory recommended advice for me shortly after I got my 430. It should hopefully add to @Black Forest Power’s useful guide based on his track experience: “The Ohlins settings you need are these (numbers are clicks, 1 being the hardest, 21 being the softest, it's recommended that you set everything to full hard and count the clicks from there): Factory road settings - Front rebound 4, Front compression 21, Rear rebound 19, Rear compression 19 Factory track settings - Front rebound 1, Front compression 8, Rear rebound 17, Rear compression 6” Good luck with your 1st track day Jean-Francois, it should be great fun. Let’s us know how you get on!
  9. blindside

    Lotus Emira

    Porsche are not alone; try specking up a new McLaren or Aston. Strongly suspect it’s the approach that Lotus will be seeking to emulate with the Emira and every other model they introduce in future.
  10. blindside

    Lotus Emira

    Current new 911 prices from Porsche UK: Base 911 Carrera: £85k up to 4S at £103k, Carrera 4 GTS: £115k, GT3: £128k, Turbo S: £161k. New 718 Cayman GTS is £65.5k. A well optioned example would be over £80k. Base GT4 is £76.5k & anywhere up to £100k+ fully loaded. You can reasonably expect to add an average of £15-30k worth of options to the base price for a new 911. Having the right options has a significant impact on resale value.
  11. I've edited the spreadsheet to reflect comments above.
  12. blindside

    Type 131 GT4

    Eclectic mix of manufacturers, cars and engine/engineering specs in the current Euro GT4 series: As mentioned previously it will be interesting to see which engine Lotus choose to go with if they plan to develop & support a really competitive package downstream. Most if not all of the cars in the current series run with manufacturers own IP engines. The AMG 4 pot would appear to be the most likely choice.
  13. Now that life is getting back to something approaching normal I am hoping to get the time to apply for an ARDS course later this year. The aim being to obtain a Race National B competition licence. I know that most of the major circuits run ARDS approved driver training packages & costs can vary a fair amount depending on instructors, track location, facilities etc. I’d be very grateful for any feedback and/or recommendations from anyone who has completed the training package. It is the overall quality of the training, rather than the cost that will be a key consideration from my perspective.
  14. Don’t overlook the rarity angle with the GT430. This proportionately should have a greater effect on collectibility in due course. Plus the Evora in all it’s guises is much more flexible & easier to live with than the Exige. Entertaining to try and rank the most ‘analogue’ Lotus of recent times. Probably all hinges on how crap the aftermarket stereo is.
  15. Presumably you’ve avoided any dealings with the tech industry where the whole premise is based on providing “solutions” 😉
  16. It indicates a level of professionalism and that they have a good understanding of consultative and solution sales techniques. Seeking to establish a personal relationship with a discerning customer is key to understanding their wants and needs; particularly if you are selling high value products & services. This is not rocket science.
  17. All very valid points Andy and I believe you’ve hit the spot with two observations in particular: Nurturing and cosseting ‘hard core’ enthusiast customers as an integral element in building & sustaining the brand. (Even though these customers may not provide the volume of sales required to make big money). And having a marketing and service support effort that is genuinely inquisitive & competitive; actively seeking to acquire plus retain customers at every opportunity. In my limited experience thus far with the GT4; Porsche have ‘industrialised’ both aspects. Despite not buying the car from an authorised Porsche dealer I have already had a detailed interaction with the local Porsche centre in Belfast. In short I’ve very politely been asked all the right questions in terms of feedback, verbal and in comprehensive online survey format. This is not just sales, but technical support. I already know the names of the sales and service managers who I will deal with in future. They’ve clearly been well trained! All this in the space of around 4 weeks. Frankly it is light years ahead of anything that I experienced with Lotus having bought 3 new cars (400, 410 & 430) from different authorised dealers in the past 5 years. All contact was largely reactive and dealer support is patchy. Especially as you get further away from Hethel in the far flung reaches of the Empire. How long will it take Lotus to bring out some really competitive track oriented cars to at least match the Porsche GT2,3,4 performance & price point equivalents? How long will it take for industrialised marketing, sales and service support functions to be in place in the “Lotus playing with the big boys” brave new world? I really wish them the best of good fortune, the Emira looks fantastic visually, but there’s a pile of interesting track oriented cars out there to experience and life is comparatively short. And sorry but I really really don’t want an electric or hybrid until there’s no other option available in the marketplace. Just a personal choice!
  18. blindside

    Type 131 GT4

    Similarities are not just cosmetic, but obviously the track only Clubsport spec is PDK only, has significant engine tune & exhaust flow differences and 100kg + of weight stripped out. Typically you can option it up depending on your budget. This Swedish car mag comparison video is quite entertaining & informative (if you have the patience to watch anything Porsche related for 20 mins or so)😉
  19. I’m very slow in providing some positive feedback for Parks; in particular Laura, the Service Manager and most importantly the senior Lotus technician. During the Recent Absolute Lotus Magazine Scottish Tour I dislodged the rear mini fog light when the rear bumper panel took a knock. The final stop on the tour was a visit to Parks, which gave me the chance to get it looked at before heading to Cairnryan & the boat back to NI. They happily looked at it and the Lotus tech spent a good hour over his lunch break dropping the rear diffuser to get at the light to reseat and then seal the base. This was all done at the drop of a hat so that I didn’t miss my sailing time. They also refused point blank to take any payment from me for the work involved. They said it was good will to a returning customer & they were happy to see the car again. Anyway with that kind of customer approach, plus Laura’s enthusiasm for her job & all things Lotus, I’ll be very happy to make the lengthy round trip to get the car maintained in future.
  20. A GT430 & 718 GT4 Comparison (First Impressions) Specifications Porsche Cayman 718 GT4 Clubsport (2021) Kerb Weight: 1495kg Power: 414 bhp; 420nm torque (20-25 bhp can be added by higher flow aftermarket exhaust swop) Top speed: 189mph 0-62: 4.4 secs Lotus Evora GT430 (2018) Kerb Weight: 1299kg Power: 430 bhp; 440nm torque Top speed: 190mph 0-62: 3.8 secs As mentioned previously I offered to share some initial impressions around the Cayman 718 GT4 when directly compared to the Evora GT430. My comments on the GT4 are based on 500+ miles of mixed road driving over the past 10 days, including plenty of B road blasting in good weather. The GT4 is still in the run-in period prior to the 1k mile point, so there’s been no major strain placed on the 4L flat six so far. I have had the pleasure to own my GT430 for the past 2 years and during that time I have put over 4K miles on the clock, tracking the car and long-distance touring with it across Scotland & Ireland. I try hard to avoid ‘garage queening’ and ensure cars owned get driven at every available opportunity. To apply some objectivity, I’ve key headed first impressions as follows: Engine. On cold starting the GT4 literally sounds like a bag of spanner’s is being dropped into the sump, which is a little disconcerting. But there again all you need to do is get in, depress the clutch and turn a rather smart electronic key! However, when warmed up there is an immediate linear response when you accelerate. It obviously feels like a quick car but you have to press on to get to the sweet spot at around 6-7k revs. The engine sound in the updated 718 GT4 is a little disappointing compared to the previous version; largely due to the flat 6 being strangled by the recently introduced EU regulated big cats & OPF filters in the stock exhaust system. The resulting noise has nowhere near the sense of theatre you get with the Evora, which is absolutely epic, even compared with the big bore super car exotics…. I’ve already been advised by those ‘in the Pork know’ to look at Akrapovic or a similar quality aftermarket back box to let the scream out and also release some more power. Inevitably quality aftermarket stuff for Porsche GT cars seems to have at least one extra 0 added to every price. Also, there will be warranty issues so that will have to wait for now. Brakes. The carbon ceramic brakes are absolutely mega; light touch and progressive feel. They are an expensive option (£5.7k) & are probably an unnecessary over-engineered indulgence on a road car like the GT4. But they definitely look the part and there’s no brake dust! However, in reality the AP Racing steel brakes on the Evora are just as effective and also save a fair amount of weight. Overall, I would call it an even match in the braking department. Steering. The GT4 is very precise (991.2 GT3 front end in the 718 GT4) and electric assisted. The steering wheel is a simple tactile tool and completely clear of anything bar the horn. However, in comparison it is not quite as sharp, or capable of giving as much road feel as the GT430’s hydro assisted system. The GT430 and Lotus in general definitely provides the benchmark in this crucial area! Gearbox. The Porsche GT shifter layout is outstanding. It is a proper close ratio box, a really short shift, & the pedal size & positioning significantly reduces the margin for error when shifting fast. However, the GT4 gearing is very long (up to 80 mph is possible in 2nd gear), which many Porsche fanboys don’t like. But it just means less changing up and much greater use of 2nd & 3rd to maximise the flat six engine’s sweet spot. It is perhaps easier to use than the particularly good, but heavier feeling shift in the Evora. There is not a great deal in it to be fair and the GT430 definitely does not suffer from the long gear ratios found in the GT4. Suspension. Chassis balance and cornering feel at speed is excellent. The GT4 is very neutral with a just a little under steer and very predictable turn-in. It is both easy and enjoyable to drive at speed. The GT430 with the Ohlins at road settings is brilliant at sucking up everything thrown at it on B roads, but it’s a track-oriented system and it takes more concentration around reading the road to avoid crashing over bumps. Both cars are low slung. A front splitter scrape alert needs to be applied equally. The GT4 comes with smart 20” rims all round and like the GT430 is fitted with Cup2 Tyres. So, there is mega grip when they are warmed up in fine dry weather, but dodgy as f—k when it is cold and wet. Cabin Ergonomics. The 918 carbon bucket seats not only look great but are extremely comfortable. By direct comparison they are far better than the Exige style carbon buckets in the 410 & 430. For a start they have height & tilt adjustment. The recline angle and lumbar support is excellent on longer journeys, no matter what size you are (I am 6’2” & 15 stone). The Mrs actually went to sleep in the passenger seat for over an hour on the drive back to N. Ireland, which was great; (plus no fingernails constantly in the dashboard). She has never managed to even get a little drowsy in the GT430. The GT4’s driving ergonomics, dials, key information, multimedia system etc. has the same layout as the GT3. Frankly, it is brilliant and it’s all streets ahead of the GT430 and I haven’t even mentioned cupholders! Ease of access, getting in/out is similar for both cars. Perhaps the Emira will move this aspect up to a significantly better level. It will need to because Porsche have absolutely nailed performance car ergonomics with their GT cars in my view. Build Quality. The overall GT4 build quality is excellent, no leaking door rubber or uneven panel gaps. Although the mass produced composite plastic splitter, front intake parts & diffuser have nowhere near the quality, or the visual appeal of the high-grade carbon parts on the GT430. The GT4 has a particularly low silhouette & centre of gravity, this is especially noticeable at the back of the car, (no tall V6 over the back axle), but it is strange and unusual to not have direct access to the engine bay. It takes about 5-10 minutes removing trim and panels to get at the GT4 lump. Storage. There’s real German ingenuity on display over storage. There is a serious amount of practical storage space at front and back of the car. Literally every inch of space in the car is used effectively. The GT4 edges out the 2:0 configured GT430 in terms of luggage capacity. This makes it a very practical touring car for 2 people. General Impressions. Non car people generally look at Porsche offerings as “grown up” cars. That said, because they are everywhere and look very similar to the uninitiated, the GT4 definitely does not draw as much attention as the Evora. As a first time Porsche owner I’ve discovered a number of ownership idiosyncrasies. It literally feels like you are joining a cult where you are expected to be pay for absolutely everything (and be grateful for the privilege)! Decent options will add at least £25k to the base price when ordering GT cars. Also servicing costs are extremely high. As an example, even activating the inbuilt tracker with vodaphone is double what you pay for a private contract with the same company. That said to date my local Porsche dealer in Belfast has been extremely efficient, proactive and helpful thus far. Even though the car was not purchased from them. The Porsche dealer network & wider ecosystem is mature and substantial in my neck of the woods. Regrettably Lotus no longer have a dealer or authorised maintenance facility anywhere in Ireland. If I need to get anything done to the 430 in future, it entails an expensive 8 hour round trip across the Irish Sea to Parks in Scotland. Track performance & utility. TBC in a future update. I suspect the 200kg weight differential, a little more power & the Ohlins dampers will give the GT430 a definite advantage on track; particularly with longer more open circuits. But there’s probably not so much in it on short, technical circuits. Price comparisons. Fully specced with all the sexy options the GT4 comes in at around £100k. The GT430 was around £113-120k when new depending on spec. GT4 resale values are extremely healthy for now. GT430 residuals are getting better and its rarity should help in the longer term. Finally, I’ve had a lot of fun already in a very short time in the GT4, but there’s absolutely no way that I’d part with the 430. For me, the GT430, like the Exige 430 Cup & the Elise Cup 260 represents a pinnacle in the now dated pre-Geely Lotus hard core “for the driver on road or track, all day long, keep it simple with basic creature comforts” approach. For the small but enthusiastic niche of petroleum driven purists it was great to be part of that heritage while it lasted. That said I fully understand that Lotus as a business needs to move on sharply in order to be commercially competitive on a global level. I hope that in a similar vein to Porsche they continue to find a way to cater for niche enthusiasts by building exciting track-oriented cars. I hope that all this comment does not sound, or come across as pompous. It is not a case of going over to the dark side! Obviously this is just a first impression being in the fortunate position of being able to drive two similar in approach, epic to drive, but still quite different cars. 😎
  21. @jimichangaA large part of my emotional attachment to all things Lotus hopes that you are absolutely right. However, Porsche, (love or hate them), have already nailed their colours to the mast in terms of the future development strategy for their GT cars. I will be looking with great interest to see how the incoming GT4 RS stacks up against the Emira equivalent; if a Cup style variant is actually planned. Also Porsche appear to be taking a far more ‘graduated’ approach towards transition to all electric power trains with their GT car division. I am encouraged to see that they have announced their planned GT model updates & sales plan for the all important US market for 2022 and beyond. As some have already noted on here the Emira appears to be more of a stop gap for Geely. Nothing wrong with that and I understand the need, but it is my hard earned moolah and these cars need to be viewed as investment assets to a degree. Brand fan boy stuff put to the side, you just can’t ignore the fact that the incoming GT4 RS does appear to be shaping up to tick some significant boxes:
  22. Ha ha 😂 I suspected it would not be long before this came up. I’m hoping the newer 718 version has got reinforced concrete items. (Special Stuttgart lightweight mix of course).
  23. Tongue in cheek Andy. 😇
  24. Forgot to mention the all important colour scheme. Black with gold alloys. This should allow some scope for gold ‘go faster’ stripes across the car as a homage to JPS Lotus (& to assuage the guilt over my betrayal).
  25. Confession time! I’ve just bought a manual 718 GT4 in full fat club sport spec with the carbon brakes & 918 buckets. I’ve absolutely no doubts about the overall quality of the GT4 package. However, there was some serious soul searching about buying my very first Porsche after a lifetime of avoiding the marque. But you only live once and their GT cars are brilliant. I fully intend to hang onto my 430 as a long term keeper. It will be interesting to see how the cars directly compare: From both an outright performance and practical everyday enjoyment perspective. I did consider hanging on to see what a sportier ‘cup’ version of the Emira ends up looking like, but patience is not my strong point. Plus the GT4 is a very, very pretty car to look at and the naturally breathing 4L engine just had to be given a long term go. (Don’t think it will be able to match the V6 soundtrack, but it does rev out well). I pick the car up in a couple of weeks and will let you know how it goes from a Lotus loving but ultimately marque agnostic petrolhead perspective.
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