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Loquacious Lew

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About Loquacious Lew

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  • Birthday November 28

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    Evora 400
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    Nashville, TN

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  1. I've had red, green, orange, white, silver, gray, blue, and maroon cars in various values and hues. What does this project about me? Confusion, eclectic tastes, or a willingness to accept whatever car is on the lot for a better price? There are two colors I will no longer buy: black (maintenance issues) and silver or gray in any of their values. Gray (and it's vicious cousin, silver) is not a color!
  2. I think the largest issues in dealing with Chinese goods is not the lack of quality. As previous posters have already said, you can get what you pay for from Chinese (and Taiwanese) manufacturing. If you want goods that excel, they will cost more. If you want cheap, they will oblige. I rather think a greater danger in dealing with Chinese entities is intellectual property theft. That's the more usual scenario in a "wild east meets wild west" manufacturing joint venture. Quality is scalable in Chinese manufacturing. You get what you pay for, and so do they plus they get your design and feature sets. This is an ongoing issue and maybe the only area where I see eye to eye with our (otherwise humiliating and feckless) current administration. China is frequently predatory as respects intellectual property. Of course with Geely, that's off the table since they purchased Lotus' expertise outright and have nothing to hide in that regard. Chinese manufactured Lotus parts are likely to be every bit as good as top Japanese and Korean quality and that should be quite acceptable.
  3. Agreed. I think more benefits accrue to alloy road cars when all the hazards and costs of ownership are counted. It's a benefit to committed owners when cars can be repaired economically. Carbon fiber has strength to weight going for it but past that, I don't think I'm ready for the downsides. I don't want to require a factory repair for a minor shunt. I think CF is fabulous and pretty in its place but I worry about repair and durability since I tend to keep my cars longer than most.
  4. I don't think current resale conditions have much bearing on what the future holds for late model Evoras any more than they did for bevel drive Ducatis (gave 'em away when new) or other such slow selling now very desirable vehicles. The 2017s were not beneficiaries of routine positive press, and certainly not at introduction. Lotus' inability to promote them was not a boon to sales. The thinly scattered sales and service network makes a Lotus purchase an act of courage in the USA, further depressing prices. Yet two years later the '17s are commanding what they did when new a year after first deliveries when they weren't shifting off the floor for $75K or less. Now you can only buy a used one (be it ever so lightly used or with warranty punched but vehicle unregistered). There is currently one new (assume it's punched but unregistered) '17 Evora currently listed on Autotrader. Consider what the same search looked like just 12 months ago. All the rest (and there are but a handful) are advertised as used, and none are listed below $75K. That's roughly equal to (or more?) than the new price of many of the listings a year ago since we know that some were sold in the low 70s. (What a deal that seems now). You can't get a 2020GT anywhere near that money but a '17 is pretty much the same vehicle and easily upgraded if desired. Same for the 18s which I think currently represent the best deals on a new Evora list to sell price. And there are so few of them that they are barely a blip on the screen. I'm not suggesting 4xxs will become '62 GTOs (although what would you rather drive everyday?) but the steep slope of depreciation while sitting on the lot seems to have been arrested if the national sales sites are to be believed. Of course, advertised vs. sales price are two different things but I think we're either nearing or past peak Evora availability and prices should be stronger from here. Naturally I expect some continuing depreciation of my car as I continue to add miles but assuming I don't thrash it and use it as one typically does a fun car, I don't think there is much financial risk in it. Less than with a Cayman or a cooking grade Porsche in fact and better than a typical Vantage, Bentley, Alfa, Jag etc. Frankly, I think our cars stand a far greater chance to appreciate than any of those. Lotus cars except for the most significant have rarely achieved the prominence and prices that have characterized other exotics but then, they never cost as much from new. I don't expect anybody to ever fork over $200K for my Evora. But buying a car for $85K. (or less) in 2017 and finding it listed for 70-75K used two years later is a positive sign. If (a big if) people are still collecting cars in ten or fifteen years, the Evora has every quality that will attract those interested in fun to drive, easy to maintain, rare and handsome cars. If in fact (again!) there is a market for such things in 10 or 20 years,. This remains a question in my mind for many reasons but is worth pondering. Does one actually believe collectible gas powered cars will always be a thing in the future? Are the bulk of attainable "collectibles" to be viewed as stable long term investments? I am not sure, but if they are, I contend there will be a seat at the table for the Evora. In my calculation future means future...not this year....not next year. Be patient Grasshopper! I say the fat lady has not yet sung. Oh....and people will want the manual because that's a character multiplier. It's not for everyone but all we need is "one more buyer than there are cars." That's an easy to imagine scenario when less than 500 of them exist in the country.
  5. I went to Nashville's Cars and Coffee yesterday. I've only attended a handful of times and those were all shortly after I first bought the car so it had been a while. The car always attracts attention and that was no less true two years ago but the response it got yesterday was, if anything, greater than it received when it was brand new and the only Evora in town. People knew exactly what it was, that it had become a darling of many reviewers and enthusiasts and that it had a reputation as being great fun to drive. The reputation of the Evora is more widely acknowledged and better understood now than it was when the 400 series were first introduced. The Evora is being elevated as a potential future collectible even as the last ones are being manufactured and delivered. The days of cheap Evoras will eventually come to an end when production ceases and the last cars are finally scooped up. Our cars are not cheap even when fully discounted by resellers. They will remain an aspirational object going forward, if not at the elevated level of a Pista or a Performante. It will take a bit of patience, but I believe we can count on it. The manuals will command a premium, just as they do now. Nobody cares if the Aisin was built for a truck. If you own one, you understand why. The tranny works fine and is suited to purpose. The Evora was never going to be a 450 lb.ft. 500 HP car. It is a vehicle whose appeal is based on balance. That won't change in the future.
  6. My future with Lotus in the USA anticipates keeping the car I have. Anything new will be an addition. I don't know what they are planning to replace the current line with. Does anybody? I expect that whatever ink has already been expended predicting that the company will maintain its focus on lightweight traditionally featured IC sports cars is based on an era that is soon to die, if it's not dead already. Prepare for the sea change to a company that is focused on different values. The Evija proves that since it is being touted as a harbinger. Happy to be wrong and well could be as my prediction is based simply on gut feel. But I think I'm right.
  7. ^I agree with your analysis regarding future values and the manual is also my preference in a sports car like the Evora. However I very much doubt it will affect Vette sales in any meaningful way although I get that's a n individual choice and more importantly, your choice with which I have no argument and which I'd likely opt for myself. Unfortunately, even in the C7 the manuals had less than a 10% take rate and with a good dual clutch that rate would probably have been even lower. So I understand why they optead to dump the manual. For folks like us that may well be good news for future values but that's the same problem if we bought virtually any other exotic currently on the market absent Porsche and Lotus. I understand the manuals have been at risk (and perhaps continue to be) even for Porsche as their take rate is no higher than Chevrolet's has been. Lotus is wise to stick with a manual given their positioning albeit we must note that it is the limiting factor regarding how much power the drive train can handle in an Evora. Will we be shocked when Lotus makes the same decision or will they be willing to design their own manual when the OEM sources dry up and when the cars go electric or hybrid? We drive anachronisms. At my level of skill there is no doubt I would be faster around any closed course (or drag strip) with a proper DC. I haven't owned an auto shifter in any vehicle I've acquired for strictly personal use ever. I would still consider the C8. What I'd be much less likely to do is buy a first model year GM car. Many reasons why but in this particular car it's a matter of simple economics for the manufacturer. That's the same across the board. If you want a new 500HP plus mid/rear engined car and it's not going to be a GT3, you're hosed.
  8. I drove a 718S and selected a 400 MT. I assume I'd have felt the same about a GTS. I'm keeping my 400 which isn't the same as saying I wouldn't prefer a GT but I can't talk myself into the difference. It's two thirds of the mythical 60K Corvette plus my 400 to swap for a GT. Given the options the 'Vette provides us in the new world, I'm better served by keeping my 400 and perhaps getting a new Chevrolet rather than trading the 400 and getting a GT. The difference I'd have to pay to beat my spec (plus a tune and a down pipe) would be the better part of $40K, maybe even a little more. As respects "the future of the Evora" I have to assume there isn't one after the GT. But I do hope and suspect any Evora will be a sought commodity in ten years. The GTs and the few 410s we got will be the headliners but there will be so few of those that any 400, of which there are also very few, will still be a rarity and while they drive rich they are reasonable to keep. We know these cars will be relatively easy to keep alive as long as they are willing to provide us the panels and parts that routine use always requires. They will probably be cheaper to maintain than any Porsche, just as they are now. Unfortunately, that will not be the case compared to a Corvette which will have been designed to be serviced at a Chevy store and runs on The Small Block. How many more mid engined IC platforms are we going to see going forward? I don't know but until further notice, I'm thinking the sports car world stopped for a second when the Vette was finally loosed and things won't be quite the same until it all shakes out. I'm glad I have my 400, wish it was a GT but with the money I saved I may just buy me one new Chev-roh-lay. Or the next Lotus platform that shares and improves upon the Evora's mission. But I don't see life without a Lotus and to actually replace the 400 a car will have to bring a shed load of joy.
  9. Agreed. I could own a Corvette. I could live with the DC if it's as good as they say it is but I'd wait a year or three for clarity and the sporting spec, which is not to say I will buy one. The Evora was old when I bought mine . It was a reason not to buy it, but also a reason to buy it. Its virtues are lovable and in large part based on the relative simplicity while its flaws are acceptable. Anyway, twilight for the Evora. I hope they will support our cars. I think I am going to make that my new signature line.
  10. The Grand Sport will be the enthusiast's trim if the C7 is anything to go by. My spec for the C7 GS was just shy of $80K. Obviously I went with the Lotus but I really liked the Vette. This time, say it's $85K for a righteous C8 vs. well, whatever really. Regarding the GT, once they stray above about $105K MSRP I have to compare with what I paid for my 400 and I end up back in the 400 every time. We're all different with different notions of what constitutes a noticeable or significant difference and for me, the GT , nice as it is, much as I envy it, doesn't compel me to change. The Corvette could, given time.
  11. My impression is that the GT is being wll received here in the States. 400s that were languishing unsold on lots since the US introduction seem to be disappearing form the market so it feels like they have hit bottom and are rebounding here as the value/price equation has reached critical mass. Despite the heavy discounts on the left overs (now mostly sold) the new model is being seen as good value if (IMO) you use restraint when ticking off boxes on the order form. Yet I think enthusiasts see them as worth a bit of a splurge even if you are a bit lavish with some of the options. I think we can agree it's an appealing spec for the money and builds on the increasingly positive sentiments that are finally taking root amongst enthusiasts here, even non-Lotus centric enthusiasts. Just a year ago it seemed months between new car acquisitions in the states. These days, a new person seems to announce having discovered the joys of the 4xx series ownership by putting money where mouth is every day. The market will miss these, simple, honest and endearing cars when they are gone but for the time being we have the best standard edition Evoras yet. I adore my 400 but and will probably keep it and make it even "more mine" as the years elapse but can't deny that I want a GT!
  12. All this leaves me content with my nasty old 2017 400 that came with a $20K discount from list and a new car warranty. What should I buy with the $40,000 I have left over? I'm thinking Komotec tune, some personal track lessons and Type R for a daily. Any other suggestions or have I got that about nailed? Type R is a dud you say? Well, at least I get my wing!
  13. I'm fine with Lotus SUVs, welcome it. I don't currently own an SUV and don't have plans for one. Lotus could build me a tasty, modern practicalish Cortina to go against the usual suspects. That's something I am up for right now. Or maybe it could be a hot hatch in Lotus style, a Golf R with steering, feel, presence and no coking. Which I guess an electric wouldn't have. I buy cars like that. Well not an electric one yet. These still qualify as niche products given what most Americans seem to want but they are big niches by Lotus standards. I hope they do something like that and would perhaps be happy to sell a few thousand of them here (and one to me) instead of seeing people buy Golf Rs, Audis or M cars. Or Jaguars or whatever. Unique and clever cars a reasonably ambitious person could hope to attain with all the fixings of modern service/serviceability. I trust Lotus is thinking like that along with whatever else they are thinking. But really, the Evora is a near perfect package for me as a sports car I can use a lot of course. Flawed but, what ain't? I think we all know why they don't sell like Porsches. but what's not to like if Lotus comes to build a broad range of best in class vehicles focused on quality and enthusiast appeal? The possible future that concerns me is the loss of the clever cars relatively focused cars we have right now. Important to me is that the 4XX or 'whatever they call it' series be supported with the things we need to maintain the best of Hethel's pre world conquering builds. The 400 is a weapon on backroads, really not requiring much more to be an apex predator. Of course I would love to have a proper 430 but instead I plan to do what suits my car as time goes by while keep all the OEM parts. You know. So it can be somebody's perfect dream car someday when they don't make them like that anymore. That's until the next Lotus makes sense to me. I bought my car when Lotus was in the dumps here, which is still sort of the case but looking up. I blame nobody for the inability to perfectly manage national car sales with so few resources but perhaps those days will draw to an end. I paid a perfect price for my car and bought it with the expectation that it would not be orphaned and any problems, and there are always problems with all cars, be resolved to my satisfaction. I like to believe the 400, in whatever iteration, is positioned for a bit of a breakout just now. Interest and talk about Lotus is getting around because..... internet. Slowly, but it is, and we owners and ambassadors have been a help in that because we like the cars and the place they come from. Nothing better than word of mouth. Wise guys frequently predict in media that the 400 is going to be a future hottie. As will be the variations, I'm sure. There will never really be too many even if a small glut of them (can that be a thing?) had to be digested. I thought that a fine possible future (not immediate, silly!) awaited the car when I decided to buy one. And still do. Lotus can build on that right now. They can perfect this series and keep it "relevant" and sell some in the next few years. As they have to do anyway. They need to execute perfectly of course. Real improvements all the time in QC, performance, endurance and in materials. Sensible attainable improvement provided in attainable packages. Needed is full parts availability, the extra, even trying effort to recognize customer expectations....knowing that customers talk to each other. And finally, to sell no wine before its time. Easy to say, hard to achieve, but necessary. That Lotus can now do this is exciting. I hope Lotus makes marvelous, solid cars in the future and sells them profitably. I hope Geely will help Lotus be its best as it has helped Volvo while keeping the core values. The winds in general are really blowing against Chinese-American (I mean American and everybody) trade but one imagines that will eventually pass. I think it will be quite a challenge given what is going on but Geely may have a better than average recipe for dealing with acquisitions and challenges. I now think of Lotus as a British company with the support of a multi-national that happens to be Chinese. Yett clearly Lotus is wanted to be a British company with its brand of engineering and esthetics and that is what appeals to me. I hate to be a Debbie Downer, but that's what appeals to this American so absent that, not as interesting. I have every confidence it on't be that way. I am Loquacious Lew. So as I've said before, I expect my car, the one I just bought, to get the respect (best practice and treatment) from Lotus that I have for it as a future classic and future Lotus legacy. Or as my son in law would have it as "gonna be mine someday if I have anything to say about it." (He doesn't). I really hope they don't forget these cars in the mix. And that is my perspective on Lotus in America. From the Deep South of the USA where it's awful hot and sticky and good working aircon is a must. Which the 400 has and every road car that comes here needs so no fudging the weight numbers. Wanna see some pictures of the Dragon? .
  14. ^Yes, although how much more power it will make is always a question. It probably won't be much and sometimes there can be a modest loss even in closed loop systems like the Evora's. The sensors will report to the ECU and ask it to adjust to as close to a stoichiometric fuel/air ratio as it can get but any changes will be in a narrow range from a single exhaust modification. It's difficult to achieve meaningful gains over stock unless multiple factors are addressed in a systems approach. These things are interactive with a change in one typically dictating changes in other areas (intake, fuel metering, boost pressure, etc). The car will adjust A/F ratios to the new circumstances over time but gains from a single change will be minimal if they aren't actually negative, which is why mods can be a crap shoot leading to a rabbit hole. I like the black car (I usually do when they're fresh and clean) but would personally buy the yellow one. I like my sports cars in colors but mainly I dislike living with black for the usual reason....hard to maintain. They both look great in your pics and as it only matters what you like, buy the one that lights you up and celebrate your good taste!
  15. No matter how it ended some were bound to be disappointed. Just knowing it was over was a let down that meant no ending, happy or bittersweet, far fetched or logical, could really tie it all together in a buttoned down way that would leave us in a happy alternative universe. What kind of happy universe doesn't have more GoT seasons? I say congratulations to the entire GoT team for being able to keep the attention of the world's presumed 'adults' using only zombies, dragons, wizards, reincarnation and a gratuitous helping of beheadings and boobies to maintain prurient interest. I don't usually go in for this kind of thing but somehow they hooked me from episode one. I kept thinking: is that really what it was like in pre-history Scotland? No wonder they go to war in kilts! I just had to know how week after week how it came to such a pass! But the question is: is it really Dany's end? Everybody knows you can return from being stabbed in the heart, even easier if you have a dragon! Just make sure the right kind of sorceress is on call. You don't want the kind that leave you alive but with the intellect of a zucchini. The future is bright with potential. We've already agreed to believe anything they toss at us! In the real world of Trump and May, Brexit and US immigration policy, I have been steadily groomed and prepared to believe anything can happen. Dragons surviving the combined fire power of the Iron Island fleet? Arya finally finding something that gets to her? A guy who actually has a complete sense of history ruling the kingdom? Piece of cake!
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