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Brian Braddock

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Posts posted by Brian Braddock

  1. Lotus ERA for me.

    Short, to the point with gravitas. Doesn’t need a whole page of a press release to explain it! Heralds a new Lotus era. End of. That said endless jokes about Lotus Error would get old pretty quick.

    Whatevija, it is what it is!

     

  2. I was at Nissan at the time of the Qashqai launch and I can tell you first hand that they never had any idea that it was going to be such a massive hit. It was a total punt to nothing after years of struggling to gain C-segment market share! The timing was more luck than judgement.

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  3. Buddsy a fair point but I would conclude that you need get an Exige V6 while you can. Plenty of automotive adventures still to be had out there that might not be available in the near future.

    A lot here are making the assumption that a Lotus SUV is guaranteed to be successful. I would challenge that. The Evora makes perfect sense in theory. Reality - people just carried on buying 911s. It’s more likely that much the same will happen again with the Chinese built and engineered Lotus Earthworm vs Macan than it be a runaway success. 3 people here want one just because it’s a Lotus, that’s great but no-one here represents joe public who mostly doesn’t know what a Lotis is.

    The question is what would you rather see? Billions wasted on a failed SUV or see Lotus try their luck with a new Esprit?

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  4. No crime in liking SUVs either but think you might have been a bit trigger happy liking a post that ducked the question.

    Most here seem to think a Lotus SUV is a necessary evil at best so not really cause for celebration. As for why copying Porsche might not work, let’s start with how Porsche and Lotus are very different companies in very different circumstances. Car mags like to create this idea of a rivalry but really there isn’t one. Porsche need to find homes for over 200k high end cars every year. They will stick a Porsche badge on anything in order to hit those numbers and have done. Lotus’s wildest dreams would be to hit 10k cars a year. You can do that profitably with sports cars alone as Ferrari and McLaren have shown. Mazda have sold huge numbers of light, two seater sports cars that could and should be wearing a Lotus badge on the nose.

    The Porsche badge remains aspirational for most in a way the Lotus badge simply isn’t and a Lotus SUV will do nothing to change that. A successful hypercar and succession of brilliant desirable supercars just might. The badge is primarily what sells Cayennes and Macans. Porsche never stood for anything like ‘simplify and add lightness’ so an SUV is a strange change of direction not a contradiction of the principles that built the company and the brand. SUVs should have done irreparable harm to the Porsche brand and image but they got lucky and caught a wave no-one saw coming. They also worked out how to make wealthy people even richer with the GT cars which maintains a media buzz around their sportscars a feeding frenzy of demand by bringing in customers who only have a passing interest in cars. It’s a great distraction away from the fact that a once great dedicated sports car maker is now primarily an SUV re-badger with a sideline in sports cars.

    In my direct experience with the motor industry, behind the scenes no-one has much of a clue about what’s going to work or not. Lots of experts with hindsight but Porsche had no idea the SUV gamble was going to work. Honda we’re convinced they had to drop performance cars and go full eco. Lotus had no clue the Elise would be such a hit or that the 7 would still be in production today. Nissan’s Qashqai was a complete roll of the dice. JLR thought the Range Rover coupe was going to be a sure fire hit. Same for Hondas new NSX. Porsche thought it was a good idea to ditch the flat 6 from Boxster and Cayman and manual box from the GT3, something they’ve since reversed. 

    Its very hard to see how a Lotus SUV could be a huge hit, Porsche have a massive head start, vast economies of scale and a much more aspirational badge. Will anyone care if a Lotus SUV weighs 1600kg (light for an SUV)? What if it’s 2 tons? As always the Lotus will have to be much better and cheaper just to make any kind of dent. Seems like a very tall order to me. 

  5. While it’s somewhat reassuring that no one on this forum can explain the popularity of SUVs it does beg the question why some of the same Lotus stalwarts welcome the arrival of a Lotus SUV?

    Best reason given so far appears to be ‘just cos’.

    But I welcome some debate at least. The day the idea of a Lotus SUV isn’t stirring up some strong views on here is a very sad day indeed.

  6. 1 hour ago, Bravo73 said:

    We’ve been around this block before (several times). Look at the worldwide market/sales for 2 seater sports cars. Now look at the worldwide market/sales for SUVs. Then look at how a re-badged diesel VW SUV saved Porsche and allowed them to continue to produce cars like the GT3 & GT4. 

    Draw your own conclusion. 

    As much as Scotty seems to like your posts you still haven’t answered the question as to why you think it would work for Lotus and why you don’t think there’s any other way. Maybe Scotty knows?

  7. Why is an SUV now considered the only way to make money in the sports car business? Surely there are other possibilities? Lotus are known for being pioneers, for leading not following. What makes SUVs so irresistible to buyers and why would they want a Lotus one? Traditional notions of driving pleasure aren’t a consideration among SUV’s whereas the status of the badge and image is everything. Doesn’t exactly play to Lotus’s strengths or core competencies.

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  8. Sport version is super rare. Doubt they made double figures. Seems good value compared with the GT410 now too.

    Not convinced they ever reached 60 of the winged versions either. UK had way more than any other market. Too many by the look of unsold stock perhaps. Lotus Order books closed for both varieties some time ago.

  9. Not much joy on the other thread, anyone here understand why SUVs are so popular? So sad to see a company built on radical innovation so short of ideas it feels compelled to do what everyone else is doing. I personally have even more respect for McLaren for declaring that they won’t build an SUV. Sends out exactly the right message for those who don’t get this senseless trend.

    Fast estates I totally get, fast SUVs totally not.

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  10. I’ve never understood why SUVs sell so well does anyone actually know? As such I don’t see that it’s now the only way for a sports car maker to broaden its appeal. Lotus sold 30,000+ Elises, introduced the brand to a whole load of new customers and convinced them all of the benefits of lightweight construction. A lesson that everyone else seems to have forgotten - again. Last time Lotus forgot its founding principles, a Japanese car maker made a fortune on a Lotus inspired design with a sports car that is still selling strongly today.

    If Lotus go down the me-too SUV route then many in the US will wish they’d bought an Evora GT while they had the chance. I fear Lotus won’t be making cars like the current unappreciated wonders for much longer.

    Being like a 400 is a good thing by the way. The car is a marvel. Imagine a faster, lighter version with more grip and better aero? What more was anyone really expecting?

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  11. Evora GT isn’t on the US Lotus website because it hasn’t been officially launched yet! When it arrives it will be the highest spec Evora available anywhere in the world. Plenty will moan that it’s ‘just a 400’ but they’ll be wrong just like people (mainly 400 owners) who said much the same thing about the GT430 in the UK.

    Funny how people find it so easy to attribute highly unlikely emotions to companies. You’re all smart enough people surely you know that it’s simply a matter of the necessary development cost vs the potential rewards. Biggest issue in the US is the dealer and servicing network (or lack thereof), most potential buyers are too far away from a dealer for Lotus to be a viable consideration vs the usual alternatives. Buying a Lotus is a real long shot for most people esp in the US. You’d have to really badly want one to spend so much over a Vette, Nissan GTR etc and get a lot lees bang for your extra bucks. Potential rewards are limited currently, costs of complying with US legislation is high. Just the way Mr President likes it.

    But sure, if you find it easier to believe that Lotus can’t be bothered to sell cars in the US because of some internal apathy and indifference towards the US population, stick with that!

  12. I thought Lotus ‘didn’t care’ about the US?

    One of the very few here with any idea about how the auto industry actually works is Julian73. Those still struggling to get to grips with the basics I suggest they read his recent posts again.

    Failing that just keep repeating your own made up conspiracy garbage until you start believing it.

    👍

    As for the car itself I can understand the disappointment if anyone was led to believe something else. One or two dealers may have gotten carried away and spoken too soon by the sound of it. Under promise and over deliver is always better. But I don’t remember many hating the 400 front bumper with such passion before the new version arrived. I also prefer the new one but the Sport 410 in particular is still a fine, fine looking car by any standards. That US GP Edition is utterly 😍. From what I’ve heard the new base price will be below that. But now you get more power, new carbon rear bumper, bonnet vents and cut away panel behind the front wheels (for improved aero). Wider wheels and tyres too? If so, loads more mechanical grip then too. Carbon parts are optional but that brings the base cost way down. A move that would be very popular with dealers and customers here in Europe. The Sport 410 the carbon roof was only worth 2kg so forget that and save $X000. The glass half empty crew will complain about whatever Lotus puts out there. Full US GT430 would have seen much the same ‘Lotus are stupid, Lotus don’t care’ reaction over the price guaranteed.

    From another perspective I’m not sure that what is being offered is such a bad deal. Yes the Evora is far from the fastest car for the money but it’s sure as hell one of the best to drive. That’s a Lotus tradition that goes back to the first one. Not many people ‘get it’ but as is often the case the path less trodden is often the most rewarding. Why else would anyone even think about buying an Evora over a 911 or Corvette? With so many downsides and disadvantages there must be an almighty upside for Lotus to sell even one single car.

  13. US customers are stupid if they think Lotus doesn’t care about their market!

    Its a front bumper away from a euro GT430 Sport. Ohlins are available for those that really want them from the UK importers, same for J-hooks, they should be available from AP Racing. Failing that, fit even better aftermarket rotors.

    If Lotus didn’t care they’d have fitted the rear wing anyway and sold a car with an aero imbalance. Evidently they do because the lack of wing will cost them sales. Which brings us neatly back to customer intelligence again.

  14. Maybe the idea was to help dealers sell their stock and show customers what the colours look like in real life? 

    This being the internet it has to be seen as a negative I guess!

    Looks like some here have already forgotten how dire the old site was.

    No 430s in any Exige 410 section that I can see either.

  15. Why would Lotus ‘just not want to’ sell cars in the US?

    I’m sure you are aware of the difficulties and costs of federalising Non-American  cars. Aside from the process being made intentionally arduous as a form of protectionism and dealing with a litigious culture, lemon laws and the like, Lotus, like any other business has to weigh up the risk versus potential rewards. I can’t help but wonder how many of us would be signing off a project involving such a huge amount of time and money for such slim potential rewards. By far the most likely outcome, whatever Lotus do to the GT, is that Americans just carry on buying 911 GT3s regardless. That’s afterall exactly what’s happened in all of the other markets. Getting a version of the GT430 road legal in the US is a virtual act of charity, a token of understanding about the frustration caused by the lack of road legal Exige V6 and reward for the faithful, patient few.

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