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KusaKusa

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  1. Newest edition of Autocar has more info on the engineering of the LEVA innovations. Lotus seems to think that this platform will be like the next Elise in that several other companies will want to utilize the platform. That doesn't seem super unreasonable since most models cheaper than super cars won't have bespoke non-skateboard platforms, which is limited to being huge in size and high in height.
  2. The award seems to be just for car manufacturers as a group and not necessarily for their manufacturing. I think based on what Lotus has communicated, they're setting up their backend the right way to launch on EVs effectively, which is especially difficult for them since they're a small company competing against the likes of Volkswagen, Tesla, etc. Resource-wise, they of course have the backing of Geely and all its EV brands, but they also got an investment from NIO to open up its potential EV resources. Then they also have investments into Hethel for the Emira's remainder of the decade and future EV sports/super cars and Lotus-specific headquarters for R&D and a factory both in Wuhan. It's kinda crazy that Lotus, with its historically struggling sales, is getting this level of investment specifically for its brand (especially vs Volvo that's doing well in China) instead of going an easy route like just throwing its badge onto existing Chinese/Volvo vehicles. The market positioning, price, and performance of the Emira shows that Lotus is planning to work at an economy of scale that makes their vehicles mass market competitive with existing offerings (specifically Porsche). Hopefully the dedicated R&D center helps Lotus compete in development with the massive resources of Porsche and VAG. Technology-wise, Lotus is always focused and invested in their engineering, and with the company commitment and its potential learnings shown by the Evija reflect such an investment. It'll give them great learnings on high performance motor design, battery chemistry, fast charging, cooling, and lightweight EV structure design. Lotus also developed its own EV platforms to maximize range (Lotus Premium Architecture, internally known as Evolution) and maximize performance (based on LEVA, internally known as E-Sports) instead of relying on existing Geely EV platforms in order to differentiate themselves from competitors in driving characteristics; they've said all their vehicles will be lowest weight in class. Their first EV, the Type 132 mid/large SUV, will be announced in 2022 for sale in 2023. In comparison, Polestar started with better resources and positioning but still won't release an EV on a dedicated platform (Polestar 3) until 2022 as well. Most of this info with investments, technology, and future offerings came out of announcements just this year. It's a lot that's working in the background, but it's all communication at this point and no actual results. So hopefully the results reflect the effort and has Lotus in the high tier of competitive products. A big question will be if the Lotus brand still carries enough prestige to drive SUV and sedan sales until they come out with a sports car to "advertise" the brand like Porsche's 911/Cayman. Lotus is setting themselves in a strong position to fill a niche to compete head-to-head with Porsche in the "exotic" premium performance EV segment, but they can separate themselves by not being tied down to the norms that restrict Porsche like their historical (plain) designs and stuff like the 911 history. The only other companies in that space on the EV side are BMW, Jaguar, Polestar, and surprisingly Maserati (they're investing heavily in future EV products). I think Lotus is better set up than all those companies except maybe Polestar. I think Tesla will sorta suffer from its own success and create this market segment of more unique "exotic" performance EVs.
  3. Nio has a financial stake in Lotus now, right? News outlets were speculating Lotus could utilize Nio's technologies, so Nio expanding and being more competitive is good news for Lotus EVs down the line.
  4. Article interviewing Rackham, head of vehicle concepts at Lotus. The first few paragraphs go into already known details about LEVA, but then it talks about engineering stuff and it's interesting and worth a read: Forbes: Lotus Unveils Modular Lightweight Electric Vehicle Architecture For Two Sports Cars And Perhaps A 2+2 GT Some takeaways: "According to Rackham, the mass and packaging of the battery, cabling and motor(s) approximates the weight and physical dimensions of a comparably powerful internal combustion powertrain." Matt Windle had said in a previous interview that they need their EV sports car to match the weight of the Emira, and Rackham has confirmed they achieved that. Still no decision whether to use a front motor or not, due to weight concerns. Definitive no on using a 2 speed gearbox also due to weight. More focus on torque vectoring as a characteristic of EVs that Lotus can use to make their cars drive more like Lotus. Hopefully they can still apply torque vectoring even with just a single rear motor. No official confirmation, but Lotus is still aiming for a 40/60 weight distribution with their EV sports cars. There's a another new Forbes article interviewing Matt Windle, but it's kinda fluff with no specific details. Just Windle assuaging that Chinese manufactured SUVs will still be focused on drivers, drive like Lotus, and be premium. Forbes: Lotus Managing Director Matt Windle On The Sports Car Brand’s Electric Future
  5. I bought a digital version of the Autocar article: Takeaways: Lots of comparisons of Type 135 to the Elise. The LEVA wheelbase is minimum 97 inches, vs almost exactly that of the Porsche Cayman, close to the 101 inch Evora wheelbase, and not close to the 90.6 inch Elise wheelbase or 96 inch A110 wheelbase. So I think Type 135 will be closer to an EV Emira than Elise, but maybe Autocar has more direct confirmation from Lotus. Type 135 could be priced at the upper end of the Exige pricing. Autocar thinks that suggests a price between 80-100k pounds. Lotus emphasized committing to affordable performance. Using an EV has "a lot of storage and packaging benefits", so Type 135 will likely be more space practical for its size than ICE counterparts. The E-Sports platform can have a front motor, and Lotus doesn't want to close off that possibility, especially with the tech/learnings from the Evija. Aerodynamics are becoming a core part of Lotus' defining differentiators. It's not just from a historically practical standpoint but seemingly also marketing; so much so that Type 135 will have aero aids "running through the car" similar in some way to the Evija. LEVA is compatible with 800V charging.
  6. Yeah, considering how much appeal for the Emira is based on its design, I wouldn't be surprised if Lotus went a bit wild and gave Type 135 air scoops between the Emira and the Evija in intensity.
  7. I wanted to analyze the new LEVA platform to see if it's actually as big a deal in EV weight savings as Lotus makes it. Lotus was supposedly targeting around 3200 lbs for the Type 135 (likely the 66.4 kWh config) per Matt Windle (link in an above Forbes article), while Porsche is targeting 3600 lbs for their EV 718 in 2024/2025 (https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a37692178/2025-porsche-718-electric-future-details/). That's a pretty significant difference. To preface, I'm an engineer but I don't know much about vehicle chassis so please correct me or add on if there's anything to dig into. First, the press release mentions that they got rid of bolt-on subframes. Looking at a Tesla Model S for a basepoint comparison, which is very similar to the Model 3 that is pretty lightweight by EV standards, it uses a pretty traditional aluminum subframe that holds the motor and the body structure houses the crumple zone (not shown). This is also the same with the Lotus Premium Architecture for SUVs/sedans posted above. In comparison, Lotus LEVA seems to combine the subframe functions into the body structure and remove the subframe entirely, holding the suspension components, surrounding the motor, and attaching to the crumple zone all in one. It seems to be simpler, less redundant, and have many fewer parts than the Tesla. Using a single motor for the 66.4 kWh version probably saves a massive amount of weight. The Porsche Taycan Turbo and up use a 449 hp rear motor, which weighs 170 kg. The base Taycan uses a 402 hp motor and feels a bit underwhelming per reviews, but I think 450 hp with a much smaller and lighter LEVA vehicle would be sufficient. The Cayman EV is rumored to be rear motor to start and dual motor AWD in upper trims. If Porsche takes the same approach as the Taycan where they basically gimp the base solo motor and necessitate dual motor for performance, then the weight in competitive power may be hampered. If anyone can find anything else, definitely bring it forward. I'm not nearly qualified enough to talk about this.
  8. Yep, the 4 door "coupe" coming out after the first SUV will be based on the Lotus lifestyle EV platform that's used and manufactured in Wuhan. That's different from the Lotus platform revealed today that supports a 2+2 sports car. This new platform has 66 kWh batteries for the 2+2, whereas the lifestyle EV platform only supports 92-110 kWh battery sizes. Honestly, I'm not sure what Lotus can achieve with a 66 kWh bigger coupe with range, and it'll be interesting to see what they use the 99 kWh 2 seat configuration for. The 66 kWh 2 seat configuration seems almost certain for Type 135. I'm really looking forward to it! It should weigh around the weight of the Emira, according to this interview: https://www.forbes.com/sites/markewing/2021/04/27/lotus-goes-electric-lotus-goes-global-all-funded-by-chinas-geely/?sh=7fc5e28f4c29 In the case of Type 135 weighing around 3200 lbs and having 66 kWh of batteries, I think they could easily hit ~250 miles range minimum if you compare to Tesla specs, especially with battery tech by 2026. That weight with that range and 469 HP would be amazing! It doesn't seem like any other companies have anything locked in for an EV sports car; even Porsche is having trouble having a production level EV Cayman, and they don't even have a mid battery platform. So Lotus is closest right now to having an EV sports car that's more than just straight line AWD performance.
  9. The secret part is just click bait, but it is okay insight. Lotus is aiming hard at China for its EVs, which is obvious but shows the US and EU are probably not the main demographics. Second is that the small SUV won't be competing in the Tesla Model Y / Mustang Mach-E space and will be pushing more upmarket, which makes sense for Lotus. We don't know much about the EV Macan, but whatever we can find out will probably be competitively similar from Lotus.
  10. Random question, but has anyone heard/recorded the exhaust for the i4 DCT? There are plenty of videos of the grey V6 exhaust but none of the i4.
  11. I believe Lotus mentioned in an article recently that they want to move to a sales boutique and vehicle delivery sales model, similar to Tesla. Honestly, with their current positioning and future focus on EVs, this is probably the most cost effective strategy for them. At least in the US but not sure about the UK.
  12. Yeah, a lot of interviews with Lotus personnel seem to highlight good cross collaboration with and available of Geely's resources. UI design or electronics have been mentioned I think. Even if the products so far have looked pure Lotus, it seems there's good involvement from other Volvo/Chinese engineers, which should help modernize Lotus and also help them with their EVs.
  13. It's great that the UI has such good expertise behind it. But my main concern would be the electronics behind it, specifically if they're powerful enough and reliable. Automotive companies have been slow to increase the processing power of their UIs, and that has made them really laggy until recently. And companies even now, like Ferrari, still have problems with it. And electronics reliability has always been difficult for boutique manufacturers and British ones.
  14. The V6 really is in a weird spot as a product. If the base price of the i4 truly converts to $80k USD, then there isn't much upcharge space for the V6 without simply repeating the pricing and marketability issues with the Evora. Maybe the V6 Emira could be cheaper than the Evora since the manufacturing line is more automated, but there's also a lot more tech available and manufacturing costs to amortize. Is there precedent for any car model to sell two different engines for around the same price? Even if it doesn't make much sense for Lotus, that's the only way I could see it being competitive besides leaning heavily on the styling. Oh and comparing the Emira vs the Evora, would the Emira have to have a new particulate filter on it vs the sound we know on the Evora?
  15. I think I read that the regular cruise control was standard and that active/adaptive cruise would be optional, though a lot of journalist info has been inconsistent and wrong haha. I assume enhanced safety would fall under optional because they would use similar sensors, or since they're usually optional from other manufacturers. But I'd love to be proven wrong.
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