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Now's the time to buy a Lotus


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Nice to see the recognition but the Journo just can't help with the wee digs can he. An Elan+2 is on my wishlist. I know, it's a +2 but I just think they look so cool and would want to use it for Euro

Article in Autocar. 

I agree, it may not be a good time to buy a Lotus...however, I would argue its not a good time to buy any sub $125k sports car/supercar new or used. I would really wait and see how much the C8 disrupt

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4 hours ago, jonwat said:

Article in Autocar:thumbup:

Nice to see the recognition but the Journo just can't help with the wee digs can he. An Elan+2 is on my wishlist. I know, it's a +2 but I just think they look so cool and would want to use it for European trips so the rear seats would be good for the wine!

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Alcohol. Sex. Tobacco. Drugs. Chocolate.  Meh! NOTHING in this world is as addictive as an Evora +0. It's not for babies!    

The first guy to ride a bull for fun, was a true hero. The second man to follow him was truly nuts!   

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At least in the US market, this may not be the time.  The reason is simple: C8 Corvette.  There is a great deal of uncertainty as to the impact of the new Vette on the US sports car market.  What we know is that the first year allocation is nearly sold out.  What we don’t know is whether these cars were sold to Vette people or whether customers crossed over from other makes.  

I’m sure someone will argue that the Lotus is very different and that is true, but it is also true that one can easily get a well equipped Vette for $20,000 less than the starting price of the Lotus EVora GT and about the same as a two year old Evora 400.  Will that cost differential  be the difference for buyers?  I don’t know.  What I do know is that we will have a much better idea of the impact of the Vette on Porsche, Lotus, etc in 1-2 years and a more informed decision could be made at that time.

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New Vette is great value no doubt but a familiar story for US built cars back European imports. But looks to me like a missed opportunity in terms of styling and interior design. Totally subjective of course but older front engined C6 was much more appealing to me especially in either Z06 or ZR1 form. C7 just went too Power Rangers/Transformers and C8 just doesn’t do it for me at all. Obviously still like to try one if I had the chance and perhaps better things are to come but registers very low on the desireability factor as it stands. Viper esp ACR appeals much more.

Has there been much criticism of the styling? Or does everyone think it looks great?

 

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The Corvette has always been the blue collar sports car in America. They will sell tens or hundreds of thousands. Always have. Doesn’t mean that other manufacturers won’t sell anything. Oh and by mid-engined standards, it’s an ugly looking car.

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12 hours ago, The Pits said:

Has there been much criticism of the styling? Or does everyone think it looks great?

Have you seen on in flesh? Pictures are a bit difficult to judge.

11 hours ago, LotusLeftLotusRight said:

Oh and by mid-engined standards, it’s an ugly looking car.

Isn't that a bit of a personal preferences? I personally think that Exige V6 is very pretty and Evora is ugly.

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I have not seen the car in person.  I’m told that the car looks better in person.  Looking forward to seeing the car at the Washington, DC auto show in April (would be great if Lotus was there as well.  Hint, hint.  FYI, the greater Washington, DC area is a huge car market and Lotus is about the only company not here).

We can argue about execution, but the basic layout emulates much more exotic fare at a fraction of the price.  The Vette has always been a bargain in the sports car market, but the old front engine layout did not resemble much of its competition.  Now it does.  Will that sway buyers?  I don’t know.  My guess is that the first year allocation is mostly Corvette people.  You can see low prices on 2019 C7s because a lot of people were waiting to order the C8.  After the first year of production, assuming few problems with the car (not a forgone conclusion), and they are seen on the road, will the C8 tempt 911 owners???  

My best guess would be no.  A 911 may not offer much in terms of exclusivity, but it does offer prestige that the Vette will lack.  The Achilles heel of the Vette will be exclusivity and prestige.  Chevy will make a lot C8s and will lack the prestige of more expensive competitors.

However, my guess is that the C8 could have a big impact on the used car market where buyers are more price conscious.  Part of the justification for buying a used sports/super car that you avoid the depreciation of the new car.  But what if the C8 upends used car prices???  Let me speak for myself.  I’m following the used sports/supercar market.  The Evora is on my shopping list, but so is the C8.  The C8 makes it hard for me to justify buying a used Evora 400.  As for other cars?  Why would I consider a 5-year old R8 which would still cost more than the C8 and that isn’t even the V10!   Used car prices on Porsches have been traditionally higher than most other makes, but again, why would I consider a 3-4 year old (991.1) Carrera S for the same money as a brand new C8???  

So getting back to the topic of this thread, I would not assume this is the right time to buy the Evora.  I’d wait to see what the fallout from the C8 really is.

 

 

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I agree, it may not be a good time to buy a Lotus...however, I would argue its not a good time to buy any sub $125k sports car/supercar new or used. I would really wait and see how much the C8 disrupts the market before purchasing. Personally I have no interest in a C8 myself, but I am interested in some used carts in that range that it may affect.

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Liquid:

My comments were not directed at Lotus, but any sports/supercar under around $150,000 and maybe under $200,000 once more powerful variants of the C8 are available.  The impact of the C8 could be huge or negligible or something in between.  Nobody really knows.  The best argument for Lotus feeling few effects of the C8 is that Lotus sells so few cars in the US that it just won’t matter; the Lotus buyer follows the beat of a different drummer which is why they are in a Lotus instead of a Porsche (or a C8 or that matter).

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6 minutes ago, Barrykearley said:

Looking at used prices on the web - now is a real good time to buy a used McLaren ...

They are making a lot more cars than they are selling is my understanding. I've heard of people getting some eye watering deals on new.

However, to keep on topic ( 🤣😂 ) now is a very good time to buy a new Evora GT410 in the UK with some cars advertised at £20 -£30k below list and they really are fantastic cars. 

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Alcohol. Sex. Tobacco. Drugs. Chocolate.  Meh! NOTHING in this world is as addictive as an Evora +0. It's not for babies!    

The first guy to ride a bull for fun, was a true hero. The second man to follow him was truly nuts!   

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16 minutes ago, Barrykearley said:

Lovely car that. More carbon than the current GT410's too...

Alcohol. Sex. Tobacco. Drugs. Chocolate.  Meh! NOTHING in this world is as addictive as an Evora +0. It's not for babies!    

The first guy to ride a bull for fun, was a true hero. The second man to follow him was truly nuts!   

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It looks like the tips have either been taken off, or have fallen off, an aftermarket silencer. There’s no mention of it in the description so maybe someone has just removed the ‘pig snout’. Slightly strange either way. 

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I think you will find that was B&C’s development ‘track friendly’ exhaust they were working on at the time that didn’t make it into production, fairly sure they have the original stock exhaust for it to go back on, if it’s not already!

1982 DeLorean DMC 12 #16327, 1999 Lotus Elise, 1998 Lotus Esprit GT3 #2272, 2011 Lotus Evora S, 2013 Lotus Exige S,2016 Lotus Evora 400

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I’ve been giving this thread some thought and would like to refine my prior comments.  I think this is probably an OK time to buy an Evora despite the imminent availability of the C8.  My reasoning is that the Lotus is the most different of all the cars in the segment.  About the only thing the Evora and the C8 have in common is a mid-engine layout and a trunk behind the engine.  Their approach to driving and performance is VERY different.  The Lotus will appeal to the iconoclast who doesn’t want to drive a Porsche.  Can’t see the C8 changing that calculus.  

As for the rest of the competition, I suspect it will come down to their fan base.  Porsche has a dedicated following and I can’t see the typical Porsche buyer getting a C8 over a new (or used Porsche).  At most, it may moderate some of the ridiculously high used car prices for Porsches.

If you exclude the $200,000 plus market (eg, Lambo, McLaren, Ferrari, etc) because a large part of that market is exclusivity, then you are left with a relatively small number of cars that could be impacted.  All of those cars have one thing going for them that could protect them from the C8: small numbers.  For example, I would argue that the NSX and R8 could take the biggest hit from the C8, but there just aren’t many of these car on the market, new or used.  And rarity plays a big role in pricing.  Apart from being very different, the production numbers for Lotus are very low as well.  

So I’ve changed my mind on this one.  I looked at the layout and thought that the car could really impact the market.  But the only maker with numbers large enough to clearly to impacted is Porsche and I seriously doubt that their owners will be tempted by the Vette.  Everyone else just doesn’t make enough cars or have enough used models on the market to make a major impact likely.  So I do think buying a Lotus right now will be just fine.  

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The move to a mid-engined format was necessary for the Corvette.  The Vette is the classic mid-life crisis car or “old man” car in the US and the demographics of their customers backs that up.  They had to appeal to a younger audience and the classic front engine/RWD car was not going to do that.  I think GM made the calculation that their faithful would not abandon them for going mid-engine, but that such a car would open up their market to make an appeal to the younger set.  My guess is that they are probably right.  My guess is also that we won’t have any good indication until the second year of production because the faithful have already sold out the allocation for the first year.  In the second year, we will get an indication of appeal beyond their existing base.

The change to mid-engine design hardly caught anyone by surprise.  There have been rumors of this car for over 20years.  I think the question was never whether they would do it, but rather when they would.  The surprise is that they finally made it!  Some of the faithful won’t like it, but there are plenty of C7s for them to buy at a serious discount due to the C8.  Lots of C7s on dealer lots because everyone was waiting to order the C8.

If you wanted a front engine RWD Vette now is the time to buy that car.  The prices for new or nearly new C7 are ridiculously low.

 

Edited by Ccd
Just added a thought about the intro of mid-engine design
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The C8 is already a success by any measure but if it will keep Lotus from selling a few hundred Evoras here is another question.  I'd have to say it didn't help but Lotus' structure here is the bigger problem.  Until that is fixed it's  academic and we will remain  a cult living in the wilderness.  

Would I buy a C8?  It depends.  Buying today I couldn't buy a  GT for Corvette money.  Two years ago, the 400 and a well specified  C7 cost about the same (Vette was still a bit less, but only a bit). The Evora could be justified as similar  money  to the C7 you'd actually want.  Today, a well specified  GT  lists for $40K more than a high spec C8.  This is a tough pill to swallow.  

 

 

'17 Evora 400 MT 

 

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The things Lotus has going for it are limited numbers and it is a VERY different car from the C8.  But to your point, I follow Evora prices here in the US and a 2017 Evora 400 is just now dipping below $70,000. That same money would get you a 2020 C8 with $10,000 in options.  I know which one I want (Evora), but the C8 complicates the decision making process because of its value proposition.

I also follow used car prices and, so far, I see little impact of the C8 on that market.  One potential first victim may be the Audi R8.  Prices for these cars have been going up in the used car market, particularly for the V10 version with a manual.  The next likely victim is the NSX where I expect the depreciation curve to get steeper.  On the other hand, the market has not been kind to the NSX, new or used.  Not sure how much room there is for it to get even worse.  The interesting comparison is with Porsche.  A 2017 911 Carrera GTS is still north of $100,000.  Personally, it would be hard for me to choose a 2-3 yr old 911 GTS over a high spec C8 for even money.  The major thing going for the Porsche is that I can still get it with a manual.  

Used car prices for a 2017 NSX and Porsche 2017 911 GTS are pretty much the same.  You would think that people would rush to buy up the more exotic NSX, but that is not the case.  My guess as I’ve said before is that people will continue to buy the 911 over the much cheaper C8.  Maybe the higher performance models of the C8 will change that calculus, but I doubt it.

Getting back to Lotus, they make few cars.  Despite that, there are plenty of new 2018 Evoras on the US market and no shortage of 2017s either.  I see no reason or indication that the Evora GT will do any better in this market.  Like the NSX, the market in the US has not been kind to Lotus and like the NSX, there may not be much room for it to get any worse.

Assuming the coming Lotus cars will represent a significant departure from the current lineup, the best play from a value perspective would be a 2-3 year old high spec Evora GT or perhaps getting a good deal on a high spec press car.  If any Lotus is going to go up in value in the US, it would be a high spec Evora GT (manual of course).

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If the GT is granted collectible classic status (still a speculation but a pleasant one) then anything based on the 4xx chassis will be brought along for the ride.  For "collectors" (if Evora actually reaches collectible status) then the GT indeed will be the one to have but talk about limited numbers. Thus for enthusiast drivers it's somewhat irrelevant which trim they get (in the USA),  being mostly a question of incremental cost.   I say all 4XX variants rise or fall within a reasonably predictable ranking by vintage/trim but all on the same  tide.

'17 Evora 400 MT 

 

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