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Lotus Type 131 - The Rumour Mill


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You can still choose to shift under driver control with a DCT or IPS.  Not everyone (particularly in non UK markets) wants to stick shift. 

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1 hour ago, mdavies said:

Hear, hear!

Doubtless much market research went into the overall infrastructure of the Emira to aim at the admittedly essential target of getting more buyers from a wider, less committed range of people. Hence “easier to access, better equipped etc. etc.” No argument there, but are those the unique features that will make new prospects fall for the special, unequalled, memorable experience that is driving a Lotus? Surely not!

My three headings for assessing a sports car are appearance, lap times and the driving experience. And the greatest of these, by miles, is the last.  That experience is not a one-way street though, something the car gives you. No, it’s an interactive process, a multifaceted mix of what you put into the driving and how the car's responses feed back to you.  The more put in, the more got out.

Many test drivers and potential new long term owners will surely not start at the £90K plus level of the 6 cylinder version but the 4 cylinder at £55K.  What will be the hook that will embrace them?  The appearance? So it’s a car for the posers?  The lap timers? So it’s a car for the track rats?  No, of course, it has to be the driving experience, always Lotus’s magic.

I said “the more put in, the more got out”.  I should have said “the more the driver can put in, the more they get out.” Given that, is it not true that three pedals and a gear stick are hugely important components? To feel the stick slot home from one gear to another, matching the revs to the gear change, blipping the throttle just right for downshifts - hearing the bark of the engine, heel and toeing to do that under braking. Timing everything according to your line around a bend.

So what will these new test drivers experience? None of those above anyway. Never mind, they can slip in and out easily, play with the infotainment, relax with the help of the driver aids. Oh, and turn the steering wheel and press the brake pedal.

The less you can put in, the less you get out.

And yes, I’m very disappointed.

Lets wait and see, all that is written here is speculation..... admittedley it will be easier to get into 🤔

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Has EVO ever been known to be wrong?? I do hope not. All my words earlier might just have been a waste of time:

EVO 286, June: page 034, article on Lotus' future, re the Emira:

"both power units will be offered with a choice of manual and automatic transmissions."

Wow! After the several sources that have informed me otherwise, it's all too much to hope!

But no, EVO surely has never been wrong!

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As others have said, I think it’s as unfair to criticise the experience before the Emira comes out, as it was when a motoring mag handed the Golf VIII R a “top 10 all time” hot hatch place before it had even been driven…

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9 hours ago, mdavies said:

I said “the more put in, the more got out”.  I should have said “the more the driver can put in, the more they get out.” Given that, is it not true that three pedals and a gear stick are hugely important components? To feel the stick slot home from one gear to another, matching the revs to the gear change, blipping the throttle just right for downshifts - hearing the bark of the engine, heel and toeing to do that under braking. Timing everything according to your line around a bend.

So what will these new test drivers experience? None of those above anyway. Never mind, they can slip in and out easily, play with the infotainment, relax with the help of the driver aids. Oh, and turn the steering wheel and press the brake pedal.

The less you can put in, the less you get out.

And yes, I’m very disappointed.

Unfortunately, a lot of the "new buyers" Lotus needs are from the XBox/Playstation generation. They want digital, not analogue. They obsess about numbers. They don't want to put time into "learning to drive" they just want to be able to press a button and go fast!  

The vast majority of 911's and R8's and probably GTR's sold will be automatics with flappy paddles. People want to pose and look good, minimal effort.

The only real kick back from Porsche for manual, was with the GT3's (and a few GT4's) wasn't it. A tiny percentage of overall Porsche 911's sold (although they are frightfully common on the roads).

This is where the market is. So, if Lotus wants to sell the Emira it needs to look good, go fast and be really easy to drive for these new customers.

I can't see many Porsche GT3/RS owners ditching their cars for a Lotus (and I actually wouldn't blame them for not doing so). So what is the demographic of the new owners in this space? And of that demographic how many care enough about the "driving" over what the car in the drive/garage will, they think, say about them to other people?

I could see converts from things like M3/M4's, Jag F Types, and maybe Toyota GT86, Audi TT, Alpine and Megane Cups etc.  But again, can't see any Bentley GT owners handing in their keys for a Lotus. Or AM owners.  So, your left with 30 - 50 year old, professional types, who like the thought of a mini supercar in the garage. And then the traditional Lotus owners - but if they do not offer, and very quickly, an open top Emira, I can't see many Exige owners rushing to px their 380/390/410/430's.

It's a tough gig. I am sure the car will be superb. I am sure us fanboys will be drooling over it. BUT, will it SELL in the numbers required?  Hope so.

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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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1 hour ago, C8RKH said:

So, if Lotus wants to sell the Emira it needs to look good, go fast and be really easy to drive for these new customers.

Sadly, I do acknowledge the scenario you describe (from better knowledge than mine). But I hold to my key question of what is the hook to capture those customers? Going fast and being easy to drive are provided by many. Yes, it's possible, even likely, that the Emira will take "looking good" into a new era in its price range. But merely matching the competition otherwise? Enough? Absolutely share your hopes, gear stick or no, but ....................? 

Delighted if EVO has spilt one important bean though! 

Edited by mdavies
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I wouldn't say "we" are a dying breed. It's just that general public that wanted an expensive car was forced into race-car style of a car with Ferrari/Lambo and now there and other brands started to offer products more suited for them and less suited for factory test drivers. There will always be certain amount of people who will look for pure sports car. The problem is... can the market keep up supporting our niche, which was in the past sponsored by wider range of people.

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Ease of use has helped sell more cars, unskilled £s are worth just as much to car makers as skilled ones. Ease of use will help sell more Emiras to those who always fancied an Exige but just couldn't get on with getting in and out. The looks will help convert those who liked the idea of the Evora but never lusted after it sufficiently to write the cheque. I fear Mr Cayman buyer will remain wary of Lotus and what his friends might think. Mr 911 will no doubt consider it a lesser car. Mr Boxster won't be interested until there's a soft top version. Mr M3 couldn't give a toss for power/weight clearly, he'll probably think it lacks firepower for the money. Mr Alpine will be interested but also very weight conscious and it's almost certain to be closer to the Evora in weight than the Exige. It could well be heavier than the lightest Evoras which will be an issue for some, particularly Mr Elise and Mr Exige. Mr GT86 will want one for sure but it might remain on his 'one day' list. Mr V8 Vantage will give it a very serious look I reckon.

Best selling tool that all car makers have now is 'the last ever...' Lotus could keep that going for some time.

Edited by jimichanga
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What some drivers think they want can be swayed when they are introduced to a new sensation.  Get anyone looking for a "sports car" to test drive a Lotus and what they thought they wanted could now be in question.

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If the car is not from the UK or Italy; it's not worth talking about.

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And even when you keep it on topic some bloody heavy handed mod has to come along move it your post to somewhere where the sun sill never shine. ;)

 

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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22 hours ago, TomE said:

You can still choose to shift under driver control with a DCT or IPS.  Not everyone (particularly in non UK markets) wants to stick shift. 

Not really, you can't shift, you can just ask the computer to shift when you want it instead of when it wants to

I agree with a lot of what is said above, about new sports/fast cars just requiring a lead foot (and a good waddle of cash) and offering little involvement. The only real way to be happy when you accomplish something, is if there is a genuine chance of failure. The Esprit doesn't exactly know for its gearshifts, so if I get it right, I can smile (grin) because it was because of what I did. Where's the satisfaction when it's a computer doing what it was programmed to do?

Again, I subscribe to the dying breed theory, I know I am a dinosaur for sure (or mayby a mammoth). I also realise to sell cars, you need the gadgets to impress. And make it possible for everyone to go fast, with enough electronic aids. Same story in 4x4s: the new Land Rover Defender is hugely capable, it will do things it's illustrious predecessors never could. But there's no fun to be had, no satisfaction. Great if you want to get your horsetrailer across a muddy field, not so much if you want to go offroad for the fun of it.  

Interesting observation on another forum, all these electronic aids are great for getting you closer to the limit, but will also get you in more trouble when things do go wrong, as you'll have far less of a feel of what's going on and less chance/options to react. If anyone can get the best of both worlds, it must be Lotus.

Regardless of all the above, I am very excited about the Emira. And this thread is only adding to that. 🙂

Filip

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I have made many mistakes in my life. Buying a multiple Lotus is not one of them.

 

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*****

I like my Evora now as I did with my Esprit for 28 years and find my personal motivation typically reflected in talks with other Lotus car enthousiasts....

Imho people buying / interested in Lotus are a kind of car enthousiasts (generally with a financially "limited" budget / versus a top budget over 150-200k GBP) and with a rather specific taste, different as the potential buyers of several other sport cars.

I truly hope that the Emira will be a succes for Lotus, however I doubt if the real world sales finally will find it's way outside the borders of the typical Lotus enthousiasts in considerable numbers.

Frankly speaking, if the new Evora shows to be successful outside the typical Lotus crowd it is not a Lotus any more as they were......

I hate to say this, mainly because of the fantastic work of the Lotus manufacturing crew, however I feel it can happen (again).

People which in first instance consider a Porsche and finally switching over to the Emira will be very limited.......imho. 

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19 hours ago, C8RKH said:

The issue was made clear to me last Saturday on a track day.

Take one mundane, boring looking Audi RS3 for around £50k (after the inevitable "must have" options).  Four wheel drive, DSG, several hundred electronic aids, 5 doors, baby seats etc.

Take it to a chip tuners and you have in excess of 600bhp.

Then just turn the key and drive it fast!

Driver doesn't give a fook about the "experience" other than he plants his foot, clicks his paddle and it auto launches faster than an Ballistic missile out of its tube.

Young driver goes to the pub and brags about his 600bhp+ RS3. All his mates enthusiastically nod, smile and glare at him with envy as he is the guy who has the RS3 (and probably was the guy who had the scalextric as a kid and Dukla Prague away kit - a bonus point if anyone can name the band this refers too!) :)

So you have something that looks like a cardboard box. It has an Audi badge (tick the aspirational box and the name check box). It is an RS (tick the aspirational and name check box again). And that has numbers to embarrass a supercar (tick the top trumps box)

For the drivers?  Yeah right.  As Colin used to say, more power = faster on the straights, less weight = faster everywhere and I would add more driver involvement.

We, are a dying breed. So to be successful, lotus will need to target a different market. Our last hope though is that the Emira truly delivers as the last real Lotus for the driver! :)

 

Not sure if I'm considered a "young driver" anymore (mid 30s) but yes, I have many friends that care more about the HP numbers and straight line acceleration (one had an Evo 9 that ran 8's in the 1/4 mile, another just bought a C8 vette, another looking into 911s because the cayman/boxster is "too low on power") - i guess its that instant in-your-face gratification? But speed gets boring or you get used to it, additionally, all the new cars these days are way over-powered for street driving. I'm looking for a drivers car, something you get into every day and instantly feel passionate/excited to drive - something that transforms even mundane drives into fun!

Looking to purchase a "driver's car" within the next year or so with main requirements being <3400 lbs give or take, manual, somewhat usable for at least a fair weather DD (VERY subjective here i know), and bonus would be vert or targa. My shortlist pending actual specs/looks/reviews are:

-BMW G87 M2 (if weight doesn't get out of control - latest M3/4 is 3900 lbs!)
-Lotus Emira (May out-price my budget in 6cyl manual form but maybe not - time will tell)
-Nissan Z (has decent potential based on initial prototype reviews for a budget-buy)
-Supra if they come out with manual in some form, bonus if they add a targa top as well (hell i'd even consider a 4cyl manual - lighter weight and easily modded for more HP)
-Porsche 718 Boxster Spyder (This stretches my budget in the spec I want but its one of the most beautiful cars produced at this price point)
 
 
I know this is a fairly broad list but all forms have been taughted as wonderful drivers cars whether it be a previous gen or current form (maybe aside from the Z). I have considered the used market as well (BMW M2c, 981 or 718 Cayman/boxster, 993 C2S, 997.2 GT3, Evora GT) but i'm trying to stick to new to support the "save the manual" cause!
Edited by mslam02
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I have a buddy who likes Lotus, routinely considers an Evora, knows HP, numbers, and straight line acceleration hardly tell the whole picture of a car.... 

Local Jaguar dealer got a Project 8 in stock, and said he did not understand what the hoopla was about based on its 0-60 and 1/4 mile...  Just saying, even for those who know not to read into stats, it still jades our initial perception on a car.

If the car is not from the UK or Italy; it's not worth talking about.

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Was it an IPS or was it the 4xx auto?

 

i am quite happy with mine and compared to my Ferrari DCT this is not bugging me.

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@beady we are on our 2nd Evora with IPS paddle shift, even though the Lotus demonstrators were manual, our winter daily is a vRS with DSG and is our third from the Audi/VAG group and we don’t believe (in our opinion) that the DSG is any better apart from having the extra gear. Suspect it’s a personal preference as with the seats!

 

Darryl & Sue

Proud to drive and own since new a true British supercar the Evora GT430

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As a serial used car buyer, I would NEVER buy a used DCT. In Australia at least, when the car is listed as auto, it is driven like one… creeping… riding clutch to stay still on a slope… etc

I'm exclusively buying manuals for now, but if I ever did buy a used auto it would be a torque converter…

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20 hours ago, PAR said:

Was it an IPS or was it the 4xx auto?

it was the IPS on a 2014 Evora S. A 45 minute test drive was fine but within a couple of weeks i hated it - and to clarify i was using the paddles to shift, not letting the car do it. Leaving the car to decide when to shift it was probably better but where's the fun in that. 

My replacement 400 was a manual and i was tainted so never tried the 400 auto

construction and property consultants : My company

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400 IPS a significant improvement over earlier models. Def quicker on changes and was acceptable to me on a brief run - whereas S IPS was not to my liking at all. 

I suspect even 400 IPS would niggle me eventually - but I drive a host of manuals and it is my preferred method of cog changing. 

Dual-clutch is great but it adds weight and complication/cost. I'd happily have manual 12c. Lord Murray of Gordon has gone manual on T50 if I recall correctly - and a skinny steering wheel. 

Justin 

 

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Anyone here placed a 'deposit' on an Emira and care to share who with and how much? Just been in to Oakmere and they wanted £1k, which seems a little 'toppy' given the factory aren't thing orders yet

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as the factory order book isn't even open yet i assume this is essentially to get you at the top of the list with the dealer. I would expect min £2.5k, poss' even £5k.

Personally i am happy to wait although i may well be calling Silverstone from FOS on 9th July 😀 

Edited by Beady
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construction and property consultants : My company

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