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I reckon a good 25 - 30 years have passed since the big power German saloon car came along (all trumped by our own Lotus Carlton) and yet these and others are still making and selling sports cars.

We're a dying breed. Today's generation is no longer interested in cars. So yes, sports cars, in general, are dying with us. Just my opinion.

Its easy to determine whether a car is a sports car or not. 2 tests: 1) Can someone who doesn't own one get in without giving you a laugh? 2) Does your other half give you a flash of stockin

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5 hours ago, red vtec said:

I have a swift Sport that is a fun car as its nippy but it handles well and you don't have to drive at stupid speeds to have fun, though not a sportscar its fun as its like an eager puppy

I think it is a sports car. It is doing more than just getting you from Y to Z; it has been engineered to give you fun. In the same way all Renault RS are sports cars. 

Of course, many try to make a sports car out of a shopping car and fail - but even the worst attempts are, in theory, sports car. I would draw the line at just adding a go-faster stripe with no engineering effort to make, say, a Metro better to drive.

Justin

 

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1 hour ago, Chillidoggy said:

Living in the ‘Garden of England’ as I do (the end of the garden that has the compost heap), it takes me 15 minutes to get out of the built-up area, to find roads that are not really what one might call decent. Traffic has increased so much in high population density areas, that driving anywhere is more of a challenge than a pleasure. For me, a pure sports car is becoming less desirable as a result.

I live other side  of the garden and its no better here so   I have to agree with you Ian.   

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26 minutes ago, Bazza 907 said:

I once had a mini with a go faster stripe on the passenger side - kept wanting to veer to the right every time I drove it..

Was She a  big girl

hindsight: the science that is never wrong

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1 hour ago, jep said:

I think it is a sports car.

I think that there is a difference between a sporty car and a ‘sports car’. 

RS Audis/Renaults, hot hatches, M cars etc etc are all certainly sporty. But alongside performance, something has to be styled properly to be regarded as a proper sports car. 

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2 hours ago, jep said:

1638990425_Ginnyfogs09Dec15.thumb.jpg.6282fd6c135e72d3ce9b8ca153ed24e9.jpg

This IS style.

Justin

 

My first ever new car was a 5 GT Turbo in tungsten grey many years ago and still one of my favourite cars till this day, some great memories.

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I had one new in 1988. Awesome especially in the wet. I have had the red one for 6 years.....very good nick but restored with many miles on the clock so I just hack around in it and enjoy it for what it is - a lightweight, affordable, practical fun car.

Justin 

 

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As long as Lotus still produces the Elise/Exige, Caterham the 7 etc, the sports car is definitely not dead!

On 04/01/2021 at 15:42, jep said:

Weight is of course the biggest killer to feedback. I would tax cars on weight; the manufacturers would soon find ways to reduce bulk, just as they found ways to improve MPG in the 70s when oil leapt up in price.

That's just what they are planning to do in France. If I read the article correctly, a law was passed to add a weight tax to the CO2 tax. Aimed at cars above 1800kg (which seems like a lot), but electrics and hybrids with enough range would be exempt (not logical at all, as those are amongst the heaviest cars on the roads!). The proposed taxes were horrendous, up to €50k registration tax for a new heavy and powerful car. I didn't dig any deeper, just crossed my fingers the green brigade in bhellgium doesn't get any ideas...

Filip

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

 

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8 hours ago, Chillidoggy said:

Living in the ‘Garden of England’ as I do (the end of the garden that has the compost heap), it takes me 15 minutes to get out of the built-up area, to find roads that are not really what one might call decent. Traffic has increased so much in high population density areas, that driving anywhere is more of a challenge than a pleasure. For me, a pure sports car is becoming less desirable as a result.

I disagree as an Elise or Esprit can be enjoyed at any speed.

Here's a good article from Road and Track which talks about what makes a sports car.  Doesn't need loads of power or massive grip.

S4 Elan, Elan +2S, Federal-spec, World Championship Edition S2 Esprit #42, S1 Elise, Excel SE

 

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9 hours ago, USAndretti42 said:

I disagree as an Elise or Esprit can be enjoyed at any speed.

Here's a good article from Road and Track which talks about what makes a sports car.  Doesn't need loads of power or massive grip.

 

Sitting behind some old tit in a Nissan Micra in my Esprit doing 15mph is tiresome to say the least, and in this congested area that's pretty much what happens here. and just when you think it's all going to come good when the Micra turns off, there's another one in front of that.

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Margate Exotics.

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17 hours ago, LotusLeftLotusRight said:

I think this has been happening for a while, depending on your location. It takes some people so long to find an enjoyable bit of open road, that it’s just not worth having a sports car.

Unfortunately that's very true to my part of England in the south as well - at least an hours drive to get some quiet and smooth enough tarmac!  In a few years when the children are grown up I will seriously be considering a move just for the better driving roads.  Recommendations on a postcard please!

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39 minutes ago, Chillidoggy said:

 

Sitting behind some old tit in a Nissan Micra in my Esprit doing 15mph is tiresome to say the least, and in this congested area that's pretty much what happens here. and just when you think it's all going to come good when the Micra turns off, there's another one in front of that.

and if they have a hat on that goes down to just 10mph. 

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Originally (I guess?) sports cars were amongst the fastest things on the road but I don't think that outright power and speed are particularly relevant nowadays. IMO there are many excellent/fast cars that are certainly sporty (thinking of hot hatches etc) but not actual sports cars.

For me, to be called a sports car it has to be...

Impractical (this rules out all 4 seaters)

Basically a bit silly, bought with the heart rather than the head.

Great looking, I have to want to turn and look again as I walk away.

Full of character/fun to drive on the open road, as we know light weight really helps here and obviously it has to be quick enough to at least 'feel' like you're going fast!

Being a convertible helps significantly, but I'm not ruling out all hardtops.

Manual also helps but I'm not ruling out all autos.

Engine & exhaust noise, it needs both to have some character.

So I don't think the sports car is dead just yet, think of the MX5, a sports car in every way and very successful. It will be very interesting to see what manufacturers come up with for an electric sports car as some of the fundamentals are missing. That may well be the end of sports cars as we know them :(

P.S. I live in the Peak District - leave the end of my drive and I'm immediately into some of the best roads in the UK. Made for a Lotus :)

 

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That rules my 410 out. If I take the back seats out can it be classed as a sport car 😂😂😂 hope to see you pal as soon as we get some COVID restrictions lifted 👍

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First off, today all performance cars, be they sports cars or performance sallons like the RS-series, M-series, etc. are all so fast that if you try to harvest even a small part of that performance you'll quickly find yourself within a very confined space with metal bars in the window.

That said, sports cars have always covered a wide span of types

  • the "affordable" sports car as the Spitfires, MG and Lotus 7, Lotus Europa, cars that in their time were considerably faster on the road than their saloon counterparts. Today the many hot hatches have achieved performance levels above the likes of an Elise, an MX3 or a Supra. So, for people buying cars on a budget the hot hatch is the logical answer, serving both as family car and a fun car
  • the "supercar", Ferrari, Lambo, etc. These have always been prestige objects of which only a minute percentage has ever been driven as a real sports car. These cars remain, its just that the collectors now live in the UAE.
  • the "premium" sports car, such as the Esprit (in its time), the Aston or the 911. These cars remain successful, but have become more and more embedded as luxury and prestige elements, moe likely used for cruising than sporting. However, yoi can't say the sorts car is dead as long as Porsche sells the GT3 and GT3-RS in ridiculous numbers on a subscription basis.

I for one am glad both worlds exist. On the Autobahn I would prefer an RS4 oder RS6 anytime over the Exige. So much more comfortable in covering long distances at ridiculous speeds. On the other hand, I would never trade the Exige on Alpine roads whre it runs circles around any saloon or on a race track, where every kilo counts.

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If you have the choice between a Stairway to Heaven and a Highway to Hell don't forget the Nomex®!

Captain,  Lotus Airways. We fly lower! 

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No, it's an electric toy put in the market as part of a devious plan by a certain well-know Bond villain trying to take over the world.

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

 

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Lotus retail sales in 2020 up 6% in the uk and 4.4% globally, the uk is now the third best retail market for behind Germany and North America 

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Darryl & Sue

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

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9 minutes ago, DarrylV8 said:

Lotus retail sales in 2020 up 6% in the uk and 4.4% globally, the uk is now the third best retail market for behind Germany and North America 

From what I can see Lotus sold in Europe around 550 cars in 2020.  So assume what, around 150 in the UK so 6% growth is an extra 9 cars.

Total sales was probably what, 1700 - 2,000 absolute max, so an extra 68 - 88 cars which is healthy, but what Porsche probably sell in Texas or the UK in under a month.

Superb result. Things are really looking up ;)  Statistics, don't they make stuff look great!  

What I am more impressed with is the stronger numbers (as a percentage as opposed to units) in the US and China and that to me really is what we need to see to drive longer term growth - growth in the major markets.

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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