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Lotus open to selling tooling for Elise


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Looks like the final edition will not be the last Elise after all. Not good for the customers who have deposits on what they thought would be a special car, shame takes the shine of there purchase. Matt Windle as close links with Caterham so would think it’s a done deal.

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But surely it will not be called Lotus or Elise and will be restyled and even have a different engine. Just as Caterham and Kia have done in the past.

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Agreed. Elan M100 owners don't dream of the Kia version! 

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88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

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Odd decision, as is the one suggesting ‘Redford’ (new company old name) were also to build a sports car with lotus - sort of restyled Evora  ( or maybe even Emira) and Caterham might work in partnership to take over the Elise. I have had several Caterhams, but they have never succeeded with a quality volume road car. This harks back to what car companies did 50-100 years ago and not sure whether it’s a strategy that will work today or one that could taint the brand. Lotus engineering can consult to whoever, but seems odd when trying to relaunch a global brand, build SUV’s etc to be doing ‘new’ cars with Caterham, Redford and Alpine plus transitioning to electric. Even a major might have trouble trying to do all of that. Just hope they can deliver what they need and stay focussed. Pressure will be on from Geely. 

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9 hours ago, Bibs said:

Elan M100 owners don't dream of the Kia version! 

I wonder if Kia Elan owners dream of a Lotus M100.

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Fascinating.

Caterham showed you can make a business from one car at low volume. I bet Elise would be very popular at 400-600 units a year - after all, Lotus planned 3000 over 4 years for S1 Elise but popularity changed that. 

Lotus Cars Ltd dilemma has always been volume. Stick or twist - low volume or higher. Evora has (sadly) proved that they cannot achieve higher volume within the existing structure. In part due to the handmade nature of the cars, which cost too much.

Twist, they have. Lotus will now assemble cars not build cars - just like the larger firms do. This has required huge investment but it should lower unit cost and increase perceived quality. I wonder when they may ditch fibreglass. 

I am not convinced getting a few shillings for Elise tooling is wise. The public are confused enough by Lotus, no need to add to fog. Leave the icon be.

Justin 

 

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I think this is a good thing. Just like the 7 lives on in Caterham (and others) and is still considered a reference in its niche. This could be an answer for those who want a pure driving experience and would find the Emira too big/complicated/comfortable/... It light not be a Lotus, but the spirit will live on. Just imagine if someone had bought the rights to the Esprit and had continued to evolve the platform and shape with modern engines etc. Different price range to a 7 for sure, but no doubt many would dream of such a car. Which is not to say it would sell well enough to be viable...

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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@Woodman are Lotus building a car with Redford?i thought Redford where taking the Lotus chassis then adding their own body and engines. It won't bea Lotus, it will be a Redford.

It's clear to me the Lotus now is going. The youthful, exuberant, slightly whavky kid is being replaced by a polished middle ager in a suit.

My heart literally sank when the new CEO was talking about how the Emira would go from base model to an R. An "R" for fooks sake! oh how so very bloody VAG group. Yes, I know we had the 340R, the 111R... But really, R! 

So badged like a VAG, ultimately built like a VAG, let's hope those wonderful people at Lotus can engineer into some soul, unlike VAG. As Dylan said, the times they are a changing. I fear I'm to old to adapt to the changed times! 

 

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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Maybe they are simply trying to attract interest and it is not a done deal yet. I don’t read it that way at least.

It will depend on who, how and where it would be relived (didn’t Zenon try to move production to South Africa to reduce costs?) but, for me, it could be a good thing, both for existing owners because it might help ensuring spare parts, etc and also for those willing to buy the icon later on. Maybe me included, when circumstances allow. I don’t think it would harm values of “real” Elises, either. Probably the opposite if the icon nature of the Elise comes reinforced through longevity.

if done properly, it would not only be for a few schillings. It might help reinforcing the brand, too, but I agree the critical thing is to choose wisely the guys carrying the legend forward.

It might all be wishful thinking from my part.

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1 hour ago, C8RKH said:

@Woodman are Lotus building a car with Redford?i thought Redford where taking the Lotus chassis then adding their own body and engines. It won't bea Lotus, it will be a Redford.

It's clear to me the Lotus now is going. The youthful, exuberant, slightly whavky kid is being replaced by a polished middle ager in a suit.

My heart literally sank when the new CEO was talking about how the Emira would go from base model to an R. An "R" for fooks sake! oh how so very bloody VAG group. Yes, I know we had the 340R, the 111R... But really, R! 

So badged like a VAG, ultimately built like a VAG, let's hope those wonderful people at Lotus can engineer into some soul, unlike VAG. As Dylan said, the times they are a changing. I fear I'm to old to adapt to the changed times! 

 

But maybe they will sell some cars, because if they don't they have no future. If building like a VAG product then they will have taken a 30 year step forward in quality !!!

17 hours ago, C8RKH said:

The chassis and some body parts might live on, but it will not be a Lotus, nor will it be an Elise. It will not have that DNA that made the Elise so special.

Look at the VX220, largely unloved in the Lotus world and that was even built at hethel!

I think Final Edition Lotus Elise owners will be very happy with their cars ad in the long run they will prove to be a great investment, as well as a great toy.

The Elise is a dead end - it can never be compliant with upcoming new car standards, so even if somebody does try and make something with the old tooling it is very unlikely to sell in Europe.

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2 hours ago, gregs24 said:

If building like a VAG product then they will have taken a 30 year step forward in quality !!!

Total rubbish. My Evora 410 Sport is not, from a build quality 30 years behind a VAG product. By all means make a point but don't be ridiculous about it. Oh, and my wife bought a brand new VAG product 6 weeks ago, hence I know.

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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I have great respect for Caterham, but their new owners will need to make substantial investment to take on an Elise. They build quirky and very hand built cars, they simply couldn’t build the Elise currently. For all Elise and exige owners, I would be concerned at what happenss to the spares business. If you need a new clam in 10 years time?

Caterham switch suppliers a lot, so not sure OEM spares will be consistent. The Elise is the lotus icon, should be allowed to finish as a lotus.

Hand spares over to the Bell and Colvill spares business.

 

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8 hours ago, C8RKH said:

@Woodman are Lotus building a car with Redford?i thought Redford where taking the Lotus chassis then adding their own body and engines. It won't bea Lotus, it will be a Redford.

It's clear to me the Lotus now is going. The youthful, exuberant, slightly whavky kid is being replaced by a polished middle ager in a suit.

My heart literally sank when the new CEO was talking about how the Emira would go from base model to an R. An "R" for fooks sake! oh how so very bloody VAG group. Yes, I know we had the 340R, the 111R... But really, R! 

So badged like a VAG, ultimately built like a VAG, let's hope those wonderful people at Lotus can engineer into some soul, unlike VAG. As Dylan said, the times they are a changing. I fear I'm to old to adapt to the changed times! 

 

I meant Radford like the 1960’s minis. Not sure exactly what they are building but it will be Evora platform I assume.

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Is the Elise bodywork made in-house, or is it bought in from France like the Evora? It would be nice for current Elise owners to have a long-term source for replacement body panels, if someone decided to resurrect the Elise. As I understand it, the Aluminium chassis is considered a consumable by Lotus (I.e. not to be repaired), but what if someone could make and sell a reasonably priced replacement, like the Spyder Elan ones? The spares market could help justify new car production.

Personally I don’t think this will happen. Unless someone comes in with a serious offer pretty quickly, I think Lotus will just clear the decks for the new era.

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3 minutes ago, LotusLeftLotusRight said:

Is the Elise bodywork made in-house, or is it bought in from France like the Evora? It would be nice for current Elise owners to have a long-term source for replacement body panels

You can already get clams from www.lotushardtops.com, the company run by Joan Seal who is a member on here, for VX220, Elise and Exige including Exige V6 @lotushardtops

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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Nothing wrong with a a VAG R model (I have a couple) but a Lotus starts at that point with its normal road cars and only becomes a "R" when its specifically designed / modified  for serious competitive track racing in real life and not just high performance road driving.

 

cheers

Rohan

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The potential R suffix doesn’t really suit the Emira name. Try saying it out loud. “Emira R”.

You either sound like a pirate, or Matt Berry from the “Moneysupermarket” TV ads. Or both.

I am sure Lotus will come up with something better than R.

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6 minutes ago, LotusLeftLotusRight said:

I am sure Lotus will come up with something better than R

The Emira T!   (T for turnip obviously).

The Emira S!   (S for swede)

We could have the evocative "Emira Rutabaga".  Sounds like a Maserati that, properly exotic!  (well as exotic as a turnip can be!) 

And a couple of specials could be on the menu:

For the Scottish Market, we could have the "Emira Neep"

My favourite exotic though would be the hot little "Emira Jicama" - now that sounds proper Lamborghini and would be a big seller in Mexico!

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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Sprint is still good but I think Alfa Romeo flexed a legal muscle or two when 143bhp Elise S1 was to be called 'Elise Sprint'.  111S was a good fix. 130S, 131S......for the fast editions, though Evija quite fast enough as standard.

I have never liked CUP, as I just think of Renault (love Reggie but not for sharing with Lotus). If we have to use CUP, it should stand for Chapman Ultimate Performance. Or Circuit Ultimate Performance, as that helps explain the firmer suspension on a CUP.

I have long advocated 'Chapman Edition' for the Lotus equivalent of LT, GT2, RS, AMG, R, blah, blah blah.

Justin

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