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Emira Road Tests & Reviews


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To be fair you sound pretty pissed!!

elise / evora great for you, and that’s excellent… but putting other peoples opinions down as shite just because you disagree is just disrespectful.

Can we all just play nice please?

 

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Quite something to see people here turning on the principles that made Lotus cars special. The principles are still correct and until physics changes, irrefutably so and yes the masses are wrong. It makes some here look pretty fickle just because they like the Emira styling that being heavier than a Cayman is all good. You have to wonder why some bothered putting up with quirky, poorly finished Lotus cars at all reading some posts.

The past ten years should have been a golden age for lightweight engineering, driven by the need for greater efficiency and Lotus could have been well placed to take advantage of an industry trend for once. But a few things have derailed it. One is the industry jump straight to full ev, two is the rise of the SUV which make people feel safe, on trend and high status. Third is that most people just don’t care about weight much like they don’t care about steering feel, changing gear, understeer, which wheels do what. So we have this excuse that weight gain is inevitable yet Alpine to their great credit has proven otherwise. So now have car journalists accustomed to 1.8ton BMW M3s astonished that a Caterham with 210bhp laps faster than a 630bhp Lambo STO track special around Anglesey (latest Evo). Now I find myself on a Lotus forum defending the principles that defined the company since day one.

I don’t dislike the Emira, it’s not for me in its current form, I’d genuinely rather have an Evora GT410 which should offend precisely no-one. If it helps, take that as more of a compliment for the Evora than a criticism of the Emira. What I dislike is brainless hype, unreasonable defensiveness and unfounded assumptions about the superiority of a new car from Lotus which quickly descends into negativity towards the older cars. But it is good at last to see some heated debate on this. If Lotus produce a car to compete with the Cayman that is actually heavier then there should be some objection especially on places like this. First we had the company ethos watered down by Dany Bahar to ‘every Lotus will be lightest in class’ now they really have turned their back on it and seem to be blaming it for all their financial difficulties. Why bother with a lighter Emira? That’s not what people want. What they want is porosity in the body panels which suggest light weight, works a charm in a 2.5 ton SUV too. Shouldn’t there at least have been a token ‘lightweight pack’ with carbon manually adjustable seats?

The Esprit is mentioned a lot but it remained the only 4 cyl car of its type until the late 90’s. Lotus finally succumbed to pressure from journalists to develop their own extremely light and compact V8 which famously weighed ‘220kg including ancillaries’. This was the same company at the same time who gave you different spring rates if you specd air con so let’s not claim Lotus didn’t care about weight with the Esprit. The S1 Esprit was sub 1000kg and the later Turbo with AC and full leather was still under 1200kg.

Long may the (respectful) debate continue.

Edited by jimichanga
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37 minutes ago, jimichanga said:

Quite something to see people here turning on the principles that made Lotus cars special. The principles are still correct and until physics changes, irrefutably so and yes the masses are wrong. It makes some here look pretty fickle just because they like the Emira styling that being heavier than a Cayman is all good. You have to wonder why some bothered putting up with quirky, poorly finished Lotus cars at all reading some posts.

The past ten years should have been a golden age for lightweight engineering, driven by the need for greater efficiency and Lotus could have been well placed to take advantage of an industry trend for once. But a few things have derailed it. One is the industry jump straight to full ev, two is the rise of the SUV which make people feel safe, on trend and high status. Third is that most people just don’t care about weight much like they don’t care about steering feel, changing gear, understeer, which wheels do what. So we have this excuse that weight gain is inevitable yet Alpine to their great credit has proven otherwise. So now have car journalists accustomed to 1.8ton BMW M3s astonished that a Caterham with 210bhp laps faster than a 630bhp Lambo STO track special around Anglesey (latest Evo). Now I find myself on a Lotus forum defending the principles that defined the company since day one.

I don’t dislike the Emira, it’s not for me in its current form, I’d genuinely rather have an Evora GT410 which should offend precisely no-one. If it helps, take that as more of a compliment for the Evora than a criticism of the Emira. What I dislike is brainless hype, unreasonable defensiveness and unfounded assumptions about the superiority of a new car from Lotus which quickly descends into negativity towards the older cars. But it is good at last to see some heated debate on this. If Lotus produce a car to compete with the Cayman that is actually heavier then there should be some objection especially on places like this. First we had the company ethos watered down by Dany Bahar to ‘every Lotus will be lightest in class’ now they really have turned their back on it and seem to be blaming it for all their financial difficulties. Why bother with a lighter Emira? That’s not what people want. What they want is porosity in the body panels which suggest light weight, works a charm in a 2.5 ton SUV too. Shouldn’t there at least have been a token ‘lightweight pack’ with carbon manually adjustable seats?

The Esprit is mentioned a lot but it remained the only 4 cyl car of its type until the late 90’s. Lotus finally succumbed to pressure from journalists to develop their own extremely light and compact V8 which famously weighed ‘220kg including ancillaries’. This was the same company at the same time who gave you different spring rates if you specd air con so let’s not claim Lotus didn’t care about weight with the Esprit. The S1 Esprit was sub 1000kg and the later Turbo with AC and full leather was still under 1200kg.

Long may the (respectful) debate continue.

Well what if those principles that made Lotus cars special were responsible for the company going out of business?  Then what?  The 'masses' want something other than what you value, so that automatically makes them wrong?  And while you can defend your viewpoint, if they defend there's it's "brainless hype, unreasonable defensiveness and unfounded assumptions"?

Manufacturers aren't making cars heavier and heavier because they love weight, they're doing it because of government regulations requiring them to in order to meet those regulations.  Lotus wants to stay in business.  Without saying anything negative about the older cars, they weren't selling enough to keep the company in business.  The new Emira clearly is superior in that regard, but that doesn't stop you from speaking of it the way you lament others are speaking of the older cars.  Stand in the middle so you can see both sides equally, you'll get a better understanding of what's going on and why.

Lotus had to make a decision about how to stay in business long enough to get to the electric future, and they came up with the Emira.  Judging by the response, they made the right decision.  It's real easy for anybody to criticize and pretend things could have been done some other way, but hey; put together your proposal and approach Geely with it.  If it makes sense business-wise, they may decide to give you a billion dollars to put it into action.  In the meantime, the people who were in that position and had to choose what to do, made their decision.  It is what it is.

And for the record, I for one am NOT turning on the principles that made Lotus cars special.  Whether I like it or not, I have to recognize and acknowledge that those days are gone.  Blame the governments for that, not Lotus or the auto industry.

Edited by Eagle7
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Just seen the trail for next week's episode of BBC Top Gear after watching this week's edition. Looks like Harris is taking it around Anglesey by the looks of things (could be wrong). Will be an interesting watch.

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Lover of everything Lotus Cars and proud owner of production Evora No.75 (2nd UK customer specced car by VIN). Originally from the Far East....of Anglia, I read black box data for a living so that could explain a lot!

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Saw that as well, it looks like the white 71 plate one that was shown in an earlier post. How complete the car is compared to the final one or the ones that Harry etc  tested - who knows.

If next weeks test show that the Emira is good then the interest in it could increase, due to the popularity of the program compared to some of the performance car mags?

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Yes I'm definitely waiting to see. Harris did like the Exige V6 when he used to do reviews on YouTube and used to own an Exige S1, so he might surprise us.

Lover of everything Lotus Cars and proud owner of production Evora No.75 (2nd UK customer specced car by VIN). Originally from the Far East....of Anglia, I read black box data for a living so that could explain a lot!

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13 hours ago, Eagle7 said:

Well what if those principles that made Lotus cars special were responsible for the company going out of business

It's BS statements like this that get me upset! You need to do some actual research.

It was not the engineering, nor design principles that almost killed Lotus. It was years of poor, nay, shit management and lack of investment from owners like GM.

They had a great, world beating product in the Elise, but some poor marketing decisions (like killing off of the base model) tipped prices too high, to over £40k for the base Elise and sales fell away, due to this and a lack of proper investment in the model.

Lotus should have been dead and buried in the early noughties just due to commercial/management ineptitude.

The fact that during his time Mike Kimberley and his team made and produced as fantastic a car sas the Evora is a miracle. But Mike moved on, laugh a minute became the new CEO and just about buried Lotus, only for the super account to strip everything to the bone to make Lotus look attractive enough for a sale.

To be clear, Geely did not buy Lotus for the cars. They bought it for the brand and the engineering. 

So less of the all the old cars/principles were shite rhetoric please, and a better more thoughtful, researched response, might result in people like me not ripping the piss out of you. The Esprit was light and as luxurious as anything else of its time. The Elite was sumptuous, whilst remaining light and responsive.

Compared to your crass generic statements, yes, I do believe I am more balanced and respectful in my responses!

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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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TBH lotus would probably have been better off shutting up shop on car manufacture years ago and focussing on Lotus Engineering.  Happy they did not follow that (financially) sensible path.  Have high hopes for Geely as a parent from the way they have grown Volvo outside its comfort zone.

Do wonder how long Lotus will be an affordable brand (if a £70K sportscar is affordable) 

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If quality really has been improved then that is what they should be shouting from the rooftops and focusing on in their marketing. Not waste money on wishy washy pretentious lifestyle crap. The car has succeeded in spite of the marketing which deserves no credit at all. That belongs almost entirely to Russell Carr and his team.

A proper revolution in quality is what will build the brand and finally shift brand perception. To reach people who couldn’t take Lotus seriously before or ever really consider buying one it does make some sense in axing all the previous cars and change the logo and have a clean break with the past. But You better offer something radically different to what has gone before with an ambition to not just match your rivals on quality but beat them. They need to tell people what they’ve done to improve quality, how they’ve done it and prove it. They won’t get another chance to really challenge preconceptions. Your typical Porsche owner will make up his mind within a few seconds about the interior of the Emira and he will be looking for things that feel cheap. For a proper cart blanche, line in the sand moment it probably would bar been better to launch with the AMG I4 and taken another year to make sure quality was the thing that all sounds the journos we’re writing about. ‘A Lotus with better build quality than a Cayman’ is a story that can shift perceptions. The take out so far is more like ‘Lotus have a go at the Cayman and get pretty close’. The familiarity of the V6 has not helped sell the message that ‘things are radically different now’. They only did it to get it into production faster under pressure from Geely perhaps, but I think the overall message now is ‘Lotus are trying bless them’ rather than ‘f me you won’t believe what Lotus are making these days’.

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1 hour ago, TomE said:

It was filmed a while ago at Anglesey.  Chris Harris posted a teaser pic back in March (below), so the car is a similar age to the white VP007 used for the TG magazine and online reviews at the time.  A shame it's a prototype and not a more recent nearly final pre-prod version, but filming schedules will have dictated it.

Also it was cold and wet when they filmed, so it'll be interesting to see if it's a Sports + Cup2s car or not.

So it seems that car is one of the prototypes sent out for the first set of reviews. Received pretty well in general.

But if so, and if the car is anything other than a production version as to be supplied to those paying up for one, whatever Chris Harris says or does not say is, at best, irrelevant.

I assume that adequately emphasised warnings and caveats will be given about the car. Anything other, and Lotus's marketing and PR will be exposed to serious criticism. Given the widespread viewing of Top Gear, including by some not necessarily familar with the full "Emira picture", there could then be accusations of being mislead, with regrettable consequences.

 

Edited by mdavies
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You'd hope TG would want to be saying something like "we're really lucky to have the chance to be one of the first outside Lotus to drive the Emira and this is a prototype nearing finalisation..." or similar.  We'll see.

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The mag and TV show are pretty much separate entities.

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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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52 minutes ago, TomE said:

.......a prototype nearing finalisation..."

Tom, I'm not a lawer (though worked closely with litigation ones at times, on big cases) but IMO that is inadequate as a "warning" to those potentially liable to misinterpret whatever CH says about the car and its performance.

In isolation, the phrase is entirely open to interpretation.  It could equally well be interpreted as implying that a production version might be an improvement on that prototype as that a version you could actually buy could be degraded from what CH has experienced and commented on.

Hence it fails as a warning.

Now I'll await the programme!

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6 hours ago, jimichanga said:

If quality really has been improved then that is what they should be shouting from the rooftops and focusing on in their marketing. Not waste money on wishy washy pretentious lifestyle crap. The car has succeeded in spite of the marketing which deserves no credit at all. That belongs almost entirely to Russell Carr and his team.

A proper revolution in quality is what will build the brand and finally shift brand perception. To reach people who couldn’t take Lotus seriously before or ever really consider buying one it does make some sense in axing all the previous cars and change the logo and have a clean break with the past. But You better offer something radically different to what has gone before with an ambition to not just match your rivals on quality but beat them. They need to tell people what they’ve done to improve quality, how they’ve done it and prove it. They won’t get another chance to really challenge preconceptions. Your typical Porsche owner will make up his mind within a few seconds about the interior of the Emira and he will be looking for things that feel cheap. For a proper cart blanche, line in the sand moment it probably would bar been better to launch with the AMG I4 and taken another year to make sure quality was the thing that all sounds the journos we’re writing about. ‘A Lotus with better build quality than a Cayman’ is a story that can shift perceptions. The take out so far is more like ‘Lotus have a go at the Cayman and get pretty close’. The familiarity of the V6 has not helped sell the message that ‘things are radically different now’. They only did it to get it into production faster under pressure from Geely perhaps, but I think the overall message now is ‘Lotus are trying bless them’ rather than ‘f me you won’t believe what Lotus are making these days’.

I wish them well but it’s never going to have better build quality than Porsche, just a different league when it comes to production and assembly process.

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45 minutes ago, Beady said:

There are merits in all the various debates above.

the emira has the wow factor in looks, and there was a hope that it would blow the competition away in the driving department too. That just hasn’t happened - it seems to be good, very good but not quite enough to be universally acclaimed as the best,  and I think that’s why quite a few are disappointed.

i put myself in section 3 of Evotions list and I will almost certainly still buy it but I can recognise its shortfalls.

I bought an Evora launch edition which came out to probably better reviews than the Emira but a global financial downturn at the time surely had a big impact in sales at the time and it never recovered.

I suspect many will drop out of deposits but I am pretty confident that there will be many new deposits to replace them.

in reality most sports car buyers are not real enthusiasts otherwise ‘old lotus’ would have been profitable enough.

most want something that looks good and handles well enough and makes the neighbours think they are doing well for themselves - hence to date they have largely bought a porker.

Those buyers are unlikely to frequent these forums but I am sure the emira fits many of their needs on looks alone.

 

Well I think there's an important difference between a sports car buyer, and what's called a "real enthusiast".  A sports car buyer isn't necessarily a track car buyer.  They want the looks, performance and fun of a sports car, but not at the expense of reasonable comfort and drivability on the street.  This includes NVH.  They are an enthusiast, just not a track enthusiast.  Track enthusiasts consider themselves "real" enthusiasts, which is a bit of a conceit in my opinion.  A track enthusiast wants track performance which means certain things like power and handling take priority over everything else.  They're okay with minimalist comforts and NVH because they want to blast around on a track.

Track enthusiasts are a very small segment of the market.  Sports car enthusiasts are a much bigger segment, and that's where Lotus needs to be aiming at like they are with the Emira.  The orders for the Emira show the wisdom of that approach as a business decision.

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