free hit
counters
A return of the 4 cylinder esprit? - Page 3 - Esprit Chat - The Lotus Forums Jump to content


A return of the 4 cylinder esprit?


Recommended Posts

Brian, this is why this forum exists. You have made a very convincing argument. It's nice to see someone who can back their case up with hard numbers. Offense? None taken, mate!

Being second is to be the first of the ones who lose.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Upgrade today to remove Google ads and support TLF.
  • Replies 120
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Brian I think the problem is one of consumer perception and brand image. It is an etherial and a difficult thing to quantify, and even more difficult to manage. The extra cost associated with a fancy brand engine may not make sense to you and me on a dollars and cents basis. However, the ruined brand image can spell the end of a carmaker. That is how "real" and powerful this etherial thing is. Everybody is also aware that any small kit-car manufacturer can pop a cheap 'Vette engine in their product and make it go like hell.

Consumers do not make rational choices (thank goodness for that). They will continue to buy Astons, Ferrari's, Porsches, Maserati's all of which are much more expensive and less powerful than a Corvette. Value for money, especially in the top-end sportscar realm does not feature here. With all that power and value for money, I have not one single day in my life dreamed of owning a Corvette. And I never will.

Edited by Whippet
Link to post
Share on other sites
These engines are available for around $15k/us dollars in the crate

As are most probably the BMW engines for a Lotus buyer,

a +500hp twin turbo 4.0 V8 or straight 6 should be the way to go.

And achievable for this pricing.

For US citizens it may seem likable to use a LS7 engine, but in the rest

of the world, these pushrod engines are still not done.

VAN DER LEE Turbo Systems     -      www.vdlee.com

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Gold FFM

Lotus already did the little 4-banger in a small well handling track car - the Exige and Elise are both the perfect for that.

IMHO, the Esprit should be the flagship Lotus supercar

- not a better Exige

- not simply be another lambo or ferrari clone

but a real option to those supercars in a different and unique package.

When you look at the GT-R and new Z06 - performance wise they compete with the exotics but do it for $100k and in their own way. They are missing the bloodlines, and some of the styling - but none of the performance. A new Esprit can meet the performance, meet the low price and improve on the styling.

Lou Senko

Austin, TX

more, more, more....

Link to post
Share on other sites

Chapman originally intended for the Esprit to have a V8; it just took twenty years before Lotus were able to afford to do it. However, once they did, they still offered the 4-cylinder alongside the V8 as long as it was feasible. Perhaps having two engine options is still an option? (Although I don't expect Lotus to have the funds to develop two of their own engines.)

I still think a small-displacement, flat-crank V8 is the answer. As a couple of people who posted after me noted the same thing only in better words -- takes care of the "number of cylinders" perception problem, can still hold true to the Lotus "smaller/lighter" philosophy, and can still be high-revving and showcase technology.

Brian -- I am one of those people who quietly respects the GM V8 engines, and yes, numbers-wise they are hard to beat. But I am in agreement that perception is everything, and Chevy and Ford V8s are still associated with "kit car" and "unsophisticated" -- two associations that Lotus can not afford to make. (Not to mention GM's own well-earned image problems . . .)

Regarding which is more efficient, 4-cyl or V8, I'm no engineer, but I think you are balancing (among other things) fewer moving parts (4-cyl) against smoother motion (V8). I'm trying to think of normally apspirated high performance I4 and V8 engines over the past few decades, and from the ones I can think of, it seems to me that the V8 tend to make a little bit more horsepower per liter:

I4 -

1970s: Lotus 907 (80hp/l)

1980s: Mercedes-Cosworth (83-86 [estimate?] hp/l)

1980s: Porsche 944 2.5 NA (60 hp/l)

1990s: Porsche 94S2 3.0 (70hp/l)

1990s: Porsche 968 (more, but still not that much)

V8 -

1970s: Ferrari 308 (83-85 hp/l)

1970s: Lamborghini Urraco 2.5 (88 hp/l) (72hp/l U.S. trim)

1970s: Lamborghini Urraco 2.0 (90hp/l on 8.6 compression)

1980s: Ferrari 308i (70hp/l)

1980s: Ferrari 328 (84hp/l)

1980s: Lamborghini Jalpa (73hp/l)

1990s: Ferrari 348 (88hp/l)

I realize these numbers are subject to all kinds of things, ranging from manufacturer claims vs. the truth, to compression ratio, overall efficiency of combustion chamber design, valves per cylinder, etc.; I realize there are a ton of variables involved, but still, this is what one has to go on shooting form the cuff, so take it for what it's worth.

Tony K. :)

 

Esprit S1s #355H & 454H

Esprit S2.2  #324J

1991 Esprit SE

Link to post
Share on other sites

For the same capacity a V8 can have a greater valve area so can pass more air and make more power than a 4 cylinder. To do that it has to run at higher rpm so it's not necessarily more efficient as friction goes up with engine speed and more pistons means more friction but, there again, the 4 cylinder may need balance shafts to give adequate balance and smoothness which will add friction to it so it's not a simple choice.

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

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest bharper

what percentage of production of existing esprits were sold stateside, perhaps as much as 50% or more of production???

I don't think there are many this side of the pond that look down their nose at a ls7 z06 engine, or many that would like to pay a gas guzzler tax, or get poor economy, or restrict performance.

the ls7 smallblock is closer to nascar technology, that stateside many fans can identify with. I guess on your side of the ocean everyone wants to 'sound' like a formula 1 car more than running like one.

what may be an advantage in europe, coulld be a disadvantage in the US, and if it is really around 50% of the market, that might not be a good bet.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Knowing that Nascar has become (always was?) as "American" as apple pie and AK 47's (scratch that--perhaps a topic for another time), I'm not so sure that even US Lotus buyers are heavily influenced by Nascar imagery or equipment associations. Perhaps even the opposite is true, "elitist" as it might sound. Nascar ovals and F1 circuits are a bit of an "apples 'n oranges" comparison to many ("Breaker, breaker, Rubber Duck!--Bandits in the chicane!").

I would submit that the majority of US Lotus owners and potential buyers are, in fact, more oriented toward multi overhead camed, short stroke high revving F1 "screaming," European styled "exotic" motors. Costly? Yes. Worth the extra money? Depends upon what you're trying to buy: practicality or ego stroking imagery? My guess is that the purchaser of a "supercar" is going to favor the latter. While the original 4 banger Esprits certainly had practical aspects to them (and still went/go like a bat outta' hell), the incremental updating of chassis and powerplant has led to certain minimum expectations for the next generation Esprit.

Being second is to be the first of the ones who lose.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Can't see a return to 4-cylinders myself. Hope not anyway.

On the other hand I'd be more than happy with any of the LS series engines in the back of an Esprit. That much reliable power in the back of a light and nimble Lotus would be quite something! Even the 430 bhp LS3 would make a darned good entry model without costing too much money. I guess someone should be able to come up with a suitable trnsaxle which doesn't take up too much space.

Edited by Lowtus
Link to post
Share on other sites

i agree. the ls motors are pretty light, produce a lot of power and get good gas mileage! I have an ls1 powered camaro and i get about 17 in the city and 28 on the highway. imagine that much horsepower and torque in a much lighter car...not only would it be wicked fast but it would probably get over 30mpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
IMO the 3.5 litre V6 twin turbo for the Evora is a bit over-engined for such a tiny car...it is tiny, but I guess it needs all that power to haul all that weight.

Thats a funny thing to say? its too small but also heavy???

I dont think 1350Kg is very heavy?

I dont think the four is the way to go and I love my Turbo G car. But I dont think it will be a 8 either. I think Lotus will have some kind of single geared electric motor.

Buddsy

 

"Belief is the enemy of knowing" - Crrow777

Link to post
Share on other sites

How I would love to be "a fly on the wall" in the R&D department in Hethel, Buddsy. The temptation to go pure-electric must be very great, as that is where automotive powerplant design is ultimately headed. The question is, when does public opinion, acceptance, and preference reach sufficient "critical mass" to warrant "betting the company" on such a decision? How many more electric technology breakthroughs (especially in battery cost, longevity, and time to charge) must occur to make the transition from petrol to electric a "non-radical" move? How many electric vehicles must be on the road for it to become "the norm" for the average Joe? When will plugging in your car to a receptacle each night no longer be a novelty?

The writing is on the wall, pure-electric is destined to become "the wave of the future." But that wave is still in the process of cresting.

As the "Tesla" is essentially an electric Lotus, it would be most interesting to see some total sales numbers and owner feedback. Specifically, is the claimed 250 mile range, 3.5 hour recharge time what most drivers are actually experiencing, and are those parameters sufficient to categorize the car as other than a niche specialty conveyance? I.E., can it really be considered a "daily driver?" Or am I to assume that the next generation Esprit is not to be seen in that fashion, and the question is moot?

Certainly (and fortuitously!) at least the acceleration figures won't be holding anybody back! 0 to 60 in four seconds while getting the equivalent of 135mpg (Tesla's claim) can't be all bad!

Being second is to be the first of the ones who lose.

Link to post
Share on other sites

After Evo magazine's 0-60 piece, comparing the Tesla very favourably with the Elise SC, Harry Metcalfe (Evo's Editor) has a nice piece in yetserday's Sunday Times about 'living' with the Tesla. Given he admits to driving it like an Elise, he's not getting the range for sure, but he certainly thinks electric is the way to go. And he can fully charge it for about

Edited by hedgerley
Link to post
Share on other sites

I like the idea of a backup power plant in case the battery is exhausted, something that can at least keep it moving. That could be a small gas turbine, they're tiny and lightweight for the power they put out. A bit expensive, too... but it would be an efficient solution.

Came across an aircraft APU in a military surplus yard that was, I think, in the 10kw range. It amazed me how small it was.

Link to post
Share on other sites

When I get mine I will get a CD of loud engine noices to play as I drive...oh wait havent Lotus already been doing that?!!! hahahaha always ahead of the game them Lotus people :cheers:

 

"Belief is the enemy of knowing" - Crrow777

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the Tesla review link, Mark. I found it very informative, and what better source than a fellow who analyzes analyses cars (King's English rules prevail for today... :cheers: ) for a living? I especially liked his discussion pertaining to "range anxiety," a term we will be hearing more of in the lexicon.

We had a brief article not long ago in our own local rag about a Software guru who cashed out early on and recently purchased a Tesla as well. He, too, had nothing but high marks for the vehicle (He was pictured next to the car with a big silly grin on his face, just like Harry). And in a similar vein as Metcalfe, is using home solar panels to recharge his battery. But he was realistic enough to make light of the "breakeven" point of "free fuel" being very far into the future, as the costs of the panels is similar to the cost of Metcalfe's turbine. As you say, it will be in large part the advances in bringing down the cost of renewable input that will play a major factor in the overall success of pure-electric vehicles.

Cheers,

John

Being second is to be the first of the ones who lose.

Link to post
Share on other sites
When I get mine I will get a CD of loud engine noices to play as I drive...oh wait havent Lotus already been doing that?!!! hahahaha always ahead of the game them Lotus people :(

Speaker cones to resemble exhausts and a selection of CDs----------V8 sounds effects, V6 sound effects, 4 sound effects all with options for turbo chargers Larini exhausts, what heaven and we will all be happy.

Seriously someone is going to have do some work on "noise" because I see a spate of pedestrian accidents coming with quite electric vehicles. :cheers:

Life is like a sewer, what you get out of it, depends on what you put into it. (Tom Leahrer)

Link to post
Share on other sites

"...because I see a spate of pedestrian accidents coming with quite [sic :)] electric vehicles."

That's what the guy walking in front with the lantern is for, Roger! :)

A little "light reading" historical precedent:

The Electric Car

carwoodselec.jpg

As we face a myriad of environmental problems caused by driving gasoline-fueled cars for nearly a century, an innovative and viable solution for the problem may be the electric car. A battery operated electric car, noiseless, odorless, pollution-free, could be the answers to worries about toxic fumes and depletion about natural resources. Intriguing, though, is that thousands of electric cars were in operation for twenty to thirty years around the turn of twentieth century and that women drove most of them. In fact, the cars were marketed heavily to women, as shown by the ad illustrated here, once sales analysis indicated women were the primary market for the electric car.

Clean, comfortable, and easy to operate, electric cars didn't need cranked or motor driven starters and many were designed as enclosed vehicles. Electric cars had limited range (improving from 20 to 50-100 miles per charge by 1910) and were less powerful than gasoline powered cars, making them best suited for running errands about town. Manufacturers predicted in 1899 that "...the whole of the United States will be...sprinkled with electric charging stations."

Perhaps the most popular electric car sold in the United States was the Detroit Electric, which began production in 1907. Originally produced by the Anderson Carriage Company, the company changed its name to Detroit Electric Car Co. in 1918 and continued to build electric vehicles until ceasing operations in 1939. The best production year was 1916, with about 3,000 units sold.

Ultimately, the limitations of electric cars outweighed their good points. Although Thomas Edison optimistically announced a long-distance electric storage battery in 1901, he was unable to effectively manufacture it until 1908. The 1908 battery provided a range of up to 200 miles, but was expensive (over $600) and inefficient when charging (over 30% of the charging energy was wasted). After World War I started, manufacturing capacity was diverted to batteries for submarines until 1920. As a result, as long distance touring and high speed driving became popular in America, neither could be done in an electric car. The gasoline-powered engine won out, but good ideas are persistant: as we begin the twenty first century, we are thinking again about the advantages of the electric car.

Being second is to be the first of the ones who lose.

Link to post
Share on other sites

That could be a hard sell, "Buy a Tesla we supply the Bikini babe to walk in front". even though the view would be pleasant, I'd rather have noise and Freedom. But then I'm just a lad! :)

Life is like a sewer, what you get out of it, depends on what you put into it. (Tom Leahrer)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the concept of '100mpg+' equivalency needs recalculating.

All very well just looking at the electricity recharge costs but nearly every high energy density battery type I can think of has a defined life span of x charge/discharge cycles. Add to that the number of said cycles available reduces as current drains are raised. Doesnt sound like a good mix for a performance sports car application?

I would like to know the guaranteed number of charge/discharge cycles possible (in sport mode) and the cost of a replacement battery. Then we can calculate the mpg equivalency.

Link to post
Share on other sites

But also you have to look at the enviromental cost of both where the power comes from and the cost of mining and disposing of lithium batteries.

Over 5 years a Prius actually costs more in Co2 to produce and dispose of than running a car with 185g/km. Whats the point if creating more of them creates more pollution than before????

I still say that Hydrogen cells will be the power of the future. 250 miles range, Hydrogen as cheap if not cheaper than Petrol. Only problem at present is the cost to poduce and storage. The New Honda Fuel Cell car can do 0-60 in 9 seconds and this is in a 2 ton Family Saloon!

One of the big differences is that it takes 3 mins to fill up the Hydrogen Cell'd car and 5-6 hours the Tesla. You would be able to fill up at any fuel station in the Hydrogen Cell car and only at home or a charging point in central london for teh Tesla.

Possibly save your life. Check out this website.
http://everyman-campaign.org/

 

Distributor for 'Every Male' grooming products. (Discounts for any TLF members hairier than I am!)

Link to post
Share on other sites

"...or a charging point in central London for the Tesla."

The solution is obvious my good man! Construct a fleet of airships (blimps, dirigibles, etc.) to ply the skys over London, carrying hydrogen powered fuel cell generators internally, supplied by the very hydrogen producing the airship's buoyancy, and equipped with dangling electrical cords of sufficient length and number to reach the recharging receptacles of Teslas and other such electrically powered vehicles.

Several additional benefits are to be derived from such an operation. As existing overhead utility wires would be an impediment to continuous receptacle attachment, all such wires would necessarily be buried underground, thereby eliminating the current (pun intended) aesthetic eyesore. Further, the city's revenue coffers could be enhanced by the promotion of tourist flights ("See the City of London as never before! Board the Blimp! 50 quid."), essentially funding the enterprise and then some. Naturally, large Union Jack displays would adorn the airship exteriors, creating yet one more Londonic icon for travel industry promotional purposes. Space would be alloted as well for commercial advertising, generating still more revenue. As "proof of concept" details emerged, the operation could be extended to outlying burghs to support the spread of intra-city electric motoring.

Employment benefits are also to be derived. I have it on good authority that certain retired Airline Pilots would happily apply for airship captaincies, performing these duties for mere fractional wages, the pace of the operation being more suitable to their declining reflexive capabilities.

As the fuel cells' hydrogen source became depleted, and with it the concomitant loss of airship lift, a return to the hydrogen refueling stations would be accomplished, simultaneously allowing for the disembarkation of existing passengers and the embarking of the next set of fee paying tourists.

While there would be other details to be worked out, I see no unsolvable issues with the scheme, and have every reason (primarily dwindling personal funds in the current market) to campaign for its establishment. I have this day sent said proposal to Prime Minister Brown, and eagerly await his response.

Being second is to be the first of the ones who lose.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.




×
×
  • Create New...