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A return of the 4 cylinder esprit?


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with all of this talk about gas prices and new emissions standards threatening the existance of v8's in the U.S. and so on, (hopefully i don't sound like a typical ethnocentric american, as i'm not sure what the situation is like abroad) , does anyone know if there are any plans in the works for a possible return of the much loved 4 cylinder Esprit?

Edited by ninja6485
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doesn't make sense. They have to compete with the other high-hp cars of that class and $$$.

In a recent article - http://www.leftlanenews.com/lamborghini-wo...suv-either.html

Lambo made a good point - with most of their vechiles only seeing 5000 miles/yr - the impact to both emissions (and price of fuel :I added:) is soooo small it hardly matters.

My 89 SE had 30,000 when I purchased it 6months ago - 1,666 miles a year. It seems that most Esprit owners really do not put on the big miles - only a few do.

When Lotus Tried to push the 4-banger to the top-levels of performance - both emission and fuel economy sufferred.

I just do no see people paying $100,000+ for a 4cylinder exotic.

Lou Senko

Austin, TX

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I agree with Lou. Although petrol costs are something we are painfully aware of as we have to buy it so often but, with a toy like the Esprit, it is a small portion of the total running cost. With the Esprit replacement, the biggest cost will start off being, like any other expensive car, depreciation, probably followed by interest on the money borrowed to purchase it or interest lost on the savings withdrawn to purchase it and then service costs.

I do not think a 4-cylinder would be taken seriously. It didn't help Lotus in the 70's as stated above.

It would be nice to think that the car will be economical for its class, though, through being light and aerodynamic, i.e. efficient.

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

 

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Bearing in mind that Lotus are at the forefront of bio-fuel and hybrid technology along with lightweight construction, I doubt if their first thought of a way of reducing emmissions and improving economy, would be to lop a chunk of the engine off.

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You can't convince me that high performance by gasoline with large cubic displacement engines isn't on the way out. Besides, anyone can do that--even Chevy.

The U.S. news is reporting that American car manufacturers are planning to close some truck & maybe Hummer plants. And besides, the U.S. is still the largest car market for expensive cars until China passes them up. So, the U.S. will most likely drive the markets and big engines are on the way out here. Green ecology and all that stuff too. I think gas hogs will go the way of genuine fur coats though it make take a few years.

However, if some cheap alternate fuel that runs in an IC engine comes along then it will be back to big ass cars & engines.

Its time for Lotus to shine rather then play catchup with old technology. Electric, methane, or something. Lotus, please do something with what you've learned with your engineering firm. Its not enough just to assemble the Tesla

Rich

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well - I really believe that people who can afford a $150k toy really do not care about a buck or two more on gas. They don't care about cost of ownership items - maintenance, insurance, gas, .... if they did none of the exotics would sell.

you and I buying them 20 yrs later may care about it - but I know I am not the target audience of the new Esprit.

Lou Senko

Austin, TX

more, more, more....

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well...

people that buy $150k cars usually do not drive them as daily drivers, and therefore are not as concerned with things like gas mileage.

Maybe I'm missing your point - the new Esprit will be an expensive exotic supercar - right? so by nature doesn't that mean it is targeted at people who can buy a $150k car, so fairly well-off individuals?

Lou Senko

Austin, TX

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I am with Lou on this. The Elise/Exige range is the entry-level 4-cylinder. The Ethos the V6 for those who have outgrown their Elise and the Esprit replacement the high-priced supercar type thingy.

I would hope the new mid-engined super-car (MSC) will have better economy than its rivals but I would not expect it to frighten the Prius.

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

 

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I'm concerned that the new Esprit will become just another low-to-midentry priced exotic not doing anything revolutionary in a time where gas guzzlers are out (regardless of whether your rich or not) and passing up a chance to stand out in a time where the autombile industry is ripe for change--like Tesla, doing something cutting edge a-la-Chapman. Guess it too much to expect from a barely floating manufacturer. Hate to see Lotus remain in the financial handcuffs we have come to expect from them.

I kind of hoped it could do what it did with the Elise in some way but using the rumored engine seems like a me too way to stay afloat. I don't think Lotus used to be like that.

Still hoping MJK surprises me though...I will be watching and hoping

Edited by Rich
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Tesla

There's your answer, right there. You do realise that the Lotus input into that project is huge? (Despite the Tesla bods playing down any outside assistance)

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Apart from smoothness whats the big problem ?

Jap cars have been getting STUPID power and reliability out of 4 pots for ages - the Esprit once had the biggest BHP/litre engine (S300) and lets face it most cars on here run in excess of 270 bhp.

My weedy 2 litre is 260bhp, done 45,000 miles and never needed anything other than a service done on it so I dont see why not.

I read somewhere the best engine was a V6 for trade of between power and smoothness etc - oh and 1 word, Noble.

I guess it all depends on weight, the heavier you are the more power you need (duh) to keep up with the competition - I guess we'll have to see but there is something about having a V8 in cars that seems to be the stato factor, you get it with the 4 pot Esprits when people say "whats that got in it....a V12 ?" and you say "no, a 2 litre 4 cylinder" they just laugh.

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Nah it's just one of those shock laughs....the two sort of just dont go together, the shape and the stature of the car seems to merrit a much larger engine, lets face it 2 litre engines are common place, just not ones that can produce high power output.

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But that perception is a huge problem if you are trying to sell the car to new customers. We are all converts. We know what it can do but anyone coming from a V8, V10 or V12 probably wouldn't even consider a 4-cylinder no matter how powerful.

Seeing as 90% of the time you can't use the performance you have to get the pleasures of a supercar form other areas like the looks, the general handling, steering feel, gearshift and engine sound. Until the active noise technology is really good, the 4-pot will always suffer compared to the sound of a Ferrari V8 or a Porsche flat 6.

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

 

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Cruising in 4th at 30 mph its not loud at all, at 40 mph in 5th its a bit louder and if you give it any sort of welly on the throttle pedal its loud so I expect you are right Trevor , most likely fail in most drive by circustances on sound tests

In my view only if the public turn on the owners of big V8-V2 hypercars will their sales diminish. Its still in most blokes dreams to own one such car and so to kill that dream off wont be easy. I do think though there is a going to be a bigger market for more fuel efficient lower cc sports cars which use light weight technology. I read yesterday the guy that designed the Mclaren F1 is working with maufacturers to make cars lighter. He points out that most family models or small cars have just got bigger because the manufacturers drive was the image of big luxury. This meant getting heavier. So for the new car to go as fast or slightly faster (we always want newer to be better and this includes faster) they got bigger fatter engines. A spiral downwards which doesnt fit with being fuel efficent.

As soon as they feel the public are ready to down size and move to lean light family cars and hatchbacks which they claim will happen then the 4-pot will make a dramtic return. The lambos and ferraris will still make cars they want to as they just become more exotic, unaffordable to anyone but the rich and so so even more desirable. I just think a new 4-pot turbo segment in the market will make a come back.

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I thjnk you will find I said a 4-pot turbo market segment will make a comeback, I never placed it in the supercar segment and I did not want to give that impression.

My view is that a new (or old new if you know hwat I mean ) will come about as pressure to change design change.

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I think you are correct MB are already talking about a 1.8 high output/efficent engine for the next generation of S Class

Amateurs built the Ark

Professionals built the Titanic

"I haven't ridden in cars pulled by cows before" "Bullocks, Mr.Belcher" "No, I haven't, honestly"

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Here is the article I was on about http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7387432.stm

Racing principles' role in cutting emissions

The motor car has been with us for a little over a century - ushering in an era of personal mobility that would have been inconceivable to our ancestors.

Yet now the car as we know it is under threat as never before. Rising fuel costs and mounting environmental pressures mean its long-term prospects are increasingly uncertain.

One man who thinks the motor industry faces a very bleak future indeed is the renowned engineer, Professor Gordon Murray.

"If we don't do anything, we're going to have restricted use of our cars very soon, within the next ten to fifteen years," he says.

Weight equals profit

Professor Murray designed some of the most successful Formula One cars ever built - as well as the McLaren F1, for years the world's fastest road going car. .............

Read on but it sounds very much like the Lotus Way.

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  • 9 months later...

Spanner in the works - Volvo 2.3 5 cylinder engine as used in the T5s and now used by Ford in the STs etc. How they are made now these have been pushed past 300 gee gees with a single blower. They are an uber strong engine, not sure about weight (this is Volvo we're talking about). Going past 300 gee gees might be a problem with them though as they tend to suffer from bent con rods. The larger bore engines (they do a LPT 2.5 and NA 2.5) won't take the power because the cylinder wall isn't thick enough.

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