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THE 200MPH ESPRIT & FIFTH GEAR


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Guest Chelsea Martyn

I know that there have been loads said on this BUT....

I thought you may like to know something.

When 5th gear said that the gearbox failed driving the car home, that was utter rubbish.

The box failed some 5 weeks after they had it....

A young researcher had it in this time and was doing burn outs and quarter miles etc. impressing his mates.

For incriminating reasons and protecting the identity of the source I have to say 'allegedly'.

But i'm sure that having had it inspected and given a clean bill of health, you can see the answer.

The other point i'd just like to share with you all is how the bit was assembled.

When it showed the Esprit having broke down again on it's way to the track day, how many noticed that the spoiler, mirrors etc. had already been removed when winched onto the car transporter?

Yet this was supposed to have happened much later on when it went to the wind tunnel.

If you still have it, have a look. :D

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This is sounding like the JFK conspiracy!

I was having a word with Paul Matty a few weeks ago, and he said that although the car is in his workshops it is most certainly still owned by the production company, and the project is possibly not dead. He also said he was trying to distance himself from it all, being one of the few well known Lotus experts mentioned in the "credit" roll by 1st Gear. One insight into the knowledge and professionalism displayed was when they asked him to lower the car with selected spring rates, and then they proceeded with the weight stripping exercise :D

In the garage no-one can hear you scream 

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all the wind tunnel work was done before the filming, the filming was done afterwards and what you see on the film at MIRA was for the cameras, The staff at Paul Mattys dont want to say too much at the moment..

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.

Friedrich Nietzsche

find me on Tripadvisor

http://www.tripadvis...mbers/espritguy

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Guest Chelsea Martyn
all the wind tunnel work was done before the filming, the filming was done afterwards and what you see on the film at MIRA was for the cameras, The staff at Paul Mattys dont want to say too much at the moment..

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That could explain the terrible continuity

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  • 1 month later...

Ok... Here I go - dredging up this old chestnut! :)

I have FINALLY got a reply from 5th Gear to my e-mail & invite - see both below....

*******************************************************

Dear Sir / Madam,

I started out wanting to write a deeply sarcastic e-mail but decided in the process to try to be more constructive.

I am a moderator on the World's largest Lotus Esprit club / forum www.lotusespritforum.com We have almost 1000 members from all across the world. We have people with utterly stock Esprits and others with modifications off the planet (for example there are a couple of guys with 2.2L, single turbo, 4 cylinder engines running 450+ bhp) Yet they drive their cars daily and none of them experience the problems you have.

I am disappointed that you managed to undertake this project without heeding any of the advice you were eventually given once you finally contacted Lotus Esprit World.

I am also very disappointed that you didn't get the work done by very experienced Esprit performance engineers, of which there are many around the country...

I don't think there was some kind of odd conspiracy to make the Esprit look bad. However, you have made yourselves look inept by failing to achieve what literally DOZENS of our members could have done on a smaller budget.

Most depressingly you have managed to reinforce every cliche about Lotus and Esprits and I can feel the value of our members cars hitting the floor as we speak.

I know it is very last minute but there is the Club Lotus, annual "Parts Fair" in Stoneleigh near Coventry on this Sunday, the 13th - It is really just an excuse for us all to meet up, have a bit of a blast and see who has done what with their cars. We usually have anywhere between 30 & 50 Esprits at our meets - in addition to all the others there.

I would like to extend an invitation to you to come along and perhaps undo some of the PR damage you have done - perhaps even bring an impromptu camera guy? There is a very lively and vibrant Esprit and Supercar community, as you must now be aware since you have have contacted Pistonheads and been to a VMax event. We had 50 Esprits at our twice yearly Oxford meet (see here http://www.lotusespritworld.co.uk/EOtherst...g05_Oxford.html ) and even 2 of Lotus' Factory Staff come along nowadays too!

I am sure this will simply be filed under "delete" but I thought I would "write and invite" all the same...

Yours sincerely,

Robin

(1986 Turbo Esprit)

*******************************************************

Hi Robin,

Firstly I must apologise for the delay in responding to your emails. With the launch of the website last series we were swamped with emails

Edited by Bibs

"When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realised that the Lord doesn't work that way so I stole one and asked him to forgive me."

------------------------------

ribbon200.gifG-Car Owner and Proud! ribbon200.gif

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bn sort it out will you with fgrc,,,,got 200mph at a vmax event and then get hold of 5th, or even better top gear and tell them its been done in the uk. hey cossie's and liners to it all the time so why not a esprit. weird really dont ya think, a family car easy, but a supercar not so easy

OUR CURRENT COLLECITON :- MODIFIED LOTUS ESPRIT, FULL VEILSIDE SUPRA (BEAST 409.3bhp), NEW ADDITON TO THE TROOP, 1996 S CLASS MERC (FULLY PIMPED OUT, DUB EDITION)

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Yes James - I thought it was the most typically bog standard, wheeled out PR reply... Say what you think people want to hear - or better still... sfa!

"the Fifth Gear team took advice from numerous expert sources in it

"When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realised that the Lord doesn't work that way so I stole one and asked him to forgive me."

------------------------------

ribbon200.gifG-Car Owner and Proud! ribbon200.gif

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Got a response from them yesterday too (I forwarded them the link too Extreme Esprit). Their response to my email was upbeat and total cobblers.

We believe the item did not denigrate the marque but simply highlighted how difficult it is to achieve 200mph.

If they wanted to show how difficult it was to get to 200 mph, why did they show a Ford Sierra going 200 mph. Appears to me, they were just rubbing salt in the wounds.

Edited by Mark Blanchard
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I do think they went about it in a sly and inept way. I get the impression there was perhaps an alterior motive. a, Someone with a grudge to see it fail, b, highlight the faults as Lotus' instead of the production teams (researchers antics!), c, just to make controversial TV and rake in the viewers.

When making a tv program surely all the producers want is maximum viewers and who cares whats said and done to achieve it.

I reckon Top Gear would get great Kudos if they tackled this problem on the quiet and trounced 5th Gear all of a sudden. Now THAT would create controversy and TV channel rivalry!!

I would be glued to the box!

Just my 2p

db

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we need clarkson, anyone got his email addy

OUR CURRENT COLLECITON :- MODIFIED LOTUS ESPRIT, FULL VEILSIDE SUPRA (BEAST 409.3bhp), NEW ADDITON TO THE TROOP, 1996 S CLASS MERC (FULLY PIMPED OUT, DUB EDITION)

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Guest Chelsea Martyn

Hi Robin

Do you think that 5th gear would wanna come to our Milton Keynes supercar rolling road day on April 8th?

As there are some nice exotics there from Lambos, Ferraris, and the Esprits it may flick the switch.

And they may learn something about fuel mapping and the care that you need running hi boost and getting fuel mixtures in correct ratios.

That was what blew the engine first time round after all! :)

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we need clarkson, anyone got his email addy

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

He actually likes the Esprit in all variants, so it's likely he would be up for

something that puts two fingers up at fifth gear. He's local, and lives mere

minutes from the location of our oxford meet.

:)

Someone else better mail him, i still have not got over him dropping a skip

on that biturbo just for a laugh, and i won't even start on the driving the merak

until it blew itself to bits despite the car literally begging for them to stop...

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bn sort it out will you with fgrc,,,,got 200mph at a vmax event and then get hold of 5th, or even better top gear and tell them its been done in the uk. hey cossie's and liners to it all the time so why not a esprit. weird really dont ya think, a family car easy, but a supercar not so easy

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The blame partly has to rest with Lotus and its corner cutting antics. They could easily have provided an aftermarket gearbox option to achieve the speed with the standard motor (re-tuned to unleash its proper potential).

They didn't, and that has been the main issue. 5th Gear maybe inept but Lotus is responsible for the image of the cars.

It seems unreasonable to me that people like us have to try to convince the world that the car is great whilst Lotus could care less.

It would be nice if they would be more open about their Audi box conversion for the original Esprit V8. I can understand that it may not have succeeded to market, but it is not a national state secret, and with the car now out of production, what is with them and their unhelpfulness?

Can they not see there is a massive body of people out there continuing to improve the car where they left off, would it be so hard for them to lend a hand - even on an information sharing basis?

Ultimately, if we keep the flag flying with improvements that have come from our group, then the greater benefit will always be for the Lotus badge when we show off the cars.

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What? :)  I have not heard anything about the Audi box conversion. Can you elaborate on that?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Rumour has it that when the prototype V8 was being developed, Lotus considered a new gearbox to go with it. One of these they selected was from a Audi turbo deisel car. A 6 speed close ratio Audi 4WD transmission. This was selected because it not only has the high torque capability but also had a configuration and size that would make it possible to fit into the same area occupied by the Renault box.

However, a deal to produce these extra boxes was never reached with Audi so it didn't go ahead. The specifics I don't know.

But a successful test mule for the V8 prototype was apparently produced with this arrangement.

As usual with Lotus, everything is guarded on a need-to-know basis like in the former Soviet Union, so that's where it ended.

Whether they also had other options which also never reached a hand-shake stage is anyone's guess.

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so does anyone actually know if it fits straight on?

would save alot of ppl alot of money, as i assume a audi diesel gearbox is cheap, as there mass produced

OUR CURRENT COLLECITON :- MODIFIED LOTUS ESPRIT, FULL VEILSIDE SUPRA (BEAST 409.3bhp), NEW ADDITON TO THE TROOP, 1996 S CLASS MERC (FULLY PIMPED OUT, DUB EDITION)

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I still like TG - I view it as entertainment rather than factual insight.. in that context it's a great chuckle..

However one thing all the shows are now guilty of is their obsession with traction/stability control which in the rear world (not the test track) is a bloody handy thing to have..

"Ooh look how the car gets sideways.. ooh it's so easy.. ooh I'm such a good driver" (and how many out-takes..?)

meanwhile same car on road.. slide, hedge, insurance claim...

Numpties but I got past it a while back..

It's alive.. alive!!!..

altimeter.gifsai.gif

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People seem to think Lotus have lots of secrets locked away about alternative transaxles. (The main one being Audi)

They have no secrets on that front.

There was an exercise to look for alternative Transmissions for the V8 Esprit during the project design / development period. The exercise concluded that there were no production (road) Transaxles available that offered any more torque capacity than the Renault UN1 unit

The Renault unit has a Torque capacity of 400Nm.

The Audi unit we looked at had less capacity in 2WD form.

The Audi unit does not have a separate Clutch Housing so needed an adaptor plate to mate to the V8 engine.

The Audi unit clutch release mechanism was in a position that clashed with other components.

The gear ratios available in the Audi unit were not ideal for the Esprit. (They had no possibility to change any)

The driveshaft outlet position was not ideally suited for driveshaft working angles on the Esprit

The Audi unit was heavier than the Renault UN1

The Audi was a more modern design which would offer the possibility better shifting due to better synchromesh components.

Following serious enquiries the Transaxle was not available to us in the quantities required.

Lotus were involved in the development of the Quaife 6 Speed Transaxle. Lotus provided the vehicles to support the programme and assesed several versions of the unit. These initial units were of the dog drive type used for racing and had sequential gearchange. The Torque capacity was in the region of 600Nm (well in excess of the Renault UN1)

There is no Transaxle that just drops into the Esprit without chassis mods and has a Torque capacity in excess of 400Nm. If it existed we would be using it.

There is no information being kept secret on the Esprit Transmission.

They have provided lots of Data that kato has published on LEW on the Esprit including some transmission information that should help owners understand more about the Renault Gearbox.

If anyone wants to know more details it can be arranged to include it at the next LEW meeting.

There is no reason to keep information secret.

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

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For forum issues, please contact the Moderators. I will aim to respond to emails/PM's Mon-Fri 9-6 GMT. 

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People seem to think Lotus have lots of secrets locked away about alternative transaxles. (The main one being Audi)...

...

...

...There is no reason to keep information secret.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

So in otherwords the car would need significant re-engineering to support a better gearbox from existing available options. And a custom gearbox design would have cost too much and raised the price of the car outside of market range.

Would it have been too expensive to adjust the chassis design to accomodate an available option?

I assume so.

End of.

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  • 8 months later...

Letter in the current club lotus mag from a John Clark points to his web site and some info on the 5th gear fiasco, makes interesting reading.

I remeber seeing the car a Paul Mattys last year after the TV show and they said they had it compression checked and it was ok on all cylinders! which is contary to what the web site says.

http://www.projectm71.com/M71.html

Edited by esprit350

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.

Friedrich Nietzsche

find me on Tripadvisor

http://www.tripadvis...mbers/espritguy

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