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Gearbox Option


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Hi guys,

I'm here as a transplant from the Esprit forum looking for some information on the Evora. For basic background, I am in Canada and already have two Lotus - an Esprit and a Europa.

I'm planning on ordering an Evora for when it reaches the Canadian market next spring. After looking through the spec sheet, it looks like I should be ordering the close ratio "sport" gearbox. My prejudice is that I want to be able to keep it in the fat part of the torque curve for better response and acceleration in the intermediate gears. Given the constraints of North American highway systems, I don't give a rat's ass if I lose a few percent in theoretical top speed or highway cruising economy.

My question is whether anyone can shed some light on the relative merits of the two 'boxes in the real world. Comments?

Mike.

Mike

'97 V8

'73 Europa TC

'10 Elise SC

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I have driven then long ratio gearbox and I have to say was very impressed.

The engine isn't massively revvy - 7k with the sport pack - but it's very torquey. Considerably different from elise engines and it's more akin to my vxr8 (6.0 v8 corvette engine - think its called a pontiac G8 over the pond). You don't find the need to be looking for the right gear all the time.

To be honest I think I would be tempted with the long ratio - when in 6th the cruising is great and low noise.

2nd is good enough to get you to 60 with the long ratio box but not in the short ratio. I suspect the 0-60 of the short ratio will be worse

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1st & 2nd are the same in both boxes. 1st gets you 41mph, 2nd is good for 76 mph, 3rd for 103mph with short ratio and about 110 or something with long. All at 7,100 rpm. Therefore for most driving and the legal limit most places there is no difference. When I was driving long ratio demo last week I particularly noted that at an indicated 80mph on motorway in 6th the engine was idling almost it felt like. Sitting about 1900/2000rpm. I see Autocar say 80mph is 2882 with short ratio. (I had just driven a friends 3.2L V6 Audi TT with DSG at 80 for a few hundered miles and it was sitting just over 3,000 at 80) Evora was very quiet and civilised unlike my Boxster S at same speed. Engine also was able to pull from 1,000 rpm in 6th so no need to stir the box if wanting to be lazy. Also will be good for the boring runs & for fuel economy.

There is another whole topic chain recently about 2-3 months ago given over to this question Calvan if you are looking for more discussion.

A LEGS man and proud to declare it! Lotus Enthusiasts Group Scotland

Autocar's Best UK Drivers Car 2009. Car's Performance Car of the Year 2009; Evo's Car of the Year 2009. Top Gear Sports Car of the Year 2009

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I've been pondering the gearbox choice for a while and I'm surprised it has not generated more information and comment - notably about driver experiences.

I'm still waiting for B&C to come up with the definitive ratio figures, and notably the overall mph per 1000 revs figures for both boxes.

I've gathered that even with the "short" ratios the Evora is still slightly longer geared than the Cayman S, and from the mention in the post above, the Audi TT 3.2 DSG.

I have discussed the matter with one of the development/test drivers at Hethel. Clearly horses and courses, but one point that did emerge was that ALL the test cars for the media were equipped with the short ratios. (Some test reports did not appreciate this.) Also it became clear that, for me, the short ratios would be the obvious choice.

I have driven the standard longer geared car and within minutes was commenting that it was too long geared for a "sports" car. On ordinary roads I didn't use 6th. Unless it is to be used primarily as a long distance cruiser - a minority of buyers? - it seems that the short ratio is far preferable.

This is an important question for early buyers! Within 12 months the short/long sales balance will be established. If either one becomes dominant in the market, choosing the other will prove expensive on resale!

I want to go for the short ratio and get the same experience as the road testers - but not if nobody else is!

Lots of comment and input please - lets get this aired! Particularly from prospective purchasers, as I am - but not until I am happy about this choice! Obviously for those with a heavy track focus, there is no choice, but please let's consider it from the "general buyer" viewpoint - just a little light track use perhaps!

(As a dream, market pressure could let Lotus reduce the price of the short box. I wouldn't expect it to become standard - think of the emission and consumption figures!)

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I thought it was just the final drive tweaked to make 6th in the short ratio the same (ish) as 5th in the long ratio.

If indeed 1st and 2nd are the same and 3rd being 110 v 103 then as far as I can see there is absolutely zero point to the short ratio box.

In most road instances even through fast country B roads you are not likely to want 3rd and primarily stay mostly in 2nd. Possibly 3rd at a push in some instances and even then the differences would be negligable to the average or even moderately talented driver.

On track then yes there would be a difference but you'd not be whacking through the gears like an elise. Which is fair enough if you consider that the elise 6 speed is geared for a top speed of about 160 where as the evora appears to be geared with 5th in mind and 6th an overdrive.

I do disagree on the distance use - I can see quite a few people using as a daily driver as with any other boxster/cayman/911 and I found the 6th gear to be perfect for the average motorway slog.

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I had a demo of an Evora on the weekend and I felt the standard box was far too highly geared - needs the close ratio box imho and its notable that all the press models got one fitted - Autocar's roadtest showed some fairly good in-gear times with the sports box - in the demonstrator I tried, the responce at 40/50 in fourth was pretty poor - you'd be driving most b-roads in 3rd with the standard box.

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I've done some calculations from the spec sheets and compared the results of the overall gearing to my Esprit V8. I realize that the two cars are not directly comparable but they are similar in weight and the overall sizes of the rear whell/tire combinations are almost identical (assuming the tire manufacturers give accurate in the width and aspect ratio values).

I got an Evora spec sheet from the dealer in Vancouver. It says:

Sport Box Standard Box

1st 3.538 3.538

2nd 1.913 1.913

3rd 1.407 1.218

4th 1.091 0.86

5th 0.9697 0.79

6th 0.8611 0.638

Final drive (both boxes): 1st - 4th: 3.777 5th & 6th:3.238

I calculated the overall ratios for the two 'boxes and for the Esprit V8. The results are:

Sport Box Standard Box Esprit

1st 13.363 13.363 13.07

2nd 7.225 7.225 8.01

3rd 5.314 4.60 5.37

4th 4.121 3.423 4.05

5th 3.139 2.558 2.96

6th 2.279 2.065 --

The overall gearing of the Esprit is quite similar to the Evora sport box. The overall gearing is, arguably, a bit low for the Esprit but given that it has more power in a car of simiilar weight and tire size, I think the sport box will be the way to go with the Evora.

The Esprit does not run at uncomfortably high revs in highway driving, and even with the sport box there is still an extra gear that the older car doesn't have. There will be a slight trade-off in economy over a long sustained cruise but I think I will prefer the performance of the close ratio box. A lot of my distance drives are through fairly mountainous terrain - crossing the Rockies to Alberta or pats of the US northwest - and I am concerned that the standard box will be geared a bit too long for quick acceleration when a passing opportunity presents itself.

Mike.

Mike

'97 V8

'73 Europa TC

'10 Elise SC

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I have ordered an Evora with the close ratio box.

Whilst 1st/2nd are the same, i thought the standard box allowed a relaxed/lazy driving style in higher gears due to the long gearing.

6th in the sports box is same as 5th in standard box - so when i tested the car, i drove at 70-80mph in 6th for a mile or so, noted the revs and noise levels and then dropped down to 5th and did the same.

The revs were perphaps 600-800 rpm different an the noise increase minimal; so for motorway journeys, the sports box is fine.

The slight increase in fuel consumption is not really an issue - if we were worried about that, we would all be buying a Prius!!

I would liked to have tested a car with a sports box to compare, but my view is that if lotus are offering a sports box as an option then if must be worth having, and if they have put the sports box on all the press cars then they must think it offers a better driving experience.

Whilst I suspect most Evoras will be daily drivers, i doubt they will be used as motorway munchers and the big selling point is the handling. So i would rather have the more sporty gearbox to complement this for the evenings and weekend when i want to 'play'

Finally, my dealer hasd now ordered their next demo car and that will also have the sports box.

So i ticked the box and gambled....

hope this helps

construction and property consultants : My company

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Beady (and others), yes, thank you. Would you reveal your dealer? I would like to try out the short box when they have their demo car in.

Also re the actual ratios - Calvan, thanks for all those calculations too! - the latest Autocar Full Road Test used the short box and gives the overall gearing figures as mph/1000 revs:

6th: 27.8 (that is quite long enough in my view)

5th: 24.7

4th: 18.8

3rd: 14.6

2nd: 10.7

1st: 5.8

(Seem to have omitted Reverse! Could be important with that terrible rear visibility!)

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my dealer is castle sports cars, in stansted.

apparantly they are also having the lotus sports exhaust fitted to thier current demo in the next couple of weeks (this is only available as an aftermarket option in UK), so another expense....

could somebody please explain what those gear ratios mean in laymans terms (as i have no idea)?

and perhasp relate it back to somethin i can undertsand

construction and property consultants : My company

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Thank you Beady - trip to Stanstead soon then.

Not sure whether your question was addressed to my mph per 1000 revs figures but if so, you can get the speed in any gear at any engine speed by multiplying: e.g. at 4500 revs in 4th the speed would be 84.6 mph. (4.5 x 18.8).

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Beady,

In simplified terms, the 'shorter' the gear ratio the faster the acceleration and the lower the top speed. Looking at it another way, in a shorter ratio gear you need more revs to get the same speed as a longer ratio (so noisier and less fuel efficient).

Obviously things like torque and power band become important but I reckon the most important points for the average driver are the amount of time you expect to spend on the motorway and any impact on resale value (which I think is extreamly hard to predict...)

Get a PlayStation and Grand Turismo 4, in the game fit a fully customizable gearbox to a car and you can see the differences of ratios yourself.

Ian

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That's a good point about the drag race, but seeing as 1st and 2nd are the same in both boxes neither will give an advantage if you partake in the Stoplight Grand Prix. Otherwise, I think my bias is coming out that the close ratio setup looks better for the opportunistic pass or just blasting through the twisties.

Anyway, my decision is made. I went to see my friendly local Lotus dealer today and put a deposit on a Launch Edition car. With the close ratio box. It won't be here until early next year but it is on the way. I should have it about the time this Winter Olympics nonsense is wrapping up.

As a point of interest, the dealer had pre-ordered a few cars on spec. All have the close ratio box.

When I'm at the dealer, I usually wander over to the service area to see if there is anything interesting in. Hit the jackpot today - a Lambo Miura sitting literally underneath an Esprit V8, the latter being on a hoist. It has been a while since I've seen one but there is a car that makes even an Evora look dowdy.

Mike

'97 V8

'73 Europa TC

'10 Elise SC

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That's a good point about the drag race, but seeing as 1st and 2nd are the same in both boxes neither will give an advantage if you partake in the Stoplight Grand Prix.

It seems strange that the press reports and stats seem to be saying 0-60mph is 4.9s with CR and 5.1s with standard box, given that 2nd should be good for over 60mph and 1st/2nd are same on both boxes.

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Calvan, very interesting information about the dealer ordering short ratio cars! (And you yours of course! I didn't realise that the Launch spec cars could have a short box.)

I've also raised the topic on the SELOC board and with comments there too I'm increasingly coming to the view that the short box will become the de facto standard.

Because I have absolutely no knowledge on the matter I can speculate that the long box is just a matter of initial convenience and cost for Lotus, perhaps because Toyota would/will only supply the engines with the long - I gather diesel ratios - fitted. So I assume that Lotus have to open it up and fit the short ratios themselves - I can imagine it's a bother! I wonder where Lotus obtain the replacement gear sets? Could Toyota be persuaded to fit them initially - and so avoid the extra cost? If not, I see the "base car" pricing as even more of a joke than regarding the Sport and Rear seats so-called "Options".

Anyway, I have decided that the short box is the only one for me.

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Second life, you may well be right about the Launch Edition cars coming with the standard box. Apparently there are still a few details to be nailed down for the Canadian market cars so I'm not positive that the first deliveries here will be correctly designated as "Launch Edition". In fact, it makes sense that they won't be since the Evora won't make it here until into 2010 and I expect that more than 450 cars will have been delivered in othere markets by then. Unless the factory is reserving some early production cars for North America it makes sense that all of the Launch Editions will go elsewhere.

Anyway, the Vancouver dealer has ordered a few cars for the first deliveries here and has specified much the same options as the Launch Edition cars, with the close ratio box. I like the overall specifiction and one of them has the colour combo we want (Quartz Silver / Paprika) so that's where the deposit went. I'm not too concerned if the words "Launch Edition" are a slight terminological inexactitude when applied to that car. I'm looking forward to the addition of this car but still have to figure out how to keep three Lotus in a two car garage.

Mike

'97 V8

'73 Europa TC

'10 Elise SC

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Realistically the "launch edition" won't go away.

The 211 was supposed to have a limited run of "launch Edition" cars (and unlike the evora the LE 211's are cheaper than specc'ing it individually and have a unique colour/decal pack) but you can still get them now.

It wouldn't surprise me if the Launch Edition becomes a model in it's own right for resale/insurance valuations like the Mini Chilli and Pepper packs.

As for the gear ratios if we take Autocar's mph/1000 rpm figures and then multiply then by the difference in the ratios we end up with 6th standard being about 37mph. To put this into perspective my 6.0l corvette v8 with 450lb/ft is geared in 6th at 40mph/1000 rpm...

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  • 2 months later...

OK time for a little feedback on the sports gearbox in real life.

I managed to get my LE car with the Sports gearbox - had it almost 4 weeks now and done circa 1,100 miles.

Whilst collecting from its first service last week i took out the dealers demo car for a spin to compare the two gearboxes back to back.

(the dealer demo also has the sports exhaust so see another post elsewhere about that..)

Anyway, when cruising in 6th on a dual carriagway - i noted the revs at 70 and 80 (private dual carriageway of course, not a public road, cough, cough).

I used the cruise control to set the speed to try and get some sort of accurracy

The results were:

Standard box:

70 mph - 1850 rpm

80 mph - 2200 rpm

Sports box:

70 mph - 2500 rpm

80 mph - 2850 rpm

so about 650 rpm difference between the two.

At those speeds the engine noise with the sports gearbox was not noticably louder.

I also tried to reset the mpg to get an average over a few miles but it didnt really work - the mpg was almost the same in both cars - i dont think the trip was long enough to get any accurrancy on mpg.

At about 80 on motorway, i seem to be getting 28-30mpg with the sport gearbox in my car.

Perhaps some other owners can provide feedback on their real life mpg

None of the above should be a big surprise to anyone: Closer gear ratios = higher revs for same speed + incraesed fuel consumption...obvious really.

But we dont buy an Evora to munch motorway miles do we....

Whilst i only had a short comparison, the accelleration 3rd/4th was a bit sharper with the sports gearbox.

I also tried putting the foot down in 5th and 6th from around 60/70mph - again the sports box was noticably a bit more responsive.

The standard box allow you to be a bit more lazy.

I think 3rd gear in the sports box is definately my favorite.

In summary - if you drove either one for long enough, until you were properly used to it, and then switched to the other, you would certinly feel the difference.

However, if you were unfamiliar with either, and took them both out for a short test drive, i doubt you would really be able to spot much difference.

Pay your money and take your chance - you wont be dissapointed either way

construction and property consultants : My company

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Really useful info Paul. It was the "put your foot down in 6th at 70-80" test with the standard box that had me slightly worried on one of my test drives. But a slightly unfair comparison when I'd just got out of the SC which pulls rather more urgently (and is of course noisier at motorway speeds). I think if you really needed to press on from a 6th gear cruise you'd soon get used to dropping to 5th or even 4th if you had the standard box.

Now we just need a comparison of performance with and without the Premium Pack, my reasoning being that the money saved on the interior would fund the sports box smile.gif

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I'm with you on this Tom re the pulling on 6th gear thing. I am finding that I am sitting in 4th a lot more than I ever used to and only selecting 6th for the cruise when without doubt it is quiet and economical. I saw 34mpg at 80 for the 110 mile journey to Aberdeen on the cruise control most of the way. I do tend to use my car more probably on motorway than A & B roads simply because that is what serves the majority of our journeys. Although to be fair up here we have lovely clear ones where you can travel particularly later in eveings at well into 3 figure speeds (so I am told) for 30 or 40 miles and hardly see another car. Certainly sitting as I do at 70 you can come home from Edinburgh at night and not see another car for 40 miles (apart from the ones passing at well into 3 figures!) :w00t:

Re the premium pack as long as you are not wanting an interior colour especially like we did, from everything I am reading I would say it is not essential. I did ask Graeme the salesman at Murray's to post the interior of the one he had but he never has. Let that fund the sport box and exhaust :lol: I had a Boxster with the standard partial leather. Full leather was 1800 or something 6 years ago. Did anybody once comment on that. Nope. Did I ever feel I was letting myself down or being a skinflint? Nope. The important bits were leather and I think leather is way over rated in a car anyway although accept at this level is expected.

A LEGS man and proud to declare it! Lotus Enthusiasts Group Scotland

Autocar's Best UK Drivers Car 2009. Car's Performance Car of the Year 2009; Evo's Car of the Year 2009. Top Gear Sports Car of the Year 2009

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I don't think i've spent more than 5 minutes in 6th gear since i've had the car...probably something to do with coming from an Elise where you're always up around 4/5000 revs...feels unnatural to me to be doing 2000revs - no drama...no noise.

Probably explains why i was prepared to spend money on the sports exhaust - which i do think is overpriced...but i want to enjoy every minute in the car and a bit of extra noise makes me smile a bit more !

My favourite gear on the standard box has to be 2nd...although i quite like 3rd also....4th for when i want to listen to the IPOD or radio on the motorway....5th for when my left hand is getting bored of holding the steering wheel on the motorway and as i've said...i've not found a use for 6th yet...i guess on an unrestricted autobahn it could come in handy..

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I don't think i've spent more than 5 minutes in 6th gear since i've had the car...probably something to do with coming from an Elise where you're always up around 4/5000 revs...

Heh Mat didn't you use to be a Matt in our other Evora life before the combined Lotus Forums? Loosing weight? :cool:

I am surprised you get out of 1st or 2nd living in London town. :w00t: You must go far on voyages of discovery and missionary work. You will need to bring it up to one of the quieter corners of our overcrowded little isle to really appreciate the car. That and the beer tastes better! :lol: I have a question re-exhaust but better post on other thread or get my knuckles wrapped.

A LEGS man and proud to declare it! Lotus Enthusiasts Group Scotland

Autocar's Best UK Drivers Car 2009. Car's Performance Car of the Year 2009; Evo's Car of the Year 2009. Top Gear Sports Car of the Year 2009

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Re the premium pack as long as you are not wanting an interior colour especially like we did, from everything I am reading I would say it is not essential. I did ask Graeme the salesman at Murray's to post the interior of the one he had but he never has.

I had a long chat with factory folks on the Frolic weekend about Premium Pack vs standard interior. Sadly we couldn't see a completed car with standard interior but I saw & sat in a standard seat (identical spec to the Premium one, just in black leather) and was passed some marked up pics which outline where the leather is and isn't. I'll dig them out and post info over on the Interior section.

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