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The Esprit Concept


Kimbers

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OK. This is serious now!

Have had a few beers and want to set the record straight!

I've been on the forum for a while now and you all know that I don't get petty or say things that are incorrect or misleading.

When Colin originally approached the Engineering dept (Headed by a certain MJK as Technical Director) about the concept of a 2 seater sports car Power output was never mentioned. Also never mentioned was practicality, V8, V10 or V12 power or where the Lotus would fit in in the pecking order of "Supercars".

Why?? Because that is not what Lotus was EVER about. Instead it was about 4 cylinder lightweight engines, built by Lotus, and Ride, Handling, GFRP bodies and making a supercar that no one has ever thought of doing. You look at the Ferrari's Maserati's of the day and you were looking at 8 and 10 cylinder heavy monstrosities that had a slower 0-60 time, worse MPG and twice the cost of the Esprit!

What amazes me is that so many fanatics here on the forum only think in terms of V8....This is where Lotus is going wrong. They are moving away from their key area of light weight, high revving, smaller engined, superb handling, supercar beating sportscars for the enthusiast and gone towards the heavy, big engined, my cock is bigger than yours V8 market.

This makes the cars, worse handling (not a nimble), heavier, more expensive and less...........Lotus.

Sorry guys...and I know a few will take exception to this...but if Lotus want to survive they don't need a new Esprit to compete with Ferrari, Lambo, Noble etc....they need their old Niche market back....lightweight, cheap and totally Lotus!!

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

 

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Amen to that :angry: Here's to the 4cyls.

That's why I bought the Esprit right there. It could and still does beat heavier, newer, more expensive things. It's a finger to the automotive world.

If this is in reference to the V6... in fact I don't wish it was a V8. It really ought to be a 4 banger! :lol: kidding. kind of.

I am impressed with their new 6 cyl. But... what is around it currently is overwhelmingly shocking.

An analogy would be a beautiful Essex turbo, but instead of a nice Lotus 4 banger, Starr Jones is in the engine compartment on a hamster wheel, complete with a pop tart and hot pink leotard.

That's how distracting the APX concept is to me :D

I'd like to see that engine in the new Esprit. th 6 I mean

slade

Edited by slade

"It's called a fire hydrant. Firemen like to stick their hose in it, and eventually squirt water from it."

Owner of 86 TE HCI, and 55 Chevy. Stare at broken down TR7

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Amen to that :angry: Here's to the 4cyls.

That's why I bought the Esprit right there. It could and still does beat heavier, newer, more expensive things. It's a finger to the automotive world.

If this is in reference to the V6... in fact I don't wish it was a V8. It really ought to be a 4 banger! :lol: kidding. kind of.

I am impressed with their new 6 cyl. But... what is around it currently is overwhelmingly shocking.

An analogy would be a beautiful Essex turbo, but instead of a nice Lotus 4 banger, Starr Jones is in the engine compartment on a hamster wheel, complete with a pop tart and hot pink leotard.

That's how distracting the APX concept is to me :D

I'd like to see that engine in the new Esprit. th 6 I mean

slade

I agree, would be lighter, more fruegal with fuel, cheaper and a great entry level model.......

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

 

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Totally agree, this was why the GT3 is my favourite as it's closest to the Lotus principals of the later cars.

Elise is the same, I heard a few Esprit people saying "it's not a lotus though is it" once and nearly exploded :angry:

Chapman would have been proud of that car, my only gripe is that it hasn't got a Lotus 4 banger in it - but then the rover plant made perfect sense with Lotus' financial position at the time.

Lotus did so well out of that car (saved the company fair to say ?) and it's still going strong. Part of the reason why I adore the thing so much.

facebook = jon.himself@hotmail.co.uk

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In 20 years I'll have an Elise ( I don't like my cars like I like my women. Cars have to be a certain age :angry:). maybe by then Lotus will be able to beat Ferrari with one cylinder :lol:

slade

Edited by slade

"It's called a fire hydrant. Firemen like to stick their hose in it, and eventually squirt water from it."

Owner of 86 TE HCI, and 55 Chevy. Stare at broken down TR7

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In 20 years I'll have an Elise ( I don't like my cars like I like my women. Cars have to be a certain age :D). maybe by then Lotus will be able to beat Ferrari with one cylinder :angry:

slade

I like the original Elise cause it was all out Lotus on a budget. More recnt models have become more refined and less "Lotus" anyway, this link is about What the original concept was so don't lead me astray...... :lol:

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!)

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I couldnt agree with our Tony any more :D

Having spent some time with some of the big dog supercars over the years(including everyones wet dream the Countach 5000QV), you can have more fun with the cheaper, lighter less complex Esprit than with any of them B)

The Countach was a truly awful car to attempt to drive around town, the heating system was crap, you couldnt see out of it, it stunk of fuel in the cabin and was a bleeding nightmare to try and back up (hanging out over the sill).

It was quick from 0to60, but not much faster than a Esprit :angry:

And you want to try to change an alternator belt on one :lol:

Really dissapointed Lotus seems to be going down the V8 route again with the Esprit(probably to make the yanks happy) ;)

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Edited by WayneB
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Lotus used to be about not only light weight, but competition too. (not much any more) :angry:

Problem is that the competition doesn't stay still for long.

You start off competing with Ferrari... BTW Ferrari is working on a V10 now ("the marketing potential of the Lamborghini Gallardo is too great")

Next you know, your valued 4cylinder motor is holding you back (either in the mind of the public, or in real world performance)

And that causes you to rethink your competition... Now you say your main competition is Toyota, Mazda, and Honda...

Then they come out with 300hp NA V6's and 500hp V10's, and you find yourself competing with Renault and Hyundai...

Then Renault wins the F1 championship and Hyundai gets a V8...

And your new competition is Seat, Yugo, and SMART...

Marketing sells more cars than better handling, lighter weight, and specific output anyday. And for marketing, your numbers have to be better than the other guys... And I don't mean steering rack ratios, lateral G's, and lighter weight through less carpeting...

If your desired competition (@ a price level, or just public believed competition) has a V8 with 400hp, then you need one with 420. Doesn't matter if the car weighs 200lb less. To the uninformed public.

The Elise is great, but there are only so many crazy people in the world.

It doesn't matter if it outhandles an F430 or out accelerates a Boxster S. It can do this because it is noisy, rough, spartan, and cheap (less content).

The marketing here in the States talks about how exciting the Elise and Exige are, but it looks like some people buy them, maybe cause the wife thinks they are cute, and then sell them in 200 miles cause they are noisy, rough, spartan, and cheap.

Call me crazy but I want one! One of the few, most never will. 260,000,000+ Americans and Lotus is having trouble selling Elises... Many places in the USA even have great ragtop weather, Colorado has 360 days of sun a year.

People buy so many Porsches because of a perception that you can drive them in any kind of weather, and that they are reliable, and practical, you can get them customized to suit you (even if it does double the price). And Porsche makes a huge profit cause they use common technology and standard steel unibody construction. People's perception of specialness is greater than actual specialness...

Travis

Vulcan Grey 89SE

 

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Weren't Lotus stuck between a rock and a hard place in the 70's - they were trying to take the whole range upmarket and lose the 'kit car' associations, but good as it was the 4-pot engine didn't have the marketing appeal of larger or more complex power plants?

From the little of what I recall of the motor industry of the time (being limited then to driving offerings from Matchbox or Corgi :angry: ) the word 'turbo' had a huge marketing appeal for about a decade until the 1st generation turbo-diesels killed the motorsport connotations. Seems it was almost the perfect Lotus solution: little extra weight, big performance improvement, low development cost - and it had a marketing edge... no wonder the original V8 was shelved!

What I like about the Esprit is that it does so much with so little... classic British ingenuity...

Dan.

Dan

"He who dies with the most toys wins..."

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For me I love the tru lotus concept of lightweight but I wish the best to lotus and the market it needs to win they requiere big engine just for marketing specially if the new esprit price is arround the US$100.000. they should stick to the low weight concept and try to make an amazing BHP per tone but I don

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(probably to make the yanks happy) :angry:

Not sure about all the rest of us Yanks :lol: but I like the idea of the 4 cylinder.

Joey

Spencer WV

Found my Esprit, but due to family issues, money went to other things :(

I guess I just have to wait for a while.

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My own thoughts are that Esprit buyers in the 70's weren't really that bothered about how many cylinders. If 4 wasn't enough there were plenty of Jags, Ferraris, Lambos etc instead. One of the big pullers was the success of the F1 team and association with road cars. Surely if the driving factor to buy was no of cylinders Lotus would have made a V8 earlier than they did?

70's Esprit buyers wanted exclusivity, fashion, prestige and one upmanship with their neighbours. How many S1s do you think were track dayed in the 1970's? Isn't today's buyer motivated by exactly the same?

Of course we all value these AND the performance of the car, but if we're honest with each other I suspect that if money was no object very few of us would still be in Esprit's but Lambos, Zondas etc.

I think that the new Esprit will be bought by people very different from ourselves who will value it as a status symbol. I really don't think they'll care if it's got 4 or 8 cylinders as long as it's quick, looks great and shouts to the world "look at me"!

Of course as time marches on and it gets cheap enough for us to consider buying, we, will of course look for other attributes such as lightness engineering qualities etc.

To conclude Lotus really isn't aiming the new Esprit at ourselves as enthusiasts but at a different more exclusive market (just as it was in the 70's). We shouldn't be suprised if it doesn't have everything that we would want as a forum.

Purely a personal opinion. Feel free to disagree!

Regards

Mat Kutub

1979 S2

Regards

Mat

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As a young teenager injected with asian influence.. I too am a 4 bangers' best friend. I once met this redneck who said 4 cylinders dont exist.. I was shocked.

I liked how lotus was different from other companies. I liked the lightweight practicality (thats why i have a hatch), handling, apealing design (so what if it looks like a door wedge).

I do feel sorry for lotus if they are making the v8 just for us "yanks" over here!

O yeah, about the Elise, do they really have problems selling it over here.. I would love to own one.. I wouldnt give a rat's ass about the road noise, hard ride, and all its other faults as long as i know i can out perform all those corvettes, porche, ferarris in town..including them sti and evos!

Edited by Toua
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My point with the Elise is that Lotus certainly haven't stoped being....ummm Lotus :angry:

The car is a true chapman mobile but what you've gotta remember is that 4 speaker systems, air con and electric windows help sell cars. Not all of us want them (becuase they add weight) but customers looking for a car will go "hmmm this one has air con, this one hasn't" and assess the car on those merrits.

End of the day it's business and the customer market that dictate what you make, if research shows people want a V8 - they'll probably get it. Look at the SUV type vehicles are on the streets atm....so much even porsche make one.

It's great to remember the roots and principals (I am a true Colin-ite) but not loose sight of the present and future. IMO Lotus seem to be doing that, the Elise is still going well, and the Exige is still the best car out there in it's field by a long shot. The APX, although it seems strange to me, looks good on paper and the Europa as well - shows Lotus are thinking outside the box and still maintaining their basic principals.

Who knows that the Esprit will hold, I'd like to see it compete with the Noble M400 (V6 twin turbo not V8) which is the closest thing to a new Esprit, in concept and price wise atm afaik.

facebook = jon.himself@hotmail.co.uk

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Don't care about the stereo.

Not a fan of electric windows. Too many ways to go wrong and you can't use them while the car's off :lol:

But unless Lotus wants to sell easy bake ovens instead of cars in CA, they need AC :D

It's as necessary as you English folk having heaters (I've never used my heater)

I really hope the Europa finds an audience but I don't think it will.

I'd love an M400. Fix up the interior and Lotus might as well buy the design and stick their badge on it :angry: Reminded me of an Esprit the first time I saw it, love the styling.

slade

Edited by slade

"It's called a fire hydrant. Firemen like to stick their hose in it, and eventually squirt water from it."

Owner of 86 TE HCI, and 55 Chevy. Stare at broken down TR7

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My car doesn't have A/C - so I wouldn't care if my lotus had it or not.. I dont use A/C anyways - even in California when I rented cars I never used A/C

I don't have power steering.. I dont like power steering

I don't have cruise control, so my legs get tired on long drives - one time to california (3 days it took!)

I love that my car weights only 2000lbs.. all i need now is a b18c1 0r b18c5 motor!

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My Camaro had cruise control. So does the *cough* Blazer I'm borrowing at the moment.

I can never get used to it. It's too wierd to be driving along without pushing anything)

But I once set it when I tried to honk the horn :angry: almost an adventure

In general I wouldn't want power steering for the Lotus. But there are days when I miss it... (parallel parking days).

slade

"It's called a fire hydrant. Firemen like to stick their hose in it, and eventually squirt water from it."

Owner of 86 TE HCI, and 55 Chevy. Stare at broken down TR7

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I can relate to that slade! I hate parallel parking in my civic; HOWEVER, I am glad I drive a small car because I can see everything aound me! There is only a small blind spot in which i have to turn my head to see

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yeah... that's the other thing I hate on parallel parking days :angry: You really have to know the dimensions of the car. The windows don't really do anything...

no regrets still

slade

Edited by slade

"It's called a fire hydrant. Firemen like to stick their hose in it, and eventually squirt water from it."

Owner of 86 TE HCI, and 55 Chevy. Stare at broken down TR7

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I love that my car weights only 2000lbs.. all i need now is a b18c1 0r b18c5 motor!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Dont waste your money on that. Save it for an Esprit. Putting the new motor in your Civic is a bad investment unless you:

a. Know an engine importer very well

b. Do all the work yourself

You need both of these to make a Honda swap worth it now-a-days. Just too common...

Oh and power steering is for wimps...

Shah

My Beautiful Car http://www.glcforum.com/ukesprit/forums/in...CODE=12&CID=182

...

ribbon200.gifProud to be a G-car ownerribbon200.gif

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Kimbers - you were right this would go way off track :angry: so...

Lotus sold the Seven to Caterham Cars in the early 70's at the time that Chapman reportedly wanted to take the whole range up-market and shake off the 'kit car' image. Given the continued success of that same basic design, and the fact that people still identify any Seven as a Lotus Seven, should (or indeed could) Lotus have kept the Seven? Did Colin think he was getting money for old rope off Graham Nearn? :lol:

Dan.

Dan

"He who dies with the most toys wins..."

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