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2ZZ order book closing


Guy Munday

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As you will by now probably be aware, the “2ZZ” engine that Lotus employ in the Elise R, Elise SC and the whole of the Exige range will cease to be used at the end of this year, due to ever-tightening environmental requirements. The last chance, for the foreseeable future, to purchase a true performance variant of the Elise or Exige is, therefore, now upon us.

Lotus Cars have confirmed that the order book for these vehicles will close on Friday 27th August.

At the time of writing there were just forty slots left to be sold so I would welcome a conversation as soon as possible, if you were planning a purchase in the near future.

I look forward to hearing from you, but be quick because they’ll soon be gone..!

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I guess it's time for Lotus to start supercharging the 1.6 or better get the V4 Vmax and its 200 BHP and supercharge it! after all it's a Yamaha engine and the 2zz was a Yamaha design! Sweet dreams are made of these!

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Isnt that what Lotus do, done, have done the best for decades ?

Shame that lump has gone but the Honda one was better :evil:

New Lotus in house designed engine on the cards ? So I guess this ties in with the 'relaunch' thing in Paris. I mean they're running out of cars to sell now...unless they stick the 1.6 into the 211/Exige etc what with the Europa gone as well.

Moving on to a lower displacement is probably water off them duck's backs in the Lotus pond, its something to overcome - perhaps this will spawn another light weight Elise or similar (Paris ? who knows - exciting times !)

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Not really - I'm 99% sure the 2zz could be modified to meet euro5 as it's not all Co2 based.

The real problem is who going to pay for the development?

Toyota have already killed the engine as they are going towards economy having realised they can't directly compete with honda on performance engines.

No one else who uses it have the resources...

So it's a dead engine.

as for the 1.6... dunno if it lends itself to tuning quite so much as the 1.8. I would say it would do better from a turbo rather than a supercharger on that one.

apart from honda theres not a performance 4 pot that'll fit and suit the car.

(Impreza doesn't fit and the evo is lag city)

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what's with all those small VAG turbo engines ...as for example the 1.4 L -180HP variants in the VW-Polo/Skoda-Fabia ?!

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BMW/Mini 1.6 Turbo 200 bhp

Fiat/Abarth 1.4 Multiair turbo 170bhp

VW 1.4 TFSI 180 bhp

All of these are available with latest gen 6 speeds manual or dual clutch gearbox!

I think Lotus is just waiting for Toyota to make a move! Toyota supported them in the past they are in their way supporting Toyota now! This new 1.6 has been fitted with a Turbo in Thailand or Malaysia on Toyota Vios (Yaris asia)! So maybe bye bye supercharger welcome back turbo or even better Lotus and TRD try their hand at TSI engine!

If Lotus is to abandon the lightweight to switch to luxury we may very well find more V6 in the Elise/Exige Line up!

Lexus has got a very compact V6 2.5L 200bhp that will have no problem with European Emissions regulations provided it can be fitted in the car!

Edited by NedaSay
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All of those engiens are fine but not what I'd call a true performance engine akin to the honda and 2zz.

My wife has a cooper S (184hp - 211 is only cooper S works and damn expensive) and whilst a great engine for the mini I'm not sure it would suit a lighter RWD sports car. It's not the most linear in power application and red lines at about 6k. The gearbox however is stunning and one of the best I've used (trumped only by my RS4's)

The issue I'd have with them is the same as why I didn't get a VXR-T and instead paid lots more for a K-series sport 190. The Forced induction nature made the accelerator feel like it was connected with an elastic band and didn't have the same sharpness you get from a N/A, But I guess the days of cheap, economical NA performance engines are drawing to close.

I think an interesting curveball for the base elise could be the toyota hybrid drivetrain - hear me out here. In standard form it's about 140bhp so the same as the current model and if it can (and I know it can for a fact) get 65-70mpg with 89g/co2 in a car thats 400kg's heavier then it would be a scoop to hit the 100mpg numbers as that would compete directly with the figures being banded about for all electric cars. I'd also be interested to see how the CVT could work in a more sporty setup.

Lotus do need to do something as any hot cars would need to have their CO2 offset.

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ads_green's comments on CO2 are the way I was thinking about on this. The great article on CO2 fleet averages that was posted a few months ago seems to be for largish firms given what I've later seen. My understanding is that whilst the legislation has gone through the implementation details are being worked out. What seems to be defined however is that all manufacturers' CO2 averages need to come down from their 2007 figures by between mid-teens and mid-twenty %s by 2016. The introduction of bigger cars (Evora, higher power Evoras, Esprits etc) is going to be pushing averages up from 2007 when production was all-Elise based so to 'balance' this out and result in a net lower figure Lotus will need to sell largish numbers of low or very-low CO2 producing cars.

There are a couple of other factors that I think will drive a move towards affordable (they need volume sales to shift averages) hybrid cars in the near future. First, Lotus Engineering is probably one of the leaders in hybrid and alternative fuel powertrains and the group is making strong noises about Engineering providing more input to the cars. Second, given this Engineering leadership I would hope that they understand the need to translate this to a public-understanding of their leadership position by getting product to market early (before major competitors).

The timing of this announcement also seems (to me) to be linked closely to Paris in September. I don't know the sales split between Elise models now. The Haynes book suggests that in Q1 2008 (last date of data with a period where the SC was available for the full period) that the Elise SC was the biggest selling car with the Elise S accounting for only 18% of sales. Let's consider that this ratio still holds then this suggests to me that Lotus will announce a replacement in Paris as cutting 80% volume will do havoc to their cash-flow and supply chain relationships. I'm not expecting to be able to get any of the other cars shown at Paris immediately other than Evora variants and I doubt this will compensate in the short term.

So, bringing this all together I believe that we will see an immediately (or near enough) replacement at Paris. The question is therefore what. I see two possible scenarios:

They have another 'standard' engine that they can use. The question then is why they didn't announce this when they launched the 1.6? Given their announced partnership with Cosworth for developing Toyota engines I can only presume that they will have something from that partnership and it wasn't ready in time.

Second that they will actually launch a radically different solution and it is so newsworthy that they wanted to hold the announcement to the Paris 'relaunch'. I suspect some folk in Hethel were surprised at the volumes of Teslas being sold (at multiples of the price of the Elise) so I guess they'll want to get some of this wallet. Given Engineering's statements that it sees the immediate solution not as full-electric but hybrid then I expect Lotus to go this route sooner rather than later (partly to balance CO2 averages with bigger cars coming on stream).

What I don't know is how far from production their parallel hybrid engine really is. They have a manufacturer but whether they are set to produce in late 2010 or late 2011 I don't know. Could I see Lotus being the first customer? Yes, I probably could for the marketing value (for both Lotus as an engineering leader and as a halo customer for the engine sales).

I will profess I have no idea how suitable the power is for Elise-Exige-2eleven applications. I guess for Elise owners using it mainly on the road then it will work. For Exige owners on the track my guess is that it could if owners were doing shortish sessions and then kept the engine running when the brakes / tyres were cooling down (but maybe the V6 rumours covers this angle). The 2eleven is interesting as to my knowledge as it is registered in the UK through the SVA process then this isn't counted in CO2 averages and isn't applicable to the need to use a Euro5 engine. Could Lotus be keeping stocks of the current engine for this use?

Anyway the next month will reveal all. What I think we can be certain about is that the new, more expensive models will be as well as smaller economical cars so not to increase average CO2 from 2007 figures.

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Not really - I'm 99% sure the 2zz could be modified to meet euro5 as it's not all Co2 based.

The real problem is who going to pay for the development?

Toyota have already killed the engine as they are going towards economy having realised they can't directly compete with honda on performance engines.

No one else who uses it have the resources...

So it's a dead engine.

as for the 1.6... dunno if it lends itself to tuning quite so much as the 1.8. I would say it would do better from a turbo rather than a supercharger on that one.

apart from honda theres not a performance 4 pot that'll fit and suit the car.

(Impreza doesn't fit and the evo is lag city)

I heard the Honda engine is being killed off due to the same problem.

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