free hit
counters
Tony Shute now at Caterham - Lotus / Motoring / Cars Chat - The Lotus Forums - Lotus Community Partner #ForTheOwners Jump to content


IGNORED

Tony Shute now at Caterham


Recommended Posts

Given the Mail on sunday article comment "Bahar joined the company on October 1, 2009, and immediately laid waste to its senior management. How many did he find that he could work with? ‘I think none. I believe none of them – the top management – are with us any more. They believed in their cause, but it wasn’t my cause, and to change that belief would have been more time-consuming than having fresh blood.’

it does seem that traditional Lotus DNA is not of interest to Bahar, intersting then that Caterham have the services of Tony Schute (if the story is true)

For those without login - first post (before all the bullshit)

I went to Shelsley Walsh today, where the Paul Matty Sportscars series was competing. Tony was there in the Lotus Exposé and I got the chance to have a good chat with him. Thoroughly nice bloke and annoyed that he was struggling to get a good time! 17" wheels vs his competitors 13" ones can't have helped. It was a warm grippy day today and lots of cars broke parts of their transmission getting off the line.

Anyway, Tony said that he's recently left Lotus and has gone to Caterham. He's started work on a new range of road cars, to be released c.2014. His words were "Think along the lines of something a bit more track-biased than an S1 Elise." Suffice to say, he's really excited about what he's doing. Oh, and the Caterham business plan sounds dead simple. Tony F simply wants to be able to buy a Caterham everywhere that his planes fly to!

Sorry if already posted, missed it if it was

Edited by Bibs
Link to comment
Share on other sites


Upgrade today to remove Google ads and support TLF.
  • Replies 22
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Simon, Seloc imposed a rule that we aren't allowed to link to TLF from there and I kindly reciprocated after some provocation so your links have been stripped. This thread would have worked better as a 'Tony Shute moves to Caterham' thread I think, Seloc isn't very highly regarded amongst many of our members I believe matey.

Tony Shute however is a very clever guy and indeed part of Lotus heritage and DNA, as were MJK, Roger Becker and many more of the 'old school'. Be interesting to see what Caterham come up with having some clever engineers, more than 1 design and some money behind them.

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

Evora NA

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry did not realise the playground mentality spread so far, happy for thread title to change (dont think I can do that), but as it is only an unverified source, thought that paying safe (obscure?) with the title might be the way forward

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Their 'directors' are their own worst enemy but ho-hum. Changed the subject, perhaps we'll get some lively debate now :)

I wonder what has happened to the SP.300/R now too? That was track only, be interesting to see if they carry on with it...

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

Evora NA

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thats fantastic news!

I'm cautiously in favor of the direction Lotus is going in as I couldn't justify buying an elise for only occasional use, and the new Elise looks like it could be a good compromise, plus as a kid my favorite supercar was always the Esprit. But I equally recognise that its a shame the original pure Elise will disappear. I'm also torn between Tony's Team Lotus ambitions and Group Lotus' own ambitions in F1.

My biggest fear was that Caterham would start building a car that in the end would be a direct rival to the new Elise making the current disagreement even more bitter. But if it actually ends up being more hardcore than the original S1 Elise then there is no clash to worry about at all!

It leave open the (perhaps unrealistic) scenario that they end up pulling resources and Caterham could become a junior entry level brand that complements Lotus and all the silly F1 business takes care of itself. Perhaps sharing the new 4cyl engine between the two could make it more economically viable too.... (I know, pigs are more likely to fly etc.)

Edited by Gus82
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think Lotus and Caterham will be sharing anything in the future bar perhaps a court room!

I do seem to recall that they've set up an office in the Hethel Technology Centre at the end of Potash Lane though...

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

Evora NA

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes I read the Mail on Sunday article on Dany Bahar with interest, he seems almost proud of the fact that he "couldnt work with none " of the existing department heads at Lotus, which is puzzling as their experience in engineering and building great low volume sportscars was second to none IMO.

Some very knowledgable and hardworking guys left Lotus as a result of his arrogant and somewhat nieve approach to running the company, Roger Becker immediately announced his "retirement", Paul Newsome left and a few others, I believe the only department head to stay was Russell Carr, who seems to have taken a backseat (demotion?)in styling now Donato Coco has appeared.

Paul Newsome however seems to have landed on his feet and is heading up the C-X75 project at Jaguar, working with Williams to productionise the concept car with ex. Lotus styling guy Julian Thompson who now heads up Jaguars advanced concept design dept.

I think the new Jaguar C-X75 will be a sensational car and am very much looking forwards to its release, alot more in fact than the new Esprit.

http://www.f1pulse.c...ws_article.aspx

Tony Shute's work with Caterham will be interesting though, cant wait to see what they come up with.

Edited by billy fish
SUNP0003-1.jpg
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Imagine the institutional knowledge they lost with these guys. The people who drove the development of the last couple decades worth of Lotuses are almost entirely gone, discarded because some wanker in a suit didn't like them. "Lotus" is rapidly becoming just a name, another vapid multinational brand devoid of true character. Sad.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Imagine the institutional knowledge they lost with these guys. The people who drove the development of the last couple decades worth of Lotuses are almost entirely gone, discarded because some wanker in a suit didn't like them. "Lotus" is rapidly becoming just a name, another vapid multinational brand devoid of true character. Sad.

Sad but on the bright side Lotus's loss = Caterhams's gain and it seems their business plan although rather less ambitious has a ready made market Lotus could well fail to keep.

Currently having an illicit affair with another marque, be back in the fold one day... B-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I read somewhere that progress is made by the unreasonable man. Wouldn't it have made sense to keep people that had a proven track record with Lotus? You then, as CEO, present what you see as the way forward and wait for the ideas to come out. If everyone is on the same page as the CEO, you get the CEO's car. Which as he doesn't appear to drive a Lotus, won't be a Lotus.

Have someone (or several) on the design team that don't agree with the whole design concept and you get the clever ideas that improve on the CEO's concept.

Yes, they have clever people on board, but the guy that doesn't see it the same way comes up with the ideas that produce amazing results IMO.

All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

For forum issues, please contact one of us Moderators.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Its a shame so many top people left, but if your making such a fundamental change to the business plan then staffing changes are inevitable. It was also inevitable that Lotus would have had to lose a lot more staff and become much more of a "cottage industry" manufacturer (on the cars side at least) if they continued to rely just on the Elise. The bottom line is that retaining the purity of that car limited its appeal to a wide enough audience and you have to keep prices competitive as each new model offers little more over the previous one which is cheaply available second hand.

Caterham could use their smaller size to allow their new model to make modest profits. When Lotus has been at its best its always been forward looking and developing high technology cars with better profit margins, so this is surely the way forward as long as they respect the businesses past.....

On that point time will tell, but we shouldn't write Group Lotus off. I think the way they have promoted some aspects of the business plan have been unnecessarily confrontational which has wound up us traditional fans, however lets wait for the new cars and the imminent Frankfurt Motorshow reveals, they're learning if they have invested in the current range and I suspect it may help get a few more of us back on side. Just hope Swizz Beats isn't invited to reveal the cars.......

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can imagine that being parachuted into an ailing company with the brief to 'make itr work' the last thing you want is everyone - from your board members to the man sweeping the factory - to tell you that 'we don't do it that way here'.

I'm sad that it's happened (I met some of the top people when I made my documentary programme at Hethel) but think t was probably inevitable that the new broom would sweep clean.

Proud recipient of the LEF 'Car of the Month Award' February 2008

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: "Wow, what a ride!!"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I understand that, but a good manager would work out who could add value even if they are not fully on board with the new philosophy. Tell them what you want to do and then ask them for their creative ideas to do it whilst maintaining the core Lotus philosophies. Nothing like putting a challenge in front of an engineer.

Instead, we (I'd better say Lotus as I can't afford a new one) may well end up with not the lightest cars possible, but the lightest possible cars in their class. DB would argue it's the same. Many on here already have argued that it's not.

All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

For forum issues, please contact one of us Moderators.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That is an interesting point. I think realistically being the lightest models in their class initially is a reasonable goal, however stripping further weight without affecting quality or content should be seen as one of the companies main development areas going forward as not only will it improve their own cars and keep them relevent, but is know how that could be sold on via the engineering side of the business which could be another step towards securing the longterm future. Plus other manufacturers such as Lambourghini are being increasingly proactive in this area with the backing of VW, so the competition to be lightest in class will only increase....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Define "in class".

If you are only looking to shift a thousand or so cars from each model worldwide, do you need to be in the same product box as Porsche, or do you develop niches.

Lotus used to have "simple" as one of their USPs, would be nice to keep that also, rather than loading up the product because x y & z are on an R8

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Classes are difficult to define I guess but I would be disappointed in the new Esprit was heavier or even around the same weight as obvious rivals such as the Ferrari 418 and McLaren Mp4. I completely agree that Lotus shouldnt feel the need to offer every last option that other manufacturers do, its going to be a tricky line between offering more equipment to bring in more buyers and not alienating existing customers, or worse still not achieving either goal and alienating both.

My personal opinion is that Lotus interiors do need to improve but it is more design and materials than anything else, undoubtedly other people would "require" more equipment, but I think the answer is to make the base models light and relatively stripped out as standard, and if people want to ruin their cars with extras they can pay for it!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When the Esprit came out it was not really lighter than a 308, had 4 less cylinders and a litre less of engine. Since the type 14 elite, have Lotuses really been lighter than their rivals, or has that always been an excuse for not being so powerful.

Seems a knack Lotus have to develop a chassis that can take big power, then offer it with about half the maximum

Edited by simonb
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I read somewhere that progress is made by the unreasonable man. Wouldn't it have made sense to keep people that had a proven track record with Lotus? You then, as CEO, present what you see as the way forward and wait for the ideas to come out. If everyone is on the same page as the CEO, you get the CEO's car. Which as he doesn't appear to drive a Lotus, won't be a Lotus.

It's my understanding that Chapman rarely drove Lotus as his personal choice instead driving Mercedes and even a Ford Galaxie (big, huge, Yank tank, not MPV) at different times.

When the Esprit came out it was not really lighter than a 308, had 4 less cylinders and a litre less of engine. Since the type 14 elite, have Lotuses really been lighter than their rivals, or has that always been an excuse for not being so powerful.

Seems a knack Lotus have to develop a chassis that can take big power, then offer it with about half the maximum

I would say the type 26 Elan and the S1 Elise were certainly lighter than their rivals and had enough power to equal or out-perform them in a straight line before showing them a clean pair of heels in the corners. But, yes, many of the upper-class cars of the range, such as the Esprit, Elite, Evora are not super light.

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

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

S1 Elise is an interesting choice. Went to the 1995 London Motor Show and was smitten. But not sure it was all about light weight. Sure it was lighter than an MGF or MX5, but a Caterham 21 or Renault Spider could probably tick all the boxes that you claim as the Elises USP.

For me it was a modern day classic British Sportscar, not a GT, but a proper sportscar with rubber mats rather than carpets, and eveloved to just the right level of civility. The roof on the S1 is simple and really not that bad, entry egress so much better than the Caterham, a windscreen and roof a definite benefit over the Renault, and it was and is PRETTY. And looks probably are the most important thing

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When the Esprit came out it was not really lighter than a 308, had 4 less cylinders and a litre less of engine. Since the type 14 elite, have Lotuses really been lighter than their rivals, or has that always been an excuse for not being so powerful.

Seems a knack Lotus have to develop a chassis that can take big power, then offer it with about half the maximum

:ermm: The S1 Esprit came in at just under 2000 lb, the first iteration GRP 308 GTB was still 2700+. It wasn't until the later turbos that Esprit heft approached that of the earliest 308. By then, the 308 variants had porked out even more as well. :yes:

Chapman may have driven a lot of things, but he was the engineer. He started out driving cars of his own design and from then on knew what he wanted in a car and how to get it. He also knew how to spot talented engineers to assist him in his visions through the years, and there seemed to be some propagation of Lotus DNA post-Chapman. Under the current management, the new vehicle engineering tide at Lotus appears to be heading out. Is that cleansing, disillusionment, neglect, or a changing of corporate purpose? There is, as yet, no evidence that the current "dream team" can cohesively produce the landmark vehicles we expect from Hethel. Only time will tell. I, personally, want to look forward to the next Lotus, not the next Caterham. I don't think I can safely say that I am. :unsure:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One of the appeals of buying an S2 Esprit was that it was a Chapman Lotus.

Whilst the Elise is in the "Chapman spirit", it will never be a Chapman car in the same way the Esprit is.

OK, the Seven is technically a Chapman car too, but anything esle they do will be as per the Elise and in spirit only.....except it won't have a Lotus badge.

And looks probably are the most important thing

Couldn't agree more. The new dawn models have my 100% approval.

Edited by Nelly9000
Link to comment
Share on other sites

S1 Elise is an interesting choice. Went to the 1995 London Motor Show and was smitten. But not sure it was all about light weight. Sure it was lighter than an MGF or MX5, but a Caterham 21 or Renault Spider could probably tick all the boxes that you claim as the Elises USP.

For me it was a modern day classic British Sportscar, not a GT, but a proper sportscar with rubber mats rather than carpets, and evolved to just the right level of civility. The roof on the S1 is simple and really not that bad, entry egress so much better than the Caterham, a windscreen and roof a definite benefit over the Renault, and it was and is PRETTY. And looks probably are the most important thing

Thats absolutely right. We can get too hung up on the lightness thing at times when it is only one part of the Lotus ethos. I think technical innovation led to lightness along with a whole load of other improvements to the Lotus sportscar concept as time passed. And the importance of design can't be overstated, Chapman knew this as 60's Lotus' had wooden dashboards that must have added weight over the simple interior of the 50's Elite and it was Chapman who asked Giugiro to design a pretty body for the Europa that set the blueprint for the Esprit.

I would say though that in the new cars Lotus could set themselves apart by aiming for lightness and limited luxury features on the standard cars and then let buyers add luxury items through the options lists and equipment packs. That would set Lotus apart from marques such as Porsche, Ferrari and Lamborghini who offer the standard car fully equipped and then charge obscene amounts for the stripped out versions. Its something Lotus has already done with its Elise Club Racer and reviewers praised the fact Lotus had done this. It would help each model have a very competitive price to attract enthusiasts and good reviews from professional drivers and reviewers, and owners who have cash to throw about could then spec the car with fatter seats, more advanced infotainment and climate control systems, flappy paddle gearboxes etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I understand that, but a good manager would work out who could add value even if they are not fully on board with the new philosophy.

I fully agree with that sentiment.

There were many people who had worked there and who still worked there that could have brought alot to the table.

Whilst I agree that when you have a change of senior management there are bound to be changes, you don't wholesale slaughter the complete board and Management as you need some continuation to avoid disruption.

The massive sweeping changes absolutely 100% contributed to the disruption and confusion of the last 2 years at Lotus such as cars being announced that weren't coming out, cancellation of their best selling cars due to an engine not meeting EU Regs when the previous management had a replacement in mind with no disruption in sales or production, etc etc.

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!)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.




×
×
  • Create New...