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What do you want from a Lotus?

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Following on from the define: Lotus topic, what do you want and expect from a modern Lotus?

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

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Firstly I expect it to be well built,

Secondly be near the top of it's class on enviromental parts i.e bhp per gram of CO2 etc.

I also expect it to be desirable, modern, but not lose its heritage.(well maybe the kit car image)

Mainly I want it to be up there with the best NOT a cheaper second rate marque. and yes that does mean all the associated branding that is going on. Lotus have to get into the new markets of Russia, China, India etc

Amateurs built the Ark

Professionals built the Titanic

"I haven't ridden in cars pulled by cows before" "Bullocks, Mr.Belcher" "No, I haven't, honestly"

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I expect any classic British sports car to be built in Britain. By (mostly) British craftsmen, who can still help customers 20 years and more after the car left the factory.

So, every time I hike it hard through a left hand turn the ashtray on the passenger door pops open, and I don't care. I've re-tentioned the spring a couple of time, but I love that I can generate enough "G" force to cause it. :thumbsup:

Edited by Roger the Dodger

Life is like a sewer, what you get out of it, depends on what you put into it. (Tom Leahrer)

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this question brings so many things to mind...but most importantly is that it is a drivers that reminds you of Darwin's survival of the fitness as you are driving...a car that has passion and if you do not respect it will kick you in the rear...not one that is a bore to drive...and believe me I had a supercar that was an absolute bore to drive... I require it to look like every other supercar out there ?... I require it to be the fastest supercar out there? I require it to bring a smile to my face everytime I open the garage door ?...yes !

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Look and sound at least as good as the modern Italian competition. Drive at least as well as a GT engined Porsche. (Well handle like a Lotus but I'd love a power train like a GT3RS)

It needs to have a proper manual gearbox option. I don't care if it's a bit slower.

It needs to be fun, and fun when driving at low speeds as well as licence-losing speeds.

It needs to have chosen a path because it's the right thing to do from an engineering perspective, not because it's the latest fad.

I want to feel like the investment went towards the engineering.

It needs to be reliable and easy to own.

An example of my mentality: I ordered the aluminium cupholder in my Elise not because I intended to use it (I never have) but because I thought it was just such a well thought & engineered solution to the problem. It makes me smile every time I look at it.

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Regards manual gearbox they are going to go the way of the DODO, the new auto Double clutch boxes are much more efficent for emissions.

Amateurs built the Ark

Professionals built the Titanic

"I haven't ridden in cars pulled by cows before" "Bullocks, Mr.Belcher" "No, I haven't, honestly"

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Am I qualified to answer as its unlikely I will ever buy a new Lotus?

If I am,then....

The driving experience, handling etc is crucial. It has to keep its USP.

By default - well engineered, cleverly designed, efficient, great looking, purposeful, links to motorsport.

You are not just buying a car, you are buying into a dream - weather that be James Bond or Nigel mansell.

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It should make you feel:

-like your favourite racing driver when you’re on 'that' stretch of country road;

- like Captain Piccard has just said Warp Factor 9 when you plant the throttle;

- like you’re in a truly special place when you look around the interior, whether you opt for a functional racing set-up or go for the luxurious option;

- like the only other guy driving a car that handles anywhere near as well as yours is that Lotus driver you just flashed and waved at, driving the other way;

-like it’s one of the best decisions you ever made when you steal a final admiring backwards glance every time you walk away after yet another epic drive ...

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Regards manual gearbox they are going to go the way of the DODO, the new auto Double clutch boxes are much more efficent for emissions.

I know, though at least Ferrari still offer the California with a proper manual box even though it has a double clutch option. (Just seems the Brits don't buy manual Ferraris). Porsche have just developed a 7 speed manual gearbox even though the majority buy the double-clutch option.

It's quite easy. I will accept an auto in a GT car but not in a sports car. If the 'new manual' option goes then I'll probably stop buying new.

I love using a Leica camera though I know that electronics can focus much better than I ever can. I know a computer can shift gears in a fraction of the time, and much more consistently than I can. However much of the pleasure is from the process as well as the end result. Get a computer to do the process and the pleasure goes down.

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Bibs, there are quite a few Esprit devotees like me who fell in love with the shape of the car, that it's British, the fact it didn't cost a fortune and was fast.

That styling is timeless and the looks will always be the most important thing for me in a Lotus.

"All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad."

~ Jeremy Clarkson (about the Lotus Esprit)

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In a very particular order:

  1. Reliability
  2. Reliability
  3. Reliability
  4. Sublime Handling
  5. A New Level of Build Quality (not necessarily the same as #s 1-3)
  6. At Home on Road and Track
  7. Drop-Dead Looks that Entice You to Drive
  8. Non-Astronomical Maintenance Costs
  9. Cup Holder
  10. Dead Pedal

1983 "Investor's Special Edition" Turbo Esprit (#43/50) | 2012 Evora S

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The following list - not numbered because I feel all of these would be essential in a modern Lotus road car. While there can be some prioritization and juggling, not one of these items can be neglected.

At a bare minimum: Basic levels of reliability, usability and assembly line quality that can rival a typical econobx from Honda, Toyota, or even the latest from Hyundai. It's not 1950, or even 1975, modern cars just work and (mostly) do not fall to bits on trips to the pub or weekend getaways. Modern cars also tend to work for years on end with just regular maintenance.

Sublime driving experience. Nothing else feels like a Lotus. Lotus has a history of tuning suspension on their road and touring cars so that they deliver amazing road holding and cornering while still managing a good ride. Keep that tradition and build on it.

Real performance - it doesn't need to be top of the supercar / sportscar 0 - 60 times or 1/4 mile, but don't leave owners feeling embarrassed and trying to explain "it's great in the corners" or "it's all about the driving experience". It's a Lotus - of course those are the priorities. But there still needs to be a real engine in the car. And yes, the brakes do need to be mind blowing.

Innovative styling. New Lotus models have typically had styling that leads the industry, not follows it. That wow factor is a central part of Lotus DNA. This is something Lotus usually does right, and then messes up by not doing something really innovative again for another 10 years or so. Cut that to five. You can still sell the legacy models as long as demand and regulations permit. Restyling warm-overs do not count as fresh innovation, regardless of how good they look.

Minimal weight. Again, a central part of the Lotus DNA.

Innovative technology. I am not talking about fancy screens, adjustable seat heaters and cup holders that heat or cool your beverage. I'm talking technology that matters to performance. Things like active smart dampers (buy them from GM, they're available), twin clutch automatic gearboxes and other technologies specifically aimed at improving the car's performance and vehicle dynamics. You can still offer a "track day" option that strips the tech and cuts weight for the purists.

Value. Basically a mix of the qualities listed that fits the price and market the car is being sold to. An expensive, low volume car that under-performs when compared to a less expensive, more mass market alternative is not going to stay market relevant. History is littered with hundreds of failed boutique auto makers that counted on exclusivity and prestige, and then were run out of business by "lesser" mass market alternatives. While you can count on a few individuals to choose exclusivity, the greater market always follows the more economic choice.

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I loved our Elise, but we waved goodbye to it because it was just too difficult to take it on the longer trips around the UK or abroad without ending up having to wedge all your clothes in tesco carrier bags stuffed into little nooks and crannies. It was also incredibly tiring on the motorway sections of such journeys - noisy, hot and frankly a bit gutless at higher speeds.

So, putting the moon on a stick for a moment:

1) It must be a roadster, to make those slow journeys fun too.

2) It must be leak proof, with an easy to erect roof that you can put up without having to get out.

3) It must have a reasonably decent amount of practical luggage space.

4) It must have aircon and enough insulation to make motorway journeys through northern france in mid summer less than utter hell.

5) The steering must feel like a lotus, and it must feel at home on wriggly B roads.

6) It must go like stink - with acceleration on tap whether at 30 or 80.

7) It must look beautiful - in a classic way - i.e. with appeal which will last beyond being just new.

8) It must not make going to the petrol station feel like being raped.

9) It must be well screwed together.

10) It must seem to be worth the price - whatever that is!

The specs of the future Elise suggest that it might make me happier than the old one could make me, but I understand that this will take the car away from being the basic 'no frills' second car which is what the first elise was conceived to be.

To use the 'P' word for a moment (sorry!), what is eternally irritating about Porsche is that in the new Boxster S they have a car which offers so much practicality that many people consider it as an only car:

It ticks most of my boxes, and I would dearly love Lotus to knock it for 6 with a product I could buy instead.

Why don't I buy a boxster and instead keep wanting Lotus to screw itself over trying to make something that ticks the same boxes? I suppose because that's the only way they can get many more people to buy their products... Lotus has to make cars people want to buy - it's as simple as that, and like it or not, companies like Porsche define what that is right now.

For Lotus to survive, buying a Lotus instead of a Porsche must not be a compromise. It must be a genuine alternative.

(This may all be a load of bollocks of course, but I don't think I'm in danger of being listened to anyway!)

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For Lotus to survive, buying a Lotus instead of a Porsche must not be a compromise. It must be a genuine alternative.

Most of what is written in the above posts is absolutely right. I think in the short to mid-term Lotus need top-end cars such as the Esprit and Elite which I will sadly never afford. However I think the above comment is spot on. I want the Elise or Elan concept from the Paris show, or a combination of the two that will more easily turn Lotus some good profits.

I want a relatively small and efficient but very innovative looking mid engined Lotus. I can also only have one car. The Porsche Boxster or I suspect the new Jag F-type might be that car but I hope Lotus survive, prosper and launch a better option for me sooner rather than later!

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More beautiful than a Ferrari

Better performing than a Lamborghini

As timeless as a McLaren F1

Any questions? ;)

Paddle Faster, I hear Banjos!
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For Lotus to survive, buying a Lotus instead of a Porsche must not be a compromise. It must be a genuine alternative.

A key point nicely put. But it does need to be interpreted and applied and in doing that I differentiate Reasons Not To Buy from Reasons To Buy. I don’t see success for Lotus in direct replication of RTB a Porsche. But it is vital that RNTB should be as few and minor as those that apply to Porsche’s products.

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for me all of the above already said is OK and essential.

Another aspect is important to me:

Do not let LOTUS become as expensive as Ferrari or Lamborghini!

LOTUS may bulid a supercar in the 100 k€ (or even more) league for those who wish that, but keep building true sports cars in the 45 k€ to 90 k€ price bracket....

Greetings from Germany,


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What i'd really want from a lotus....the car i'd really want but no-one really makes anymore.

small coupe, modern version of the honda crx 87-91 shape would be great. comfortable interior with necessities and no gimmicks, today i guess that means, airbags, basic aircon, basic abs and traction control. Sporty suspension but not that totally compromises comfort completely. Fiberglass body, have no issue with re-using parts bin stuff, if it brings the price down all the better. Engine wise, 1.4 turbo, something that has between 7-8 secs 0-60 with some midrange punch from the turbo, Still returning about 40-45 mpg.

small rear bench which split folds for a reasonable boot (small engine in the front).

at a £30k price bracket...

Like Alex, I have no issue with a halo car or two, but it would be a real shame if it was at the expensive of a fun car for those less well off, i'd also love to see a more practical cheaper fun car like above, i'd like an elise but its just too much compramise for an only car.

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For me a Lotus is all about looks and how good it makes me feel.

I bought the S2 Esprit not because of its handling or how fast it went, I bought it because it looked fantastic and every time I opened the garage door I got excited.

Same reason i bought the Elite, I think it looks wicked and I can't wait to drive it!

I don't care if a car can go 210mph or get to 60 in less than 4 seconds. If it doesn't make you look at it for a bit longer than you should then its not worth it.

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make me smile each and everytime i open the garage

put an even bigger smile on my face each and everytime i drive

a car that kids of all ages give you a thumbs up when you drive past

when the driver of the car in front tells his/her passengers look at the car and passengers turn to look, wave and give you the thumbs up

a car that the local kids always ride (on their push bikes) over to/run over to ask how fast is that/like your car MISTA

the old guy opposite states still buying British then

the young couple next door state wish we could afford one

my dad asks everytime we buy a lotus supose you considered the german equivalent??

I'm too old to be boverd about how fast it goes, but it needs to accelerate very well, handle exceptionally so that when we go to a track I think Im fast and feel like an F1 driver

Darryl & Sue

Proud to drive and own since new a true British supercar the Evora GT430

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Tough call, most Lotus nuts know what it's all about, handling, lightness, an engaging drive and I hope Lotus never lose sight of that. What I want for the future is proper build quality, not close enough is good enough... despite the fact it's been good for me the past 12 years! If Lotus want to survive they've got to compete on all levels, not just the area they excel in at the moment.

I'd like to see them continue to produce affordable cars too, the idea of an out of reach supercar is fine, but useless if you don't have the £150k kicking around.

Finally keep sight of their heritage, it's something other manufacturers dream about so make the most of it.

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

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