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Bibs

Spyker B6 Venator

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Although Lotus decline to comment about this car, I understand that it's based on the Evora type VVA chassis and uses the Evora's Toyota 2ZR-FGE engine, albeit in a slightly higher state of tune.

 

Why aren't Lotus speaking to the roof supplier?

 

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Bibs we are covering the topic in the "Lotus in the post DB era" thread and we wanted/expected you to have access to insider knowledge, don't you :(

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There is a piece on Infiniti in todays Autocar. The two seater mid engined hybrid is definitely in their plans - inspired by the Emerg-e concept jointly developed with Lotus (the Evora 414e) - and defined as a 'halo-model'.

 

Now, it doesn't say that that will be the base of the production version, but wouldn't it be great if it was? The Emerg-e was very well received, especially as it was a fully functioning prototype that was tested by the press and ran up the hill at Goodwood in 2011.

 

What are people's thoughts on the BMW i8? The more I look at it and read about it, the more I think this is what the new Esprit should have been (in 2 seater guise). If I have £95k burning a hole in my pocket this time next year, its definitely something I'd consider.

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I'll offer the suggestion that the roof on this is a fairly rudimentary affair. This type of car is able to carry that sort of compromise off (see a Mucielago roof for example) as it's all part of its quirky charm. The Evora Convertible will only sell if it's a one button action so maybe there isn't a huge amount of crossover tech between the two mechanisms?.

 

/speculation/

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I'd love to see an Evora Roadster but I wonder if they think the ship has well and truly left the port given the competition offered by the Jag F-Type. If it was offered with a power hike to boot and a GTE front end, then hell yes!

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I think the Evora should get the top down treatment, At least lotus should consider a targa. However if the Venator gets the spyder treatment then Evora getting a cabriolet is a no brainer, the more cars the cheaper the roof design/manufacturing gets. 

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Well, they 'just' need to talk with the supplier of the R8 spyder, I don't see this project as a big deal technically (providing they've done the hardest part, a chassis that can deal with roof less structure). 

 

I guess the delayed Evora facelift and convertible are due to cash flow optimisation, also because of a not-so-clear business case, but I don't see a technical feasibility issue here.

 

I agree, the spyker style is very inspiring, particularly all the work behind the seats to the back, very modern and lean, no wing (I was surprised of the latest).

Edited by FredP

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I guess the delayed Evora facelift and convertible are due to cash flow optimisation, also because of a not-so-clear business case, but I don't see a technical feasibility issue here.

That should only be part of the answer, though certainly also true.

 

Fact is, from a market perspective 4-5 years is just too short for a model cycle. Every facelift is poison for resale value of the old model. So, short facelift cycles turn out to be a good way to anger your most loyal customers.

 

Secondly any Evora facelift hast to add substantial value. Look at the improvement thread in the Evora section and you can be sure these are the points Lotus will try to address in any facelift. Whilst changing the skin is quite easy, things become quite more difficult when you look at the interior, the electronics (including ICE) and, not to be forgotten, the drivetrain.

 

Bibs noted that Aslam indicated 2016 as a date for new models. That would fit quite well. It would also suit me, as my car then reaches the targeted 5 years age.

Edited by TBD

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It seems as it is also a possibility that they will build the spyker on the (now gone) Artega

 

http://jalopnik.com/paternity-quest-the-mystery-behind-the-spyker-b6-472956731

 

But with Toyota engine, sourced through Lotus as they need the super charger.

The price of the engine and gearbox from VW would definitely kill all the margin...

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But with Toyota engine, sourced through Lotus as they need the super charger.

The price of the engine and gearbox from VW would definitely kill all the margin...

The margin might not kill them, but the VW-engine has never been supercharged, so that would be a first. It also means it has to go through the full Euro 5 certificatiion cycle. In other words, supercharging the VW VR6 is only feasible if VW picks up the pricetag on development.

 

On the other hand, the Toystore V6 we have in the Evora S is easily uplifted to higher power - just exchange the exhaust headers.

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The margin might not kill them, but the VW-engine has never been supercharged, so that would be a first. It also means it has to go through the full Euro 5 certificatiion cycle. In other words, supercharging the VW VR6 is only feasible if VW picks up the pricetag on development.

 

On the other hand, the Toystore V6 we have in the Evora S is easily uplifted to higher power - just exchange the exhaust headers.

Hence why I always said that Lotus building their own engine, is like committing suicide as it need a constant development ;-)

The price for a BMW engine is more than 3 times the price of the Toyota engine and can only be bought if you also buy their gearbox AND ECU. That ECU can not be tampered with in any way, if you do it any way, BMW will not give any warranty…

Making their own engines is also what killed TVR.

So Spyker has a realistic plan

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Always heard people saying it would be easy to develop the Toyota lump in order to develop more power but KOMO-TEC seemed to take a long time to get just another 45hp out of it and Lotus themselves apparently struggled with the abandoned GTE (I'm assuming they were using the same engine?) It's probably just the volumes they have been sold in but I am surprised no-one's managed to seriously upgrade an Evora, a real shame because the GTE development car received a lot of praise through the press who had a go. I'd have dearly loved to hear what a 450-500hp Evora was like!

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Lotus dropped the GTE because of the transmission not the engine itself I heard, They needed a bespoke gearbox and in the DB aftermath there was no will to get this done. They could not make a case for it. The other issue with the GTE would have been emissions that would have far from spectacular.

Edited by NedaSay

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You are right, the GTE never seemed to get a decent solution for the transmission. Lotus actually used the stock gearbox with a hydroelectric switching system, a so called AMT (Automatic Manual Transmission). That must have been a real nightmare because the Toybox we have is intrinsically slow and unsportive (one reason why Evora shifting will never be best in class). On the other hand changing away from Toyota would have been a commercial adventure.

 

I certainly hope Lotus will give us a true double-clutch gearbox with the Evora facelift, whenever that may be. Toyota must be working on something like this, can't imagine they can work the market much longer without one. Do I hear a call to Lotus Engineering here?

 

To my recollection the GTE-engine was tuned by Swindon Engines and they actually still sell two tuned variants (440 HP and 500 HP). Just don't ask for the price. The reason KomoTec didn't get more power is that they don't open the engine itself. However, a friend on another forum is negotiating a custom solution for 440 HP with them.  

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I'm sure Cosworth said they have a 400+ bhp NA one when I was up there recently. Sub £10k too. 

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You are right, the GTE never seemed to get a decent solution for the transmission. Lotus actually used the stock gearbox with a hydroelectric switching system, a so called AMT (Automatic Manual Transmission). That must have been a real nightmare because the Toybox we have is intrinsically slow and unsportive (one reason why Evora shifting will never be best in class). On the other hand changing away from Toyota would have been a commercial adventure.

 

I certainly hope Lotus will give us a true double-clutch gearbox with the Evora facelift, whenever that may be. Toyota must be working on something like this, can't imagine they can work the market much longer without one. Do I hear a call to Lotus Engineering here?

 

To my recollection the GTE-engine was tuned by Swindon Engines and they actually still sell two tuned variants (440 HP and 500 HP). Just don't ask for the price. The reason KomoTec didn't get more power is that they don't open the engine itself. However, a friend on another forum is negotiating a custom solution for 440 HP with them.  

 

I doubt the dual ctuch will come from Toyota, they are focussing on 4 cyl for all their mainstream cars with only the Camry getting a V6. even on their home market their Toyota badged luxury cars are rear drive application, and they are all poised to get the 8 speed  auto or a CVT with synthetic gears. The packaging for transverse engine is tricky and DCT are bulkier. Besides with most engine makers downsizing and getting supercharged or turobocharged, it makes very little sense to prep a specific next gen transverse V6 engine - able to cope with Euro 6 - and its new compatible gearbox for a market that will never be big. So if they get a DCT it will have the same packaging problem, too big or unable to cope with the torque and bhp generated by a Supercharged V6. 

 
 
Very few car makers are sticking to the transverse V6 layout: the french do cause they have no pretense of doing sporty "luxobarge" ; Volvo, but they are phasing out their six in line with potent 4 cyls ; Ford ecoboost could fit the bill, but they are reverting to rear wheel drive, the Mondeo isn't likely to get a V6. Even Alfa Romeo, is rumoured to go back to it's old rear drive layout for V6 cars, I mean if the Giuiia is ever produced, it will likely use a shortened Maserati platform (front engined but rear wheel drive) I know that ZF has one such highly specced transverse gearbox in their product line and it's far from being light. And they have just the one, it's bound to be pricey. The transverse layout for V6 is on the verge of extinction due to emissions regulations.
 
Only premium manufacturer will maintain V6 in the product line and they will pair them with rear drive or all wheel drive.
 

 

The solution for Lotus if they are to stick to this layout is to get Xtrac to develop a road version of the gearbox they developed for the race version of the GTE, that's an AMT gearbox which Xtrac can refine as they have showed with the Pagani Huyara, but that's pretty much a bespoke gearbox so also very pricey. So they'd need one gearbox to fit both the Evora and the Elige to make it worth the trouble and then they'd need to shift quite a few of these to get any positive ROI, It's possible just expensive or they get an 8 Speed slushbox and a good 6 speed manual, probably less expensive, but probably not from Toyota. 

Edited by NedaSay

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You are both right and wrong. A V6 builds shorter than a 4 cyl. inline, though with significantly more torque. But, this is only true when comparing gasoline engines, a 4 cyl diesel will generally produce the same torque as a V6 gas engine.

 

If you look at VW, who have led the dual-clutch market they have comparable gearbox variants in both transverse and linear setup, using them for the whole range from diesel through high-end RS-models.  If Toyota wants to compete they will have to get a matching offer sooner than later (more likely sooner).

 

The Xtrac would be a good option for Lotus, but, as you said, most likely too expensive.

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True, Toyota could get into the game but it appears they have chosen to go with CVT for their mainstream application.DCT are cool, They are very much driver centered but a Toyota ( Yaris, Corolla / Auris, Avensis, Camry...) is all about the utter absence of driver involvement. Lexus are much better when it comes to it, but all models but one (the CT) go with transaxle lay out. Now it has been reported many times that Toyota is working on a 2l turbo inline 4 that gearbox could entail a brand new generation of gearbox but it's not on the market yet. 

 

The result is that right now the Evora is using a manual gearbox sourced from an utilitarian diesel vehicule. Cause Toyota has given up on producing a "proper" 6 speeds manual for transverse layout able to cope with the torque that the V6 or V6S deliver. If the gearbox of the Elise S was able to cope with the torque and BHP of the Evora S, I think Lotus would not have bothered getting another Aisin gearbox.  

 

And you are right an inline 4 is longer than a V6 but it's less wide which means that it can be off center on most vehicule however the engine bay of the Evora is not that big to start with and the engine is probably as far to the right as it can be, to give space to the gearbox 6MT or 6IPS. Both gearbox are reported to be underwhelming. At the end of the day, it's all about packaging and there are less and less good option going around these days.

 

 

I'd like to see an  Evora GT with a Cosworth tuned engine and a proper Xtrac gearbox. But the price would possibly put it in direct competition with the 458. And i want to believe that the esprit is coming and that's the reason why the GTE got canned. 

Edited by NedaSay

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I never knew about the Swindon Engines version! Does anyone know of one that was done? GTE body kit, Swindon Engines 500hp lump, assorted suspension tweaks and a remodelled interior - Lotus were charging £120,000 for a GTE; I wonder whether it's possible to build your own up for less/similar money!  lol

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If you look at VW, who have led the dual-clutch market they have comparable gearbox variants in both transverse and linear setup, using them for the whole range from diesel through high-end RS-models. .

Only reason they go with dual-clutch is that they have surplus capacity in the Kassel plant. For most applications - but not high revving sport car engines - a standard auto is the better application.

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