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Active suspension car

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They had another active suspension car called S.I.D. that looked more like a Stevens in Silver, but it had a different chassis construction and large portions of removable body.  They almost sold it at auction years ago, and the guide had it valued at lik e£8k...!!!

 

http://www.lotusespritworld.com/EOtherstuff/sid2.html

http://www.lotusespritworld.com/EOtherstuff/sid.html

 

Project-SID-Esprit.jpg

Full_page_drawing.jpg


Travis

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It was due to be sold at auction at Silverstone about 15-20 years ago along with the rest of the family silver but was withdrawn at the very last minute and so it's still at the Factory thankfully.

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I had a magazine in the 80's that had a big article on the lotus active suspension program, i'm sure its in the loft. if I find it i'll scan it on here.


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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The black car was rescued by Brian Angus a few years back and tidied up a bit so it could be displayed in the office.

Not sure how much is left intact. The windows are blacked out but at least Brian managed to recover it from under a tarpaulin and make it fit to be on display!

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The black car was rescued by Brian Angus a few years back and tidied up a bit so it could be displayed in the office.

Not sure how much is left intact. The windows are blacked out but at least Brian managed to recover it from under a tarpaulin and make it fit to be on display!

 

I may have had a little to do with this as I saw it in its sorry state and asked if I could buy it as it was too important to just be left to decay further.  After a while I was told no, its not for sale, but will be restored.

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Anybody interested in the other active suspension car, the Excel?

Purchased some items from the current owner so I was shown the car today. The system is there, hydraulics etc, but no electronic controller, which I'm told is a relatively simple thing to replicate now although not so 20-ish years ago. It's a blue car, cloth interior, faded paint and saggy headlining but nothing too major.

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Fast Lane did an article on the Excel back in the day. I must have read it a millionty times. Fascinated. B-)

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On 20 June 2014 at 20:02, GordonMasson said:

The black car was rescued by Brian Angus a few years back and tidied up a bit so it could be displayed in the office.

Not sure how much is left intact. The windows are blacked out but at least Brian managed to recover it from under a tarpaulin and make it fit to be on display!

Looked at it the other day and still looks pretty tidy. The interior is all there with some of the original testing equipment too. 

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What happened to the tech? I don't recall Lotus ever putting it into production, I'm guessing they may have sold the research to another manufacturer?


James Martin (JayEmm)
Director of Photography & Car Enthusiast

Follow my Lotus adventure online! www.jayemm.com

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Grapevine said it was too power hungry. 

This is isn't an official statement, but it would make sense.

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On 27/07/2016 at 18:39, andydclements said:

Anybody interested in the other active suspension car, the Excel?

Purchased some items from the current owner so I was shown the car today. The system is there, hydraulics etc, but no electronic controller, which I'm told is a relatively simple thing to replicate now although not so 20-ish years ago. It's a blue car, cloth interior, faded paint and saggy headlining but nothing too major.

I would have thought it would be a no-go without the controller. You would need to pretty much re-do much of Lotus research to be able to replicate the software in the controller. 

The value in the IP would have been in the controller which is likely why its not there.

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Interesting, I kind of assumed this would be an ECU of sorts. Is there any documentation of the system anywhere?

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22 hours ago, JayEmm said:

What happened to the tech? I don't recall Lotus ever putting it into production, I'm guessing they may have sold the research to another manufacturer?

James, I'm sure in one of my Lotus books it states that the Active Suspension is sold under licence to other motor manufacturers worldwide.

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Just now, Royal said:

James, I'm sure in one of my Lotus books it states that the Active Suspension is sold under licence to other motor manufacturers worldwide.

Thanks Martin. It seems like far too good a tech for Lotus to have just canned it. Amazing to think this was 30+ years ago though, and I still can't think of many cars that really use it. 


James Martin (JayEmm)
Director of Photography & Car Enthusiast

Follow my Lotus adventure online! www.jayemm.com

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22 hours ago, JayEmm said:

What happened to the tech? I don't recall Lotus ever putting it into production, I'm guessing they may have sold the research to another manufacturer?

James, I'm sure in one of my Lotus books it states that the Active Suspension is sold under licence to other motor manufacturers worldwide.

Ooops! re-posted by accident. James, I think BMW and Mercedes make use of it on their flagship models. I'll bet there are a few more besides.

 

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10 hours ago, Andyww said:

Interesting, I kind of assumed this would be an ECU of sorts. Is there any documentation of the system anywhere?

I imagine a cross between an ECU and an ABS system, the size of a suitcase with at least 4 electronically operated actuators/valves per corner. To create a system capable of keeping the car flat through corners under vastly differing circumstances would be ROCKET SCIENCE. So if you're thinking about taking your Esprit ECU down to Powertech to be chipped to work the suspension, think again

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I expect like running an old f1 car, the issue is not in finding a 1980s spec ECU but in finding a computer that can talk to a 1980s ECU!


James Martin (JayEmm)
Director of Photography & Car Enthusiast

Follow my Lotus adventure online! www.jayemm.com

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