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3 hours ago, Bravo73 said:

Really? Chapman himself built 4 seater family cars. If there were SUVs around in the 60/70s, he would have probably built one as well. He sold road cars in order to pay for his race team(s). If he thought that he could have sold an SUV, he would've done so.

We will never know if he would or not.

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I'm fine with Lotus SUVs, welcome it.  I don't currently own an SUV and don't have plans for one. Lotus could build me a tasty, modern practicalish Cortina to go against the usual suspects.  That's something I am up for right now.  Or maybe it could be a hot hatch in Lotus style, a Golf R with steering, feel,  presence and no coking. Which I guess an electric wouldn't have.  I  buy cars like that. Well not an electric one yet. 

These  still qualify as niche products given what most Americans seem to want but they are big niches by Lotus standards.  I hope they do something like that and would perhaps be happy to sell a few thousand of them here (and one to me) instead of seeing people buy Golf Rs, Audis or M cars. Or Jaguars or whatever.  Unique and clever cars a reasonably ambitious person could hope to attain with all the fixings of modern service/serviceability.   I trust Lotus is thinking like that along with whatever else they are thinking.  But really, the Evora is a near perfect package for me as a  sports car I can use a lot of course. Flawed but, what ain't?   I think we all know why they don't sell like Porsches. but what's not to like if Lotus comes to build a broad range of best in class vehicles focused on quality and enthusiast appeal?  

The possible future that concerns me is the loss of the clever cars relatively focused cars we have right now.  Important to me is that the  4XX or 'whatever they call it' series  be supported with the things we need to maintain the  best of Hethel's pre world conquering builds. The 400 is a  weapon on backroads, really not requiring much more to be an apex predator. Of course I would love to have a proper 430 but instead I plan to do what suits  my car as time goes by while keep all the OEM parts.  You know.  So it can be somebody's perfect dream car someday when they don't make them like that anymore. That's until the next Lotus makes sense to me.

 I bought my car when Lotus was in the dumps here, which is still sort of the case but looking up.  I blame nobody for the inability to perfectly manage national car sales with so few resources but perhaps those days will draw to an end.  I paid a perfect price for my car and bought it with the expectation that it would not be orphaned and any problems, and there are always problems with all cars, be resolved to my satisfaction.  I like to believe the 400, in whatever iteration, is positioned for a bit of a breakout just now.  Interest and talk about Lotus is getting around because..... internet.  Slowly, but it is, and we owners and ambassadors  have been  a help in that because we like the cars and the place they come from.  Nothing better than word of mouth.  Wise guys  frequently predict in media that the 400 is going to be a future hottie. As will be the variations, I'm sure.  There will never really be too many even if a small glut of them (can that be a thing?) had to be digested.   I thought that a fine possible future (not immediate, silly!) awaited the car when I decided to buy one. And still do.

Lotus can build on that right now. They can perfect this series and keep it "relevant" and sell some in the next few years.  As they have to do anyway.  They need to execute perfectly of course.  Real improvements all the time in QC, performance, endurance and in materials.  Sensible attainable improvement provided in attainable packages.   Needed is full parts availability, the extra, even trying effort to recognize customer expectations....knowing that customers talk to each other. And finally, to sell no wine before its time. Easy to say, hard to achieve, but necessary.    That Lotus can now do this is exciting. 

 I hope Lotus makes marvelous, solid cars in the future and sells them profitably. I hope Geely will help Lotus be its best  as it has helped Volvo while  keeping the core values.  The winds in general are really blowing against Chinese-American (I mean American and everybody)  trade but one imagines that will eventually pass.   I think it will be quite a challenge given what is going on but Geely may have a better than average  recipe for dealing with acquisitions and  challenges.  I now think of Lotus as a British company with the support of a multi-national that happens to be Chinese.   Yett clearly Lotus is wanted to be a British company with its brand of engineering and esthetics and that is  what appeals to me.   I hate to be a Debbie Downer, but that's what appeals to this American so absent that, not as interesting.  I have every confidence it on't be that way.  

 I am Loquacious Lew.  So as I've said before,  I expect my car, the one I just bought,  to get the respect (best practice and treatment) from Lotus that I have for it as a future classic and future  Lotus legacy.  Or as my son in law would have it as "gonna be mine someday if I have anything to say about it."  (He doesn't).

 I really hope they don't forget these cars in the mix.  And that is my perspective on Lotus in America.  From the Deep South of the USA where it's awful hot and sticky and good working aircon is a must.  Which the 400 has and every road car that comes here needs so no fudging the weight numbers.  

 

Wanna see some pictures of the Dragon? 

 

.   

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'17 Evora 400 MT 

 

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Personally I think an SUV is inevitable.  During my factory visit just 18 months ago I was told that a design team was already working on it.  I'd also not be surprised to see Ferrari or McLaren produce one in the next 3 or 5 years.

The problem for Lotus and an SUV is more of buyers perception.  Although the average SUV would never be taken beyond a slightly damp field, there is at least a perception that the buyer is getting something that is strong and robust and can take the additional knocks and heavier usage associated with that type of vehicle.

In order to be successful, Lotus would need to convince buyers that the vehicle wasn't going to be flaky or overly lightweight.  Something that as Sports car buyers, we sort of accept to a certain extent and even welcome in the case of lightness.

Personally I don't really get the whole SUV thing.  I have a friend in the Northlands with a Macan on 21'' wheels and when we last had some snow I asked what it was like and he said 'like a sled on wheels'. 

  

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Not much joy on the other thread, anyone here understand why SUVs are so popular? So sad to see a company built on radical innovation so short of ideas it feels compelled to do what everyone else is doing. I personally have even more respect for McLaren for declaring that they won’t build an SUV. Sends out exactly the right message for those who don’t get this senseless trend.

Fast estates I totally get, fast SUVs totally not.

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1 hour ago, Brian Braddock said:

Not much joy on the other thread, anyone here understand why SUVs are so popular? So sad to see a company built on radical innovation so short of ideas it feels compelled to do what everyone else is doing. I personally have even more respect for McLaren for declaring that they won’t build an SUV. Sends out exactly the right message for those who don’t get this senseless trend.

Fast estates I totally get, fast SUVs totally not.

100%

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5 hours ago, Brian Braddock said:

Not much joy on the other thread, anyone here understand why SUVs are so popular? So sad to see a company built on radical innovation so short of ideas it feels compelled to do what everyone else is doing. I personally have even more respect for McLaren for declaring that they won’t build an SUV. Sends out exactly the right message for those who don’t get this senseless trend.

Fast estates I totally get, fast SUVs totally not.

Well if we get right up to the present moment the last interviews and news I saw was that the SUV was not guaranteed to be built, but sports cars were, Hethel was the place for them to be built and the Type 130 is the first of the new breed.  Not sure what this issue is right now to be honest. Lotus seems to be moving back to the future which is fine by me...


Alcohol. Sex. Tobacco. Drugs. Chocolate.  Meh! NOTHING in this world is as addictive as an Evora +0. It's not for babies!        

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Performance SUVs are said to be popular because in many markets the halcyon days of having a home with a garage where you could store your weekend you are a thing of the past never to return. The new generation is fed lies that one should be happy living in a studio flat in an anthill and thus you can at best afford one vehicle that does it all - enter the fancy branded SUV. You can brag about owning a Porsche but can still pick up your kids from soccer practise and pick up furniture at [email protected] at the same time. Sucks.

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Vanya Stanisavljevic '91 Esprit SE | '91 Elan SE | '97 XK8

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The last interview I read about the SUV was by Popham who said something along the lines of:  the SUV was not their focus the sports cars are priority.  If and when Lotus do a SUV they would not want to repurpose an existing platform and just add a different body shape and Lotus badges, it would have to stand up to the core Lotus values, ie lightweight, beautiful handling, etc ..  so most likely a new platform design by Lotus or at least a new platform they have had significant input and influence into.

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The SUVs have somewhat replaced the minivan, and the SW. they provide an elevated driving position that some (women mostly) tend to like, the also have an image of safety that is false, SUVs are the new people carrier and have a better image than regular hatches or SW. It's all perception and clever marketing, they are sold mostly for aspirational reason. Most people would just fine with a hatchback, or a SW but SUV bring the safety, versatily and ruggedness, there is that idea that your are more active and outdoorsy even though you are not...  SUVs  are to cars what "active wear" is to clothing,  you get them to do stuff but end up doing nothing more than you couldn't do in your ordinary car or attire.

Now truth be told, I will be buying my first SUV later this summer.  Yes I am, but really  there are not many other options in my price range for a winter beater that can handle the amount of snow that I'm going to have to plow thru  from December onwards. I'd much rather buy a station wagon, but I want disconnectable AWD which does leave me with a very few options over here. I don't want to buy a full on 4x4 cause I'd like to avoid wasting my hard earned cash on just fuel. I owned a Mitsubishi Pajero and remember it gobbling an inane amount of gas while stuck in traffic, there will be almost no traffic where I'm going but still... The Volvo V60 XC did make the shortlist, as did the Subaru Outback, but in the end it seems I'm going back to Mitsubishi. The Lotus SUV makes a lot of sense if you leave in place that receive pile of snow that one may not want to shovel every day for months on end.

I don't believe Popham a minute when they say that their focus is solely on sports cars now. They are setting up a team in Coventry, and they have also set up a team in China which is set to work on it. The next gen of of sport cars are all sharing the same core chassis, so it will only  take one engineering team to churn them out. 

 

 

 

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Daughter had a Nissan Juke as a courtesy car while her Audi A1 was being fiddled with a month or two back. She absolutely loved it and said of the experience: "Really enjoyed driving that, I felt like a queen!".  This was all down to the elevated driving position, good visibility and ease of use. Not once did she comment on the driving dynamics or the vehicle's prowess save to say that she felt it had a "bit of grunt".

You or I would most likely turn our respective noses up at such a thing being a prospective purchase, but she is already planting the seeds in her CEO's headspace that she should be allowed to chose one of Audi's soft roaders when her company car is due for replacement in a couple of years. Just because they can't tow 5 tonnes up Mont Blanc doesn't mean their other attributes aren't valued by consumers. It's just that many consumers have different priorities and find different things attractive to them when considering a purchase when compared with the requirements of the owners of daft sports cars. 

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Saw a camo suv today near the factory. Didn't look particularly sporty, unless a very wide front grill counts.

 

chipp

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Interesting! It could be a dynamic chassis mule maybe... You did not have time to snap a picture?

 

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No, as usual I was driving and when you see them you don't have much time to take in the visuals.

Trying to look at bodywork, lights, number plates, badges etc just to decide if it is something different. Then its gone.

 

chipp

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Well I'm sure if it is the Lotus SUV  it will be spotted again soon either near Hethel or Coventry. And uh dash cam Trevor, dash cam ;)

 

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Full agreement Scott.

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Yes also agree; especially with three grandsons, the eldest wont go anywhere with us now we don't have the old Evora S +2

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Darryl & Sue

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

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Well saw two more today so some intensive road testing going on, needless to say they may not be actually be Lotus but something else in the Geely group.

I was about 30 yds away from one when it stopped and performed a standing start and it is definitely electric.

 

chipp

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Interesting, I would say it’s a lotus if it’s at Hethel, but who knows 🤷‍♂️

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2 hours ago, chipp said:

.... and it is definitely electric.

Maybe it was the type 130 prototype? 😉

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@Brian Braddock Change happens. You can criticise Lotus for making an SUV and continue reminiscing about when “men were men” and become instinct or be a modern business and get over it. 

Having seen what the competition are doing, who gives a shit!? You don’t have to buy the SUV but it allows the manufacturer to build what it wants to.

If making a few variants allows the company to continue making world class sports cars... move on and get with it. 

Fast estate you get. Good. Give the fast estate better visibility whilst occupying the same chassis... come on, that view of SUV’s is so 90s! 

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On 06/06/2019 at 15:49, chipp said:

Well saw two more today so some intensive road testing going on, needless to say they may not be actually be Lotus but something else in the Geely group.

I was about 30 yds away from one when it stopped and performed a standing start and it is definitely electric.

 

chipp

It could be one of two things, Lotus doing some work for the no doubt upcoming Geometry B  crossover that Geely will bring to market... Or it is the Lotus crossover 

If so, they are testing the powertrain, it is probably with the same tech used in the Polestar 2  as I don't think something as pedestrian as an SUV will get the William AE propulsion system. this suv is coming sooner rather than later and they may be just a year behind the initial plan. I think 2022/2024 are going to be a busy years for Lotus.

Edited by NedaSay

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Fast estate like the 70s M50 Elite. 😜

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