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Notes for the next Exige


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Not revving when starting, I am not a boy racer.

Can steer it with his teeth!

I suspect it'll be 400 for the S and 420 for the Cup but now we all know Lotus have got 450 out of the same engine we can ask the right people very nicely or order 311 bits after registration - where

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actually i think the single limiting factor of the elise/exige platform is its interior size not its performance. adjustupble pedals / steering is just kicking the can down the road. 

 

i would like to see a shortened evora platform used for the next exige. far more important than lower sills imho. 

 

this giving taller chaps a bit more space. i think we have all become trained/accustomed to the elise ergonomics which are 'ok' but far from the best if you are over 5.8.  i assume those ergonomics are limited by the cabin dimensions. 

 

i remember when i last discussed this with them at hethel they said doing this would make the car too heavy .... but i think that's being terribly lazy, those that have driven a 4C  will know what i'm talking about.... far more, better natural ergonomics and space far less weight (talking about the central tub here) so it can be done and its not like they don't have a hp punchy power plant now to compensate.  

 

once you have a proper sized cabin you can set mclaren level of ergonomics which imho are the best in the business. you  then have a product that can be developed for the next 15 years or so as you have space for a larger fuel tank or incorporation of a hybrid / DRS system whatever the latest tech (that will require space for batteries!)  etc.

 

there's simply no space left in the current exige chassis to address the market alienation issue (access/size).... its dimensions reflect its age. which is fine if you are happy with your lot but if you want to move the game on and keep the exige as the 'modern' hardcore track orientated road racer that can be used for touring,  you have to do something about it. 

 

an exige that retains its spartan character but with modern ergonomics and tech and more  space would open up completely new markets and drastically effect sales numbers imho. 

 

i suspect this will eventually happen and when it does they wont be proposing a 2 seater evora cup !  so no time soon unfortunately? 

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Internal space is perfect for a 1.88 m guy with 11 UK feet size like me...as it was on the S1 (while I will never be able to drive properly a Caterham superlight).

That said a nearer steering wheel would allow perfect control of the car without having the knees kissing the dashboard, which is a very bad thing in case of frontal impact, even at low speed.

That is why I have a nice collection of steering wheel spacers : )

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The biggest problem I have with the size of the Exige/Elise is the way the sills taper  rather than  shoulder / general cabin space.  

Long journeys, with constant(ish) throttle, means the sill rubs on the outside of my lower leg, and after a while it gets painful. Cruise has helped here quite a bit actually.

 

But in general I agree with Diego.

 

I test drove the Zenos, and actually the central spine and slightly wider foot wells really helped.  I know I'll get shot on here, but if they did one with doors and removable roof, I'd be very tempted to go that route, (And I'm on my 3rd Lotus, so it's not like I don't have loyalty!)

 

If Lotus aren't careful they'll get squeezed between the Zenos et al (and to some extent their old cars, which apart from warranty offer very little over a brand spanker in Elise form)  and the Caymen.

 

It's a way off, but the platform / ergonomics certainly is sorely due some work, especially for the Elise

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hah - 30mm even!

 

:)

 

30cm!


Yep - same.  I'm 187cm and other than having to do a bit of stretching before I get in/out, once I'm in the car it's fine.  Size 13 feet and find that if I wear runners it's hard to heel/toe/drive the car.  A set of Puma street shoes solved that.

The Steering wheel brought closer fixed the knee space problem and made the car heaps easier to heel/toe.  

 

 

Internal space is perfect for a 1.88 m guy with 11 UK feet size like me...as it was on the S1 (while I will never be able to drive properly a Caterham superlight).
That said a nearer steering wheel would allow perfect control of the car without having the knees kissing the dashboard, which is a very bad thing in case of frontal impact, even at low speed.
That is why I have a nice collection of steering wheel spacers : )

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the zenos has a very nice seat position and ergonomics, i agree, i had a good go in it too ... i feel they designed the tub round a driver bigger than 5.8 and a 5.8 passenger.... what was the benchmark height for the s1 tub because that's what we are dealing with here ? anyone know? there must be a technical drawing somewhere :)

 

thing is, lotus are moving bigger ticket, the next exige400 with be £10k plus over the last one.... we are more or less dealing with a 20 year old central tub originally  designed on a shoe string for a smaller, skinny guy. and what a testament that it has lasted so long... but that's the reality.... and times are a changing :) new entrants, cheaper alternatives etc... 

 

i have a v6 exige and a 4c. the 4c's doors are heavy and thunk shut like my old porcs did (talking 964 weight). the v6s  don't. now the 4c is a lightweight in comparison.  which one costs more? what is market perception? not to us but to those unfamiliar with the brand. i feel they wont accept the same compromises we do once you start talking about these new price points. there really is lots of work for lotus to do. 

 

at the new price point the difference between squeezing in next to your passenger / rubbing shoulders / not being able to heal and toe effectively because of the limited tubs  steering wheel and pedal relationship, putting up with ergonomics, switches that don't illuminate properly,  all of a sudden become 'very real' issues as the journalists that sell your cars wont like another rehashed 20 year old cabin (yet again even if it has a new limited edition paint job).... and we are now approaching £65-75k.... those issues are ok for a boggo elise at sub £40k, sure suffer for your art, but once you are charging more than cayman gts/r gt4 money things get blurred..... Just saying :)

 

 

we are all rose tinted lotus fanboys but lotus cannot seriously move forward with the existing chassis on big ticket for much longer. they can sell it in nominal numbers that wont move the co forward but sustain it .....  but if they want to break the mold as they did with the S1 they need a new product that can sell in much bigger numbers on much bigger ticket and have the space to be developed effectively with the latest tech...and (as importantly) charged for with all those costly accessories too :)

 

im looking forward to it!

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Everything you say makes perfect sense but unless someone comes along with a big plan and an even bigger wallet i fear it won’t ever happen. Lotus are so far behind the game now through lack of investment it will take a big manufacture to turn it around. Conversely the likes of Porsche and even Lamborghini now produce such good cars they are losing some driving experience and thrill which Lotus still have because they can’t develop enough.

I just wish Ford or Aston Martin could go in and create something amazing

.

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Ford sold off everything to concentrate on making Fords some time ago and Aston Martin are essentially broke too also needing big investment to develop a new range. Lotus could become a much bigger manufacturer than AM, in terms of volume at least. Toyota seems to be a better fit for me but Lotus will just have to limp on until they get a major backer. Lamborghini would still be making the Diablo without Audi!

Diego is quite right about basing a 2 seat sports car on the larger, stiffer Evora tub if Lotus want to broaden their appeal. I'm sure they continue to hope that the Evora is the car for that job but I think it's too closely pitched to the 911. It's the 911 for people that don't like 911s and unfortunately for Lotus everyone likes 911s. It has suffered much like the excellent Honda NSX before it. No Porsche badge no chance at that price point. You have to offer something very different to avoid the unfavourable comparisons with the journos favourite.

That's why the Exige has done so well in comparison to the Evora and NSX. It offers exotic car looks, performance and with a V6 the soundtrack too all for under £60k with options. There used to be loads of choice around the vaguely affordable £50k mark, TVR, Noble, Esprit V8, Nissan Skyline R34 GTR.... Now there's very little. Contrary to what some think the Cayman hasn't sold very well by Porsche standards. In fact despite all of Lotus's recent troubles they sold many more Exige V6's than Cayman GTS (only 80 something units in the UK, Lotus made more LF1's!).

The lesson is to leave the 911 well alone. Be different. Don't waste money on focus groups and market research. Spend it on making the best looking, fastest cars you can make and make them as well as you can and the punters will keep coming back for more.

I have to say I think the diminutive dimensions inside and out are part of what makes the cars unique. I like the fact that Exiges don't appeal to the old, infirm or those too conscious of how they look getting in and out. I also like the fact that this guy who once gave me a lift in his 911 C4 tip cab, shades on at night, floored it everywhere to 4k, would never 'get it'. Let there be one car for sale out there that doesn't try to appeal to everyone.

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Another old timer here! I must admit I do wonder how I look crawling out of my car but I suppose I'll live with it!

Anyway improvements for me have generally been mentioned already .

Fuel tank - I did a trip down to Spa earlier this week and having to stop 3 times on the way there and back is a pita.

Lights- Diabolical virging on dangerous, more 1970 than 2015. I missed a turn on the way home on a country lane last night because I couldn't see the junction coming even with full beam on.

A/C control-is it on or off, pretty basic design issue I'm amazed it was allowed to leave the factory like this.

Transmission- I've noticed they're a bit rattly when under light load, fine once you're gunning it but sounds a bit agricultural at times.

that said there are many positives!

Steve

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Sorry, should have said 'elderly', I would be considered well past it myself according to the general population!

Interesting that Maserati have capitulated and are now open about their intention to make their cars more 'Germanic'. We'll see how that works out but I reckon they're just about to get rid of the thing that made them interesting. I suspect those who want a German car will continue to buy the real thing rather than a wannabe.

The kind gentleman who gave me a lift in his C4 Cab Tip (4 up between nightclubs naturally) wasn't Italian. But like an actual mini cab driver favoured use of the car's bottom end torque. Foot to the boards, stone cold engine, the man's talent behind the wheel was wasted in a 30 zone in central London. I mean, he did it all one handed, imagine if what he could achieve with two!

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My wish list: 

* Better driving lights (Laser/LED/Xenon) The current lights are an impertinence compared to any other car I know.

* Bigger fuel tank

* Better and nicer instruments

* Noticeable buttons (lights/AC, on/off, who knows ???) 

* lower sill (why not ?) 

* Legal use of the soft top, a better and high speed proof soft top and aerodynamics to drive high speed with this soft top

* better car stereo with larger speakers 

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It really is crap!

I once had an L200 with the same sounding horn - really didn't go with the knuckle-dragging image, so I changed it to a Nautilus twin tone horn.... much better!

Where is the horn located on the Exige?

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'....it makes every other roadster look just a little bit cissy...'

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Behind the front grill...

 

17_03.gif

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. 

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For me things i'd like to see in next Exige would be:-

 

1. Sort out the issues with gearbox/clutch/linkage

2. Larger fuel tank(for standard road cars at least)

3. Forged wheel option(should be standard on Cup/ CR cars)

4. Carbon parts instead of cheap black plastic, especially considering the price bracket it falls into now.

5. Decent Lights

6. Ditch Pirelli in favour of Michelin pilot sport cup tyres or similar

7. Baffled sump as standard

8. Limited slip diff (as option at least)

9. Intigrated cup holder for pasenger side (could be built into blanking plate for lights/traction panel) 

10. Proper switch gear and stalks.

11.....chepaer would be nice ;)

 

I love the car as it is just now and to be honest if they sorted No.1 on my list the rest are just nice to haves really but seems like there are a common few that everyone would like to see changed which hopefully they have/will have taken into consideration.

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One easy "win" would be to lift the interior straight out of the Tesla.

 

They really are the best Elise variant interior, they just have a much higher quality feel, and they have fixed a lot of the niggles. (Obviously I'm talking about the more road orientated models here, not the Cup where the stripped out nature really is much more in keeping with the car)

 

original.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

yup, horn could definitely be improved:

 


I think the ideal dash for the new car, or at least the new Cup cars is right here:

 

http://www.aimshop.co.uk/collections/car-dataloggers/products/aim-mxs-dash

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That's better!

I picked up a new van last week and even that has a better horn. (Two-tone, in fact)

'....it makes every other roadster look just a little bit cissy...'

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