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On 02/10/2016 at 23:13, silverfrost said:

Koenigsegg is a whole different barrel of fish, Compared to build quality, materials, design, the clientel who purchase these cars pay an absolute fortune, this ensures top materials, massive amounts of man hours, etc. The esprit would never have to compete with this brand, . It is lambo, ferrari turf the Esprit would be looking to  make a target. :)

Sure. I'm not saying it should compete head to head with Koenigsegg. But times have changed. The gap has widened. You can't just ignore it. Like I said it doesn't to beat the top cars. But it needs to at least catch up, if it is to be considered a supercar.

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That engineering partner of Toyota also had a flat 12.      

Not looking too shabby at breakfast club this morning

Years gone by......  

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Well I'm afraid with the logic going on here - the tesla p90d is indeed a supercar.

 

 

and this really made me laugh

Only here once

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6 hours ago, Barrykearley said:

The top speed logic is frankly daft for most - you just can't use it legally anywhere on the roads in the uk ! Or most parts of the world. 

Acceleration, handling and aesthetics are the most important features in my view. Still we can all dream - it's never gonna happen

I am with you. Acceleration is more important than top speed. No doubt. It's also much more Esprit-like.

But one of the reasons the Esprit was always overlooked is exactly that although it was quick to accelerate, the top speed numbers were never that spectacular and top speed is what most people look at.

You can't fight public notion. You can only accept being the weird kid on the yard. But if Lotus wants to sell a lot of them and have a true hit, specially in these modern times, top speed bragging rights is the best marketing tool as of late.

As for top speed logic being daft because you can't use it legally anywhere on the roads , well so it 0-60 logic. Go from 0-60mp/h in 3.5 seconds next to a parked police car and see how that goes. :P

 

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Ownership and full forum membership is the way ahead.

everything else is just hot air......... Be warned - there's no going back once you've bought one - you will be hooked.

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36 minutes ago, Barrykearley said:

Ownership and full forum membership is the way ahead.

everything else is just hot air......... Be warned - there's no going back once you've bought one - you will be hooked.

I'm not quite sure I understand you. Are you saying I should have nothing else to say till I buy an Esprit or update my forum account?

Not even sure that reply was to me. But as it directly followed my post and wasn't quoting anybody else, I would think so.

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Oh contrare - what I mean is get one - just get one - then think about the car and the drive, the amount you've spent - and just compare in balance

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What esprit are you looking for ?? There are a fair few amount to be fair - but does depend on spends

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In reply to Vanya (and others above), a pal took me out in his 458.  I came back a bit crestfallen.  The F430 is good but the 458 was yet another step-change onwards.  To compound matters, Ferrari have trumped that with the 488.  And these are V8 cars, i.e. at the lower end of the available range.  My pal has a brand new 488 on order.

It took me 40 years to save up for my F430.  Originally, I was going to buy a replacement Esprit that was promised.  And promised . . . and promised.

I thoroughly enjoyed my Europa - and hope to do so again when I finish the rebuild - but it was a budget car (as the restorer of vintage sports cars the late Peter Woodley pointed out to me).  Like many of those times, I learned how to mend it.  Engines, gearboxes, suspension, ignition, carburation, trim and so on.  Out of financial necessity, the skills had to be acquired.  (Some readers of that vintage might have one of "my" cylinder heads in their car(s)).

Forty years on, flimsiness, rattles and other peccadilloes do not make up for fabulous handling.  Other manufacturers have maintained the latter and indeed advanced, but importantly, build quality is stunning. The contrast in these characteristics, depicted in the attached image, is striking.  OK the perspective distorts matters, but the difference in size and hence comfort, is marked.

I have been in an admittedly early, brand new Evora for a test drive.  Nice, but the interior was cramped, equipment was sparse and boot space was surpisingly small.  Far less than even the old Europas that had a boot in the back and another in the front.  Another pal has one of the 400 variety.  Better, but similar comments still apply.

As years advance, like many, I want oodles of oomph, limpet-like roadholding, lightining-quick flappy-paddle gear-changes, doors that open wide, roomy interiors, lots of luggage space and, oh yes, acoutriments that advances in technology see put even in basic family cars.

Unfortunately, such a car is not in the range that Lotus build.

IMG_5322.JPG

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@Winter Thanks for your feedback!

I can't quite understand though how you can level the same criticisms at the Evora 400 as the original Evora - the one I drove had build quality that was on par with any mass-produced modern car I've been in, except with superior material choices. It wasn't cramped (I found it to be cavernous, I'm 183 cm tall), it had pretty much all the bells & whistles I see in other cars (sans a huge touch screen á la Tesla), and the boot space is par for the course for a car of its kind. I didn't hear any rattles or ungodly noises during the drive. Neither in the Evora 400 nor the Exige Sport 350. And I was driving those extremely critically (I do love my Esprits).

Regarding storage space, I can peek at a neighbours 458 and see what kind of boot space that offers although I'm willing to bet it won't be much better. But I agree the Evora was a bit lacking in this regard. My Esprits have ridiculous amounts of room front and back for storage, but they were aberrations even during their time. 

The 400 also has wide opening doors and low sills, a further two features that the previous car was criticised for that Lotus have addressed. 

Don't get me wrong, I'm not out for a fight, but I genuinely don't understand why the 458 (and 488) are considered so far ahead in terms of fit & finish - with the notable exception of the driveline, something which Lotus cannot quite afford to develop in house.

I'll admit, the original Esprits WERE flimsy compared to the competition towards the end, when Ferrari started paying more attention to such things, and a V8 Esprit is going to feel a little "cheaper" than a 355, 360 or 430 - but those were entirely different vehicle generations from Ferrari. Lotus didn't even get around to their first new car after the Esprit until the Evora in 2009. With the Evora 400 Lotus have (in my opinion) taken a 20 year leap in terms of quality and reliability in a fraction of the time it's taken other manufacturers to do the same. 

Give me a few pointers or details to look out for when I'm checking out the 458 or other car of similar pedigree - I'd really like to understand. 

 

 

 

Vanya Stanisavljevic '91 Esprit SE | '97 XK8

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Hi Vanya.  If you plan to check out the/a 458, I was struck by several features.  Devoid of a central tunnel, the cabin was especially roomy.  Seats were comfortable and there wasn't a rattle, squeak or thud to be heard.  Acceleration was stunning, road-holding was Lotus-like (yes, really), the paddle-shift double-clutch system was lightning-quick and the carbo-ceramic brakes were a joy to behold.  The 430 has all of these but the 458 has improved them.  Considerably. However, I will need a win on a lottery to afford the marked difference in price between my F430 and 458s.

My pal has assured me that he will take me out for a ride in his 488, when it arrives.  He is twelve months into a two-year waiting list.  That is a frustrating yet clever ploy by Ferrari.  They have many more aspirants than cars available.  I understand that they intend to continue their restriction to 7,000 new cars a year.  By doing so, they avoid a glut and so retain a mystique.

Clearly, price of an Esprit was a key Lotus selling point i.e. they were remarkably less expensive than the models you stated.  However, having spent hours removing seized components - especially suspension-related - on the Esprit I had, what little work I do on the 430 is so much easier.  Getting the pin out of the Esprit rear hub for instance.  Have you tackled that job? Front radiators and oil coolers? HVAC? And so on.

If I had that sort of money, I would seriously consider a McLaren, in spite of the problems with the early MP4-12Cs.  However, that is just idle whimsey.

What I really need to do is get my Europa roadworthy. I bought it in 1977 but in 1984, wrote it off in a crash.  I bought the wreck.  What a wrangle, with less than scrupulous insurance personnel and a well-known Lotus specialist.  Threat of court action and the backing of the late Graham Arnold finally rumbled the miscreants.

It had a new front grafted on.  "All" it needs is the cylinder head converted to run on unleaded (seats and guides); it's already ported and polished (by me) but the previous spec ran 420 cams and pocketed seats.  I intend to take it to Simon Armstron at Ultimate Performance (he did a superb job on my V8 heads) for oversize unpocketed seats.  The, interior.  To be done: recover the seats and trim with original oatmeal leather-cloth (I got the last roll out of Lotus some 30 years ago) and carpets (again, last roll from the factory), dash and so on.  I fitted a new chassis, renewed the suspension and brakes.  I stripped all the paint off the body (40 hours) and had it repainted. It is number 63 of the 100 that lotus built to commemorate their 50th Grand Prix win and 1972 F1 Constructors' title.

When it's finished, it should be a rather nice car.

 

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15 hours ago, Barrykearley said:

What esprit are you looking for ?? There are a fair few amount to be fair - but does depend on spends

I don't wish to hijack the thread with my personal matters. :)

But Silverfrost and I started talking about it over the Giugiaro Esprit Body thread.

So I invite you to move over there to chat about it:

I have a few plans for an Esprit. ;)

 

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7 hours ago, Steve V8 said:

I'm not convinced that the lack of tunnel and spaciousness is what a sports car is about. The high tunnel in the Esprit and most other backboned chassid cars gives the feeling of being in the car and becoming a part of it rather than on it.

I tend to agree with you. In some cars, like the Viper, the tunnel is indeed pretty high to the point of making shifting a struggle.  But even then I agree that the tunnel and tightness is part of the sports car experience. Or at least the supercar experience, as anything these days can be considered a sports car.

But yes, the tunnel and tightness make it feel like you are actually wearing the car. We're on the same page there.

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21 hours ago, Straightbend said:

Go from 0-60mp/h in 3.5 seconds next to a parked police car and see how that goes. :P

I have a friend in Western Australia who is a traffic cop (of many years) and as he says,

'If your tyres do not break traction, the police have no law that allows them to pull you over.'

I don't know what the laws are in the UK, but in Australia the 'hoon laws', as they are called, require a loss of traction to incur the wrath of the law.

All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

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20 hours ago, Winter said:

Hi Vanya.  If you plan to check out the/a 458, I was struck by several features.  Devoid of a central tunnel, the cabin was especially roomy.  Seats were comfortable and there wasn't a rattle, squeak or thud to be heard.  Acceleration was stunning, road-holding was Lotus-like (yes, really), the paddle-shift double-clutch system was lightning-quick and the carbo-ceramic brakes were a joy to behold.  The 430 has all of these but the 458 has improved them.  Considerably. However, I will need a win on a lottery to afford the marked difference in price between my F430 and 458s.

- Yeah the lack of central tunnel does play a large part in giving that impression. I have a garage neighbour who has a 355 with the F1 transmission and also lacks a central tunnel. I get what you mean. But I love my Esprit central tunnel - it's actually an ergonomic wonder when you think of it. Perfectly placed to rest your arm on and shift at the same time.

However the rattle, squeak and thud isn't anything you'll hear in a new Evora 400. My v8 doesn't even make any noises - recently the leather in the A pillars has started to make a little noise and needs cream after 20 years, but what car doesn't? Other than this, it's dead silent. 

Quote

My pal has assured me that he will take me out for a ride in his 488, when it arrives.  He is twelve months into a two-year waiting list.  That is a frustrating yet clever ploy by Ferrari.  They have many more aspirants than cars available.  I understand that they intend to continue their restriction to 7,000 new cars a year.  By doing so, they avoid a glut and so retain a mystique.

- Definitely a smart move. 

Quote

Clearly, price of an Esprit was a key Lotus selling point i.e. they were remarkably less expensive than the models you stated.  However, having spent hours removing seized components - especially suspension-related - on the Esprit I had, what little work I do on the 430 is so much easier.  Getting the pin out of the Esprit rear hub for instance.  Have you tackled that job? Front radiators and oil coolers? HVAC? And so on.

- Depends on what kind of Esprit you've encountered. You won't find many Esprits outside the UK that have these issues, as they're treaded like Ferraris by their respective owners. My V8 hasn't got rust anywhere in sight. My UK Turbo SE however is exactly what you describe, hell on earth. Yes my link pins are frozen solid! But I venture to guess that your 430 has been pampered and garaged most of its life and not driven during winters, left outdoors etc etc? So this is technically a fault of the owners who perceive their cars as less valuable than the competition and treat them as such, in which case the nth owner down the line suffers, as well as the brands reputation (we won't even get into deferred servicing, another plight afflicting your average Esprit). 

Quote

If I had that sort of money, I would seriously consider a McLaren, in spite of the problems with the early MP4-12Cs.  However, that is just idle whimsey.

- Me too. Or an NSX. Or an i8. Or Sport 300. :D

Vanya Stanisavljevic '91 Esprit SE | '97 XK8

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5 hours ago, ramjet said:

I have a friend in Western Australia who is a traffic cop (of many years) and as he says,

'If your tyres do not break traction, the police have no law that allows them to pull you over.'

I don't know what the laws are in the UK, but in Australia the 'hoon laws', as they are called, require a loss of traction to incur the wrath of the law.

You make a good point. But I think with police it's basically cop to cop. It's always your word against his. Even if your wheel doesn't spin when you go from 0-60, he can still pull you over if he wants and fine you. You can take it to court, but you know how it is.

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1 hour ago, Vanya said:

- - Depends on what kind of Esprit you've encountered. You won't find many Esprits outside the UK that have these issues, as they're treaded like Ferraris by their respective owners. My V8 hasn't got rust anywhere in sight. My UK Turbo SE however is exactly what you describe, hell on earth. Yes my link pins are frozen solid! But I venture to guess that your 430 has been pampered and garaged most of its life and not driven during winters, left outdoors etc etc? So this is technically a fault of the owners who perceive their cars as less valuable than the competition and treat them as such, in which case the nth owner down the line suffers, as well as the brands reputation (we won't even get into deferred servicing, another plight afflicting your average Esprit). 

 

This is an excellent point!

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On 10/6/2016 at 03:32, Straightbend said:

You make a good point. But I think with police it's basically cop to cop. It's always your word against his. Even if your wheel doesn't spin when you go from 0-60, he can still pull you over if he wants and fine you. You can take it to court, but you know how it is.

Can fine you for what though? Which law?

With the way courts work now, most judges would just throw it out.

All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

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I expect the Esprit, when it comes to maintenance, has the same problem as a large number of cars from that era. At one point in time, it was relatively cheap, so would have been bought for cheapness rather than what it was.

The same thing happened with many British sports cars. After all, who'd do a full body-off restoration on a car worth only a few thousand pounds? Not very many. However, you do eventually wind up in a situation where the few that have been looked after are in very good nick.

I would love to know how many Lotus Esprits are still on the road, versus how many Ford Capris. I bet it's not anywhere near the difference in number as it would have been circa 1985!

James Martin (JayEmm)
Director of Photography & Car Enthusiast

Follow my Lotus adventure online! www.jayemm.com

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25 minutes ago, Jacques said:

Without wanting to continue this talk about Ferrari's superiority versus anything else,

Yes, you are quite right. There is no superiority. Nothing! Nix! Nada!

If the Esprit costed as much as Ferraris it would have a different image. Most people who buy toy cars or trophy cars like Ferraris know nothing about cars besides what they read. Can't even drive the cars they buy the way the cars should be driven, even if they wanted.

 

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