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On 14/01/2019 at 15:10, C8RKH said:

I think we've had four wheel drive cars in various guises for about 100 years, so hardly moving with the times is it? In fact, arguably the greatest Audi R8 of all time was released last last year, the RWS, and that is rear wheel drive only I believe. 

I can see why some people want Lotus to produce cars just like everyone else does. I get it. But they won't be for me.

If I want a continent crushing GT car, able to take me and the missus for two, three weeks touring around Europe in style, then I'll have a DB9/DB11 or a Bentley Continental GT please.  All the heritage and plushness you would want in a GT.

If I want a "same old" supercar, then the McLaren/911GT/AMG GT or the Huracan fit the bill - enough cupholders and vavavoom for everyone.

However, if I wanted something different. Accomplished. Slightly old school (in a good way). Solid and analog. not pretentious and slightly flying under the RADAR - then i really cannot think of anything more desirable right now than an Evora GT410/430 or an Exige 380-430.  These cars are true Lotus cars - they link in opinion to the past - wonderful but slightly flawed and a work of genius (especially when you consider the budget and manpower that Lotus had at its disposal to do the job).

If Lotus does move with the times then I can imagine my little 410Sport being a keeper for a very long time and when or if it came to change, then if Lotus cars where just like all the others than I would need to consider the Vantage, Bentley GT, AM DB11, Porsche 911 GTx etc and maybe Lotus would win, maybe it would not. However, it stayed true and evolved the car, to retain some of the characteristics around lightweight, simplicity, feel, lowish volume then I'd order an Esprit! I'm a dullard or a luddite I guess.

 

As far as I’m aware Lotus haven’t done 4WD, and yes I’m looking forward to seeing an all electric Lotus road car

totally agree about the Cup/GT4** cars being proper true Lotus cars

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Thing is though, and it's a comment said often, "proper true Lotus cars" have had many years to make the company financially secure yet have failed time and time again. Surely, after 70 years of bread and butter profit margins (sometimes much, much less) it's time to try something new? 

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But for at least the first half of those years the sale of cars was only quite literally to fund the racing ambitions of our Colin and the Lotus team if we are being honest.  The others (apart from Porsche -so Ferarri, lamborghini et al) all merged with backers who really invested in the brand and they are reaping the benefit now. Lotus was pawned from east end to west end shops as far as I can see. 

You can make money on 5,000 cars a year, you can make a good return on 20,000 cars a year.  So yes, let's try something new but let's not throw away the heritage. As I said a few posts back, Porsche tried something new with the move to SUVs but they did not compromise their values over the sports cars which is arguably why they are still doing OK (the sports cars that is).

I'm going to hate saying this but after a recent "go" in a 911 GTS with the sports bucket seats and some other key extra's I have to say it was a nice place to be.  It did not make me feel as special as my Evora does, but it was nice and I can see why some people would want one.  If Geely takes Lotus down the same route then i bet it will lose some clients to the Porsche for a variety of reasons. 

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C8RKH:

You raise an issue that I have raised in the past: how does Lotus distinguish itself in the market with its new cars???  The market has spoken that light, raw, driver-focused cars do not sell in numbers.  So the new cars are likely to be less raw.  A “less raw” car is also likely to be heavier.  And keep in mind that many of the cars Lotus will compete with are not that heavy.  Yes, the NSX and R8 are relatively heavy, but a lot of Porsches are not.  And getting really light quickly gets very expensive.

So how do you distinguish yourself in a very crowded field where every base seems to be covered by someone already?  

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4 minutes ago, Ccd said:

You raise an issue that I have raised in the past: how does Lotus distinguish itself in the market with its new cars???  The market has spoken that light, raw, driver-focused cars do not sell in numbers.

Don't forget that the low sales volumes are not necessarily because there is no valid market for raw driver focused cars, it's just as likely that these are the result of zero investment in marketing over the years. It would have been wonderful to see how a car like the Evora would have sold with Porsche level marketing spend.

As every other manufacturer jumps on the 'electric means luxury' bandwagon I think Lotus would do well not to forget that there IS a demographic which is uninterested in tech for the sake of it... yes give us hybrid and electric sports cars... but that doesn't mean we also need a plush interior.

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Take Volvo SUV/estate/whatever. Remove some sound deadening. Add louder exhaust. Add 2 cylinders to engine. Replace badge with lotus one. Add 20k to price. Done.

Current Volvos are fab anyway, we had a brand new V60 estate for a weekend on Volvo last year when our biohazard V70 they'd just serviced dumped its gearbox oil. It was a fantastic family car - not quick but incredibly comfortable, quiet and relaxing to drive. We'll likely get a V90 next.

 

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Yep Porsches are lovely and very capable cars I just don't think they are drivers cars.  I've had a go in an older 911 GT2 and my Evora NA felt more raw and special with more feedback.

The SUV(s) and the sports cars are two different sectors and need two different strategies.  The SUV has to follow the Porsche model closely but just have a bit of that "Lotus magic" to differentiated it.  It's pointless making it totally raw.  The people who appreciate a raw car aren't going to want an SUV, they know it's just not feasible to have both in one car.  With the Lotus badge the SUV will have a sense of something new and exclusivity about it and also it will have true sports car heritage behind it, not just an other large volume car with a big engine in it.  I think that will attract people towards it.

For the sports cars, if the new strategy is to copy Porsche I think it's going to be a long uphill battle.  I mean why would buy something trying to copy Porsche when you could just buy a Porsche?  I think the balance Lotus has with the Evora was spot on, more involvement and fizz than your average car and enough creature comforts.  They just need to refine and polish it up.  I haven't stepped into a 410 or 430 Evora so it possible the standard is already there?  But what they really need to do is market the car and actually let people know the car exists!  A smaller lower priced model similar to the new Alpine would also sell well.

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People buy an Alpine and love it. Lotus can do tgat car and with the roof off and people will go wow, swoon, love it as long as they get to know about it and see it etc.

I think I've been miss understood re tge SUV. I expect it to be kitted out and as comfortable as an XC40/XC60/Evoque anda Porsche Mackauley Caukin!  It's the sports cars I want to keep more hard edged, analog and raw.

 

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On ‎21‎/‎01‎/‎2019 at 09:44, Ccd said:

I keep seeing announcements of hiring at Lotus, but still nothing seems to change.  The cynic in me believes this is because Lotus is hiring people for a complete re-boot of the brand.  Geely paid for the Lotus name and the engineering, not the current lineup of cars.  

I think some cars will continue to be made at Hethel only because it is part of the Lotus “mystique.”  The lion’s share will be made in China.  

As for the US, adding Lotus to select Volvo dealerships makes sense.  I think people sometimes forget that Lotus only has one US compliant car, the Evora 400, and it’s not exactly flying off dealer showrooms.  I think all current models will be allowed to continue with little further development until they are replaced by entirely new models.  

The Evora 400 in the US is selling in much less quantities compared with the S1 Gen. Sad but True...….I went to check the new 911 base car and the new Cayman. They are nice but IMO they were far from my Evora 400 in look and power. Both have less power too, but the Cayman was cheaper and the 911 was about around 110k. I also went to see the new 2 door 2019 AMG 63s, very nice car and comes with 503 bhp and the sticker price said $94,000 (loaded with options too).

Lotus needs to completely redesign the Evora and put 500 bhp. They can call it Lotus 500. That could be their entry level "super car."

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Considering how quiet things are, I wouldn't be surprised if the Evora was to get another thorough refresh tailored for the US and Chinese markets soon. The GT430 was supposed to reach the American shores in December but that did not happen, however it could be that they have been delayed due either to a decision to provide a revamped MY2020. Some have mentioned the shutdown as a cause for the delay but I don't really buy it.

One thing Geely has done with Volvo, at the beginning, was to make sure that the then current cars kept receiving updates and upgrades until the newer models were ready. I don't see why they would not do the same with Lotus. A dealer on Lotustalk recently hinted at the Evora receiving more significant updates and upgrades. If the new sport cars are effectively MY2021( presented in 2020 but for sale late in the year or early in 2021) then it makes sense to refresh the Evora soon, especially considering the refresh the competition just received. Keeping the core chassis layout, a light reskin of the outside and another overhaul of the inside could be in the cards. An Evora Evo of sorts focusing on the details but still significantly different while remaining clearly Evora. They can easily touch the front and rear clam as well as the roof, Slight tweaks to the front and rear bumpers- which are  pretty much perfect imo - they can revamp the cabin tech using Volvo/Geely parts bin, it is not exactly plug and play but close enough. Evora would be the first car to get the new loom that lotus so badly needs it would only be logical to move all the sport cars to it stat.

As to getting 500bhp from the powertrain in its current layout... I won't hold my breath. I know that both the GR-FE and the JLV-6G35 can reach that number with the addition of a turbo or supercharger, but the gearbox will remain an issue, even-though Geely owns its own DCT 7 speed  gearbox design and deals with AISIN with the very good 8 speed auto. However 450bhp to 480 bhp is theoretically doable with the supercharger so they could  maybe push the current gearbox another 20nm or so especially  if the swapped the supercharge for a turbo in order to obtain a max torque output significantly lower in the rpm range.  However this kind of investment will only be made if they can recoup it over time which would mean keeping the Evora in a form or another significantly longer on the market. JMG hinted at the Evora sticking around anyway so a refresh may have been in the cards regardless and this year would be a good year for the car to get it.

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To be frank, I think it's about time the Evora was dropped. It hasn't ever sold well, not once reaching the original annual sales targets and for whatever reasons hasn't captured the imagination of the buying public. Even a good showing and worldwide exposure on Top Gear didn't make people want it.

Another round of new bumpers and increased bhp won't solve that. Let it die and bring on the new-gen stuff as soon as possible. 

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It was featured on Top Gear, the world's largest car based entertainment show, appeared in a US soap and was wearing a shiny coat while being the key vehicle for the baddies in a Hollywood movie. Yet still, even during its biggest selling year it barely scraped half of its sales target. In the UK last year, it sold 70 units. That doesn't mean it's a bad product and I agree it's an underrated car, but it doesn't sell. 

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And it's not just the Evora people are not aware of, a number of times when I have been asked what the car is, people have replied that they didn't know Lotus still made cars!

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Rose tinted specs off, chaps. The Evora's lack of sales can't be magicked away by a few adverts. It isn't a car that appeals, it's as simple as that. No idea why as all the ingredients are there, I guess it's just the wrong recipe.

I've no idea why I don't want one either and I'm prime Lotus fodder ready for wallet harvesting. I'm an easy sale yet I don't yearn for one. Imagine extrapolating that to those who haven't got a long history of buying Lotus or those who are quite happy to entertain owning something from the P word company. It needs to go and its replacement needs to wow the public into yearning for one and not just receive worthy nods or accolades from journos. 

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To quote a well known Lotus stalwart and ex/current employee "the Evora is the best car Lotus has ever made". Sadly it is also the best car nobody has heard of. I have never had a negative reaction when out and about, or when amongst car enthusiasts. In its current guise it is simply sublime to look at and drive.

People just want Pork, Jag (F type), etc because (I assume) its what they see, hear about most, and have a more accessible dealer network. Hopefully the latest management appointments will help change all that.

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1 hour ago, Advantage said:

Rose tinted specs off, chaps. The Evora's lack of sales can't be magicked away by a few adverts. It isn't a car that appeals, it's as simple as that. No idea why as all the ingredients are there, I guess it's just the wrong recipe.

I've no idea why I don't want one either and I'm prime Lotus fodder ready for wallet harvesting. I'm an easy sale yet I don't yearn for one. Imagine extrapolating that to those who haven't got a long history of buying Lotus or those who are quite happy to entertain owning something from the P word company. It needs to go and its replacement needs to wow the public into yearning for one and not just receive worthy nods or accolades from journos. 

Probably because it’s neither hardcore like the Elise/Exige, supercar enough like the Esprit, nor a proper 2+2 like the Elite/Eclat.

Personally I really like the Evora - but when I went to look at it and my 14 year old couldn’t get in the back - that ruled it out 😭

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As good as the Evora is, and as lovely as it looks, it's not quite got what it takes to woo those non Lotus perspective buyers.

This from my mates point of view, who recently looked at an Evora, was so disappointed with its lack of "toys" as he put it, that he didn't even bother to take a test drive, he described it to me as "a fantastic looking car, with the interior of a Ford Fiesta" 

I've not been lucky enough to drive one, but have sat in one, and to be honest I prefer my Esprit. 

Perhaps the Evora needed to forget the adding lightness thing, the Exige takes care of that, and focused more on power and luxury, a proper GT with plush leather seats, more switches and gauges than a 747 and other course a voice activated cup holder.

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The "commercial" versions coming with lots of drive aids and distractions that they have in boring Fashion cars

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People always seem to lean more negative when things are unknown.

I believe the current line-up is dead. Maybe they will do a 450 or something, but I think its the end of the line for the Elise, Exige and Evora. Whether new cars that share those names will come I have no idea.

However, if it really is going to take 3 or 4 years to see the new line-up I wonder if it would be in Lotus interest to at least play around the the Volvo and Geely parts bin. Maybe release a Evora 450 with a custom Volvo-bases ICE, electronic keys, and other bits that will make the car more modern. Maybe make the interior higher quality. I think the new looks of the 410/430 is very good, not much needs to change there. At worst at least they have some experience with more modern tech when the new line-up comes about and at best it sells more cars in the interim.

Edited by Likuid
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