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Work on autonomy for all cars makes sense. Especially in SUV's and luxobarges, it makes perfect sense to me, sharing these components with Geely premium brands makes utter sense to me no question about it. Some ADASS systems are going to become mandatory soon in the US soon, first back up cameras, soon after that will probably be automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning system are still a little way away but their time will come too just like we got mandatory seatbelts and ABS. It makes sense to work within the group and bring some of these tech onboard... But since they mostly come as a package and the extra ECU is not that heavy, then can work it in to optimize said packaging. It is going to make the cars slightly heavier because of the extra wiring, cameras and sensors but they will be able to find weight saving elsewhere and the group is big on safety.Bring in this tech is pretty much a no brainer especially if they are in a logic on conquest  with range expansion...

Hence it bugs me when the CEO says: "We have not confirmed we are making an SUV, none of the articles originated from me..." Especially when the SUV is black and white in the yet officially undisclosed business plan. Especially when said SUV is to see production within the first 5 years of said business plan. Because said business plan was originated by somebody else surely... Hopefully Popham start showing more of his hand soon.  

 

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I’m not sure why there’s so much negativity about using technology to make the cars better? When they were looking at Active Suspension In the 80’s I cant recall many people saying they shouldn’t do so (but perhaps my memory has faded).
 

Surely it’s how it’s used and implemented that counts? 

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I totally understand people being nervous and pessimistic about tech creeping into Lotus cars. They way it’s traditionally done in cars has resulted in reduced driver engagement and feel and an increase in weight.  So for sure be concerned about the future of Lotus.

but...  there are some companies that like to think out of the box like Koinesegg (sorry that’s probably spelt wrong) who I think are on the cutting edge but I think (never driven one obvs) they are still engaging cars to drive. The tech is used purely to increase performance. 
 

Oh! and also the fact that Popham keeps saying current Lotus values and DNA is top of the list and something they are striving to keep in the new cars. 

So for me that negativity is quashed ... until they release the cars or real hard evidence of what the new cars will be like. Then I’ll happily get the torch and pitchfork out and march to Lotus HQ in an angry mob when the cars are big heavy luxury barges. 

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17 hours ago, electro_boy said:

I'm not sure you have read the all article?  Yes autonomy is mentioned but its also mentioned it won't be implemented as per the usual way of the car driving you from A to B  while you sit back and have a cuppa.  Lotus are looking to do other innovative things with the autonomy tech.  eg you take your car on the track and the car shows you how to improve your line and lap time.  For me that is embracing the future tech and still in keeping with the Lotus ways. 

Yes I’m clearly missing something............

AUTONOMOUS & DRIVERLESS cars by the company that promotes cars “for the driver”


Darryl & Sue

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

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I don't think the two, autonomous and "for the driver" are mutually exclusive.  Why not have the autonomous control take over for the commute or the drive home from the pub and be able to switch it off for the B-road blast?


S4 Elan, Elan +2S, Federal-spec, World Championship Edition S2 Esprit #42, S1 Elise, Excel SE

 

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If my car is autonomous and can drive me home form the pub then that means SWMBO is officially redundant. I'll be trading her in for an Esprit then....


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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Autonomous is being pushed on Lotus by Geely who have an ambition to get the jump on their competitors. Mr Feng mentioned it in his speech at the 70th event at Hethel last year. It was a proper coffee spitting moment then. We were hoping it was a future ambition that was further away and were looking forward to a range of petrol powered interim cars.

I think the thing people here are missing is that the future is bleak for anyone who loves driving fast internal combustion powered road cars. Necessarily so, the world needs to change. We all accept that Lotus will have to become part of the autonomous electrified future to survive long term so the issue for many here is what happens in between. It’s a small window of opportunity and unfortunately not the primary focus of the new management who have been hired to increase volume at all costs. It might be the smarter business decision to scrap the interim cars altogether and put all their chips on full electric sooner. The longer they delay the next car the more likely this becomes in challenging trading conditions.

Anyone that knows me here knows that I have stuck by Lotus through thick and thin (mainly thin!) and am usually on the receiving end of criticism for being blinkered, rose tinted, delusional fan boy  so it’s complete nonsense to dismiss my points as doom mongering. A total cop out from engaging in the debate too. You only have to look at what F1 has lost as a live spectacle, despite the cars being faster to realise that there is no going back to wailing V10s. The very thing that made F1 so special has gone for good. 2020 next year. I’d very surprised if you can buy a road legal petrol sports car from anyone in 2030. Lotus do not have time to muck about. A 70 year line of exceptional drivers cars is coming to an end the CEO is not talking about honouring that lineage with a  petrol car to show the world what Lotus can do with proper funding. No mention of what he’s doing to improve quality (essential for any plan), no interest to date in communicating with existing customers or finding new ones, besides billionaires. Fine for those looking forward to electric Lotus cars but those hoping to drive off into the sunset in a last hurrah petrol Lotus might find that they already own it.

I think they were banking everything on Evija to get them out of jail. We will never know how many orders they really have but they’ll need to sell a lot in order to be able to ignore the current range. Literally not a single thing to date from the new management that wasn’t already in a JMG’s plan. Unless you count the new logo.

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I agree that the sun is setting on petrol cars, and at the moment my only upgrade choice for my 410 Sport is a GT430. The GT410 would be at best a sideways step as my 410 has more carbon.

My upgrade path for my Type 116 is really either a 220 Cup or 250 Cup Elise. 

So unless they do bring out one last Petrol hoorah then I agree, my future Lotus ownership route will be limited and I'll likely be in too something else, but I've stated that on here several times before.

I fully agree with you that the current state, or lack of, communication re future models is not good. However, You do have to acknowledge that Lotus marketing is active, more so than it has been for years, and they are regularly featuring customers cars too in their social media posts.

Ferrari have committed to continue with its V12 cars, indeed, they are its fastest growth market, but they are for millionaires with high disposable incomes.

At a point where Chevy have launched their new mid engined Corvette. Toyata has produced its first serious sports car for years, and BMW has pushed through the 600bhp barrier with its M cars whilst still producing stonking cars like the 140/M2 etc I do wonder if your're being a tad premature in predicting the death of petrol sports cars.

EVs are growing, but they will hit an infrastructure brick wall. Newspaper story last week on Tesla owners complaining of 45 minute plus wait times to get a charge. Indeed, last week I pulled into the services on M6 at Lancaster. Tesla was on its charger. I went in. Had a coffee. Something to eat. A pee. None of which done at speed and same Tesla was still being charged with two other owners chatting to charging car owner whilst they waited. These increasing stories will put people off.

I do hope we see a last petrol hurrah from Lotus. I agree though I might be smoking dope. Wishing for the impossible. Flogging a dead horse. Or doing all three at once.

 


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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Perhaps the lack of news about new models is a good thing after all the new models that were announced but never materialised.

What about bio fuels?  They are going to be used in F1 as part of its carbon-neutral plan and still allow the use of internal-combustion engines.  They could use the same distribution network as currently used for petrol/diesel.  A bit lacking in the production facilities right now but the same is true for electric power on the scale needed to service the world's transport fleet.  It could allow existing cars/trucks to stay on the road.


S4 Elan, Elan +2S, Federal-spec, World Championship Edition S2 Esprit #42, S1 Elise, Excel SE

 

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17 hours ago, USAndretti42 said:

Perhaps the lack of news about new models is a good thing after all the new models that were announced but never materialised.

What about bio fuels?  They are going to be used in F1 as part of its carbon-neutral plan and still allow the use of internal-combustion engines.  They could use the same distribution network as currently used for petrol/diesel.  A bit lacking in the production facilities right now but the same is true for electric power on the scale needed to service the world's transport fleet.  It could allow existing cars/trucks to stay on the road.

I seem, to recall hearing something about these a few years ago where it was said that certain countries has been concentration in growing crops for fuel rather than food - and hence the price of food had risen - but I stand to be corrected?

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@KAS-118 you are correct and it also caused deforestation I believe.

Maybe the next Lotus will be fuelled by McDonald's cooking oil?

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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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SUVs making the news headlines today. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-50713616

In brief, overall exhaust emissions are going up. Blame is being put on the 1.8m SUV sales since 2015 which compares with 47,000 EV sales in the UK. SUVs accounted for 21.5% of new car sales last year, up from 13.5% in 2015. The extra weight of SUVs compared to saloon cars is estimated to produce 25% more CO2. Most will continue to do so on the roads for the next ten years at least.

So while the Porsche business model has been proven to be successful during the last 10 years, there are no guarantees that it will remain so for the next ten years. Seems to me to be a terrible time to be moving away from a tradition of radical lightweight engineering. I'm sure efforts will be taken to make the Lotus SUV the 'lightest in class' but if the view is to slacken weight targets on the basis that no-one really cares about kerbweight I think Lotus will miss a massive opportunity. Imagine a radically light and fuel efficient SUV? The timing could be brilliant. Rather than giving themselves a pat on the back for a sub 2 ton SUV, how about pushing for nearer 1400kg? It would have a real USP, make more headlines, lead the way for Lotus's competitors to follow. After a decade of cars gaining flab we now have 1600kg hatchbacks and 2.5 ton SUVs. The Lotus ethos has never been more relevant. All the signposts are there. The most Lotus inspired car of recent years, the Alpine A110, is selling well, Alfa and Maserati SUVs struggling. What we're hearing from Lotus recently suggests they want to break away from their traditional principles, dealers and customers in the hope of pulling themselves out of a niche into the mainstream. Seems at the moment that the current range are reminders of what not to do. I just hope they can see through the poor sales figures and appreciate the many brilliant things they should be keeping hold of.

If it's just another me-too fast SUV with fancy Volvo switchgear you'll get some wishy washy lifestyle marketing because there isn't much to differentiate it. Attractive, young, successful couple getting up to a variety of exciting outdoor activities, guess what? SHE drives. Imasculated man shoots admiring glances. Fade to black. 'THE LOTUS ELEPHANT. THE FIRST SUV... FOR THE DRIVERS.'

Make a 1400kg SUV and they could film a race up Pikes Peak between the Lotus SUV and its competitors. They all drive as far and as fast as they can on 5 litres of fuel. Have all-female racing drivers for all I care. Watch the others roll around before conking out one by one while the Lotus reaches the summit in time for a dramatic sunset hero shot. 'THE WEIGHT IS OVER. LOTUS ELEMENT.'

 

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Yes I was wrong to jump in feet first finally received a reply from one of Phil’s lieutenants, Lotus are not looking to via away from cars for the driver 

apologies to anyone I have annoyed or wound up 


Darryl & Sue

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

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6 hours ago, KAS-118 said:

I seem, to recall hearing something about these a few years ago where it was said that certain countries has been concentration in growing crops for fuel rather than food - and hence the price of food had risen - but I stand to be corrected?

Champ Car and IndyCar in the States used methanol from corn to power thier cars for years and now use ethanol derived from sugar cane but F1's plan is to use biofuel that is not derived from food crops.  Whether that will need more forest clearing or not, I don't know.

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S4 Elan, Elan +2S, Federal-spec, World Championship Edition S2 Esprit #42, S1 Elise, Excel SE

 

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I heard it was going to be foodwaste derived... But I have no idea.

Back on topic if the SUV is 1400KG then it must be mostly made of unobtainium, at 1500kg it would be a feather weight in the category and at 1600kg it will still be around 100kg lighter than the competition but if we assume it is EV from the off, then I would rather not say.

I like the sound of Lotus Element but i'm pretty sure Honda will not play ball on this one.

Edited by NedaSay

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Harris is sometimes right! And on this one he just hammer the nail. SUVs never made any sense. Except for Porsche who could make a people carrier look somewhat better than a people carrier...  And then the rest of world realized that being aggro was a good thing ! Still I think the Lotus SUV can be relevant, on the one condition that it just skips ICE altogether. If they go straight to EV it will stay somewhat relevant. Considering where the overarching group is going it would be logical for Lotus to just go straight to EV without the need to go to PHEV even though the capability is there.

The ESUV could be AWD, FWD or RWD,  It can be somewhat excused to be lardy if the driving dynamic wizards go the whole nine yards on it. The demographic it targets is begging for ADAS so it will have the full array. It will be Lotus version of the people carrier, but maybe more importantly it will provide the underpinnings of the future sport luxury sedan that is in the Vision 80 business plan... And if they make a sporty luxury sedan the SUV maybe replaced way down the line by a proper shooting brake. And the world will be a better place just because of it... A transcontinental highway cruiser with toylike driving prowess and a range enabling its driver and passengers to go from London to Megève  without the need to stop once for anything other than empty their bowels and slowing down for toll booths.

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I might be worng of course, but I don't think the current chinese owners of Lotus bought them because they want to continue making small lightweight gasoline powered sportscars. They bought it because they want a brand that was cheaply for sale. The board of directors and the shareholders wants profit, not enthusiasm like Lotus used to be driven on. Look at the new logo and strange mix of colours - couldn't be more ugly. Until otherwise proven, I remain sceptical.

Not exactly the same, but it reminds me of when ford wanted to buy ferrari in the sixties.

Knocking down more trees doesn't seem to be a good idea. I have heard of a small swedish teenager who is opposing that idea. And 1.000.000.000 more behind her.

Jacques

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Nobody does it better - than Lotus ;)

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Agree on going straight to EV. But that reinforces the point I was making. The chance to make an internal combustion sports car for the ages may already have passed. Or at least the peak for petrol sports cars took place during the JMG era. I had hoped we’d see what a Lotus on a big development budget could be. Increasingly unlikely now that the first truly all new Lotus will be ICE at all.

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Uh I do think next year sports car will be ICE first and possibly EV second if possible at all.

 

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Yes but next year’s ICE car won’t be all-new, may be 4 cyl turbo auto only and not as fast or high spec as current 430 V6s.

Intention is for something closer to current 4 cyl Cayman or Alpine. It will look amazing I have no doubt about it and that will be enough for some but it will leave recent high spec Exige and Evora owners without an obvious upgrade and painful/unworkable trade in value. Will it bring in scores of first time Lotus owners? Enough to allow the management to forget all about their long standing customers? Unlikely.

My prediction is that there will be a few who just want the new Lotus, a greater number will buy it mainly for its looks but current Porsche owners will take more convincing. The usual ambition of 5000 cars per year will receive a hard reality check and Lotus will be forced to re-engage their fan base. Faster more hardcore version rushed to market but Alpine RS is already selling well, wins the group tests and Lotus are playing catch up. Lotus faithful to the rescue once again but Geely aren’t happy and scrap any plans for anything that isn’t an autonomous EV. We might one day get a truly fantastic electric Elise but it’s a long way off at the moment.

Next year’s car should handle exceptionally well with a 4 cyl, just drive a current Elise for proof of that, but the Elise also proves how few care about great handling. Lotus would be flying out of the showrooms if steering and handling were what people prioritized . Loads of boring cars now but few actually handle poorly (not even SUVs or rear engined ones) so Lotus’s once great differentiator has been eroded somewhat. In the 70’s and 80’s Lotus were the ONLY fast cars that could go around corners!

 

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The founder and chairman of Geely Automobile became the largest single shareholder in Mercedes-Benz maker Daimler last month after purchasing a 9.7 per cent stake in Daimler, via open market transactions.

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Lotus are a sports car manufacturer and have always been...surely they’re gonna give us sports cars that are Superior to the ones we have already?they struggle to Sell the excellent cars they make now,making something half hearted and lame will not increase sales,especially to new markets and to the existing owners who would like to upgrade.massive investment is happening so a golden opportunity to make world beating cars !

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