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The Pits

The world's first respectful Exige V6 Vs Cayman GT4 debate.

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This has quickly degenerated into a discussion that is mostly about subjective "views" and stuff.  What I have learned so far is mainly summarised by:

1. The GT4 is screwed together better, has better interior plastics, and has a cupholder (the last thing seems to be a particular issue for Lotus owners, Evora or Exige - or the lack of one that is)

2. The GT4 is like an executive saloon - it has lots of whizzy instruments, great NVH, and carpets!  

3. The GT4 is an unregulated financial wealth creation scheme ( @Waitey 's post came in same time as mine)

4. The Exige is a more raw experience

So in other words, I've not learned a lot.  I'm also a little frazzled by the fact that the comparison seems to be against every V6 Exige based model against ONE specific model from the Cayman range, the track focused, most expensive, quite elusive, Motorsport influenced, GT4 model.  As a result, we get anecdotes comparing the earliest Exige V6 models to the latest CUP380's. Just does not seem a very fair or focused comparison to me. Apologies if I am missing the point here.

A lot is said about Lotus "quality" versus Porsche "quality" and this is one of the main topics of the debate really.  We can say it is all about driving pleasure, quality, feel etc, but very quickly, as can be seen from the thread so far, the focus falls on "quality" in the form of fit, form, NVH, dials, whizzo's and cupholders!  A lot of this is important to many owners, especially when the car is going to be a daily driver and I get that, totally.  But then, I look at the thread title again and the comparison is with the GT4, the car some have labelled "the ulitmate drivers Porsche" (source Evo) built by Porsche Motorsport. Am I a little crazy then to expect that the real discussion should be about the drive, the handling, the quality (engine, transmission, suspension, handling etc) and not carpets and cupholders - :devil:)?

It seems that a large part of the debate is the perception around engineering quality too.  The Lotus totally gets slated because it has a Toyota V6 that comes out of a Camry - an executive type of saloon. Therefore it is viewed as being inferior. We move on to the gearbox and the fact that the Exige uses a proven but dull Toyota box is again an issue and shows how the Lotus product must therefore be inferior.

Correct me here if I am wrong. But which manufacturer has a track record of seeing it's engines eat themselves. Porsche or Toyota?  Ergo, when we talk about quality, is it really quality that is being discussed, or snobbery in that the Porsche is seen to have a Motorsport inspired technologically excellent and innovative engine and the Lotus has well, a V6 from a mass producer called Toyota that DOES NOT have a reputation for failing? Again, please correct me by evidencing the last time one of these engines was shown to eat itself or fail?  Not show me multiple examples in a forum thread from real owners, just one example! 

Let's move on to the gearbox.  What would you rather have. A gearbox that had a slightly "quirky gearchange" that meant it was possible to get a slightly off change and feel (the Lotus) but was robust and proven in its performance, or, as with Porsche, (as pointed our by @IcemanTM that points us to the RENLIST forum) a gearbox that can have catastrophic failures if you use slicks and drive it hard? There is a reason that Porsche do not let even their dealers open that gearbox. Any guesses?

So when we are talking about focused, high performance, driving machines, Is quality about carpets and cupholders, or, the things that matter like engine and gearbox reliability?  

I have learnt from reading @The Pits posts that it can be argued that Porsche penny pinches on the suspension, when compared to the Lotus but that the net result is that both cars handle well, with little concerns from owners, out of the box.  They can both be improved with suspension mods/tweaking to dial out the inherent understeer etc and this is important when you really want to explore the limits of the chassis of track when driving full on. If we are comparing "any" Exige then this is where it gets tricky for me, as the normal Exige suspension is OK, but I believe the Exige Cup cars normally come with much more sophisticated, expensive, adjustable suspension components. I guess this makes it easier for Exige Cup car owners to dial in the suspension to suit their driving style. That has to be a plus point for Lotus surely and a big kicker in the "quality" measure?

The final thing is around price.  The big issue for me is how do Porsche create and sell such a cracking car as the GT4 at the list price point? (I know, you can't buy for list).  That really is truly impressive and to be honest, for me, this is the ONLY point where Porsche truly embarrass Lotus - on pure like for like price point as I do believe you do need to compare the GT4 to an Exige Cup car. But then again, this is only when you compare to the latest 380 Cup and not the 360 Cup. List price of £65k for the Porsche GT4 or thereabouts versus the Cup360 which had a list price of £63k in 2015 (a year earlier) when launched I believe. So on a like for like basis the Cup 360 is good value and on a par with the GT4 price wise, probably much better after both have been optioned up to the "usual" buyers spec.  The disparity comes with the recently launched 380 Cup which has a heady £84k list price.  The list price disparity is quite staggering.  However, an open question, as I really do not know, did Porsche deliberately set the original £63k sticker price low and how much was that influenced, if at all, by the Exige 360 Cup's sticker price of £63k?  Let's be honest, Porsche really does have a slick marketing team and knows how to market. So did they deliberately set the price at a reduced margin, or even, as a halo loss leader to drive sales further down the more profitable Cayman range?  I mean, it is not as if a volume car producer has not done this before is it?

I've deliberately tried to keep my comparison to the 360/380 Cup as the latest flurry of new Exige's with sport this or that and 350, 360 and 380 that or this have quite frankly confused me :dizzy:

I know I am biased. I am not trying to hide that at all. But as I said on the other thread, when you look at what Lotus has at its disposal - financial, technical, engineering, manufacturing - it is a bloody marvel that it produces cars that can be compared to the Porsche quite so closely. I do find in general, that Lotus owners are surprising frank, open and honest when talking about their cars and will often, sometimes gleefully, reveal their horror stories and true thoughts which can sometimes be a tad hard to read and take. But, and here is the rub, it is this openness, frankness and honesty from owners that has really driven my enthusiasm, and grown my passion for the brand. It is rare to find the same level of true humility from fans of the Porsche brand.

So to ensure this stays on topic, what are the chance of the debate, the comparison, being between the Exige 360/380 Cup and the GT4?  I think if it was that focused the debate would be more even. We can have another thread for "normal" Exige V6/V6s against the normal Cayman's.  I actually think the Cayman would more likely win out there, as more owners of either of these cars would be in the daily driver category so things like carpets, noise and cupholders would finally be of relevance to the comparison ;)

 


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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@C8RKH The Toyota unit is reliable. It should be! It only just pushes past the specific output of 100bhp/litre with a supercharger fitted! Its hardly stressed.

The 2.0 diesel in my work car has a specific out put of 105bhp/litre and its from the last decade!

 

As a side note, the first iteration of a 2GR V6 in the Camary had an issue of spinning crank barings. I guess this was put to bed before Lotus used the engine.

Edited by Waitey

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Not denying the output figures at all. You potentially missed my point I think (or I have missed yours, if so apologies) which was just plain and simple that the unit is reliable in the fitment we are discussing. I wasn't wanting to have, or to start, a willy waving competition about outputs etc. For me, I'd rather have the Lotus configuration and known reliability, that the Porsche configuration and a massive potential bill. Potential being the operative word there as again, they all don't do it and not wanting to divert into a different willy waving competition if you get my drift.


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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I wasn't knocking your point, I was just giving the reason behind it. I'm much rather a track engine last.

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6 minutes ago, Freejack said:

Hey guys, go out and enjoy the rain ;)

Reading this is like discussing with my friend about blonde or black haired girls. No one will ever get a focussed piston head to the other side of the wall, so it's quiet waste of life time to try to argue this things which are out of argumentation.

And don't call Porsche drivers arrogant or similar, there are enthusiasts on both side of of the wall.

 

I like blonde and black haired girls. I also like brunette's and red heads. I like to think I am quite open.  I'm also assuming the arrogant point is not referring to anything I wrote as all I said was " It is rare to find the same level of true humility from fans of the Porsche brand". I kinda think you proved my point?  lol   ;)

Back to GT4 versus Exige Cup.

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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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Peace, no you weren't that bad guy ;) I only wanted to point out, that "Porker" drivers are maybe not fare away from "Bobby Car" drivers :fish:

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See now bringing MrD back into it is totally against the spirit of this thread. Look how well we were getting on without him now we have some more unfounded myth being presented as irrefutable fact all iver again.

I think Andy raises some fair points and was doing well to keep himself in check! It should really be a comparison between either Exige V6 Vs Cayman or Sport 380 vs GT4. £10k of extras on a GT4 is very modest. To get to the car Porsche claim weighs 1340kg you need to spec ceramic brakes for a start, they are £7k on their own. Quality is ultimately a subjective value unless we can agree that, say, thicker hides are better quality and measure the hides thickness! I have a Lotus sample here and it's 2mm thick by the way. Nice piece of cow, no scars or blemishes, smooth, even grain.

@Waitey how many 380's have you seen on the dyno? Or are we repeating stuff we've read on the internet? As has been established many times on here low dyno numbers do not mean Lotus engines aren't making not those numbers, only that the numbers are low. It's as likley to be an issue with the dyno and method used as the engine. If a dyno is showing less power than the crate engines from Toyota make without the supercharger then it's time to question the dyno. They also completely ignore the real world performance of the car so really are pointless willy waving in the truest sense. No more on this please unless you can get a GT4 and a Sport 380 on the same dyno on the same day, with both cars operating correctly it's just not meaningful or helpful.  What has a remapped GT4 got to do with it? Porsche detuned the car for their own reasons, none of them good, and that's what you're stuck with for this comparison.

Special effort to keep this thread sunny side up please chaps or we will only prove that it isn't possible to discuss this topic respectfully! Geez shall we discuss Brexit for a bit to cool things down? :D

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17 minutes ago, The Pits said:

See now bringing MrD back into it is totally against the spirit of this thread. Look how well we were getting on without him now we have some more unfounded myth being presented as irrefutable fact all iver again

Sorry, but I didn't meant Mr.D, it was someone else, but please take my sincere excuse to bring this back into this thread - my fault.

Coming back to dynos, I guess it's not a matter of dyno itelf. My best friend is running software updates on ecu's and so I am quiet often involved in this matter and of course we run all my cars o see what's going on. My LF1 was measured with nearly 350 HP, as fare as I remember it was 348, so very close to the real figure. In comparision, this dyno shows some few HP less than other dynos nearby.

The biggest issue I saw, was the loss of power during a trackday. This can be measured of course by p-box 100-200 sprint, which I unfortunately didn't checked later.

The comparision of power, I would see as follows. On dyno I expect to have both engines on the same level. On track, I see the power loss more on the V6 side, because charger without cooler will heat up even more, than an naturally aspirated engine.

For me it isn't a big trouble, but this kept me finally away from ordering the new 380. Once Lotus will solve this, cards will be reshuffled.

 

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I can't help but feel that if Lotus could ship the Exige with a better than OEM manifold (without the two cats toasting the engine block - apologies if i am miss-informed) then a large issue around the performance drop due to heat could be partially negated. I like a previous idea from @The Pits some time ago of Lotus somehow finding a way to use the ac unit to help with air temps. That would be innovative engineering and absolutely would make Colin smile from his cloud. That would be such a big nod to the Lotus DNA of old to get one component to do two jobs to save weight and drive performance. Even JMG might smile at that!

Thanks for keeping the conversation going and largely on track guys (the last part why we should not be talking cupholders as the cornering g will only spill your coffee anyway!) :devil:

 

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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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Just to add on the reliability front, I know a guy who took his GT4 on a European road trip. Gearbox died, he got great customer service, but a couple of months later his car is still at the Porsche dealer waiting to be fixed, they are being very vague about the cause of failure (he suspects the issue linked earlier in the thread). So great to have a big dealer network in that situation, but if they can't fix the problem...

Add in all those engine issues over the years (flame-grilled GT3 anyone?) and I just don't buy the reliability guff. I'll take a Japanese engine every time if you're asking me for the best combo of quality and performance!

Edited by Ian Lockwood

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I've got a buddy of mine who's got his own dealership.

he sells a fair few Porsches when he can get hold of them - he's driven my esprit. I looked at a Gayman  he had today and fancied a go - his words - "don't bother it's nowhere near as fast or fun as your lotus - you'll hate it"  now - how about this Maserati with a fezza engine in it....


Only here once

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No worries @Freejack I was referring to @Waitey.

If a V6S can trouble a GT4 then it would need at least the quoted power to do that and a 380 ought to do even better.

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4 hours ago, The Pits said:

See now bringing MrD back into it is totally against the spirit of this thread. Look how well we were getting on without him now we have some more unfounded myth being presented as irrefutable fact all iver again.

I think Andy raises some fair points and was doing well to keep himself in check! It should really be a comparison between either Exige V6 Vs Cayman or Sport 380 vs GT4. £10k of extras on a GT4 is very modest. To get to the car Porsche claim weighs 1340kg you need to spec ceramic brakes for a start, they are £7k on their own. Quality is ultimately a subjective value unless we can agree that, say, thicker hides are better quality and measure the hides thickness! I have a Lotus sample here and it's 2mm thick by the way. Nice piece of cow, no scars or blemishes, smooth, even grain.

@Waitey how many 380's have you seen on the dyno? Or are we repeating stuff we've read on the internet? As has been established many times on here low dyno numbers do not mean Lotus engines aren't making not those numbers, only that the numbers are low. It's as likley to be an issue with the dyno and method used as the engine. If a dyno is showing less power than the crate engines from Toyota make without the supercharger then it's time to question the dyno. They also completely ignore the real world performance of the car so really are pointless willy waving in the truest sense. No more on this please unless you can get a GT4 and a Sport 380 on the same dyno on the same day, with both cars operating correctly it's just not meaningful or helpful.  What has a remapped GT4 got to do with it? Porsche retuned the car for their own reasons, none of them good, and that's what you're stuck with for this comparison.

Special effort to keep this thread sunny side up please chaps or we will only prove that it isn't possible to discuss this topic respectfully! Geez shall we discuss Brexit for a bit to cool things down? :D

Insert other media

He had some solid points though. Just ignoring him because he's upset people on the internet isn't really a valid reason!

I think everyone just assumed the GT4 would be compared to the 380 Sport/360 Cup cars. The 350/V6S would be more aimed against the Cayman/Boxster S as far as relative performance go. Well until you look at the newer 718 Turbo S' they've moved the performance game on a fair bit, albeit losing all joyus sound in the process. 

I've not seen an 380 on a dyno, but there are plenty of V6S', Evora 400's and Evora 410's not making the numbers, so when you see a 400 not making 390ps when it has a charge cooler, you've got to worry about the 380! Not making the numbers can directly affect how they drive though, I feel it's what may be generating to seeming lack of mid range from a 380 over a normal V6S. It'd be good to see what charge temps you get from a 380 before and after say 10 runs on a dyno. Like I said in my first post, Porsche power figures are all over the place too so its not just a Lotus only issue.
I had a crack at building up a Seadoo Rotax race engine for my old jet ski. They are dinky 3 pot 1.5l motors with a Rotrex type charger dropped off the back of them. Once finished it'd run 310bhp at 7100rpm cold, take it for a run out for 30 mins, get it warm and it'd give you 150 more RPM since Rotax ecu's are odd, but it'd only put put 280bhp. Inlet temps in the cold run were around 25deg, on the hot run they could see over 90deg. Fair old difference. Then Rotax made a fancy integral charge cooler/inlet manifold. After that you could put out 310 all day, as seawater has the benefit of being sodding cold in England.
Although what is confusing is @alias23car's performance behind the Komotec 460 car. Maybe the 350ps output is the sweet spot for this little motor!

@Wilbert Camshaft made some interesting points in the other thread we aren't allowed to talk about.

My findings:

·         Gear ratios and

·         Total drag

The Exige Sport 350 (with the exception of 1 gear) has substantial longer gear ratios than the GT4 (axle ratio and gear ratio combinded), in %

1.       Gear             -3,80%

2.       Gear             4,98%

3.       Gear             3,30%

4.       Gear             6,54%

5.       Gear             14,69%

6.       Gear             10,45%

Besides, the aerodynamic drag of the Exige Sport 350 is considerably higher than drag of the GT4 (cw x frontal area)

Exige    (0,44 x 1,7) 0.748

GT4       (0,32 x 2,0) 0,64

So, the aerodynamic drag of the Lotus Exige 350 is 16,87% higher than that of the GT4 – the higher the speed, the stronger the impact

 

What's interesting is, the longer gear ratio's teamed with the lower revlimit (7000 vs 7600) along with rear wheel sizes give nearly equal road speed in each gear bar first. It will be interesting to see what affect the shortened final drive has on his lap times.

Drag was also an interesting point, maybe something for Lotus to look at for the Exige replacement. Chasing a more slippery car while retaining the down force.

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Nice photo ?...and great that you managed to have an enjoyable day with other like-minded, civil drivers, and nice marques. 

Did both you and the GT4 have track tyres?

 

In retrospect, how do you think your car would have fared in factory spec?

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Yes. This is the problem. How many of us actually have factory spec? Although I'd say more than upgrades @alias23 is one of the best drivers I know and has the approach of a meticulous racing driver which will have far more impact on lap pace.

I regulary "have the edge" on many a GT4, GT3 (and even once a 918 on Silverstone GP) in both the Caterham and the Elise. That certainly does not mean these are quicker cars (although I have no doubt are more fun). Lotus attracts better drivers I suspect because of the well discussed reasons. We  really need to do something like @The Pits did at Combe with the cars and a similar driver. 

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Yes we do Tom, when is the Red Baron  going to be run-in? :)

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Fine Imran photos ... you will have fun like a crazy ... Have you even made some videos?

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3 hours ago, sieger said:

Nice photo ?...and great that you managed to have an enjoyable day with other like-minded, civil drivers, and nice marques. 

Did both you and the GT4 have track tyres?

 

In retrospect, how do you think your car would have fared in factory spec?

Yes both running track orientated tyres.

I think a 100% factory V6 would struggle.

Wouldn't be able to comment on other specs as not driven a 380. Obviously a cup should be well matched but I see those as track spec from factory.

1 hour ago, NANO said:

Fine Imran photos ... you will have fun like a crazy ... Have you even made some videos?

I've got a few videos of previous track days on my Youtube channel this one is a favourite as it includes fire and tyre smoke lol... more fun than chasing lap times

..

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www.alias23.com

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Not doing it at Combe. I don't have the balls you do for 100% there in someone else's (Alex's) car. Same goes for Goodwood - one crash there's enough for me.

Do B&C do Days at Silverstone?


Lotus Register - https://www.lotusregister.com

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57 minutes ago, LF1 said:

Not doing it at Combe. I don't have the balls you do for 100% there in someone else's (Alex's) car. Same goes for Goodwood - one crash there's enough for me.

Do B&C do Days at Silverstone?

Donington should be fine 


www.alias23.com

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