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New 410 musings - Ex Cayman


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Right so next bit of the adventure I have got the stereo sorted. 

I bought a Pumpkin head unit but annoyingly it wouldn't power up so had to go for an android auto equipped Pioneer (with DAB!)  I might still swap to the pumpkin as I wanted to run the Torque app on the head unit. 

Hertz Energy ESK 135L front speakers, rework/strengthening of the OE sub enclosure with a ton of Skinz deadening material JC MX500 Amp and a Hertz 8" sub

Total transformation. All undertaken by Ram Audio in Wakefield who clearly know their stuff. Crystal clear detail on the fronts and nightclub level bass with very tight response and its all in OE positions. They did comment that the OE alpine unit is good but annoyingly has a lot of features deleted from it including separate outputs for the sub that normally do come on the same unit that you can buy after market. 

As featured on another thread I have tipped the drivers seat back by swapping the spacers round from back to front but having driven it again today it's not enough so will be making up some new brackets. They are simple enough so will come up with something that gives a few levels of adjustment. 

I am also having creeping thoughts of having the Komotec shorter gear ratios fitted too.....I think I will leave the big tweaks until it's got a few more miles on it but for me its a tiny bit short of been the firecracker of a car that lurks just under the surface. Will save some pennies up first but I think next year will see the ratio kit and 460 kit going on. If anyone has either of these mods fitted I would be very interested to hear any views. 

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Well after a bit of a wait the 410 has finally landed! I thought I would leave a musings thread here as it may help some people go have a look at these cars and see what they are all about. I'm into t

UPDATE! I'm delighted to say that I have had confirmation today that my 410 will be receiving a new roof panel! I'm having the car back soon and have agreed that the work can be carried out

I absolutely sympathise a lot and if I am honest I have a few "weave issues" on the roof of my  410 but I can live with it.  It does not affect the structural integrity of the car. It does not look ba

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Would be interested in the seat brackets if you decide to retail them @jonnyboy.

I told you the problem was not the head unit really lol.

Shame Android Auto won't let you show Torque. Great app and it would be a superb add on in the Evora.

Alcohol. Sex. Tobacco. Drugs. Chocolate.  Meh! NOTHING in this world is as addictive as an Evora +0. It's not for babies!    

The first guy to ride a bull for fun, was a true hero. The second man to follow him was truly nuts!   

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if its an APP radio then you can get am app called APR (app radio unchained), they do a version for a rooted phones and a version for an unrooted phone. It means you can just mirror the phone completely to the head unit. Not sure if it works on every pioneer unit but worth checking. If you try it and it has issues connecting turn off in the android settings the location by wifi (or something like that).

Gav

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So the ownership takes a slightly darker turn.....

The car has a few niggles some were there right from the start and I have gathered a few others. The full list of issues is as follows:

Side decal has an air blister in it (noticed on collection day) 
Tailgate numerous defects in the carbon (I have a replacement sat waiting at Oakmere) 
A.C. doesn't work (I suspect this will be a massive pain to find and fix) Picked up by Oakmere when it had the run in service
Almost stalls when cold
Roof panel has defects and needs replacing specifically distortions in the weave caused by void son the mould. Interestingly this means the tooling they are using for the roofs isn't carbon most likely vinyl ester. Totally unsuitable for production tooling. 
Rattle coming from under dash
Windows leak
 
Oakmere have been brilliant but asked me to approach Williams to sort something as Lotus wont pay for stuff like rattles and window leaks. 
Slightly nagging feeling that I should have just bought a GT4. Must remember that the 410 is ultimately a more special car but why can't they just deliver it finished!?
 
Will update as we go but not very impressed at the moment. 
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Hmmm. Disappointing to see this. The windows on mine need adjusting, they aren't actually sealing properly,squeak when the door is opened and aren't even straight! I am expecting that to be a warranty item but will see what happens. 

 

Isn't the almost stalling when cold a MAF issue? 

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10 hours ago, jonnyboy said:

Side decal has an air blister in it (noticed on collection day) 

Tailgate numerous defects in the carbon (I have a replacement sat waiting at Oakmere) 
A.C. doesn't work (I suspect this will be a massive pain to find and fix) Picked up by Oakmere when it had the run in service
Almost stalls when cold
Roof panel has defects and needs replacing specifically distortions in the weave caused by void son the mould. Interestingly this means the tooling they are using for the roofs isn't carbon most likely vinyl ester. Totally unsuitable for production tooling. 
Rattle coming from under dash
Windows leak
 
Oakmere have been brilliant but asked me to approach Williams to sort something as Lotus wont pay for stuff like rattles and window leaks. 
Slightly nagging feeling that I should have just bought a GT4. Must remember that the 410 is ultimately a more special car but why can't they just deliver it finished!?
 
Will update as we go but not very impressed at the moment. 

Reading this is very frustrating.  Many of these issues should be picked up at final inspection.  Having been involved in production years ago, there were various level of 'inspection' throughout the entire actual production process before a final sign of at the end, so why (in particular) are the paint or carbon issues allowed to pass.

On my new 400 I found at least 5 defects in the lacquer that were rectified by my detailer at the time of the ceramic paint treatment.  I could see these with my untrained eye, so how come these things are not picked up at the factory?

In fairness to Lotus, the carbon work is out sourced to a company with a very good reputation in carbon fibre manufacture and in particular with motor sport, so Lotus do appear at least be using good suppliers, but (like the Sparco seats) you still have to quality check what these suppliers produce, regardless of what you think their standards should be.

My previous (40k) Cayman had no paint issues and our (30k) Civic Type R is also void of any paint problems, so a flagship (near 100k) car should be spot on.

Being brutally honest, I think Lotus need to start reviewing which members of staff are actually signing off these problem cars and start taking people to task. 

 

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Fair point. They make a big deal about the final bodywork inspection on factory tours, with QA staff in that specially-lit white tunnel that each car passes through prior to sign-off. I wonder how rigorous they're allowed to be? With such small volumes, the pressure to get each vehicle out of the door must be very high and the significant extra cost of sending a car back to be rectified must be frowned upon. Perhaps they think they can get away with it on some occasions?

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19 minutes ago, Simon Bateman said:

Reading this is very frustrating.  Many of these issues should be picked up at final inspection.  Having been involved in production years ago, there were various level of 'inspection' throughout the entire actual production process before a final sign of at the end, so why (in particular) are the paint or carbon issues allowed to pass.

On my new 400 I found at least 5 defects in the lacquer that were rectified by my detailer at the time of the ceramic paint treatment.  I could see these with my untrained eye, so how come these things are not picked up at the factory?

In fairness to Lotus, the carbon work is out sourced to a company with a very good reputation in carbon fibre manufacture and in particular with motor sport, so Lotus do appear at least be using good suppliers, but (like the Sparco seats) you still have to quality check what these suppliers produce, regardless of what you think their standards should be.

My previous (40k) Cayman had no paint issues and our (30k) Civic Type R is also void of any paint problems, so a flagship (near 100k) car should be spot on.

Being brutally honest, I think Lotus need to start reviewing which members of staff are actually signing off these problem cars and start taking people to task. 

 

As a matter of interest who do they source for the carbon panels?

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Prodrive. I believe they do the carbon parts for McLaren too. 

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58 minutes ago, Bibs said:

Prodrive. I believe they do the carbon parts for McLaren too. 

Well.......yes and no.....

Yes to Prodrive doing the carbon for Lotus.

I probably shouldn't say too much, but I know McLaren have their own autoclaves, so assume they do their own CF.  In fact their old autoclaves are the very ovens baking the CF for Lotus!!

 

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As the price of Lotus cars rises so customers expectations and their potential willingness to "overlook" the odd minor issue with paint/body dwindle.  So, I agree that the lotus QA people need to up their game to make sure that the standard of the cars leaving the factory meets the value that they EXPECT the customer to pay.

However, Lotus supplier management also needs to get its shit together to be honest. The carbon panels are manufactured and I would bet strongly "finished" externally as i believe they are a bought in as opposed to an "in-house built" component.  That manufacturer of the carbon panels should have their own quality controls and they should not be allowing sub standard components out of the door  to Lotus and Lotus need to manage them better to avoid their customers from being dissapointed.

A £90k car needs a £90k cars worth of quality control.

 

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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!    

The first guy to ride a bull for fun, was a true hero. The second man to follow him was truly nuts!   

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6 minutes ago, C8RKH said:

As the price of Lotus cars rises so customers expectations and their potential willingness to "overlook" the odd minor issue with paint/body dwindle.  So, I agree that the lotus QA people need to up their game to make sure that the standard of the cars leaving the factory meets the value that they EXPECT the customer to pay.

 

I think that's a good point.  Selling a 40k Elise you possibly get away with a 'warts and all' attitude, but when it's a 100k car fighting in the sports/GT sector, it's a whole different prospect.

Horse for courses and all that, but it's undeniable that 100k gets you a very nice 911 or even an AMG GT and although I feel that the Evora gives you that sort of unique mini supercar feel at that price point, the quality of the German products is unquestionable.

As a slight aside, a friend of mine has (from new) a McLaren 720 and he's had a few issues with the car mechanically, but at least on the outside it looks right with no visible defects etc.

Clearly hand built cars do have issues and if McLaren with their meticulous levels of detail can still get things wrong, then maybe we should cut Lotus a little bit of slack, but certainly not for these bodywork issues that were clearly not right at the time of final inspection.

 

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Over the years I've always been prepared to cut Lotus a LOT of slack, but when it comes to obvious visible defects in bodywork, that's just unacceptable at any level. It's really disappointing to read that these problems still exist and will prevent Lotus from shedding the old image as they try and move upmarket.

The quality of paint on my 250 Cup was absolutely superb, but then for cost-cutting reasons they decided to remove the ppf film from the rear arches so it gets chipped within a few hundred miles - It may be 'only' an Elise, but it's still a £50k car for f**k sake! It's enough to make you almost despair, and will prevent the marque from expanding beyond the few hard-core enthusiasts.

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15 hours ago, jonnyboy said:

So the ownership takes a slightly darker turn.....

The car has a few niggles some were there right from the start and I have gathered a few others. The full list of issues is as follows:

Side decal has an air blister in it (noticed on collection day) 
Tailgate numerous defects in the carbon (I have a replacement sat waiting at Oakmere) 
A.C. doesn't work (I suspect this will be a massive pain to find and fix) Picked up by Oakmere when it had the run in service
Almost stalls when cold
Roof panel has defects and needs replacing specifically distortions in the weave caused by void son the mould. Interestingly this means the tooling they are using for the roofs isn't carbon most likely vinyl ester. Totally unsuitable for production tooling. 
Rattle coming from under dash
Windows leak
 
Oakmere have been brilliant but asked me to approach Williams to sort something as Lotus wont pay for stuff like rattles and window leaks. 
Slightly nagging feeling that I should have just bought a GT4. Must remember that the 410 is ultimately a more special car but why can't they just deliver it finished!?
 
Will update as we go but not very impressed at the moment. 

Yeah that would piss me off. Starting to put me off spending more on a Lotus at the moment. 

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I love my Sport 410. Would never want a Porsche instead of it.

Just saying...

 

Alcohol. Sex. Tobacco. Drugs. Chocolate.  Meh! NOTHING in this world is as addictive as an Evora +0. It's not for babies!    

The first guy to ride a bull for fun, was a true hero. The second man to follow him was truly nuts!   

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Me too Andy really but if they want to play with the big boys they need to get the basics right or even have a proper try. Clearly it hasn't been QC'd properly. I don't think I'm being fussy but at this price point there will be a lot harder to please folk out there than me. 

3 hours ago, Bruss said:

Thanks Bibs. I would have expected better from them, not that it excuses Lotus QC.

That's interesting to know as these panels are not made on proper production tooling you wouldn't get voids in a carbon mould. 

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Agreed.

But comparing Lotus to Porsche is like comparing East Rotherham under 7s first 11 to Real Madrid's superstar squad and bitching that East Rotherham got beat.

Porsche is at least 2000 times the size of Lotus in terms of production and sales.

Porsche financial strength and muscle and reserves is at 5000 times greater than Lotus.

Porsche is a fully funded profit centre and part of one of the worlds very biggest Car Manufacturers. 

Porsche buys component parts by the hundreds of thousands. Lotus by the hundreds. Therefore Porsche component parts are significantly cheaper to buy and their contracts are therefore more valuable to the suppliers.

Porsche has massive economies of scale.

Porsche has a manager for everything.

Etc.

So whilst the sentiments of tge comparison are valid. We are not comparing apples to anything remotely resembling anything similar or even another fruit.

We shoukd neither forget, nor write off, this.

Alcohol. Sex. Tobacco. Drugs. Chocolate.  Meh! NOTHING in this world is as addictive as an Evora +0. It's not for babies!    

The first guy to ride a bull for fun, was a true hero. The second man to follow him was truly nuts!   

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Sorry but that's all utter bllcks.

 

If I pay 100 K for a car the production and financing problems of the manufacturer are not my problem. You either play in this market or you fail against your rivals.

 

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Yeah, that's garbage I'm afraid. Lotus would like to have all those things but unless they can sort out problems in the production line or under warranty without hassle (as to be fair, Porsche do - hell my father in law had a broken gear linkage replaced under warranty trackside on a track day(!) and then when the person repairing it damaged some trim that was replaced under warranty as well) that isn't going to happen. And Lotus are now part of one of the biggest car manufacturers in the world...

Having said that, when I followed an 18 plate grey boxster into the station car park this morning I couldn't help but thinking that my car was prettier, noisier and just plain better... 

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11 minutes ago, Bruss said:

Sorry but that's all utter bllcks.

 

If I pay 100 K for a car the production and financing problems of the manufacturer are not my problem. You either play in this market or you fail against your rivals.

 

I have to agree with that......

Clearly Lotus does not have the economies of scale of Porsche or Mercedes, but many of these issues are things that a single person or an inspection team should be picking up.

I too get tired about people banging on about how a Porsche has a better interior etc, when quite honestly the 400/410 is actually a nice place to be and I get that some of the trim will be supplied from other companies models, but I think what we are talking about here is Lotus moving into a brave new world and taking that step up in quality that will enable it to compete on many levels with the competition.

 

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Sorry to hear about the issues with your car Jon, but we should not condemn the Lotus QA/QC issues based on one car. Previous comments about the carbon quality in particular have been very high. Providing you act properly with the dealer network and Lotus, i'm sure your issues will be resolved amicably.

You are of course quite correct to raise your concerns, hopefully Lotus will take note and take appropriate measures to avoid any repetition.

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In fairness I think it's probably more than one car we are talking about, but I do agree that magazine reviews have also stated how good the carbon fibre quality is, so it would seem that the supplier (Prodrive) has had a bad day at the office on this one and Lotus have failed for signing it off.

Also the OP has quite a few other issues to resolve beyond the Carbon bits.......

On the whole I've been pleasantly surprised with my 400, but (touching the wood of my desk top as I type!!) it's early days for me as I'm only just getting up to the first 1000 miles service, but I myself experienced multiple defects in the lacquer that should have been picked up during final assessment and sign off.

 

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1 hour ago, Bruss said:

Sorry but that's all utter bllcks.

 

If I pay 100 K for a car the production and financing problems of the manufacturer are not my problem. You either play in this market or you fail against your rivals.

 

This

You can't not compare Lotus to Porsche because that is who they are trying to steal market share from. 

There is nothing inherently wrong with my car that very simple (free) controls wouldn't have sorted out. The CF should have been bounced back to the contractor at no cost to Lotus. 

At this price point you have to up your game it's as simple as that. 

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