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Would you buy a 3 cylinder Elise?

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With the 1.6l Elise getting removed from the Lotus offering, this raises the question of what can Lotus do that would make money to them, allow larger volumes, be true to statement lotus and get people up the ladder of Lotus ownership.

A logical option in the world of geely is to build a sports car with a 3 cylinder turbo engine. Available therefore cheap, likely to save weight and space. Using an Elise aluminium chassis and other geely components, you may get nearby below 1000kgs and still get it approved for the US market (just...). Cost control/utilisation of the part bin would get you a shot at a 30k sports car.

BUT would you buy a 3 cylinder sports car?

The second question is, would you buy a front engine sports car? I think part of the attraction of the Elise is to me a mid engine sports car and is unique at that starting price. The elan 2 was a great car that didn’t particularly sold whereas the mx5 is a hit. Do Loti need to be unique?

 

 

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I would buy a three cylinder powered Elise as long as it was quick enough and good enough, why not? I don't think we're ever going to see a £30k entry level Elise though; Lotus is moving up market and there's no money to be made building £30k sports cars in tiny numbers, better to be selling £50k sports cars in tiny numbers. Lotus will always be a small niche player.

I've owned two front engined sports cars in my time - Lotus M100 Elan and Honda S2000. Both great cars - the Elan was even front wheel drive! If the next gen Elise was front engined I'd be very disappointed. I think it does have to offer something unique, if it becomes just another user friendly MX5 competitor, just buy the MX5 (It'll be a lot less hassle!). The only reason for buying Lotus is the way it drives and if it loses that unique appeal, it loses everything.

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Yup, as an example... when I bought my 400 in July 2016... I bought the flagship lotus product.... Their flagship is now twice the price I paid.

In May 2018, when I buy my next Lotus, it will be the entry level Elise 220....

Lotus are definitely targetting a different market... some things remain the same, some things will HAVE to change.

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It makes sense at the moment for lotus to focus on margins per model. Current factory set up could produce maybe up to 2000 cars a year but there isnt client base yet for that anyway.

It makes sense to have a smaller cheaper model if you make 4000-5000 a year and unless the Volvo network starts to sell cars, there is no way to sell that much with the current outfit.

At a later stage though, they will need to branch out. First step is to sell an SUV, to sell SUVs you need a bigger network. If you get a bigger network, you need to to fill it with products (think bmw series1, Mercedes A class, Audi A1). 

I would love to see a Lotus “Elementary” or “Entry”, 3 cylinder turbo 175bhp (assuming the 157bhp of Volvo gets tuned up), mid engined, sub 1000kg, removable roof hence filling the space left by the Elise growing bigger.

Main issue for me is i am more at the age where I like a leather trimmed Evora with a baby seat at the back and the next Lotus i’ll buy will hopefully be a new esprit !

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Be good if they get the new ford 3 cylinder engine that is in the new fiesta st

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As Neal H said - if its good enough why not?

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Never driven a triple but I do like the idea of a smaller, lighter engine for an Elise so see no reason why it couldn't work. In the bike world triples are seen as more characterful than in line fours so it might be a win-win.

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my smart roadster coupe 3 cylinder turbo, was a lovely engine, way ahead of its time. made you laugh every time you booted it..  (why did i sell it... doh)

the wifes 3 cylinder supercharged and turbocharged 3 cylinder bmw engine, is without doubt one of the nicest engines to drive, with bags of low down ommph from 600rpm all the way up rev range..

its a lovely engine, sounds great too..

would make for a nice driving experience in an elise, however, it looks utterly rubbish ( as most modern engines do)  just  spagetti of plastic, cables , electronics and pipes...   completely unispiring...  

just give me simple engine, tunable lightweight DOHC accessible consumables etc etc.. o h wait we have that in older Elise....   

ahh progress eh..

The three cylinder bit wouldn't put me off,  so long as it looked good and sounded great. and wasnt adorned with a million sensors that defaulted the car to return to dealer for fix..

 

 

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27 minutes ago, andyj007 said:

would make for a nice driving experience in an elise, however, it looks utterly rubbish ( as most modern engines do)  just  spagetti of plastic, cables , electronics and pipes...   completely unispiring...  

Since they removed the plastic cover, this pretty much describes the look of the current Elise engine!

My experience of a Triple is limited to motorbikes. I had a Triumph 955 Daytona about 15 years ago and the engine was by far the best thing about the bike - great torque, great top end and awesome noise. I believe it was also designed by Lotus.

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My wife had a Suzuki Cappuccino 3cyl 650cc turbo that redlined at 9500 revs. Great fun and got to 60 considerably quicker than my 5.7 litre Corvette did!

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On ‎24‎/‎04‎/‎2018 at 21:32, pete said:

Be good if they get the new ford 3 cylinder engine that is in the new fiesta st

Beat me to it. 1.5 3 cylinder and 200PS - what's not to like !

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By the time it's supercharge, turbocharged and intercooled, it will probably be heavier and take up more space than the 4-cylinder but it would give a wide torque range and plenty of performance and a V6 type of sound so I don't see why you would object.

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