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JonRB

42,982 posts

157 months

[news] 
Tuesday 12th June 2012 quote quote all
It pains me to say this, but there is a long line of mainstream cars that have worn the Lotus badge - Lotus Cortina, Lotus Sunbeam, Lotus Carlton. Although it has a danger of diluting the brand, it could be worth investigating something similar for some income.

odyssey2200

18,650 posts

94 months

[news] 
Tuesday 12th June 2012 quote quote all
Scuffers said:
that's not the only option, look at what McLaren are doing....
McLaren covered it's development costs by charging Mercedes to build SLRs.
A car for which MB picked up the developmet costs by selling mainstream, volume cars.
Most of McLaren overheads are covered by a business that already existed even before the MB deal.

Its production volumes do not exceed demand (at the moment)

Scuffers

13,743 posts

159 months

[news] 
Tuesday 12th June 2012 quote quote all
odyssey2200 said:
Scuffers said:
that's not the only option, look at what McLaren are doing....
McLaren covered it's development costs by charging Mercedes to build SLRs.
A car for which MB picked up the developmet costs by selling mainstream, volume cars.
Most of McLaren overheads are covered by a business that already existed even before the MB deal.

Its production volumes do not exceed demand (at the moment)
not sure your right there, the money to build the new factory has zero to do with Mercedes.

GTiFrank

569 posts

69 months

[news] 
Tuesday 12th June 2012 quote quote all
Slightly off topic but I can't wait for the DRB-Hicom - Potenza Sportscars (Westfield Sportscars / GTM) project to come off and see the knew GTM that comes out of it biggrin

otolith

25,391 posts

89 months

[news] 
Tuesday 12th June 2012 quote quote all
Personally, the effect on the power to weight ratio is not the main reason I want Lotuses to be light, but I think the other benefits are too subtle for a lot of potential customers and so they need to make more of that. I think they've got the right idea with the positioning of the new supercharged Elise, in that it is a bit cheaper than a zero spec base model Boxster but a clear chunk more accelerative (235bhp/ton plays 191bhp/ton, over a second quicker to 62), so you can see that you aren't giving up your poncey interior for nothing, but why not two litres and 250bhp rather than 1.8 and 217? How about another model with 300bhp aimed at debagging the Boxster S? I'm sceptical that there would be significantly increased build costs for Lotus, they are already forced induction and the cars aren't aimed at the kind of buyers who are marginal for insurance or running costs. I entirely understand why too much performance is not appropriate for cars like the MX-5 and GT86/BRZ, but I don't think that's the case for Lotus and they could still sell the 1.6 eco-Elise.

Basically, I think Lotus need to make sure that at every price point they use a decent weight advantage to tear the opposition a new one in a straight line. That's the sort of USP that even unsubtle buyers can get.

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Scuffers

13,743 posts

159 months

[news] 
Tuesday 12th June 2012 quote quote all
not sure you can put an Elise against a Boxster in any meaningful way, nobody that's a potential customer for a Boxster would even consider an Elise....

at that level, performance in terms of power/weight is almost an irrelevance.

otolith

25,391 posts

89 months

[news] 
Tuesday 12th June 2012 quote quote all
Scuffers said:
not sure you can put an Elise against a Boxster in any meaningful way, nobody that's a potential customer for a Boxster would even consider an Elise....

at that level, performance in terms of power/weight is almost an irrelevance.
AutoCar just did.

Though I tend to agree with you that the buyers aren't likely to overlap (with the exception perhaps of the very extreme 911 variants and the Exige S) these things are important to how people justify their purchases to themselves. For some types of people considering blowing 37k on an Elise, it's nice to know that the guy who chose to spend his 37k on a Boxster got a slower car.

Both cars are still at a level of performance where power/weight is a significant consideration. There isn't enough difference in absolute power between them that the lighter car's advantage will be significantly eroded at speeds relevant to UK road use.

Scuffers

13,743 posts

159 months

[news] 
Tuesday 12th June 2012 quote quote all
otolith said:
Both cars are still at a level of performance where power/weight is a significant consideration. There isn't enough difference in absolute power between them that the lighter car's advantage will be significantly eroded at speeds relevant to UK road use.
so, remind me again how many boxster owners do trackdays etc?

they really are not in the same market.

JonRB

42,982 posts

157 months

[news] 
Tuesday 12th June 2012 quote quote all
Scuffers said:
so, remind me again how many boxster owners do trackdays etc?
A few do. I've seen a few at track days over the years. PHer Don does (or did) for a start.

DonkeyApple

16,761 posts

54 months

[news] 
Tuesday 12th June 2012 quote quote all
Twincam16 said:
According to the interview with Wolf Zimmerman in the latest issue of TG, it'll have at least 600 bhp from a 4.6-litre normally-aspirated flat-plane-crank V8, and will be significantly lighter than the opposition.

So, it'll be more powerful than the Ferrari 458 Italia, Lamborghini Gallardo and Audi R8 V10 for starters. In terms of power-to-weight ratio it'll blow them all into the gutter. I really wouldn't be surprised if we ended up with something along the lines of the Noble M600 to be honest, only with the immediately-responsive, smooth-power-curve engine traits you only get with a normally-aspirated unit. Build it to an acceptable enough standard and it could be absolutely superb.

The original Turbo Esprit was the car that put Lotus into contention with Porsche in the Eighties, selling well in the USA and creating a very strong image. Performance-wise it was somewhere between a Ferrari 328 and a Testarossa, but on price it undercut the 328. I think the new Esprit, in the spirit of the original, could do the same. If it manages to snap at the heels of an Aventador for a price that wouldn't get you a Gallardo, and unlike a Gallardo offers compact dimensions and handling that's easier to exploit on track, I can see them selling loads.
If it can do that and look as good as the comp then it would be a royal result. It would also justify a healthy margin on the smaller cars.

DonkeyApple

16,761 posts

54 months

[news] 
Tuesday 12th June 2012 quote quote all
JonRB said:
It pains me to say this, but there is a long line of mainstream cars that have worn the Lotus badge - Lotus Cortina, Lotus Sunbeam, Lotus Carlton. Although it has a danger of diluting the brand, it could be worth investigating something similar for some income.
It's an important part of their history. ProDrive seemed to steal this market off them a bit. I raised this in another thread. form a division which behaved like Scnizter, RUf or Brabus etc.

The question would be what car of the people would be the smart choice?

Would you use a Ford or Vauxhall these days or something else?

DonkeyApple

16,761 posts

54 months

[news] 
Tuesday 12th June 2012 quote quote all
JonRB said:
Oh, I quite agree; I thought it was quite a handsome car. It just failed to deliver on so many of its promises though. frown
I thought it was the best looking Lotus for years. Had a very mature look. I assumed it was just the replacement for the Exige.

otolith

25,391 posts

89 months

[news] 
Tuesday 12th June 2012 quote quote all
Scuffers said:
so, remind me again how many boxster owners do trackdays etc?

they really are not in the same market.
The natural environment of the Elise is the B-road. Someone who wants a track car should be looking at a Caterham/Westfield, IMO.

Anyway, we're getting away from the point I was making, which is that Lotus should be using their weight advantage to kick the opposition in the goolies in a straight line, not just to handle more sweetly.

JonRB

42,982 posts

157 months

[news] 
Tuesday 12th June 2012 quote quote all
otolith said:
The natural environment of the Elise is the B-road. Someone who wants a track car should be looking at a Caterham/Westfield, IMO.
Not everyone is lucky enough to be able to afford a separate car for each of their driving requirements.

otolith

25,391 posts

89 months

[news] 
Tuesday 12th June 2012 quote quote all
JonRB said:
Not everyone is lucky enough to be able to afford a separate car for each of their driving requirements.
Sure, I absolutely agree - but to me it's a road car you can track, not a track car you can use on the road.

Scuffers

13,743 posts

159 months

[news] 
Tuesday 12th June 2012 quote quote all
Twincam16 said:
According to the interview with Wolf Zimmerman in the latest issue of TG, it'll have at least 600 bhp from a 4.6-litre normally-aspirated flat-plane-crank V8, and will be significantly lighter than the opposition.
just to pick up on this...

to get 600Bhp from 4.6L would require >130 Bhp/litre

in the context of a road car engine that has to pass EU5, that's going to be some achievement (for ref: Ferrari's 458 engine is <125Bhp/L - currently the highest out there and includes +5 of 'ram effect')

so, is it just me that thinks they are smoking something thinking they can achieve this? (within the limit's of EU5 and premium 95 fuel)

Tuna

4,739 posts

169 months

[news] 
Tuesday 12th June 2012 quote quote all
Scuffers said:
just to pick up on this...

to get 600Bhp from 4.6L would require >130 Bhp/litre
Are they talking about 600bhp from the hybrid system, rather than purely from petrol?

Scuffers

13,743 posts

159 months

[news] 
Wednesday 13th June 2012 quote quote all
Tuna said:
Are they talking about 600bhp from the hybrid system, rather than purely from petrol?
well, that's not the implications of the press releases so far...

mind you, I can see them resorting to that when the engine fails to deliver (bit like the 340r supposed to have 340 Bhp/tonne but ended up being 340 made when they failed to get remotely close to 340Bhp/tonne)

Tuna

4,739 posts

169 months

[news] 
Wednesday 13th June 2012 quote quote all
Scuffers said:
Tuna said:
Are they talking about 600bhp from the hybrid system, rather than purely from petrol?
well, that's not the implications of the press releases so far...

mind you, I can see them resorting to that when the engine fails to deliver (bit like the 340r supposed to have 340 Bhp/tonne but ended up being 340 made when they failed to get remotely close to 340Bhp/tonne)
You really are a glass half empty kinda guy aren't you biggrin

Would it matter if it was 600bhp from the combined system rather than from the engine alone? You'd still get the power at the wheels.

Agreed though. Lotus have always launched cars with lower power than the market expects. I can understand the advantages to them of doing so, but it doesn't help the perception of their cars - something they ought to be a bit more sensitive about these days.

Megaflow

4,612 posts

110 months

[news] 
Wednesday 13th June 2012 quote quote all
GTiFrank said:
Slightly off topic but I can't wait for the DRB-Hicom - Potenza Sportscars (Westfield Sportscars / GTM) project to come off and see the knew GTM that comes out of it biggrin
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