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Scuffers

12,648 posts

154 months

[news] 
Wednesday 13th June 2012 quote quote all
Tuna said:
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.
kind of misses the point....

if you brag your going to do X and turn up with less than X, you not only look like a plonker, but you will always then have an up-hill battle (as well as loosing what little credibility you have left).

I have no issue if they want to put some hybrid system in it, but that's not the point (and I very much doubt they have the time/money to come up with a decent production ready system), they said 600Bhp from a V8 engine, so that's what they will be measured against.

it's bad enough that this so called 'new' Lotus V8 is in fact a cancelled project from ANO and it's very un-clear exactly what involvement Lotus have/are having in it's design/manufacture (not a bad thing when you consider how bad the last V8 was!)

juansolo

2,672 posts

158 months

[news] 
Wednesday 13th June 2012 quote quote all
otolith said:
JonRB said:
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.
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.
Nailed on IMO.

Tuna

4,683 posts

164 months

[news] 
Wednesday 13th June 2012 quote quote all
Scuffers said:
I have no issue if they want to put some hybrid system in it, but that's not the point (and I very much doubt they have the time/money to come up with a decent production ready system), they said 600Bhp from a V8 engine, so that's what they will be measured against.
That's a marketing mistake that feeds the pedants (and should only feed the pedants). 600bhp for acceleration is 600bhp. If it translates to good headline track times, the pedants will moan that it's not 'really' 600bhp, but a good track time is a good track time. If the engine was 5l+ in order to produce that power, sure they've missed their target, but it's still 600bhp. Would I care if it 'cost' me an extra 400cc to get that? No, not really. The "my car's technically superior to yours" argument in the pub is (a) very boring and (b) not helping McLaren.

Again I agree with you though that Lotus should learn to manage expectations. They've been playing with hybrid systems for a good few years now, and their experience of things like the Tesla should put them in a good position. But if they fail to deliver, they fail to deliver.

Scuffers said:
it's bad enough that this so called 'new' Lotus V8 is in fact a cancelled project from ANO and it's very un-clear exactly what involvement Lotus have/are having in it's design/manufacture (not a bad thing when you consider how bad the last V8 was!)
Hmm.. why is it so terrible that they've picked up someone's design work and run with it? Lotus have a history of taking other people's engines and getting a lot more out of them. Can you really give a good technical reason why picking up someone else's cancelled project is going to produce a lesser engine?

Scuffers

12,648 posts

154 months

[news] 
Wednesday 13th June 2012 quote quote all
Tuna said:
Scuffers said:
it's bad enough that this so called 'new' Lotus V8 is in fact a cancelled project from ANO and it's very un-clear exactly what involvement Lotus have/are having in it's design/manufacture (not a bad thing when you consider how bad the last V8 was!)
Hmm.. why is it so terrible that they've picked up someone's design work and run with it? Lotus have a history of taking other people's engines and getting a lot more out of them. Can you really give a good technical reason why picking up someone else's cancelled project is going to produce a lesser engine?
hence my comments in bold

my gripe with them though is that they are telling the world it's a new, clean sheet design by them, which it patently is not.

Twincam16

27,646 posts

138 months

[news] 
Wednesday 13th June 2012 quote quote all
DonkeyApple said:
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?
I agree wholeheartedly, which is why either Nissan or Toyota would be the best buyer for Lotus.

In order to be like AC Schnitzer, Ruf or Brabus, the car they tweak needs a degree of prestige about it so it'll sell to the guys in the chalkstripe suits who'll drive it right up your arse in the outside lane of the motorway, arrogantly flashing their headlights and making coffee-grinding gestures because you dare to merely do 90 when they've got a meeting/coronary to get to and they'd rather do 130. These guys don't buy Fords.

The market for fiddling with the German prestige stuff is swamped. Even with the in-house tuners you've already got BMW's M-division, AMG in-house at Mercedes and Audi's RS cars. VW makes 'R' versions of the Golf and Scirocco too, plus they've got access to whatever wing of VAG takes their whim. And that's before we get to AC Schnitzer, Hartge, Brabus, Koenig, ABT Sportline, Alpina and the like.

But their Japanese rivals? OK, so there are some 'F' versions of Lexus but while they're good the M3's hardly quaking in its boots. Infiniti has been something of a damp squib over here but the cars are mightily uninspiring waft-o-tronic barges. If they wanted to, they could make them comfy, upmarket, acceptable-anywhere GTRs in drag (and of course Lotus sorted the GTR's suspension settings out in the first place).

Lotus-Lexus or Lotus-Infiniti would give the Japanese genuine challengers in the supersaloon market. Also, the technology developed there would make their sports cars more reliable and acceptable to a mass market.

I've been saying for ages that what Lotus needs is the plan Colin Chapman had arranged with Toyota back in 1982 before his death, that the two firms should work together. Either Toyota or Nissan will do, but under either Lotus would become to them what Ferrari is to Fiat.

Either that or Mazda. If they're taking on Alfa Romeo (which is looking distinctly likely), you could have a jointly-developed roadster available as a Mazda MX5 (low-powered, cheap and cheerful roadster), Alfa Romeo Spider (high-powered, stylish luxury roadster) and Lotus Elan (high-powered, lightweight roadster). With that taking cars of volume sales for Lotus, development could focus on the Exige as a track-day nutter's car, the Evora as a kind of British 911 GT2 (it seems racers are lapping up the hotter race-ready variants quite readily even if the public are glossing over the ordinary cars), and the Esprit as an answer to the 458.
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DonkeyApple

15,280 posts

49 months

[news] 
Wednesday 13th June 2012 quote quote all
Twincam16 said:
DonkeyApple said:
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?
I agree wholeheartedly, which is why either Nissan or Toyota would be the best buyer for Lotus.

In order to be like AC Schnitzer, Ruf or Brabus, the car they tweak needs a degree of prestige about it so it'll sell to the guys in the chalkstripe suits who'll drive it right up your arse in the outside lane of the motorway, arrogantly flashing their headlights and making coffee-grinding gestures because you dare to merely do 90 when they've got a meeting/coronary to get to and they'd rather do 130. These guys don't buy Fords.

The market for fiddling with the German prestige stuff is swamped. Even with the in-house tuners you've already got BMW's M-division, AMG in-house at Mercedes and Audi's RS cars. VW makes 'R' versions of the Golf and Scirocco too, plus they've got access to whatever wing of VAG takes their whim. And that's before we get to AC Schnitzer, Hartge, Brabus, Koenig, ABT Sportline, Alpina and the like.

But their Japanese rivals? OK, so there are some 'F' versions of Lexus but while they're good the M3's hardly quaking in its boots. Infiniti has been something of a damp squib over here but the cars are mightily uninspiring waft-o-tronic barges. If they wanted to, they could make them comfy, upmarket, acceptable-anywhere GTRs in drag (and of course Lotus sorted the GTR's suspension settings out in the first place).

Lotus-Lexus or Lotus-Infiniti would give the Japanese genuine challengers in the supersaloon market. Also, the technology developed there would make their sports cars more reliable and acceptable to a mass market.

I've been saying for ages that what Lotus needs is the plan Colin Chapman had arranged with Toyota back in 1982 before his death, that the two firms should work together. Either Toyota or Nissan will do, but under either Lotus would become to them what Ferrari is to Fiat.

Either that or Mazda. If they're taking on Alfa Romeo (which is looking distinctly likely), you could have a jointly-developed roadster available as a Mazda MX5 (low-powered, cheap and cheerful roadster), Alfa Romeo Spider (high-powered, stylish luxury roadster) and Lotus Elan (high-powered, lightweight roadster). With that taking cars of volume sales for Lotus, development could focus on the Exige as a track-day nutter's car, the Evora as a kind of British 911 GT2 (it seems racers are lapping up the hotter race-ready variants quite readily even if the public are glossing over the ordinary cars), and the Esprit as an answer to the 458.
So, a Prodrive division attached to a specific high volume, global manufacturer, a Noble equivalent and then a conventional division which concentrates on taking a large slice of the track day market at one end and taking on conventional Porsches at the other?

Interestingly, as the MX5 really seems to be the daddy of their segment why not do a Lotus version?

Twincam16

27,646 posts

138 months

[news] 
Wednesday 13th June 2012 quote quote all
DonkeyApple said:
So, a Prodrive division attached to a specific high volume, global manufacturer, a Noble equivalent and then a conventional division which concentrates on taking a large slice of the track day market at one end and taking on conventional Porsches at the other?

Interestingly, as the MX5 really seems to be the daddy of their segment why not do a Lotus version?
Precisely. Given that the MX5 wouldn't really exist if it wasn't for the Elan, it's not a million miles out.

It would also make sense re. the structure the new car will have. The MX5 and new Spider will by necessity have the same chasses, but totally different body panels, so at one point during their construction you'll have the basic engine-less shell of the car on a production line at Hiroshima, constructed to the highest Japanese standards.

No doubt the MX5s will stay in-house, and the ones destined to be Spiders will be sent to Pininfarina or Italdesign to be clothed and fitted with engines.

So what about some of those chassis being sent to Lotus? Lotus would fit a glassfibre body, keep the interior as minimal as they dare and fit the hottest version of the engine available (the Alfa Romeo 1750 TBI Veloce) with extra tuning on top, with cruising refinement not as much of a priority as it would be for Alfa.

Lotus would hardly have to do anything and yet the car would have more in common with the Elan (and therefore more appeal for enthusiasts as well as anyone buying one for 'retro' reasons, which is, let's face it, a massive market) than many Lotuses since. It would also stick to the Lotus principle. It would provide Lotus with a volume-seller without them having to shell out on a massive factory.

Lotus could tune the Mazda range as well (imagine a Mazda Lotus-6!). Mazda has quite a good image for this - it's sort-of where Peugeot was in the '80s and '90s, definitely a cut above Ford and Vauxhall, not quite with BMW but could be potentially if the right work was done.

I have a feeling we'll see jointly-engineered Mazdas and Alfas from hereon in. The Spider is the start - Marchionne's been looking to sell Alfa to the right people for ages - so the new Mito will be a 2, the new Giulietta a 3, the forthcoming Giulia probably a 6 - but with Alfa's own suspension, cylinder head technology and styling applied inside and out.

But with Lotus on board too, the new conglomerate could have a whole new blood-spitting high-performance wing. Mazda for the bread-and-butter, Alfa for the sporting luxury, Lotus for the out-and-out sport and special projects.

Tuna

4,683 posts

164 months

[news] 
Wednesday 13th June 2012 quote quote all
I can't see any large, established manufacturer pandering to the nostalgia of Lotus enthusiasts if they bought the company. The value is in the engineering consultancy, and maybe a halo model that could part-share with a similar model in their lineup (like the Toyota-Subaru deal).

Mazda don't need to feed a Lotus Elan/Elise mashup with the MX5 - the payback wouldn't be worth the costs. It'd be much more effective for them to just stick a Lotus badge on an existing MX5 and have the guys at Hethel play with the suspension setup a bit.

The effort of resurrecting Lotus as a brand with a range of models is not worth it if you already have a range of cars in your stable that sell. A better owner would be someone who wanted to get into the car business and was willing to meet the costs of doing so - so Triumph, JCB or even DRB-Hicom if they choose that path rather than Nissan or Mazda.

marshalla

9,475 posts

81 months

[news] 
Monday 18th June 2012 quote quote all
Bahar suing for wrongful dismissal, Lotus advisory council dissolved

http://www.bilanz.ch/unternehmen/dany-bahar-entlas...

(I think - my Swiss German isn't great, but a combination of online translation and dictionaries leads to those words)

The Crack Fox

9,297 posts

72 months

[news] 
Monday 18th June 2012 quote quote all
marshalla said:
Bahar suing for wrongful dismissal, Lotus advisory council dissolved

http://www.bilanz.ch/unternehmen/dany-bahar-entlas...

(I think - my Swiss German isn't great, but a combination of online translation and dictionaries leads to those words)
comment under linked story said:
"Hört doch endlich mit diesem sticky-fingered RedBullst-Artist auf! "
rofl

Mikeyboy

5,018 posts

115 months

[news] 
Monday 18th June 2012 quote quote all
The Japanese are extremely unlikely to buy the likes of Lotus.
Toyota are a conglomerate, they don't buy companies, they build them. They had the cash and production capabilities to buy jaguar, Rolls etc in the 90s, but what did they do? Bulod up a brand for the segment called Lexus.
They have a moderately succesful in house racing and engineering business so have no need for that side of Lotus either.
Nissan is to all intents and purposes owned by Renault. Why would Renault want to let Nissan have another rival to Renault Sport? It is planning to launch its own cars if I remember correctly. Also Nissan has Nismo for racing engineering.

Japanese companies rarely buy other firms. Its just not in their corporate psyche.

More likley is a Korean firm or as I've said before TATA. TATA is a good fit, and I really hope its them who buy it. Look wha they've doen with JLR. Now thats a success story.

What they need before all that happens is an MD/CEO who recognises that Lotus is a fairly unique animal now though. Its a sports car firm (name one of them), not a supercar manufacturer or the maker of track day specials. This is the trap that the firm fell into under the past two MDs. They had a niche, they just forgot to fill it.

Ozzie Osmond

15,582 posts

126 months

[news] 
Monday 18th June 2012 quote quote all
Tuna said:
I can't see any large, established manufacturer pandering to the nostalgia of Lotus enthusiasts if they bought the company.
Absolutely right, and a big "IF".

Tuna said:
Mazda don't need to feed a Lotus Elan/Elise mashup with the MX5 - the payback wouldn't be worth the costs. It'd be much more effective for them to just stick a Lotus badge on an existing MX5 and have the guys at Hethel play with the suspension setup a bit. The effort of resurrecting Lotus as a brand with a range of models is not worth it if you already have a range of cars in your stable that sell.
Yes.

Tuna said:
A better owner would be someone who wanted to get into the car business and was willing to meet the costs of doing so - so Triumph, JCB or even DRB-Hicom if they choose that path rather than Nissan or Mazda.
Yes. Although regrettably that begs the question who would be daft enough to try to knock Ferrari, Lamborghini and Porsche off their perches from a standing start. I really hope Lotus Cars can survive but it's difficult to be optimistic. Such opportunity as the company had to develop new cars may have expired with the under-styled and over-priced Evora. The mere fact that it was completely ignored in Bahar's new vision for the company tells it all. Exige S is a toy for the trackday enthusists, not a road car, and might tick the factory along for a few weeks at best.

Twincam16

27,646 posts

138 months

[news] 
Monday 18th June 2012 quote quote all
Mikeyboy said:
More likley is a Korean firm or as I've said before TATA. TATA is a good fit, and I really hope its them who buy it. Look wha they've doen with JLR. Now thats a success story.
That'd work actually. Lotus has worked with Jaguar on engine technology (and IIRC lightweight aluminium platforms), plus it's not like Jaguar and Lotus clash with each other.

Only thing is, no doubt they'd have to drop the Toyota engines in favour of Jaguar ones. How would a Jag V6 perform in an Exige or Evora? And what would end up in the Elise? The 240bhp 2-litre four-cylinder engine from the Evoque Dynamic, I'd guess.
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