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The Pits

Original Poster:

4,158 posts

127 months

[news] 
Saturday 21st January 2012 quote quote all
very few former Esprit owners like myself will ever be able to afford the new one but I'm interested to know what you think of the new car anyway.

I have every confidence that the steering, ride and handling will be peerless but it's lacking in the one area it badly needs to score very highly - styling.

It's OK but it needs to be a whole lot better than that.

Much of my childhood was spent dreaming about the Giugaro Turbo Esprit.

I used to drool over a Peter Stevens Esprit Turbo SE in a showroom over an hour from where I lived and visited it several times.

Just can't see myself doing that for the new one.

I'm the biggest Lotus fan you'll ever meet and former owner of 2 Esprits. But this one isn't doing it for me.


Oilchange

3,280 posts

147 months

[news] 
Saturday 21st January 2012 quote quote all
I suspect its styling will be tweeked here and there and will look stunning when rolled out. Concepts are rarely put on the road exactly as is.

Wait a bit and see the cars in the show room, then judge.

bobo

1,388 posts

165 months

[news] 
Sunday 22nd January 2012 quote quote all
i really wouldn't worry about the styling, the designer is italian that's worked previously in the right place, its what they do best (apart from coffee) ...


The Pits

Original Poster:

4,158 posts

127 months

[news] 
Sunday 22nd January 2012 quote quote all
Regardless of who did the styling I still have to like it if I'm going to want one!

F430 Scuderia is Donato Coco's best work to date but it's still what you'd call 'technical' rather than beautiful and only really a tarted up 430.

His Ferrari California is vile (for a ferrari at least) and the Citroen Picasso is a design even I'd be ashamed of.

Hopefully for Lotus there are enough wealthy people out there who think the opposite.

Oilchange

3,280 posts

147 months

[news] 
Sunday 22nd January 2012 quote quote all
Judging Coco on his Ferrari work is the wrong way to go about it. It was all signed off at a higher level anyway and we don't know what design he first presented to the boss. His skills will be put to the Esprit with an Emphasis on Lotus and its DNA and will have to be signed off also.
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Tuna

4,805 posts

171 months

[news] 
Monday 23rd January 2012 quote quote all
I'm waiting to see it in the flesh, but have been underwhelmed by photos to date. That's in stark contrast to the new Elan which in photos at least, looks gorgeous.

The problem with the Esprit is that there seem to be a lot of similarly styled cars in that space at the moment. Everything from the Mclaren to the GT 86 (OK, that's pushing it) seem to have similar lines. Maybe it's that the original Esprit was so distinct. The new model doesn't scream 'supercar', just 'competent sportscar'.

By the time it's sitting on my driveway, I'm hoping the styling will have evolved a little... that gives Lotus about 10 years to get it right!

Thorburn

1,392 posts

80 months

[news] 
Monday 23rd January 2012 quote quote all
Saw the styling prototype at Goodwood and I thought it looked fantastic, although details like the camera wing mirrors were a bit silly and unnecessary.

The Elite is the one that really excites me though from a looks perspective. That looks like a really pretty car.

Hedgerley

576 posts

155 months

[news] 
Monday 23rd January 2012 quote quote all
Thorburn said:
Saw the styling prototype at Goodwood and I thought it looked fantastic, although details like the camera wing mirrors were a bit silly and unnecessary.

The Elite is the one that really excites me though from a looks perspective. That looks like a really pretty car.
Have to agree with both these comments. I understand the styling has evolved as has the interior detail but by all accounts it will still 'blow us away' according to Johnny Mowlem's comments in his Autosport Show interview (check out the video on TLF News from 5m38s onwards when he comments about the road cars). But then again he has to say that doesn't he?

As for the Elite, that really appeals, especially as I enter my twilight years with SWMBO and we prefer the comforts of a long distance GT. It is the video that really sold us.

HairbearTE

585 posts

41 months

[news] 
Saturday 28th January 2012 quote quote all
I think it's ugly and looks like a Japanese car. Gutted tbh, I owned a S3 and love the styling of the later cars too. This dosen't do it justice and dosen't seem to show any Esprit "DNA" at all. frown

bobo

1,388 posts

165 months

[news] 
Sunday 29th January 2012 quote quote all
he worked on the 458 italia didnt he ? a game changer of a design. you can see the 458 3/4 influence on the new esprit which imho looks good from that angle. not sure on the rear end frankly. i suppose it will change slightly, theres enough time.

its like all cars , you really need to see one in motion to know.


The Pits said:
Regardless of who did the styling I still have to like it if I'm going to want one!

F430 Scuderia is Donato Coco's best work to date but it's still what you'd call 'technical' rather than beautiful and only really a tarted up 430.

His Ferrari California is vile (for a ferrari at least) and the Citroen Picasso is a design even I'd be ashamed of.

Hopefully for Lotus there are enough wealthy people out there who think the opposite.

doggydave

329 posts

62 months

[news] 
Sunday 29th January 2012 quote quote all
Thorburn said:
Saw the styling prototype at Goodwood and I thought it looked fantastic, although details like the camera wing mirrors were a bit silly and unnecessary.

The Elite is the one that really excites me though from a looks perspective. That looks like a really pretty car.
I saw the one at the FOS which I thought was near enough the complete article, styling wise. I thought it was bland i'm sorry to say. I suppose there is only so many ways to package and present the shape of a car. I sometimes think the designers peaked some years back. A lot of cars are going backwards in their appearance imo.

The Pits

Original Poster:

4,158 posts

127 months

[news] 
Sunday 29th January 2012 quote quote all
bobo said:
do you really think the 458 is amazing looking?

It honestly doesn't do much for me and personally would have the McLaren in a heartbeat over it, based on looks alone.

now clearly anything that low and wide and rakish is going to look better than your average hatchback so the Esprit will undoubtedly be another 'cool' car in most people's eyes, just like the McLaren and the 458.

my point is, if the new esprit isn't the best looking of all of them it hasn't got a chance. It's likely to be a bit cheaper than the other two but Lotus desperately need to give people reasons to consider an Esprit over its rivals. No mean feat taking on such well established and respected names. Given the relative blandness of the 458 and McLaren, otherworldly styling was an area Lotus could and should have scored. That and being considerably lighter than its rivals, which appears to already have been an opportunity missed.

bobo

1,388 posts

165 months

[news] 
Monday 30th January 2012 quote quote all
from a styling perspective yes, its the first proper job by pininfarina since the 355 imho.

agree with you 100pc with this though .... when you are talking about margins, the way it looks easily transcends the way it go's and if truly beautiful all misgivings can be forgiven ... a trick undervalued by lotus since the s1 as relatively their cars aren't that light/fast any more, the edge has to be elsewhere which you have recognised.


The Pits said:
.... if the new esprit isn't the best looking of all of them it hasn't got a chance.

Thorburn

1,392 posts

80 months

[news] 
Monday 30th January 2012 quote quote all
The Pits said:
do you really think the 458 is amazing looking?

It honestly doesn't do much for me and personally would have the McLaren in a heartbeat over it, based on looks alone.
I think the 458 looks alright-to-poor depending on the angle. The front just doesn't look very exciting, almost like a Kia attempt at a supercar, and the big black expanse with the air vanes in the 'mouth' doesn't work in my eyes. The back of it is just a mess.

Didn't really like the 360, 430 was a little better but still wasn't a fan, 355 and 550/575 were the last of 'pretty' Ferrari's IMO.

See quite a few of them as I live round the corner from a Ferrari dealership.

Hedgerley

576 posts

155 months

[news] 
Tuesday 31st January 2012 quote quote all
Update on the new Esprit in the new issue of the Lotus Engineering magazine. Lotus Lightweight Structures 'won' the contract for the body in white. Also lists a number of partners working on the car. The new Elite has been started as well. Good to see progress being made.

Download issue 43 here - http://issuu.com/lotuscars/docs/proactive_issue43/... Page 29 for the Esprit story.

The editorial is also very encouraging as well, with new engineering contracts being won in the US and China.

Tuna

4,805 posts

171 months

[news] 
Tuesday 31st January 2012 quote quote all
bobo said:
... a trick undervalued by lotus since the s1 as relatively their cars aren't that light/fast any more ...
I really, honestly think that it's a modern myth that Lotus must make lightweight cars. Since the original Esprit, I don't think anyone has had weight as their primary, or secondary criteria for buying a car. Sure, Lotus have made a virtue of it where their cars have been light (and they haven't always been), but until recently none of the competition particularly cared and where have customers consistently gone? Not to Norfolk.

The cars that have sold well are all-round good cars, well priced and a pleasure to drive. In a sports car, that alone is a difficult trick to pull off. No-one has ever turned down a Ferrari, Porsche or Lamborghini for being a heavier than a stripped out track car.

The Pits

Original Poster:

4,158 posts

127 months

[news] 
Wednesday 1st February 2012 quote quote all
was only discussing styling but I do think the Esprit should be lighter than it's competitors even if it's only to differentiate it further.

Lotus don't need to sell huge numbers so they don't have to appeal to the lowest common denominator like porsche which somehow manages to attract both 'enthusiasts' and people who know nothing about cars. They fool most of the people most of the time.

However lotus can and should appeal to a more niche market. Therefore the Esprit has to be more focused and be able to take the keen driver to places the good all-rounder can't go. Cayman vs Exige is a good example. Cayman is the better allrounder no question and a very complete car. However its motorway manners (stability) means it can't reach the highs the Lotus offers on an Alpine pass (agility). It's a very good compromise but if Lotus try and make an all-rounder people will just buy the porsche anyway (eg Evora).

Exige V6 makes so much more sense to me as a direction. There's nothing out there to touch it for the money and without power steering and being exceptionally light and compact (for a car with 345bhp) it will drive like nothing else out there too. Some negatives like ease of access will be there and it will still come up short to the Cayman as a motorway cruiser but if driving pleasure is your priority its a small price to pay.

the world doesn't need another 458 wannabe. Lotus need to do their own thing and make the Esprit something unique. To my original point showstopping looks is probably the easiest to achieve, helped by 'so so' looking competition.

doggydave

329 posts

62 months

[news] 
Wednesday 1st February 2012 quote quote all
The Pits said:
was only discussing styling but I do think the Esprit should be lighter than it's competitors even if it's only to differentiate it further.

Lotus don't need to sell huge numbers so they don't have to appeal to the lowest common denominator like porsche which somehow manages to attract both 'enthusiasts' and people who know nothing about cars. They fool most of the people most of the time.

However lotus can and should appeal to a more niche market. Therefore the Esprit has to be more focused and be able to take the keen driver to places the good all-rounder can't go. Cayman vs Exige is a good example. Cayman is the better allrounder no question and a very complete car. However its motorway manners (stability) means it can't reach the highs the Lotus offers on an Alpine pass (agility). It's a very good compromise but if Lotus try and make an all-rounder people will just buy the porsche anyway (eg Evora).

Exige V6 makes so much more sense to me as a direction. There's nothing out there to touch it for the money and without power steering and being exceptionally light and compact (for a car with 345bhp) it will drive like nothing else out there too. Some negatives like ease of access will be there and it will still come up short to the Cayman as a motorway cruiser but if driving pleasure is your priority its a small price to pay.

the world doesn't need another 458 wannabe. Lotus need to do their own thing and make the Esprit something unique. To my original point showstopping looks is probably the easiest to achieve, helped by 'so so' looking competition.
I disagree with most of this. If Lotus stick to your view Pits, they will never make a penny and will surely disappear at some point in the near future.

I agree the Exige V6 will be a stonking car, for the purists (even if it is a bit heavy). Imo this and the SC Elise should be the starting point for Lotus ownership. Then they should be making the sort of allround cars that people will buy.

Making lightweight sports cars that only us enthusiasts love will only get them bankrupt. Look at the last 16 years or so.

Re Bobos comment about weight. Can someone put on here the kerb weights of the old Esprits. Excel, Eclat and S2 Elite. None of which I believe were lightweights in their time. Compared to these cars the Elise / Exige S2s etc. are Atomlike.

For Lotus to survive the new cars have to appeal to a wider audience.

The Pits

Original Poster:

4,158 posts

127 months

[news] 
Wednesday 1st February 2012 quote quote all
I would argue that was tried and has essentially failed with the Evora.

Compared to the Exige it's much easier to get into, it's more refined, more comfortable, it's better on motorways and is more usable on a daily basis. Also, inspired by the masters of mass appeal (Porsche) they kept the styling conservative. Very much a Lotus version of something between the Cayman and the 911.

Guess what?

Everyone still wants 911s.

What's interesting is that by porsche standards the Cayman is something of a sales flop too. Proof that the buying public aren't that bothered with vehicle dynamics (more Evoras would have sold on that alone if they were).

Besides the only way the Esprit could possibly be better to drive than a 458 or MP412/C is if it's lighter.

bobo

1,388 posts

165 months

[news] 
Wednesday 1st February 2012 quote quote all

'showstopping looks' .... is what i think the proposed elan has ... if the evora had been styled like that i would be an LE owner (warts n' all) and so would probably half my team that owns 911's !

this really isn't rocket science .... the italians have been pulling the beautiful but inferior product trick for so long i cant remember.

The Pits said:
the world doesn't need another 458 wannabe. Lotus need to do their own thing and make the Esprit something unique. To my original point showstopping looks is probably the easiest to achieve, helped by 'so so' looking competition.
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