RE: Lotus previews new Emira interior

RE: Lotus previews new Emira interior

Author
Discussion

spagbogdog

764 posts

228 months

Thursday 10th June
quotequote all
Totally agree.
Perceived image and brand are ‘parts bin..driven by a man living in his beloved shed (with the walls covered in demon tweets posters) who never quite managed to grow up and get out of his estate.

Geely are all too aware of this .. hence ‘balls out’ halo model to try and repair the years of damage and convince us they’re now ‘considerably posh’.

DonkeyApple

41,636 posts

137 months

Thursday 10th June
quotequote all
PaulJC84 said:
DonkeyApple said:
True but Aston was totally screwed at the time they needed to source an engine and Merc were the big dog easily able to dictate terms. Aston were only ever going to get what they were given and had to throw in a chunk of the company because they didn't even have the cash.

Conversely, Lotus is an arm of Geely which Merc can't exactly push around unless they want a little slap in China.

The landscape is very different so it would be a big surprise to see Lotus get screwed down like Aston were.
I think at the last AML AGM they said they will now be getting the latest Mercedes tech or at least V8 engines.

I suspect these will no be being developed much further with the EV rules so they are more willing to open it up to others. Plus the ex head of Mercedes AMG being at AML has probably helped.
Yup. Back when they were negotiating as the Ford engine deal was coming to an end, AM was nothing to Merc. Today, post Stroll, Merc have positioned themselves within the Board and the shareholder and debt structure to make AM their premium brand as per the other German manufacturers.

Geely's deal with Merc will have been done under a more level playing field than the desperate, last minute deal AM did. What I hope it doesn't lead to is the Uber control switches that Aston have filled their cars with. I think a sleek, sporty Lotus would look silly with that big square Uber gear lever in the cabin. Let alone an array of tacky plastic buttons and LEDs making the dash resemble a shelf of 80's Grundig stereos.

Lotobear

3,182 posts

96 months

Thursday 10th June
quotequote all
spagbogdog said:
Totally agree.
Perceived image and brand are ‘parts bin..driven by a man living in his beloved shed (with the walls covered in demon tweets posters) who never quite managed to grow up and get out of his estate.

Geely are all too aware of this .. hence ‘balls out’ halo model to try and repair the years of damage and convince us they’re now ‘considerably posh’.
...coming from a TVR driver this, and some of your other posts on this thread, come across as more than a little ironic!!

kambites

61,841 posts

189 months

Thursday 10th June
quotequote all
Lotobear said:
spagbogdog said:
Totally agree.
Perceived image and brand are ‘parts bin..driven by a man living in his beloved shed (with the walls covered in demon tweets posters) who never quite managed to grow up and get out of his estate.

Geely are all too aware of this .. hence ‘balls out’ halo model to try and repair the years of damage and convince us they’re now ‘considerably posh’.
...coming from a TVR driver this, and some of your other posts on this thread, come across as more than a little ironic!!
He didn't say it wasn't also true of TVR. He's right too, ask most people what they think about Lotus cars and you'll either get an answer something like "didn't they make that Esprit thing back in the 80s then disappear?" or "don't they make plastic kit cars?". What they actually produce is irrelevant unless Geely can change that perception amongst the masses and that requires focus on marketing as much, if not more, than the cars themselves.

They've also got to make damned sure they get the quality right because you can bet that if even a tiny number of cars break down, those will be the ones that somehow make their way into the public consciousness. They need to go for Lexus levels of reliability not Porsche ones.

Edited by kambites on Thursday 10th June 08:03

DonkeyApple

41,636 posts

137 months

Thursday 10th June
quotequote all
Tuna said:
I think you're proving my point. None of what you've said is anything to do with ride quality. Agreed the styling is challenging (though it grows on you wink ), but Geely's problems are all about getting people to try their cars, not making them "Range-rover-esque".
There's been this long standing opinion on PH that the issues with the Evora all evaporate when a customer is made to drive one. That the drive experience overcomes all the core issues but this has never been the case. No one has ever said the Evora doesn't steer and seeing as they have sold barely any but dealers have done plenty of test drives this PH mantra is without any evidence and what evidence there is points the other way.

The uncomfortable truth is that Lotus as a brand dropped off the premium buyers radar the day the Elise appeared. The brand went overnight from having a stunning, yet cheap supercar that was iconic along with an F1 pedigree of winning in living memory to a brand that made cheap cars for kids and ale drinkers and an F1 reputation of being losers.

The mid 90s was peak Lotus as a brand but the mid 90s was the start of the biggest and greatest global economic boom ever seen and Lotus read it very wrong and went 'cheap' when the entire planet was going upmarket.

While the entire world has focussed on ensuring their brands are seen as been associated with success, affluence and all the key consumer attributes of an economic boom, Lotus has done the opposite. They've gone from being aspirational to primarily selling a different shaped Caterham to the last remaining non aspirational humans on the planet who have money and trying to sell a halo car that very clearly looks to be worth half as much, or less even, of what they are asking customers to pay.

The reason the Evora has never sold has nothing to do with people not test driving it but everything to do with the 21st century image of Lotus being about failure and cheapness. The dumpy and not quite right looking Evora is the poster boy for that regardless of how it sounds or drives.

Geely seem to have come to the party knowing exactly what the issue is and seem to be going about seeking to change it. The dropping of the base model to allow price perception to increase, the halo hyper car for silly money with silly numbers that have grabbed the headlines, the silly teasers for the new volume model etc.

The build up is looking good and if this car has the sleek lines of a Ferrari, Lambo, McLaren but is notably cheaper then it could be really, really good for them. If it's another dumpy car trying to target a Porsche then it's not.

In very base terms, Porsche is just an object people buy or rent when they reach a certain pay level. It's just a box ticking product like reaching the point of being able to travel business class, stay at proper hotels or having distance between you and your neighbours. It's kind of a generic, income stepping stone. The fact that they are brilliant cars isn't the key metric for the majority of buyers, hence why the 3.0L diesel VW van was the biggest selling Porsche product of all time. Conversely, people put pictures of Ferrari type cars up in their home, they turn to look at them, they will even walk over to look at them. They are the unobtainium that people aspire to, not the de facto post promotion rental agreement but truly objects people aspire to be associated with. If someone delivers something with that visual impact, performance that will not be shameful and yet with a price tag that isn't unobtainium then you slap your product into a really valuable niche as they once did with the Esprit which they sold in greater numbers than the Evora during an era when there were a fraction of the people on the planet with money and the money they did have was small compared to today.



blueg33

26,930 posts

192 months

Thursday 10th June
quotequote all
spagbogdog said:
Totally agree.
Perceived image and brand are ‘parts bin..driven by a man living in his beloved shed (with the walls covered in demon tweets posters) who never quite managed to grow up and get out of his estate.

Geely are all too aware of this .. hence ‘balls out’ halo model to try and repair the years of damage and convince us they’re now ‘considerably posh’.
The parts bin image is pretty dated as a concept surely?

Pretty much every low volume car share many components with high volume cars. Eg Lambo's have audi logo's on all sorts of bits, a Bentley has VW bits (the SUV is basically a Q8), , a Rolls has BMW bits, a Cayenne is a VW in a dress, my Ferrari has some Fiat bits.

Parts bin snobbishness is as stupid as GRP snobbishness. I'd rather have a specialist car where they have focused on the things that makes it special, rather than spending the budget designing indicator stalks and pollen filters.



delta0

1,421 posts

74 months

Thursday 10th June
quotequote all
blueg33 said:
The parts bin image is pretty dated as a concept surely?

Pretty much every low volume car share many components with high volume cars. Eg Lambo's have audi logo's on all sorts of bits, a Bentley has VW bits (the SUV is basically a Q8), , a Rolls has BMW bits, a Cayenne is a VW in a dress, my Ferrari has some Fiat bits.

Parts bin snobbishness is as stupid as GRP snobbishness. I'd rather have a specialist car where they have focused on the things that makes it special, rather than spending the budget designing indicator stalks and pollen filters.
I’ve always felt Lotus was a bit parts bin. You can often put 2 Elises of the same model together and they would have different parts on them.

blueg33

26,930 posts

192 months

Thursday 10th June
quotequote all
delta0 said:
blueg33 said:
The parts bin image is pretty dated as a concept surely?

Pretty much every low volume car share many components with high volume cars. Eg Lambo's have audi logo's on all sorts of bits, a Bentley has VW bits (the SUV is basically a Q8), , a Rolls has BMW bits, a Cayenne is a VW in a dress, my Ferrari has some Fiat bits.

Parts bin snobbishness is as stupid as GRP snobbishness. I'd rather have a specialist car where they have focused on the things that makes it special, rather than spending the budget designing indicator stalks and pollen filters.
I’ve always felt Lotus was a bit parts bin. You can often put 2 Elises of the same model together and they would have different parts on them.
Like an R8 you mean, different Audi switches depending on which facelift

kambites

61,841 posts

189 months

Thursday 10th June
quotequote all
delta0 said:
I’ve always felt Lotus was a bit parts bin. You can often put 2 Elises of the same model together and they would have different parts on them.
Well yes bit that would also be true of say a Golf. Manufacturers constantly improve their cars within a particular model run. I know from trying to buy parts for out Skoda that most engine ancillaries were changed at least twice during the course of the mk2 Octavia VRS's production. In 14 years of maintaining my Elise I've found remarkably few components which were changed during the S2 111S production run. In fact I can't actually think of any off the top of my head.

Edited by kambites on Thursday 10th June 09:13

NDNDNDND

1,343 posts

151 months

Thursday 10th June
quotequote all
DonkeyApple said:
There's been this long standing opinion on PH that the issues with the Evora all evaporate when a customer is made to drive one. That the drive experience overcomes all the core issues but this has never been the case. No one has ever said the Evora doesn't steer and seeing as they have sold barely any but dealers have done plenty of test drives this PH mantra is without any evidence and what evidence there is points the other way.

The uncomfortable truth is that Lotus as a brand dropped off the premium buyers radar the day the Elise appeared. The brand went overnight from having a stunning, yet cheap supercar that was iconic along with an F1 pedigree of winning in living memory to a brand that made cheap cars for kids and ale drinkers and an F1 reputation of being losers.

The mid 90s was peak Lotus as a brand but the mid 90s was the start of the biggest and greatest global economic boom ever seen and Lotus read it very wrong and went 'cheap' when the entire planet was going upmarket.

While the entire world has focussed on ensuring their brands are seen as been associated with success, affluence and all the key consumer attributes of an economic boom, Lotus has done the opposite. They've gone from being aspirational to primarily selling a different shaped Caterham to the last remaining non aspirational humans on the planet who have money and trying to sell a halo car that very clearly looks to be worth half as much, or less even, of what they are asking customers to pay.

The reason the Evora has never sold has nothing to do with people not test driving it but everything to do with the 21st century image of Lotus being about failure and cheapness. The dumpy and not quite right looking Evora is the poster boy for that regardless of how it sounds or drives.

Geely seem to have come to the party knowing exactly what the issue is and seem to be going about seeking to change it. The dropping of the base model to allow price perception to increase, the halo hyper car for silly money with silly numbers that have grabbed the headlines, the silly teasers for the new volume model etc.

The build up is looking good and if this car has the sleek lines of a Ferrari, Lambo, McLaren but is notably cheaper then it could be really, really good for them. If it's another dumpy car trying to target a Porsche then it's not.

In very base terms, Porsche is just an object people buy or rent when they reach a certain pay level. It's just a box ticking product like reaching the point of being able to travel business class, stay at proper hotels or having distance between you and your neighbours. It's kind of a generic, income stepping stone. The fact that they are brilliant cars isn't the key metric for the majority of buyers, hence why the 3.0L diesel VW van was the biggest selling Porsche product of all time. Conversely, people put pictures of Ferrari type cars up in their home, they turn to look at them, they will even walk over to look at them. They are the unobtainium that people aspire to, not the de facto post promotion rental agreement but truly objects people aspire to be associated with. If someone delivers something with that visual impact, performance that will not be shameful and yet with a price tag that isn't unobtainium then you slap your product into a really valuable niche as they once did with the Esprit which they sold in greater numbers than the Evora during an era when there were a fraction of the people on the planet with money and the money they did have was small compared to today.
Dany Bahar, is that you?

APontus

1,158 posts

3 months

Thursday 10th June
quotequote all
I would have thought the Elise stopped Lotus from disappearing altogether.

Isn't it a bit of a myth that Lotus was ever anything more than a bit part player in the industry? Same goes for its position against the established sports car manufacturers.

Is it that Lotus wants to return to its position in the mainstream, or rather that it's still trying to break into it for the first time?

Either way, if you're competing with people like Porsche you have to stack up in every wayz not just the quality of the drive. You need dealerships, top notch financials and buyers comforted that if they buy your product, you're not going to disappear in 2 years time.

Lotobear

3,182 posts

96 months

Thursday 10th June
quotequote all
NDNDNDND said:
Dany Bahar, is that you?
Tell yah what Bro, let's get Swizz Beats in to big up the new Lotus bh that ought to do it.

kambites

61,841 posts

189 months

Thursday 10th June
quotequote all
APontus said:
Isn't it a bit of a myth that Lotus was ever anything more than a bit part player in the industry? Same goes for its position against the established sports car manufacturers.
Pretty much. I think they had a very good chance to change that back when they were cleaning up in F1 but they didn't capitalise on it.

I think the problem for them is that it's become harder and harder to be a small volume manufacturer as companies like Porsche have increasingly automated production and gained access to huge economies of scale via VAG.

Edited by kambites on Thursday 10th June 09:26

otolith

45,115 posts

172 months

Thursday 10th June
quotequote all
DonkeyApple said:
The mid 90s was peak Lotus as a brand but the mid 90s was the start of the biggest and greatest global economic boom ever seen and Lotus read it very wrong and went 'cheap' when the entire planet was going upmarket.
It's an interesting question. I wonder what I'd have been driving for the last decade and a half if they hadn't gone that way.

Tuna

18,723 posts

252 months

Thursday 10th June
quotequote all
DonkeyApple said:
The mid 90s was peak Lotus as a brand but the mid 90s was the start of the biggest and greatest global economic boom ever seen and Lotus read it very wrong and went 'cheap' when the entire planet was going upmarket.
Digging over ancient history here, but the Elise was a last ditch attept at 'saving the company' - which worked.

On the back of that they did develop plans - linking up with Vauxhall, the M250 - but that fell apart for a number of unfortunate reasons. It took a long time to recover from that mess, and the rotation of bosses meant that the one key thing they needed, a successor to the Esprit, has been delayed for two decades.

I think it's wrong to suggest Lotus 'read it wrong' - they've known what they needed to do from the day the Elise was launched, but have failed to deliver as they've been battered around by changes in the industry. They have never really been "cheap" as some suggest, but they have essentially been a single product company for almost their entire existence.

Sporky

2,050 posts

32 months

Thursday 10th June
quotequote all
braddo said:
Either way it ("virtue signalling") is a terrible, loaded phrase.
Oh, absolutely, I was making a ridiculous, exaggerated point, and I probably should have included a smiley. I just put it in as a counterpoint to the normal use here - that anyone buying an EV (or doing anything else that might be thought of as considerate or altruistic) is doing that.

My real point is that it's awfully "real driver" to say that any given auto-only car would be better with a manual. I do not believe that any significant proportion of those people would actually buy that car if a manual option was available, or have tried it as-is. It's just posturing and cork-sniffing - it gives the impression that it doesn't matter if the car is actually any good, it only matters if it has a particular feature.

otolith

45,115 posts

172 months

Thursday 10th June
quotequote all
That particular feature is a deal breaker for some people, though.

I think it will be less of a deal breaker for the kind of people to whom Lotus wants to sell the Emira than it is to the kind of people to whom they currently sell Elises/Exiges, and perhaps also less of a deal breaker in a more GT'ish car to people who really want a manual in a little raw analogue sports car.

Gary C

8,184 posts

147 months

Thursday 10th June
quotequote all
Sporky said:
It's just posturing and cork-sniffing - it gives the impression that it doesn't matter if the car is actually any good, it only matters if it has a particular feature.
While the loss of the manual is inevitable as we move to EV's, in an ICE, a manual is nice and can be actually lighter.

While its not essential for a fun car, it, for many people, adds to a cars whole.

Calling it 'cork sniffing' or 'posturing', your opinion but I don't agree. Its a bit like the FWD v RWD argument.

Soon I'm in the market for a fun everyday car to go with the 911 garage queen and the Alpine is less attractive than it would have been.


DonkeyApple

41,636 posts

137 months

Thursday 10th June
quotequote all
blueg33 said:
The parts bin image is pretty dated as a concept surely?

Pretty much every low volume car share many components with high volume cars. Eg Lambo's have audi logo's on all sorts of bits, a Bentley has VW bits (the SUV is basically a Q8), , a Rolls has BMW bits, a Cayenne is a VW in a dress, my Ferrari has some Fiat bits.

Parts bin snobbishness is as stupid as GRP snobbishness. I'd rather have a specialist car where they have focused on the things that makes it special, rather than spending the budget designing indicator stalks and pollen filters.
This is correct. Today not only is everyone downsizing towards 4 pots but they're also engine sharing and button sharing. The generic market has very much come to the specialist builders such as Lotus in this regard. Likewise GRP has long since been rebranded as space age, hi tech, composite and now makes punters priapismic. But, that doesn't mean it's no longer important to get it right, nor does it mean that some brands have a need to break that legacy.

Marques such as Lotus are seen as plastic, parts bins toys for people who can't afford a Porsche. These people are fools but that doesn't mean you can ignore them because not only are they legion but they are the people who will go heavily into debt to rent chattels that they perceive to make them less utterly irrelevant and unimportant than they are.

There are also the value perception issues. It's important that if parts are going to be recognised they can't be used to knock the product by the inevitable detractors. Lotus need to be smart in this regard as they are on the back foot.

There are various examples of sharing which jar and risk sales.

The Jag switchgear in the OI Astons was a bit off putting at the time given the price and brand disparity at work. The BMW auto selector in the new Morgan doesn't look right. The Punto switchgear in the 360 really was taking the piss. The first thing you notice in the DBX is your Uber driver's gear selector, that grates a little due to the price being asked. Likewise the Bentayga has the price of a bespoke vehicle designed by Bentley for Bentley customers but it's actually a generic, mass produced VW shell that Bentley fudge veneers onto.

None of these things are terrible or show stoppers but they all undo the feeling of value that you expect to be rewarded with parting with your money for a high end product.

Lotus is moving to a new set of price points, their intent is to break the £100k barrier. The buyer at these new levels are much less tolerant and Lotus' history means they can't get away with 'adding cheapness' like Ferrari can. They won't be forgiven and it will be used to beat them with.

So these things are stupid, they are snobbish and the world has moved to sharing more than ever before but that doesn't mean this aspect isn't hugely important because for Lotus it most definitely is. Whose switchgear they use is vital to get right.

Sporky

2,050 posts

32 months

Thursday 10th June
quotequote all
Gary C said:
While the loss of the manual is inevitable as we move to EV's, in an ICE, a manual is nice and can be actually lighter.

While its not essential for a fun car, it, for many people, adds to a cars whole.

Calling it 'cork sniffing' or 'posturing', your opinion but I don't agree. Its a bit like the FWD v RWD argument.
I like a good manual in a car that won't spend much time in traffic - I honestly do get it.

But I think there are a lot more people who say it matters than there are people willing to back that up with a purchase - especially a new purchase. Still, this one's been done to death - I'll accept that I do tend to overstate the strength of my feelings on the subject and suggest we let it rest for a while. wink

(also do try the Alpine if you haven't, it's really very, very good indeed)