Lotus and McLaren ,- I didnt expect that!

Lotus and McLaren ,- I didnt expect that!

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bordseye

Original Poster:

1,344 posts

130 months

Wednesday 6th February
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Did a test drive on a 570gt yesterday followed by one on an Evora 410 sports. The McLaren as always impressed - to achieve what McLaren have done in is it just 7 years is amazing. And the car itself is by my standards biblically fast. Faster than can be used on Britsh roads even if you ignore legalities.

But the big surprise was the Evora which I found to be more of a real world drivers car. I always liked the feel of the flappy paddle Ferrari F1 box ( not the DSG one) which combined the ease of paddles with a feel that something was happening when gears engaged. The McLaren DSG is just like the ZF auto box in the F type - seamless changes you dont notice. The Lotus had a manual box which was much more involving.

The Evora steering had more feel and the ride was marginally better. There were fewer electorinc bells and whistles , things like engine and suspension modes, which for me is a definite plus point. Surprisingly I found it a bit more comfortable. Worse instrumentation and dark and gloomy inside.

The best way I can put it is that the McLaren had the sort of faultless competence that you find in Porsche and that gave it a bit less character. The Lotus was more traditional and more involving as a real world drivers car. Not at all what I was expecting.

Anybody hyere done the changeover from Lotus to McLaren? Do you agree with the above?


Dblue

2,884 posts

138 months

Wednesday 6th February
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Didn't change directly but had a 650S Spider followed a few cars later by an Evora 400
Agree with a lot of what your saying though that's a bit hard on the McLaren,against anything else the steering is superb. Found the chassis, steering , gearchange and surprisingly the noise all better in the Lotus. Build quality and materials, cabin and instruments , bespoke and awesome engine and sense of occasion all way better in the Mac.
But they are really cut from very similar cloth - I always felt my 650 was like a Lotus with a proper engine.

likesachange

1,531 posts

132 months

Wednesday 6th February
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The Evora does seem almost a forgotten hero. You wont find a single bad review, and people moan about the price of them (certainly the later 410/430) but the only thing they seem to lack is straightlne pace (vs McLaren)... which is something harder and harder to exploit on the roads..

They noise they make is fantastic too which is a huge part of the experience.

12pack

659 posts

106 months

Wednesday 6th February
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Dblue said:
But they are really cut from very similar cloth - I always felt my 650 was like a Lotus with a proper engine.
This ^^

I think those who think of the Super Series Macs as "too competent" or "too technical" are just not riding them hard enough. The Macs are just as much fun and as involving - with the best steering feel and Lotus-like agility - but at a much higher pace. Sure if you drive them at their 5/10ths they will feel un-involving - because they their capabilities have not been challenged.

Taken a bit further past the Evora, one could find a great deal of enjoyment with a manual MX5 or a BRZ. All they’re missing is the pace....

OP, if I'm not mistaken interesting that you still seem to be banging around buying a Mac for over a year now. Happened to see an old post in a search for another item.


Edited by 12pack on Wednesday 6th February 18:12

andrew

8,611 posts

130 months

Wednesday 6th February
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fwiw a quick poll at my last mclaren drive day showed over half the mclaren staff there to be ex lotus !
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justin220

3,859 posts

142 months

Wednesday 6th February
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Ex Evora owner here, now in a 540C.

Absolutely loved the Lotus, the steering is second to none. They really don't get the appreciation they deserve

johnwilliams77

5,099 posts

41 months

Wednesday 6th February
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How do you find the other elements of the Mclaren v's Lotus?

bordseye

Original Poster:

1,344 posts

130 months

Thursday 7th February
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Dblue said:
Didn't change directly but had a 650S Spider followed a few cars later by an Evora 400
Agree with a lot of what your saying though that's a bit hard on the McLaren,against anything else the steering is superb. Found the chassis, steering , gearchange and surprisingly the noise all better in the Lotus. Build quality and materials, cabin and instruments , bespoke and awesome engine and sense of occasion all way better in the Mac.
But they are really cut from very similar cloth - I always felt my 650 was like a Lotus with a proper engine.
I think it was on the Thorney motorsport video that someone said 7 of the 9 engineers responsible for the design of the McLaren were ex Lotus.

bordseye

Original Poster:

1,344 posts

130 months

Thursday 7th February
quotequote all
12pack said:
This ^^

I think those who think of the Super Series Macs as "too competent" or "too technical" are just not riding them hard enough. The Macs are just as much fun and as involving - with the best steering feel and Lotus-like agility - but at a much higher pace. Sure if you drive them at their 5/10ths they will feel un-involving - because they their capabilities have not been challenged.

Taken a bit further past the Evora, one could find a great deal of enjoyment with a manual MX5 or a BRZ. All they’re missing is the pace....

OP, if I'm not mistaken interesting that you still seem to be banging around buying a Mac for over a year now. Happened to see an old post in a search for another item.


Edited by 12pack on Wednesday 6th February 18:12
You are right about the 5/10ths or at least I suspect you are. But either I am a coward or you have a death wish because 10/10ths in a McLaren on british roads is only going to end one way.

The conflict is between owning something "special" like the McLaren or owning something you can thrash and enjoy at realistic speeds like the MX5. I still love the idea of a supercar but lets be honest, 50% of its expensively bought and maintained performance cant be used outside a track.

Yes I looked at buying a Mac the last time I changed, and probably will do so the next time I change. There arent a lot of alternatives in 2 seater sports cars

12pack

659 posts

106 months

Thursday 7th February
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andrew said:
fwiw a quick poll at my last mclaren drive day showed over half the mclaren staff there to be ex lotus !
Given some of the comments here - that makes it that over half of current Mclaren owners have made a mistake....smile

12pack

659 posts

106 months

Thursday 7th February
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bordseye said:
You are right about the 5/10ths or at least I suspect you are. But either I am a coward or you have a death wish because 10/10ths in a McLaren on british roads is only going to end one way.
Hardly. But I am frequently on track and also have a frequent weekend drive that allows me to explore the Mac at significantly more than 5/10ths, and where I can easily appreciate its pace safely in 2nd and 3rd and I can hone my pre-cog skills.

I also have a monster EV daily driver whose straight line pace just makes lesser cars feel so sloooow no matter how involving they may be and how nice they sound. My V12 Vantage is rarely used.

Once you get used to that sort of jerk, its hard to go back. Need a real supercar for that.


Edited by 12pack on Thursday 7th February 10:24

justin220

3,859 posts

142 months

Thursday 7th February
quotequote all
johnwilliams77 said:
How do you find the other elements of the Mclaren v's Lotus?
The McLaren is much more special to own, looks better, feels better built, and is obviously a lot quicker.

The Evora does have its plus points though, for me it sounds better, steering and brakes are better. Boot space is small but you also have the rear bench to put luggage

CTE

1,239 posts

178 months

Thursday 7th February
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I have owned my 12c for 3.5 years now and in that time have also owned an Evora S and a 400...my logic being that the Lotus was my daily and the 12c for road trips etc. I always felt that they both offered a very similar thing, but clearly the Evora was very fast and can carry a huge amount of speed through the twisites, whereas the 12c is ballistically fast, and can still carry the same speed through the corners. I would say the Evora offered 90% of the McLaren, especially when you take the price point into consideration...and in truth I enjoyed driving the 400 just as much as the 12c...and on many occasion I thought "why do I bother with the 12c with all its costs etc when the Evora is just as good and in many ways more entertaining more of the time"...until I got in the 12c and drove it...there is something extra special about it.
Anyhow to solve the unfortunate first world dilemma I swapped the 400 for an Exige 430 Cup, which is radically different to the 12c. I do sometimes wonder if I should have swapped the 12c and 400 for a newer McLaren but not when you see the depreciation curves currently being experienced...although I`m probably losing a similar amount on the two cars combined...
The Evora was originally designed to have a proper mid mounted V8 (the test prototype was unfortunately smashed up on the test track and a little while later DRB Hicom took over and did their best to screw everything up)..,if only...

Bispal

440 posts

89 months

Friday 8th February
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I had a 12C for 2 and a half years and drove 14k miles in it with a couple of trips to the Alps. It was a great road car, incredibly fast, refined and comfortable. I think that is the USP of McLaren unreal pace if you want it but also with supreme comfort and touring ability. Both my 2.5k mile Alps trip saw average MPG of 30mpg!

However I yearned for a manual, i felt the 12C was lacking engagement. So i bought an Exige sport 350. I find the Exige a lot more fun to drive at road legal speeds and that's the key. Everytime I jump in the Exige I have fun, that wasn't the case in the 12C where you had to pull extreme high speeds to get a thrill. In my time with the 12C there are only a couple of drives I can remember looking back in excitement. In the Exige I have had many memorable drives. Of course the Exige is less comfortable, less spacious, less practical but that's why we have DD's and that's why the Lotus for me is so special.

I considered the Exige a stop gap while I searched for my ideal 675LT. However the more I owned the Exige and the more I looked and researched I came to the conclusion that I would have the same issues I did with my 12C in terms of it not being a manual and needing extreme speeds to extract any fun. So I bought an Exige 430 CUP instead, I pick it up next week.

Having had a McLaren and 4 Lotus's I would say they have a very strong connection in terms of philosophy of engineering. A McLaren is like a grown up Lotus but for me it lacks the engagement and feel you get with 3 pedals & a stick, this combined with the background concern of any issues a McLaren may have made another Lotus a natural choice for me. But there is a saddle for every arse and I would certainly get a McLaren again.....



12pack

659 posts

106 months

Friday 8th February
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Not sure how much the 650s has improved over the 12C, but for me the pace IS the engagement.

I have a V12 Vantage - manual gearshift, raw feel and many would say the best sound in the world - sitting idle. As mentioned above my "issue" is that my daily has such straight line pace that my weekender needs to keep up a bit.

As you said, different saddles.

isaldiri

4,235 posts

106 months

Friday 8th February
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12pack said:
Not sure how much the 650s has improved over the 12C, but for me the pace IS the engagement.
But there's little point in having a car that only engages at rocketship pace. Ok a 12c/650 can achieve that pace very easily but one just couldn't easily use even 50% of their capability on the road. A sports car in my opinion just has to be engaging at semi sensible road speeds. That's where Mclaren really made a big jump on the 675 imo, pace wise on track a 650 on the same trofeo tyre with buckets isn't at all far away but just the overall 'feel' on the road a 'normal' speeds is much better dialled in. Pace isn't for me everything.

12pack

659 posts

106 months

Friday 8th February
quotequote all
isaldiri said:
But there's little point in having a car that only engages at rocketship pace. Ok a 12c/650 can achieve that pace very easily but one just couldn't easily use even 50% of their capability on the road. A sports car in my opinion just has to be engaging at semi sensible road speeds. That's where Mclaren really made a big jump on the 675 imo, pace wise on track a 650 on the same trofeo tyre with buckets isn't at all far away but just the overall 'feel' on the road a 'normal' speeds is much better dialled in. Pace isn't for me everything.
Agree with your 675LT conclusion, but I'd rather have a SS Mac than a "engaging" car that that is for this day and age - slow.

bordseye

Original Poster:

1,344 posts

130 months

Friday 8th February
quotequote all
I have never yearned for a manual until I tried the McLaren. I was happy with the feel of the F1 Ferrari system, if not with the clutch life and its inability to creep very slowly. But it had the advantages of both manual and flappy. You could feel gear engagement

The McLaren box was just too good and smooth. The Evora manual wasnt the worlds best manual but heel and toe downshifting had the foot pedals ideally placed , and it was enjoyable.

Interestingly, Aston when replacing the mechanised manual with a slushbox were asked by customers to make it a bit less smooth with perceptable gear changes. I can relate to that from my F type which has really smooth changes and IMO far too many gears anyway

Dblue

2,884 posts

138 months

Friday 8th February
quotequote all
bordseye said:
I have never yearned for a manual until I tried the McLaren. I was happy with the feel of the F1 Ferrari system, if not with the clutch life and its inability to creep very slowly. But it had the advantages of both manual and flappy. You could feel gear engagement

The McLaren box was just too good and smooth. The Evora manual wasnt the worlds best manual but heel and toe downshifting had the foot pedals ideally placed , and it was enjoyable.

Interestingly, Aston when replacing the mechanised manual with a slushbox were asked by customers to make it a bit less smooth with perceptable gear changes. I can relate to that from my F type which has really smooth changes and IMO far too many gears anyway
Actually the McLaren system is less switch-like than many, but the single clutch F1 in my Scuderia was better because of its imperfections, full bore upchanges were a right giggle.

isaldiri

4,235 posts

106 months

Friday 8th February
quotequote all
12pack said:
Agree with your 675LT conclusion, but I'd rather have a SS Mac than a "engaging" car that that is for this day and age - slow.
Well I'm glad to say I'm out of the senselss power and speed race. Good that the power/speed thing works for you though.

It'll be nice if there actually was a choice offered in the new car market for lighter more engaging cars even if slower rather than even more speed that no one can reasonably use 90+% of the time that has become by and large the only offering these days.