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    Noble M14



    Re: Noble M14

    They got the philosophy right, true lightweight, manual, track-day setup, etc. too bad Porsche doesn't engineer such a concept

    But I will wait till Tiff Neddle test drives it to make a better opinion. When he first tried the first Noble, the Noble M10, Tiff was so hard on it and he carries so much credibility (well earnt BTW) that Noble ditched the M10 and went to work on the new Noble M12 GTO. Tiff test drove it, gave a thumbs up and the M12 was a success

    Re: Noble M14

    You have to admire guys like Noble who somehow manage to achieve so much technically with minimal resources.

    Re: Noble M14

    Quote:
    fritz said:
    You have to admire guys like Noble who somehow manage to achieve so much technically with minimal resources.



    I'm told he's the closest thing we have to a modern Chapman.

    Re: Noble M14

    Quote:
    Justin said:
    Quote:
    fritz said:
    You have to admire guys like Noble who somehow manage to achieve so much technically with minimal resources.



    I'm told he's the closest thing we have to a modern Chapman.



    Let's hope he manages to keep his cars in production as long as the Lotus brand has lasted. (And that he does not get involved with John de Lorean ).

    Re: Noble M14

    I like how the whole instrument panel + needles change colors as you push the engine to the limit

    Re: Noble M14

    Hey Fritz,
    Sounds like my kind of car. If Noble can bring the car over here with some kind of warranty and reasonable buying experience, I would seriously consider one down the road! Same goes for TVR, possibly.

    As Lotus is finding out, bringing cars to the States can be a nasty experience.

    Re: Noble M14

    I believe that companies such as Porsche can do so much more...
    However that would mean that they wouldn't be able to give us sub-par upgrades such as the 997. The fact is that Porsche should never have produced the 997S... THAT should have been the standard 997. But somehow they have suckered the public to pay 10K more for their vehicle without them raising the MSRP.

    Porsche knows how to work it.

    Re: Noble M14

    No one has been suckered, we all know the 997S should of been the standard 997 and its all a strategy to disguise a 10k mark up, but its a "take it or leave it" situation and given the competition's price, performance, and all around package, Porsche knows we will take it!

    Re: Noble M14

    How can that car be slower in acceleration to 60 and 100mph than a GT3 when it has more power, alot more torque and weighs alot less?

    Re: Noble M14

    Quote:
    Grant said:
    How can that car be slower in acceleration to 60 and 100mph than a GT3 when it has more power, alot more torque and weighs alot less?



    Traction problems maybe

    Re: Noble M14

    Quote:
    Justin said:
    Hey Fritz,
    As Lotus is finding out, bringing cars to the States can be a nasty experience.



    Nasty? I'm obviously not up to speed on this situation. What problems is Lotus currently going through on the USA market?

    Re: Noble M14

    Quote:
    fritz said:
    Nasty? I'm obviously not up to speed on this situation. What problems is Lotus currently going through on the USA market?



    I call it nasty because it's a bit more difficult than they first imagined. That was a bit of a hyperbole in my part, but Lotus is not used to the level of customer service required to sell a car properly in the U.S. Lotus USA had something like 6 employees handling 40-50 cars per year and now the same staff must handle 2500. Lotus UK sells cars to Lotus Cars USA (LCU) and they in turn sell it to dealers. However, most Lotus dealers also sell higher end vehicles like Lambos, Rolls Royces, Bentley, etc. The Elise is chump change for them, and with Lotus lacking the leverage to enforce dealer policy, customer service varies so widely that I've heard of people on the verge of cancelling their order merely on principle.

    The dealers themselves are used to buyers that don't bug them every week about the status of their car. Selling a $250k is very different from selling a $40k car. Sort of like BMW dealers with the Mini, dealers are exploiting the situation and ordering cars from underneath the waiting list to sell at a premium. Sort of ticks off enthuisiasts who have been waiting for two years, with delay after delay.

    Lotus USA probably keeps their build information in an Excel spread sheet and faxes it to dealers every couple weeks. They just discovered what a computer system does. Anyway, a lot of little factors have led into waiters getting ticked off at the lack of communication. Then last week, Lotus decided to raise MSRP after the car was on sale for a few months because they were actually losing money on a car with no options. Pound-dollar devaluation? Seems like poor luck and a poor business plan. How can Lotus not make money with a two year waiting list?

    Anyway, people started distrusting dealers and tried to call Lotus USA. With six people, how can they handle all these phone calls? Their job is to deal only with the dealers, not customers. Trials of a small company.

    Lotus Cars USA CEO Arnie Johnson was let go and replaced by a non-enthuisiast from Mazda who thinks big volume. This is both good and bad, as Lotus is finally starting to run like a real business rather than a glorified race shop. However, it was nice to be able to call the CEO on the phone and ask him a question whenver you felt like it!

    Lotus was having some problems with their wheel manufacturer and delayed some of their cars for a couple months that were otherwise built or could have been. Then when those cars arrived in the U.S., truck transporters would not leave until a full truck was achieved. Well if you only have two cars to deliver, and very little margin for the dealer and Lotus USA, then they are going to wait. Some cars were in port for two months. My dealer is close to the port, so used their own money to go pick up the cars. Then again, they sold the first ten cars underneath the list at $10k over MSRP.

    I'm not really mad about these trivial issues, but I'm just grabbing this info from scouring message boards. Many of these customers are not used to buying cars like this and didn't know how to handle waiting for a car. Neither could Lotus, but I think they are smoothing things out now. With two more cars in the pipeline, hopefully Lotus will become a well recognized enthuisiasts brand down the road. Right now they are overcoming a kit car reputation. I think these are just growing pains really. At the same time, I don't want them going the Porsche route, but I doubt they'll ever have the resources. Though I do want them to get back into F1 in 15 years or so!

    Lon might be on this board and owns a GT3. Think he was foaming at the mouth for 18 months waiting for the car? Probably not. But if someone else is coming from an MR2, they probably were!

    I am coming from a C32, so this will be my first sports car! A good choice for me as my first...
    - J

    Re: Noble M14

    Quote:
    SoCalHoosier said:
    I believe that companies such as Porsche can do so much more...
    However that would mean that they wouldn't be able to give us sub-par upgrades such as the 997. The fact is that Porsche should never have produced the 997S... THAT should have been the standard 997. But somehow they have suckered the public to pay 10K more for their vehicle without them raising the MSRP.

    Porsche knows how to work it.



    Porsche really has the engineering capability to make the best sports cars in the world. Take a look at what they can accomplish with a 3000 .lbs GT3. Imagine what they could do with a sub-2500 .lbs mid-engine platform with 350hp.

    However, they are a business, and things are going extremely well for them. Cars like the Noble are in a very niche market. People like the fact that they can get excellent performance from their 911 Turbo, and then drive it to work everyday. How many people are willing to sacrafice a lot of comfort for just a little bit of weight savings on this board? Even Lotus is adding creature comforts to their cars to expand marketability. Porsche could probabably make the Boxster just as comfortable in a 2500 .lbs package, but they would sacrafice profits. Also, Porsche likes making their mainstream products very well balanced, and for good reason. They should have good performance AND comfort. If you can make two cars of equal performance, but one car feels very raw and the other feels sporty but comfortable, I know which one they will make. I know which one will sell too.

    Philosophically, not sure you can compare a 911 with the kind of cars Noble likes to make, other than the GT2/3. Lee Noble isn't interested in making a C4S-like car at the moment, but we'll see what happens. If he had the resources, would he be making dynamic suspensions and dynamic steering? Not so sure.

    - J

    PS: Aston Martin is a luxury brand, but Fisker's new philosophy is to keep cars simple. He wants to keep the AMV8 comfortable, but snug. He was involved with the 993, so I wait to see what he can do with the AMV8.

    Re: Noble M14

    Thanks for that update, Justin.

    Interesting situation, and an interesting assessment of it.

    Re: Noble M14

    that's a damn good looking car. Very hot from the back.
    Tom

     
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