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    Re: The Ultimate Elise

    The ultimate Elise ? Now there's a contradiction in terms right there. How long until we will see a "CUP 265", 5 months 6 months tops? 

    In my book, the ultimate Elise would have a newer, more modern design, inside and out (most is 15 years old), and have better build quality, that measured up to the hefty price nowadays, a better gearbox and a more reliable engine. 

    Lotus are now under Volvo, hopefully we will see (truly) new products soon. 


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    White 991.2 GT3, V260 March 2018

     


    Re: The Ultimate Elise

    They have gilded the lily with that model. With a infusion of Geely money dont be shocked if Lotus has some new models planned. Evora 400 is a fine sports car, the 430 is a step ahead but a hard sell for 911 prices.


    Re: The Ultimate Elise

    Nice fake CF tub pieces lol. If your car doesn't have a CF tub, don't make giant CF sills.

    I don't even know how Lotus is still in business. Their management was too dumb to realize that road cars can't get light enough to compensate for this anemic power. 260 hp? It's just dumb. This car should have 400-500hp.

    People don't want stripped out metal frames with weak engines, they want heavier cars with the power to compensate for the weight and amenities.

    Oh, and they don't want the same looking car for 20 years. This looks like it could be a 2001.2 Elise.


    Re: The Ultimate Elise

    Disagree, particularly with respect to the older Elises.

    I have had a 2002 Series 2 Elise with a 1800cc K series Rover engine since new. No aircon, no electric windows, no power assisted steering, no ABS etc etc. Output is just 127hp. However the car weighs just over 700kg and I may as well be driving a go-kart. It is a joy to drive. Pick the right road or the right track and lightness is everything. It also doubles a a great car for the now driving 16 yr old to learn some track craft.

    The Caterham is another example where lightness makes the package. Hopefully there will always be a (small) market for lightness over amenity and a few manufacturers willing to oblige.

     


    Re: The Ultimate Elise

    DJM48:

    Disagree, particularly with respect to the older Elises.

    I have had a 2002 Series 2 Elise with a 1800cc K series Rover engine since new. No aircon, no electric windows, no power assisted steering, no ABS etc etc. Output is just 127hp. However the car weighs just over 700kg and I may as well be driving a go-kart. It is a joy to drive. Pick the right road or the right track and lightness is everything. It also doubles a a great car for the now driving 16 yr old to learn some track craft.

    The Caterham is another example where lightness makes the package. Hopefully there will always be a (small) market for lightness over amenity and a few manufacturers willing to oblige.

    Even the newer Elises, and Exiges, are fun to drive. The grudge I'm having with Lotus, and I am/was a huge fan of the brand, is that they are using the same old chassis over and over again. Claiming their new products run around Hethel .5 to 1.5 second quicker each time, and that they are the ultimate Elise/Exige,... yet again. Then, in a couple of months, we will get fed the same story like we have for the past 2 decades. 

    Take this new Elise CUP 260 for instance. It is supposedly marketed as a "CUP" model for the track, but it comes fitted with summer tires, Yoko AD08R, no longer on Semislicks A048, like in the past. It's also got tiny brakes. Then, the name suggests it has 260 hp, while in fact it only has 250 if you check the datasheet, and when you take it to a dyno, it will show 235 hp. I've seen this so many times. This is still quick for such a nimble light car, but the customer is being fooled nonetheless.

    I hope Lotus continues their niche products, but I would wish they finally started developping something radically new, while still following their "light is right" mantra.

    Also, it's not only Lotus. Caterham are basically the same...


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    White 991.2 GT3, V260 March 2018


    Re: The Ultimate Elise

    The problem with that business model is that there aren't enough people who want to add lightness. Most people want to add comfort, design, and quality, and then just add hp to compensate for it.

    And in the end, that is the right choice. You can only create so much performance via less weight. Eventually you just need power and the weight that comes with it. Once you add the power, you can then add all the amenities and design that comes with a modern sports car without effecting performance very much.

    The Elise serves a niche, it's just not a viable one.


    Re: The Ultimate Elise

    Hard to tell what went wrong over the years. I'm sure it would have been possible to build a profitable business with lightweight niche cars, but not solely extreme lightweight plastic cars. As you say, most people prefer more comfortable cars, that are hence heavier and need more power. Lotus should have extended their range to offer both. They should have jumped on the wagon of building a lightweight SUV, when Porsche developped the Cayenne, or soon after. They never got around to improving the build quality. Also, their partnership with Toyota should have been replaced by an engine manufacturer with a more renowned image. Many frown upon the idea of a >100k sportscar with a Toyota engine that was used in a Camry or Celica. 

    In a perfect world, Lotus would have built sportscars, sporty sedans and sporty SUVs that were of better built finish with the right performance and reliabilty and still be 10-20% lighter than the competition, while also being the most affordable of them all. Those were the same ingredients for the recipewhich made them famous back in the days, with the Esprit, the Elan and later the Elise....but then developpment stopped, or whatever went wrong, I don't know. I guess, poor management of the brand coupled with some bad luck are to blame.


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    White 991.2 GT3, V260 March 2018

     


    Re: The Ultimate Elise

    Regarding lightweight cars: Donkervoort and Atom are doing good bussiness lately, niche market but very loyal costumers...

    Lotus used to be very profitable when their R&D bussiness was still under the same roof, they worked for all the big brands. When Lotus got sold, the owners sold the R&D branche seperately. (If my memory is correct)


    --

    997.2 4S / BMW X5 40e / Donkervoort GT 


    Re: The Ultimate Elise

    Lotus quality is much improved these days.

    I think there is a market for lightweight and simple cars .. just not at these prices, especially for old platform; tarted up with carbon fibre


    Re: The Ultimate Elise

    ^ exactly.


    --

    White 991.2 GT3, V260 March 2018


    Re: The Ultimate Elise

    Top Gear review : 

    https://www.topgear.com/car-news/british/elise-cup-260-yet-another-special-edition-lotus

     


    --

    White 991.2 GT3, V260 March 2018


    Re: The Ultimate Elise

    It is a chicken and egg problem.  They don't have the $$ to develop a new platform right away (with Chinese company purchasing their parent, maybe they will get a cash infusion).  So they keep selling these special editions to stay afloat.  New Elise is being targeted for around 2020+.

    Look at the Evora 430, great looking car and performs well.  Would love to drive one.

    BTW, it has only been in the last few years that tire technology has been good enough to not worry about weight (that's why we see these close to 4k .lbs cars performing well).  Then again, for those that track their cars, compare the running costs of a Lotus to almost anything and you'll see the benefit of light weight in a track car.


     
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