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  #16  
Old 10-01-2010, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by 2ndclasscitizen View Post
My god, 1095kg, what a total fatty. MAH LOTUS!
That's 400 pounds more than the current generation, or a 1/6th heavier.

Combine this with all the other heavy-for-Lotus Loti being released...
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  #17  
Old 10-01-2010, 08:10 PM
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...And it's still about 2-300kg lighter than the competition.

Vehicles have become complex things and I'm pleased they managed to get it THAT low in weight. Plus, I think it looks pretty nifty.

Furthermore, Lightness is relative.
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  #18  
Old 10-01-2010, 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by IBrake4Rainbows View Post
...And it's still about 2-300kg lighter than the competition.
I don't think that matters much...

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Originally Posted by IBrake4Rainbows View Post
Furthermore, Lightness is relative.
... What matters is, relative to it's predecessor, it's too heavy.

The Evora looks to have no future, though it is very well regarded.

What is going on here? I have serious suspicions about all these cars making production.
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  #19  
Old 10-01-2010, 08:41 PM
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Seriously?

How much heavier is a 996 to a 993, or a 964 for that matter?

Maybe we should complain how heavy an Elise was over a Lotus 7. It's a f**king porker.

Cars get heavier, thats the nature of the business, and it's no good making a lightweight car no one buys because you've got to make too many excuses.

The Elise was and is a brilliant car, this argument that "It's too heavy" doesn't wash when it's replacing a car thats 13/4 years old and from a time period where the safety equipment needed by law to get it registerable would add at least the difference in weight.

Simpliying and adding lightness is all well and good, but who complaining has actually bought a Lotus in the past few years? If you haven't you're not the person they're looking to market this car to.
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  #20  
Old 10-01-2010, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by IBrake4Rainbows View Post
Seriously?

How much heavier is a 996 to a 993, or a 964 for that matter?

Maybe we should complain how heavy an Elise was over a Lotus 7. It's a f**king porker.

Cars get heavier, thats the nature of the business, and it's no good making a lightweight car no one buys because you've got to make too many excuses.

The Elise was and is a brilliant car, this argument that "It's too heavy" doesn't wash when it's replacing a car thats 13/4 years old and from a time period where the safety equipment needed by law to get it registerable would add at least the difference in weight.

Simpliying and adding lightness is all well and good, but who complaining has actually bought a Lotus in the past few years? If you haven't you're not the person they're looking to market this car to.
First off, let me say that maybe you are right, maybe we are all overreacting. I have not delved into the hard data, and not compared these new Loti to the weight of all their competitors - and we don't know the full details of all these cars yet.

That being said, I am going to offer a defence of mine and other's viewpoints with some limited data and reasoning.

Your claim: "...it's replacing a car thats 13/4 years old and from a time period where the safety equipment needed by law to get it registerable would add at least the difference in weight," has a few problems with it. I am not sure if you know for certain that the added 400 lbs of weight to the 2015 Elise is due to safety equipment, and/or design restrictions required for safety. We'd need to consult an expert in the field and we'd need to know more about the design of this new Elise, it's features, amenities, dimensions, etc.

Also, the current Elise may be 14 years old, but it was significantly redesigned for the S2 model in 2002 and added 300 odd pounds (for safety regulations, supposedly). The SC model weighs 100 more for 2,000 pounds. So, the car is not fully 14 years old - it was already upgraded (albeit 8 years ago, which admittedly is a long time in the automotive world). Now you have the 2015 version weighing 400 pounds extra? Maybe this is planning for future safety regulations, but it seems a lot at first glance - hence the knee-jerk reaction.

At this point, we don't know the dimensions of the car, so maybe they made it bigger and this is part of the reason why it is heavier, or maybe they added luxury, or both. Any of these reasons are unacceptable in my eyes and those of Lotus fans. Hell, they have a mild hybrid and DCT, which are potentially in violation of the first part of Colin's motto.

As for your question about the 996/993/964, I have surprising data from carfolio.com (Yes, it may not be entirely trustworthy).

All figures are curb weight, base 911s.

1989 911 (964) - 1350 kg, 2976 lbs.

1993 911 (993) - 1370 kg, 3020 lbs.

1998 911 (996) - 1320 kg, 2910 lbs.

2008 911 (997) 1415 kg, 3120 lbs.

So from 1989 to 2008, the base 911 gained 65 kgs or 144 lbs. That's an increase of approximately 4.6% by my math.

I also recognize that when you are starting a car with as relatively (compared to an Elise) heavy that weight gain will be different (read: smaller). I'd imagine that Lotus would have to add more weight absolutely (and thus relatively) to the Elise to cope with increased/newer safety regulations.

The other thing is, it hasn't been driven yet, and that may be the ultimate test. There are three situations:

1. It is good, but the reviewer feels it's too heavy and/or it handles worse than the current model and/or is worse than the current model - this is bad.

2. It's good, and the reviewer feels its still light and nimble and handles better than the current model - this is good.

3. It is plain bad.

Even if the case is 2, it still feels kinda wrong - especially if it's heavier because of not just safety reasons - i.e. moving upmarket, getting luxurious, etc.

I don't claim my arguments to be perfectly logical, but I have devoted some time and thought to this and I'd like to hear your and other's responses to my thought process, and for you to poke holes in any bad reasoning I might have had. I would also like to point out that I have tried to be subjective, and don't like getting into arguments (especially on the net), but sometimes I can be contrarian and argumentative when someone counters my argument. Maybe because I don't want to appear a moron, and I don't want to back down. I try to keep a more open mind these days and be more open to other's arguments, and I genuinely have given your opinion a ponder to the point of thinking you are right. I am not sure at this point - I think we may have to know.

For sure though, the initial reaction to these new Loti - without knowing the full story - amongst the enthusiast crowd is shock and disappointment I'd think.

Speaking about the more general Lotus situation, of critical importance is the lesson of history - Lotus went down the path of more weight, more features, more power, more models, in what, the late 80s, early 90s, and look where it led them: to the brink of disaster (as I hear), and being sold (am I right on this?). Maybe this is history repeating itself?

There may be more to address, and I want to apologize for the essay-length of my rebuttal, but I'm just trying to give more perspective and analyze the situation a bit more systematically. I hope you at least give my rebuttal a thought - too often (especially on the net) I see people stuck in their initial opinion and things escalate into a negative situation. I have tried not to be like that in this case, and during my time here on UCP.
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  #21  
Old 10-01-2010, 10:18 PM
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Firstly I'm surprised by the 911 figures. Good find. With such well researched responses to commentary I am more than happy to engage in discussion.

Lotus went to the brink of disaster in the 70's and 80's not through heavier cars, but through underdeveloped ugly and unreliable cars with basic problems - the oversized body of the Elan being a glaring oversight.

Their weight or lack thereof had little to do with it. An Esprit was always an underdeveloped thing that was behind the 8 ball in terms of performance and design and it only got worse, regardless of the nostalgia.

In terms of safety equipment there are a lot of future regulations to take into consideration, especially in the US where I presume the market for something like this they're hoping will open up more than the existing Elise has punched through. The S2 was a worthy update but I didn't hear much complaint about the increase in weight at that time, somehow that amount is OK but a new car, complete with new chassis, engines and features somehow isn't acceptable? I just find that sort of response puritan rubbish.

The proof will really be in the pudding with these cars I suspect, and their ability to confound expectation in regards to enthusiasts who, let's be honest, won't be happy until Lotus are remaking a 7 clone. This balancing act is something manufacturers constantly fiddle with, balancing comfort and saleability with driveability and enthusiast promise.

The problem, I suspect, is expectation. Lotus has a set image in the mind of the motoring press and armchair commenters such as myself, and by trying to reinvent themselves in such an audacious and contrary fashion it's likely to put more than a few people's nose out of joint. But the fact is the company cannot survive in any sort of volume capacity producing nothing but disappointing Europa's and underwhelming Evoras. This future scheme is ambitious and I suspect it will be trimmed when need and reality step in.

The car will do it's own talking, I just suspect there will be many who won't want to listen, regardless of what it's like to drive.
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  #22  
Old 10-01-2010, 11:38 PM
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Originally Posted by IBrake4Rainbows View Post
Firstly I'm surprised by the 911 figures. Good find. With such well researched responses to commentary I am more than happy to engage in discussion.

Lotus went to the brink of disaster in the 70's and 80's not through heavier cars, but through underdeveloped ugly and unreliable cars with basic problems - the oversized body of the Elan being a glaring oversight.

Their weight or lack thereof had little to do with it. An Esprit was always an underdeveloped thing that was behind the 8 ball in terms of performance and design and it only got worse, regardless of the nostalgia.

In terms of safety equipment there are a lot of future regulations to take into consideration, especially in the US where I presume the market for something like this they're hoping will open up more than the existing Elise has punched through. The S2 was a worthy update but I didn't hear much complaint about the increase in weight at that time, somehow that amount is OK but a new car, complete with new chassis, engines and features somehow isn't acceptable? I just find that sort of response puritan rubbish.

The proof will really be in the pudding with these cars I suspect, and their ability to confound expectation in regards to enthusiasts who, let's be honest, won't be happy until Lotus are remaking a 7 clone. This balancing act is something manufacturers constantly fiddle with, balancing comfort and saleability with driveability and enthusiast promise.

The problem, I suspect, is expectation. Lotus has a set image in the mind of the motoring press and armchair commenters such as myself, and by trying to reinvent themselves in such an audacious and contrary fashion it's likely to put more than a few people's nose out of joint. But the fact is the company cannot survive in any sort of volume capacity producing nothing but disappointing Europa's and underwhelming Evoras. This future scheme is ambitious and I suspect it will be trimmed when need and reality step in.

The car will do it's own talking, I just suspect there will be many who won't want to listen, regardless of what it's like to drive.
Good response. Sorry if I came off as patronizing - I suppose I was expecting a more aggressive response from you (maybe I'm too used to seeing that happen here from other users). It doesn't seem to be the case for you.

I'll address the Esprit first, as I was just reading about it. I can see how the Esprit struggled. It certainly was behind the 8 ball as you say in terms of design - as for performance, before I read your response here, I read a quantitative comparison between the Esprit V8 and an F355 and it faired... OK, see here and here.

However, another, more reputable source had it outpaced in the slalom by 6 odd mph which is pretty significant. Yeah, these instrumented tests aren't too useful, but they are semi-useful metrics.

Speaking about the V8, it was kinda lackluster in one way that I just discovered and you and other readers may already know though. The 2.2(?) L slant 4 in the S4 had 300 hp and 298 lb ft of torque, whereas the V8 had 350 hp and 295 lb-ft torque. That is bewilderingly stupid at first glance, especially considering Lotus developed that engine from the ground up. Wiki says it was down tuned from 500 hp to preserve the weak Renault tranny, which could be possible. No less, this speaks to a problem Lotus faced - parts-bin construction and low budgets. Quality I imagine was a problem for Lotus in the era you mentioned maybe up until the S2 Elise? I can't say for sure, but this is based on ignorance - I haven't heard about horrible reliability problems with the newer models, so maybe that picked up?

Certainly at least in the case of the F355 and the Esprit, I'd take the F355. I don't like the late model Esprit - I mean, I love seeing them on the road (especially the V8s, which are shitty I suppose), but beh, I have no desire to own one. A white S1 a la the Bond submarine transformer however...

I digress.

Talking about the S2 update, I kinda recall talking to a former contributor here - Mr. Tiv - complain about the weight of the Elise. Then again, he is a purist of the Nth degree, so I'll take his complaint with a huge grain of salt.

The Elise is a goddamn lightweight cheetah in my eyes, and I am happy with it's current weight. In fact, I recall hellcat chastising me a few months ago for not being too worried about the inevitable mass increase across the board for cars these days. My views on cars have changed a bit since then, and model bloat - as Jalopnik would put it - concerns me more, but I also realize that people demand more features and new safety standards must be met. It just pisses me off that some cars are so massive.

When I hear that the new 5L Mustang GT weighs 3800 pounds, I am a bit bothered. I'd prefer it weigh I dunno, 3400, or what the new 3.7 weighs (though I can't find out what it weighs easily for some reason). I digress again.

When you start making Lotuses heavier though, people get mad. And when Lotus starts making GTs, and 4 seaters, well, there's a goddamn revolt amongst the enthusiasts, and I'd imagine the hardcore, old school Lotisti (I independently coined that) are foaming at the mouth. I can sympathize - if not outright agree with their displeasure.

You mention people being displeased with "new chassis, engines and features," in the Elise. I think a main point of contention may be these new features, whatever they turn out to be. If this car starts to become more luxurious, then I think people have the right to be angry. Lotus is not about that. There are a bevy of other car manufacturers that cater to sport-luxury needs, and that marketplace is crowded as is - and getting more crowded.

The other cars in the lineup appear to be moving in that direction at first glance as well - that shit is not what people want from the company. Besides, competition is so tough that they may well fail anyways. What was wrong with keeping Lotus as a relatively niche company and tweaking and improving product while attempting to make bigish money with consultancy to other manufactures? Taking such a huge risk with this rapid expansion is very ballsy and could kill or severely harm the company if it falls flat. I don't know the history too well, but anecdotally (from that Sniff Petrol article someone posted - yes, poor info), didn't expansion of this sort cause them great harm and eventually lead them to be sold to Proton in the first place?

Concerning the Europa, I thought the Europa was kinda cool (I really hate the looks of the Elise, so I figured maybe the Europa could be for me - I still kinda do), but it fared poorly - in fact, part of the reason that may be so is because of the press' negative response to it. As I recall reading, their problem with it was specifically that it was a GTified Esprit - what could potentially be drawn from this, and what I recall a reviewer saying is, is that they didn't like it because it was an imperfect compromise; maybe even because it wasn't what a Lotus should be (that's a huge stretch there as I think it really depend on the reviewer if they'd have a negative opinion of an otherwise good car based on the badge, and their interpretation of whether or not the car was befitting of said badge).

Concerning the Evora, it won EVO's COTY (which is maybe the best award a sports car can win in the eyes of many enthusiasts) and CAR's Performance Car of the Year in 2009. Maybe sales are bad, but it seems to be a really good car. Unless it is BritBias.

Finally, a discussion about Lotus in IndyCar was going on on another forum. One forum member raised the issue of Lotus' participation in the series, and claimed that Lotus sold only 700 cars a year there. This is totally unsourced information, but if it's true, then it means that they have a long, long way to go to develop a market big enough to sell all these models, and that maybe planning on introducing 5 cars is way too ambitious for such a low volume manufacturer. Maybe they don't actually intend to produce all 5 (6 now with the city car?), or as you said, it will be trimmed down. Something I noted about the 4 door one was that I didn't see it listed as 20XX intended production, so maybe that's just to gauge response (maybe some or all of them are, seeing as 2014/2015 is so far away).

As I said in another thread - Lotus should have 3 models (with variants) in my eyes - an Elise, an Evora, and an Esprit - all should use smallish turbocharged engines, and all should be both relatively and absolutely light.

Damn it, another essay. I apologize.

EDIT: I apologize for restating or rephrasing points I've raised earlier in this or other threads.
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  #23  
Old 10-01-2010, 11:52 PM
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Weights of the 911:

930 turbo Mk1 :1100 kg
Carrera RS 2.7:980 kg
930 turbo Mk2: 1205 kg
911 SC: 1180 kg
993 turbo: 1505 kg
993 Carrera 4: 1420.
Source: Paul Frere: The Porsche 911 Story
These are all test weights, (presumably with full tank and one driver)

Later figures, also from Frere's book:

911 Carrera 3.4 (1998: Coupe 1320, with tiptronic, 1395)
911 Carrera 3.6 (2002: Coupe 1405)
911 Carrera 4S (2002 1470 kg)
911 GT3 : 1350
911 Turbo: 1540 (2000)
911 GT2 (2001) 1440)

Interesting further

The homologation weight of the original 911S was 995 kg. The lowest weight ever recorded was the 789 kg for the 911 R., from 1970.

These are DIN Figures, so without a driver (AFAIK)

So Kitdy, the percentage weight increase over time is considerably higher than your source is quoting.
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Old 10-02-2010, 12:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Kitdy View Post
Good response. Sorry if I came off as patronizing - I suppose I was expecting a more aggressive response from you (maybe I'm too used to seeing that happen here from other users). It doesn't seem to be the case for you.
I can get angry, but As I said, well researched, decent and reasonable responses shall be replied to in kind.

Quote:
I'll address the Esprit first, as I was just reading about it. I can see how the Esprit struggled. It certainly was behind the 8 ball as you say in terms of design - as for performance, before I read your response here, I read a quantitative comparison between the Esprit V8 and an F355 and it faired... OK, see
The Esprit V8 was basically where the car should have been in the late 80's. Not in 1995.

Quote:
However, another, more reputable source had it outpaced in the slalom by 6 odd mph which is pretty significant. Yeah, these instrumented tests aren't too useful, but they are semi-useful metrics.
They're good if you play number trumps.

Quote:
Speaking about the V8, it was kinda lackluster in one way that I just discovered and you and other readers may already know though. The 2.2(?) L slant 4 in the S4 had 300 hp and 298 lb ft of torque, whereas the V8 had 350 hp and 295 lb-ft torque. That is bewilderingly stupid at first glance... in the era you mentioned maybe up until the S2 Elise? I can't say for sure, but this is based on ignorance - I haven't heard about horrible reliability problems with the newer models, so maybe that picked up?
The S1 Elise was, by all accounts, relatively well constructed in Lotus terms. Indeed, the Elise has never been known for it's construction issues.
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Certainly at least in the case of the F355 and the Esprit, I'd take the F355. I don't like the late model Esprit - I mean, I love seeing them on the road (especially the V8s, which are shitty I suppose), but beh, I have no desire to own one. A white S1 a la the Bond submarine transformer however...
It's like anything familiar - it breeds contempt. there is also the fact that by the end of it's lifespan the basic shape, while enduring, had been in the public eye for nearly 30 years.

Quote:
I digress.

Talking about the S2 update, I kinda recall talking to a former contributor here - Mr. Tiv - complain about the weight of the Elise. Then again, he is a purist of the Nth degree, so I'll take his complaint with a huge grain of salt.
These are the sorts of people who are likely to carefully consider they're meal so as to not upset the balance of the car when they drive.

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The Elise is a goddamn lightweight cheetah in my eyes, and I am happy with it's current weight... My views on cars have changed a bit since then, and model bloat - as Jalopnik would put it - concerns me more, but I also realize that people demand more features and new safety standards must be met. It just pisses me off that some cars are so massive.
Cars are needlessly massive in a lot of cases, for sure. The bloat between old and new comes simply from the desire for more stuff, more safety, more strength...But if that need is carefully counterbalanced with smart engineering and clever construction, it can be easily overcome. Mazda is a brilliant (if anally retentive) example, with the old MX-5 weight 30kg less than the current model.

It was always going to be the case that in order to properly compete the Elise would have to get larger.

Quote:
When I hear that the new 5L Mustang GT weighs 3800 pounds, I am a bit bothered. I'd prefer it weigh I dunno, 3400, or what the new 3.7 weighs (though I can't find out what it weighs easily for some reason). I digress again.
It's simple physics generally - car gets bigger, weight goes up. Indeed, expectations are the parts that need adjusting.

Quote:
When you start making Lotuses heavier though, people get mad. And when Lotus starts making GTs, and 4 seaters, well, there's a goddamn revolt amongst the enthusiasts, and I'd imagine the hardcore, old school Lotisti (I independently coined that) are foaming at the mouth. I can sympathize - if not outright agree with their displeasure.
This I take issue with. 'people' don't get mad. Most people don't get the mantra of lightness and simplicity. The general public only remember your last vehicle, good or bad, and so far that legacy is undesirable for Lotus.

I look at it a lot like Jaguar - If you tailor to the enthusiast, the brand dies. You need to one day make a concerted break from tradition in order to survive and attract a new market. That's something I see Lotus doing with these new models.

Quote:
You mention people being displeased with "new chassis, engines and features," in the Elise. I think a main point of contention may be these new features, whatever they turn out to be. If this car starts to become more luxurious, then I think people have the right to be angry. Lotus is not about that... and that marketplace is crowded as is - and getting more crowded.
Lotus was not about that. Yes, enthusiasts will deride this as an abandonment of the ideals of the brand, but basically if you live off your ideals you'll end up destitute. Lotus has to keep step with the market, while offering a USP, which in comparison is still lightness, to compete effectively.
Quote:
The other cars in the lineup appear to be moving in that direction at first glance as well - that shit is not what people want from the company. Besides, competition is so tough that they may well fail anyways. What was wrong with keeping Lotus as a relatively niche company and tweaking and improving product while attempting to make bigish money with consultancy to other manufactures? Taking such a huge risk with this rapid expansion is very ballsy and could kill or severely harm the company if it falls flat. I don't know the history too well, but anecdotally (from that Sniff Petrol article someone posted - yes, poor info), didn't expansion of this sort cause them great harm and eventually lead them to be sold to Proton in the first place?
The one issue I have with the announcement of the concept vehicles is that they overlap a little too effectively for what I would like. Three Models - Esprit, Elise, and Elite. The Elan is squeezed out of the market I think, and the Sedan is just gauche.

Proton want a return on their niche investment, basically, and i get the feeling a lot of these plans are ambitious to try and raise the company from a fairly slumber-laden few years. As a consultancy and badge Lotus still has a lot of cred, but they seriously need to start making some good cars again (Elise is still good, but what have they done to it in the past few years but a nose job and a Toyota engine?)

Quote:
Concerning the Europa, I thought the Europa was kinda cool (I really hate the looks of the Elise, so I figured maybe the Europa could be for me - I still kinda do), but it fared poorly - in fact, part of the reason that may be so is because of the press' negative response to it.
That, and it was a half-hearted attempt at luxurious sports motoring. When Porsche, Nissan even, do a better job of it, the Europa was disappointing.

Quote:
As I recall reading, their problem with it was specifically that it was a GTified Esprit - what could potentially be drawn from this, and what I recall a reviewer saying is, is that they didn't like it because it was an imperfect compromise; maybe even because it wasn't what a Lotus should be (that's a huge stretch there as I think it really depend on the reviewer if they'd have a negative opinion of an otherwise good car based on the badge, and their interpretation of whether or not the car was befitting of said badge).
It was more of a GTI-Fied Elise, if anything. And it was imperfect.

The Evora suffers the same fate as the original Esprit, not really being powerful enough to compete, but still being loved by the press. It also looks too similar to designs released by Lotus back in 2003.

Quote:
Concerning the Evora, it won EVO's COTY (which is maybe the best award a sports car can win in the eyes of many enthusiasts) and CAR's Performance Car of the Year in 2009. Maybe sales are bad, but it seems to be a really good car. Unless it is BritBias.
I read that article and the best I could get out of it was "yes it's not the best, but it's a Lotus and it made me feel special". I guess you can't put a price on that, but on pure facts and design I think it's a mess.

Quote:
Finally, a discussion about Lotus in IndyCar was going on on another forum. One forum member raised the issue of Lotus' participation in the series, and claimed that Lotus sold only 700 cars a year there...low volume manufacturer. Maybe they don't actually intend to produce all 5 (6 now with the city car?), or as you said, it will be trimmed down. Something I noted about the 4 door one was that I didn't see it listed as 20XX intended production, so maybe that's just to gauge response (maybe some or all of them are, seeing as 2014/2015 is so far away).

EDIT: I apologize for restating or rephrasing points I've raised earlier in this or other threads.
I trimmed a bit because I think we share some common points.

They needed to do something, or risk fading into insignificance once the original Elise was too long in the tooth.

Are they making the right choice? I couldn't tell you either way, but in many cases the best decision is to make any decision at all, and adjust based upon what happens next. Lotus will make some great product over the next few years, but I think most 'enthusiasts' won't consider them lotus'.
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  #25  
Old 10-02-2010, 12:41 AM
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So Kitdy, the percentage weight increase over time is considerably higher than your source is quoting.
I don't claim my source to be authoritative, but all the numbers I gave concerned the base Carerra 2 in the first model year for each generation (except the 997). You gave the numbers for a bunch of different 911s from a broader time period, so clearly there is going to be more variation - especially when one looks at the Turbo, which has has evolved from a sportscar to an AWD GT.

The number you gave for the 1998 911 matched that given by my source, so maybe my source is accurate.

I was primarily concerned with the base 911, in which case (if my source is accurate) then the percentage mass increase over time is not higher than the source I quoted - but I'll get back to this in a bit.

Of course, when you start looking further back in time, and at different models, you are going to see a bigger variation in mass - cars in the 70s were way lighter than their counterparts today.

Can you confirm the figures for the 4 model years that I originally posted?

I must say that I initially went into researching the 911's mass over the period specified by IB4R (extended to the current model) I expected there to be a much bigger variation.

The numbers you have provided show that when you start looking at other variants of the 911, the increase in mass is much more notable. I'd say almost assuredly that the percentage increase in mass of the mass of the average 911 sold today compared to that of the average mass of one sold in 1989 has risen more than the rise in mass of the 1989 911 C2 and the 2008 C2 - that is, buyers are tending to buy fatter, more luxurious 911s today, because they are available and their amenities and luxuries are desired.
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Old 10-02-2010, 12:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Kitdy View Post
I don't claim my source to be authoritative, but all the numbers I gave concerned the base Carerra 2 in the first model year for each generation (except the 997). You gave the numbers for a bunch of different 911s from a broader time period, so clearly there is going to be more variation - especially when one looks at the Turbo, which has has evolved from a sportscar to an AWD GT.

The number you gave for the 1998 911 matched that given by my source, so maybe my source is accurate.

I was primarily concerned with the base 911, in which case (if my source is accurate) then the percentage mass increase over time is not higher than the source I quoted - but I'll get back to this in a bit.

Of course, when you start looking further back in time, and at different models, you are going to see a bigger variation in mass - cars in the 70s were way lighter than their counterparts today.

Can you confirm the figures for the 4 model years that I originally posted?

I must say that I initially went into researching the 911's mass over the period specified by IB4R (extended to the current model) I expected there to be a much bigger variation.

The numbers you have provided show that when you start looking at other variants of the 911, the increase in mass is much more notable. I'd say almost assuredly that the percentage increase in mass of the mass of the average 911 sold today compared to that of the average mass of one sold in 1989 has risen more than the rise in mass of the 1989 911 C2 and the 2008 C2 - that is, buyers are tending to buy fatter, more luxurious 911s today, because they are available and their amenities and luxuries are desired.
964 Carrera 4: 1460
993 Carrera 4: 1420
996 Carrera 4: 1405/1460 (manual/tiptronic)

What I am trying to say is that a basic design increased about 40% in weight over the years. You have to realise that the current Elise is still very much the basic design.
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Old 10-02-2010, 01:22 AM
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Appreciate the response IB4R, this h as been a great discussion - I would hesitate to call it a debate, and certainly not an argument. It's been very constructive.

Only a few things I want to address about what you said; the rest I think neatly ties things up and is fairly straightforward. You mention the idea of basically evolving or dying. That could well explain why Lotus (at the behest of Proton clearly) is making this move. I dig what you say about changing your strategy, and maybe even breaking your ideals (Porsche did with the Cayenne and Panamera and it's been a resounding success) to make more money or even just to survive - you gotta do what you gotta do, even if the press/enthusiasts are gonna hate you.

What I wonder, is how Lotus is doing financially and how they were doing financially in the very recent past few years. If things are/were going poorly for them, then maybe a risky, dramatic, and drastic change such as this was required. Maybe Proton realizes this is a big risk but is willing to give it a shot as opposed having the company hemorrhaging money and dying a slow death and costing them coin over many years. On the other hand, if Lotus had been doing fine, then maybe this was not the right choice to make.

I guess it'd be hard to fault them for making this change if it was seen as them by do or die - painful still, but what can you do if you are in that situation? Was not Porsche in dire straits until the Cayenne was such a success? People hated them, but damn, they have some fine cars today. The 997 by all accounts is fabulous, as basically their entire range; including the Cayenne (considering what it is - when Porsche decides to do something, they do it well), and things seem to be on the up and up (recent failed attempt at VW take over notwithstanding). I mean, I guess we can hope that the same is true for Lotus - that when they decide to do something, they do a damn good job of it.

There is one problem when something like this happens though, and that occurs if you alienate your core fans who would buy your cars, and the mainstream public is not interested in what you are selling. In the case of Lotus, they are going up against established heavyweights (as I mentioned previously), and with many people in the market for cars in the price range that Lotus is going to be building (especially on the higher end of their new cars end), as you know, people look for the badge. Lotus does not have the same allure as Audi, or Ferrari, or BMW, or McLaren.

What I'm saying is Lotus run the risk of having Lotus fans not buy these new cars as they will see them as betrayals, and having other wealthy clientèle not buy them because they don't have the cachet of those other brands.

All that being said, I am pretty damn excited for the non-hybrid Esprit if it happens. Though it goes against a lot of what I just said, I think I am OK with one upmarket Lotus. I've anticipated this car since just a few months after I joined UCP - so when my passion for cars surged. Before UCP, I liked cars. Now, I love them. I saw some renderings which looked awesome - way back in February 2007 (I have 2 saved on my hard drive still) - and I've wanted to see a new Esprit since then. I guess it feels like the youth of my car loving years and it kinda stuck in my head. I think the production could look awesome if it's made, and even if it doesn't look awesome, it'll probably be a riot to drive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by henk4 View Post
964 Carrera 4: 1460
993 Carrera 4: 1420
996 Carrera 4: 1405/1460 (manual/tiptronic)

What I am trying to say is that a basic design increased about 40% in weight over the years. You have to realise that the current Elise is still very much the basic design.
But the Esprit was introduced in 1996; the 911 in 1963. I don't think it's fair to compare them in that manner. The longer scale of time, the more the mass will increase as a percentage of initial mass generally. I am not exactly sure what you are trying to say - I think it's easy enough, but it is late and my brain is fried, or maybe I'm just stupid normally.

I know this is nitpicking, but those are the AWD models, not the RWD models... And you forgot the 997.

I'm going to sleep now.
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Old 10-02-2010, 01:31 AM
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I know this is nitpicking, but those are the AWD models, not the RWD models... And you forgot the 997.

I'm going to sleep now.
I thought you meant the 4 models as in Carrera 4, and not the four models...
The Frere book stops with the 996, and he since died....
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Old 10-02-2010, 05:16 AM
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Relative to the power it does have, the weight figure isn't bad. I doubt there are many cars with more than 300bhp that weight 1095kg or less. But the thing is, does a Lotus, and the base model at that, need more than 300bhp? I would say that the answer is no.

The thing is, Lotus is quite of a niche themselves. Lightweight and simplicity but not necessarily entirely track focused. I'm sure this new can be good, very good in fact, but that's not the point. The point is, Lotus is abandoning their traditional market niche and transforming themselves into something completely different. I'd say that would be my main complaint.

What's saddest of all is that there doesn't seem to be any manufacturer that will pick where Lotus seems to be leaving, and Lotus is going into a market segment that's already full of very competent cars from brands that have quite an excellent reputation and image.

It's funny IB4R brought up the MX-5, since IIRC the 2 litre version weights 1170kg and the 1.8 litre must be below that. And to me despite the power deficit and the mass production and relative heaviness of it, this car seems to be quite a lot more up Colin Chapman's street than new Lotuses.

So in fact it's likely to be that the old Lotus is the new Lotus and that if the receipe worked well, don't change it because you'll probably end up messing with everything.

PD. Just two minor points.

1. It was the Boxster which saved Porsche. The Cayenne was just greed.

2. Jaguar is now a enthusiast brand much more than it was 5 or 10 years ago. The fact that the cars looked like traditional Jags doesn't disguise the fact that they can't hold a candle to the new ones. So hurray for changes, sometime and in a way.
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Old 10-03-2010, 05:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitdy View Post
Appreciate the response IB4R, this h as been a great discussion - I would hesitate to call it a debate, and certainly not an argument. It's been very constructive.

Only a few things I want to address about what you said; the rest I think neatly ties things up and is fairly straightforward. You mention the idea of basically evolving or dying. That could well explain why Lotus (at the behest of Proton clearly) is making this move. I dig what you say about changing your strategy, and maybe even breaking your ideals (Porsche did with the Cayenne and Panamera and it's been a resounding success) to make more money or even just to survive - you gotta do what you gotta do, even if the press/enthusiasts are gonna hate you.

I guess it'd be hard to fault them for making this change if it was seen as them by do or die - painful still, but what can you do if you are in that situation? Was not Porsche in dire straits until the Cayenne was such a success? People hated them, but damn, they have some fine cars today. The 997 by all accounts is fabulous, as basically their entire range; including the Cayenne (considering what it is - when Porsche decides to do something, they do it well), and things seem to be on the up and up (recent failed attempt at VW take over notwithstanding). I mean, I guess we can hope that the same is true for Lotus - that when they decide to do something, they do a damn good job of it.
This, rather neatly, is my point in one. Not so much a breaking of your ideals when your back is against the wall, but a considered readjustment of the markets expecations for you towards a more profitable enterprise. This was the case with the Boxster - a move downmarket that made the brand more accessible to the average consumer while maintaining a high level of technical proficiency.

With Lotus it's almost in reverse - the cars are getting more complex and heavier, yes, but they're starting from that point of driving bliss, and adding the features consumers, rather than drivers, want. I get this is a slap in the face to the enthusiast, but you can't keep selling to enthusiasts when they aren't buying your product in the first place.

Quote:
What I'm saying is Lotus run the risk of having Lotus fans not buy these new cars as they will see them as betrayals, and having other wealthy clientèle not buy them because they don't have the cachet of those other brands.
This is the leap, isn't it. Risk your core to save your skin. But cores can turn pretty rotten, and diversity is never a bad thing.

Lotus is being bold in it's approach, and I can do nothing but applaud them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ferrer
The thing is, Lotus is quite of a niche themselves. Lightweight and simplicity but not necessarily entirely track focused. I'm sure this new can be good, very good in fact, but that's not the point. The point is, Lotus is abandoning their traditional market niche and transforming themselves into something completely different. I'd say that would be my main complaint.
You, sir, are very much the target enthusiast who is likely to be the one most put out by this shift. Little surprise there.

However Lotus doesn't want to be a Morgan or even worse, a Bristol - making a unique product that has a miniscule but loyal following. It's a company run to make money, and as such change is necessary.

Quote:
t's funny IB4R brought up the MX-5, since IIRC the 2 litre version weights 1170kg and the 1.8 litre must be below that. And to me despite the power deficit and the mass production and relative heaviness of it, this car seems to be quite a lot more up Colin Chapman's street than new Lotuses.
Part of the reason I brought up the MX-5 is that, while it has changed in terms of body, it's essentially the same vehicle as at conception. This bodes well in the near future, but you get the feeling it can't stay where it is forever, acting as an entity unto itself. Perfection is rarely attained, and furthermore product planners do not believe it exists - otherwise why bother buying another new product.

Jaguar, if I might make the point, has mass appeal now because it's and in-brand which has deftly maintained history while shirking it at the same time. A masterstroke and something to emulate, I suggest.
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