No mention of the 2017 Alpine A110 ? - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-10-2017, 08:04 PM Thread Starter
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No mention of the 2017 Alpine A110 ?

Hi there LTers.
I'm kinda surprised to see no mention of the production version of the Alpine A110, launched at the Geneva Motor Show this week. Even the American based YouTubers don't seem to have covered it.

If ever there was a next generation of the Lotus 111 theme, this is it. Unlike the Alfa 4C (Lotus carbon copy) IMO the Alpine is a real step change and fit for the current / future times. The linkage to Lotus is quite real - Tony Shute, 'father' of the Elise in the 90's was part of the Alpine:Caterham team that helped develop it. When Caterham pulled-out, Renault continued.

I know Renault as a brand is not big in North America, but they are huge overall, owning / controlling Nissan & Mitsubishi too. Their Motorsport / Renault Sport divisions have consistently been a leader in their sector.

The 1st edition cars (mainland Europe 2017) are sold-out. The RHD version for the UK & Japan (2018) is also sold out . Thats over 2000 units per annum, only in mainland Europe, as a single model offer. In 2016 Lotus Cars made +/- 1600 units, across all models / markets, achieving 41m loss on 79m sales! As a direct comparison, Lotus sales in core EU markets, (all models) would be +/- 300 units combined.

As a life-long Lotus fan (I've owned 10+ & still have my 1998 Elise), it saddens me that Lotus have let the 111 get so old, with just nips & tucks as updates. Sometimes LTers start threads 'what do you want from the next Elise?'... get into the details & thinking behind the A110 and I think you'll realise the "next Elise' is already launched, made by Alpine.

I'd intended to buy an Exige Sport 350 (road legal here), to complement my Elise... but now I'm really not so sure. As a minimum, I'll hang back and wait for more in-depth tech review & road tests later in 2017.


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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 01:01 AM
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Someone beat you. Aesthetically, the revision holds no candle to the original.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 06:37 PM
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The alpine is a bigger more grown up car than a 111R, its also significantly heavier, on the order of 450lbs based on comparable wet weight.

Lets analyze why the 4c didnt work out.

Firstly its handlign not so great, i am guessign the Alpine will do just fine here.
Secondly not that much power, and fart sounding turbo 4. Power to weight on the Alpine is the same, and its 4cyl turbo to.
Thirdly renault has it all wrong about paddles. The type of person who wants a viceral engaging sportscar wants a "viceral engaging" sportscar. The fact that paddles make it easier to live with in traffic is poor consolation to the type of person attracted to this type of minimal car.Are paddles faster on track? yes for sure, but then there is always a faster car on track, so how crucial are paddles to individual track experiences.. More to the point, a car like this is likely to be bought for, and enjoyed in, conditions which are neither traffic nor track, more likely mountain and backroad driving and here paddles frankly suck.

Assuming one day you can get the renault in the states, heres my spec.

Since we have to suffer with a turbo might as well have the advantages of a turbo, therefore if mercdes can get 350 hp from their 1.8 turbo thats what renault should have. And yes I want a stick, simply because its more fun and engaging and thats why I would buy one of these in the first place.

As the alpine stands now, I dont see it as compelling. But if its sub 2500lbs and 350hp with stick, well who is an entusiast driver that wouldnt want one.

Lotus sold 2500 elise 111r per year for a few years, first year in states was 2k units. Yes renault will sell 2-4k units before the fad factor wears off, but imo they need to develop this car into something far more serious if it is to have staying power.

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 10:47 AM
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Thirdly renault has it all wrong about paddles. The type of person who wants a viceral engaging sportscar wants a "viceral engaging" sportscar. The fact that paddles make it easier to live with in traffic is poor consolation to the type of person attracted to this type of minimal car.Are paddles faster on track? yes for sure, but then there is always a faster car on track, so how crucial are paddles to individual track experiences.. More to the point, a car like this is likely to be bought for, and enjoyed in, conditions which are neither traffic nor track, more likely mountain and backroad driving and here paddles frankly suck...
This is a key point that you make and I completely agree. The 4C sales have stalled in NorthAmerican at about 1300 total units sold. Yes, Lotus did sell ~5k units in the first two years but then the units dropped off dramatically.

I think there are folks who want a pure car but the natural take rate is smaller than most of these large mfgs want to bet on. Alfa intro the 4C as a loss leader to reestablish a brand that was gone for 20yrs. They plan to make money from sedans/crossovers/etc. Renault could do the same as they have a full line-up of vehicles - unlike Lotus. But now that rumors suggest PSA is buying Lotus/Proton maybe that will change...

I would love to see the Alpine in the US...even if it came as an Infiniti/Nissan (though that may be a mistake!)

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 11:08 AM
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I think it's because LT seems to be primarily a USA-based forum. As a rally fan (more than any other motorsport), I really like the old Alpine, and I've liked what I've seen of the new one, but I've only given it cursory attention - because I'm in the USA. The 4C got attention because it was something that would actually be available in the USA, whereas the Alpine is just yet another cool car that we can't until - until 25 years from now when we can import them. I would love to see the return of the hybrid rally-car/sports car design that we haven't seen in years - like the original Alpine, Lancia Stratos, etc. Unlikely to happen with current FIA rally rules, but it would be great to see.

I do agree on the 4C sales (and said the same in one of the other 4C vs Lotus threads on here) - IMHO the 4C hasn't sold well because there's only a certain number of people who are interested in such a stripped-out car. Most of them bought Elises back in 2004/2005, hence sales of those nosediving after the first few years. Many realized they didn't REALLY want such rawness and sell it, causing a decent number of second-hand ones available and for the ~$30k price that is not such a huge barrier to entry. How many of those now want to spend $60-70k on a brand new 4C that is not significantly "better", which will depreciate quickly (there's plenty of nearly-new ones for sale for ~$50k), that doesn't have a proper shifter, when you can just buy an Elise or Exige?

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 12:02 PM
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This is a key point that you make and I completely agree. The 4C sales have stalled in NorthAmerican at about 1300 total units sold. Yes, Lotus did sell ~5k units in the first two years but then the units dropped off dramatically.

I think there are folks who want a pure car but the natural take rate is smaller than most of these large mfgs want to bet on. Alfa intro the 4C as a loss leader to reestablish a brand that was gone for 20yrs. They plan to make money from sedans/crossovers/etc. Renault could do the same as they have a full line-up of vehicles - unlike Lotus. But now that rumors suggest PSA is buying Lotus/Proton maybe that will change...

I would love to see the Alpine in the US...even if it came as an Infiniti/Nissan (though that may be a mistake!)
I would love to see the alpine too.
Part of the issue, is they have to be able to reach beyond just the pure car for its own sake appeal, the real; sustained buyers here are not lookign for daily use paddles it has to have a usp, ie performance beyond just purity. The origional MR2 failed for this reason, and the subrau BRz suffers for the same reason, handlign and light weight alone wont do it(miata excepted) The exige V6 arguably kept lotus alive and is in many ways inferior to an evora 400. Yet it works and sold better than an evora some years because not only is it pure(albeit too heavy compared to an elige) but it also offers sledgehammer performance in a package no one else did, thats its usp, purity and with a knockout punch..

The alpine, as road car what will it really offer for the 90% on paper its as fast as a hot hatch, and besides styling and some halo it will cost more. On track, I am sure it will be fun, but thats a limited market on its own and after 2k cars its a weak one unless you have a real USP. Throw in 350hp and maybe a stick, now you have a car for which simply nothing else can compare.

Part of whats so aggravating is you have a $50 k renault, and the higher spec would cost what 5k more to produce max. So why not do it. None of this is rocket science, and as the 4c proves the real customer in this segment is not stupid and the wheat is very quickly sorted from the chaff, just go to any track day and see what people run..

If you look at the numbers of Gt3s grand sports, Z28s Gt4s etc sold in year, its clear that the market for real viceral track capable street cars is globally somewhere close to 10-15K units per year, of which 1/3 probably go to the track with some regularity. What these sucessful track capble cars have in common is competance and sledgehammer performance in their segment. Yes reanult could sustainably sell 1-2k units per year, but the product has to be knockout, as it is now it looks to be meerly really good. Meerly really good is the Brz in its segemt.

People want real speed with that purity now. Not just paper 0-60 acheived because it has paddles and gearing. The little amg merc has 350hp and weighs 500lbs more, get going renault.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 12:13 PM
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I think it's because LT seems to be primarily a USA-based forum. As a rally fan (more than any other motorsport), I really like the old Alpine, and I've liked what I've seen of the new one, but I've only given it cursory attention - because I'm in the USA. The 4C got attention because it was something that would actually be available in the USA, whereas the Alpine is just yet another cool car that we can't until - until 25 years from now when we can import them. I would love to see the return of the hybrid rally-car/sports car design that we haven't seen in years - like the original Alpine, Lancia Stratos, etc. Unlikely to happen with current FIA rally rules, but it would be great to see.

I do agree on the 4C sales (and said the same in one of the other 4C vs Lotus threads on here) - IMHO the 4C hasn't sold well because there's only a certain number of people who are interested in such a stripped-out car. Most of them bought Elises back in 2004/2005, hence sales of those nosediving after the first few years. Many realized they didn't REALLY want such rawness and sell it, causing a decent number of second-hand ones available and for the ~$30k price that is not such a huge barrier to entry. How many of those now want to spend $60-70k on a brand new 4C that is not significantly "better", which will depreciate quickly (there's plenty of nearly-new ones for sale for ~$50k), that doesn't have a proper shifter, when you can just buy an Elise or Exige?
The 4c as I see it.
On the positive
Mini ferrari styling, for 1/4 or less of the price, gets you some sales.
The Cf tub is eye candy and cool.

On the negative
Firstly its handlign is subpar to a lotus and arguably questionable. In car thats supposed to foremeost be about handling.
Secondly The motor sounds like crap(so does a elsie) its quick in 1-3 gears but slows down markedly after that. Its not really powerful.
Thridly, the padlles turn too many people off, as porche discovered with the GT3, Gt4 and 911R, many people who want a viceral sports car prioritize driving engaement over theoretical best possible paper numbers.

Alfa half baked the pie. The Cf tub is let down by flexy suspension. Whats the point of a stiff tub if you put struts on it. Nothing worng with an econo car mtor if its good one, the 4c one is nothing special or great.

Imagine a 4c with wishbones, a stick and somethign like the new Alfa 505 hp v6 for 100k. Why would you get anything else.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 12:30 PM
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I would love to see the alpine too.
Part of the issue, is they have to be able to reach beyond just the pure car for its own sake appeal, the real; sustained buyers here are not lookign for daily use paddles it has to have a usp, ie performance beyond just purity. The origional MR2 failed for this reason, and the subrau BRz suffers for the same reason, handlign and light weight alone wont do it(miata excepted)
...
Meerly really good is the Brz in its segemt.
You can't really compare the BRZ to a 4C/Lotus. The MR2 comparison is more apt. The thing with the BRZ is that a year or two ago, some auto writers decided to write that it wasn't selling well, but if you look at actual sales of it (combined with the near-identical Toyota), the sales are still very good - they've been out, mostly unchanged, for over four years now, and last year they still outsold (usually by a wide margin) every other "sporty" car except the musclecars (Mustang/Challenger/Camaro), BMW 2-series, Corvette, WRX/STI, and GTI. If you combine the Miata and Fiat 124, those outsell the BRZ/86 by a few hundred, but the 124 has that first-year bump. (Details here if you care.) That counts as a success in my book for such a tiny little RWD sports car. It doesn't hurt that really, there is nothing that competes with it directly. The closest is the Miata/Fiat 124. The BRZ is brilliant in its own way because you can drive it every day and get the fun sports car feel, yet still carry your kids in the back seat (as I do) and have a reliable car that costs very little to run. It could use another 30-40 hp but it's certainly not unbearable as is. I have more fun driving it every day than my last STI, where I would barely touch the throttle in most circumstances because it was so fast.

The very real problem is that sports car sales are pretty lousy no matter what and that's unlikely to change, especially traditional lightweight manual-transmission ones. Sport compacts have laid waste to the sports car market. It would be great to see the Alpine here, but in the USA (generally speaking), 1) nobody cares about Renault, 2) nobody cares about rallying, 3) nobody especially cares about RWD rally heritage, and 4) the Alpine sales would probably make the 4C look like a Camry. Renault has no real reason to bother even trying to bring it here.

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 06:30 PM
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You can't really compare the BRZ to a 4C/Lotus. The MR2 comparison is more apt. The thing with the BRZ is that a year or two ago, some auto writers decided to write that it wasn't selling well, but if you look at actual sales of it (combined with the near-identical Toyota), the sales are still very good - they've been out, mostly unchanged, for over four years now, and last year they still outsold (usually by a wide margin) every other "sporty" car except the musclecars (Mustang/Challenger/Camaro), BMW 2-series, Corvette, WRX/STI, and GTI. If you combine the Miata and Fiat 124, those outsell the BRZ/86 by a few hundred, but the 124 has that first-year bump. (Details here if you care.) That counts as a success in my book for such a tiny little RWD sports car. It doesn't hurt that really, there is nothing that competes with it directly. The closest is the Miata/Fiat 124. The BRZ is brilliant in its own way because you can drive it every day and get the fun sports car feel, yet still carry your kids in the back seat (as I do) and have a reliable car that costs very little to run. It could use another 30-40 hp but it's certainly not unbearable as is. I have more fun driving it every day than my last STI, where I would barely touch the throttle in most circumstances because it was so fast.

The very real problem is that sports car sales are pretty lousy no matter what and that's unlikely to change, especially traditional lightweight manual-transmission ones. Sport compacts have laid waste to the sports car market. It would be great to see the Alpine here, but in the USA (generally speaking), 1) nobody cares about Renault, 2) nobody cares about rallying, 3) nobody especially cares about RWD rally heritage, and 4) the Alpine sales would probably make the 4C look like a Camry. Renault has no real reason to bother even trying to bring it here.
Great post

Do you think the BRz would be more sucessful if there was a wrx turbo version also?
We agree it owns its segment.

What would the alpine need to own its segment and move into consistent sales. Something beyond rally heritage, something beyond golf R performance on street, somehting beyond what an elise offers, somethign so compellign how could you not choose to buy one.

What will it offer above an elise to drive. Its unlikely to have quite the same purity of experience. Well for sure its more grown up than an elsie, more a "real" car. But its also going to need a quantitative performance leap, not just some fakey doo 0-60 because it has paddles.

maybe I am just projecting my wants. The alpine as it is, seems nice but not compelling. A regular 991 porche is nice but not compelling to me either. A cayman Gt4 is more compelling and a Gt4 with Gt3 motor which is coming as an rs seems very compelling.

The alpine with 350hp which a turbo 1.8 should have, and possibly a stick seems very/most compelling. Thing is after 1 year of sales pure (and slowish) cars loose steam fast. The flaw is in lack of compelling performance to go with that purity, because a pure car will always need to sell to the driving enthusiasts after year 1, and what compells them to buy your car as opposed to someone elses.

Or put another way, I already have a NA elise, I love its sweetness and purity. What would compel me to buy a 4c or an alpine. Simply put they will need the purity of the lotus(or something close) they will need to be enaging to drive, have superlative manners and responses(alfa fail) and with a healthy power upgrade. Now a porche cayman, I dont think it has the purity, maybe a future Gt4 RS does, but even then its 3000lbs at least and its not yet in existance.

But like many here I like a light car, 2500lbs already seems pushing it. The renault has the lowish weight, unlike alfa I believe they will have the handling down, now it needs the rest of the package.

But hey its year 1, maybe they will develop further versions of it, and maybe we'll be lucky and nissan will import it as a halo machine, lord knows they need that.

Seems like these days euro cars have the same or stricter emissions than we do, so that should not be an insurmountable issue. Then its airbags and crash tests which can be a big issue.

The other alternative is if alpine is considered a seperate manufacturer. Possibly then less than 350 can be sold as emissions but not dot compliant under the new componant car rules. All, thats needed is to say its resembles a historic a 110. Long shot I know. Who knows maybe there is an opportunity here.

Cool car, hopefully they develop it firtehr and hopefully one day we can get that version here. I know I am in.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 06:43 PM
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Interesting article, epas which is also a question mark. Still seems a really interesting car. If this is going to be the current standard, how good will the next elise need to be.


Sensational Alpine A110 - full specs and details at last! by CAR Magazine
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-29-2017, 07:49 AM
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Do you think the BRz would be more sucessful if there was a wrx turbo version also?
We agree it owns its segment.
Probably some (and it'd shut up the internet haters who have never driven it) but there are plenty of more powerful sporty cars that don't sell worth a damn. (Genesis Couple, 370Z, etc.) For whose who haven't gained an appreciation of sports cars, it's hard to walk into a Subaru dealership and justify spending as much or more for a BRZ vs a WRX when the WRX has a lot more power (and more actual speed), AWD, much bigger interior, an actual turbo, etc. Its handling is very good too and on paper can probably match or beat the BRZ in most handling tests. Never mind that they are really very different to drive.

The big question - if my BRZ were totaled today, would I buy another BRZ or a WRX or STI? I have absolutely loved the 60k miles I've put on mine but I would definitely have to give serious consideration to moving back to the WRX/STi world. Partly because I have the Elise now and do I really need three sports cars, and partly because the AWD cars are just so damned practical. You need to really love sports cars to put up with their impracticality, and the BRZ is about as practical as you can get in a small, (relatively) light RWD traditional sports car. Something like an Alpine would have to be a toy, like an Elise; almost no one is going to daily drive one.

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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-02-2017, 08:23 PM
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Any news on the Alpine, any customer cars delivered, and real road tests?
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-03-2017, 05:50 AM
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Lets analyze why the 4c didnt work out.

...and fart sounding turbo 4.

Lotus sold 2500 elise 111r per year for a few years, first year in states was 2k units. Yes renault will sell 2-4k units before the fad factor wears off, but imo they need to develop this car into something far more serious if it is to have staying power.
Couldn't disagree more about the sound. Off the showroom floor, the 4c sounded/sounds FAR better than any Elige with a Stage II, and better than any aftermarket option for the Lotus.

Heck, as bad as the Fiat Abarth is, IT sounds better than the best Elige. Have to give the Italians props for getting fantastic sounds out of their cars.

Elise sales, I suppose you're quoting worldwide. First year for Elise in US was around 2500, dropping off dramatically after that. I think around 1500 the second year...couldn't give them away much after that.

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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-03-2017, 06:45 AM
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Couldn't disagree more about the sound. Off the showroom floor, the 4c sounded/sounds FAR better than any Elige with a Stage II, and better than any aftermarket option for the Lotus.
I'm going to have to disagree with you there. My car sounds much better than the 4c IMHO. Cup car air-box, Larini dual-tip, decat.

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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-05-2017, 07:43 PM
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Couldn't disagree more about the sound. Off the showroom floor, the 4c sounded/sounds FAR better than any Elige with a Stage II, and better than any aftermarket option for the Lotus.

Heck, as bad as the Fiat Abarth is, IT sounds better than the best Elige. Have to give the Italians props for getting fantastic sounds out of their cars.

Elise sales, I suppose you're quoting worldwide. First year for Elise in US was around 2500, dropping off dramatically after that. I think around 1500 the second year...couldn't give them away much after that.
I never said an elise sounds great, eilse sound is rough, its motor is also a rough rever . However the elise makes up for it in every other way in terms of how it seers rides and handles. The 4c sounds like fart. Outside of any one day us rag road test no one is claiming that the 4c has even good ride superlative handling or steering because in truth it lacks those things .

Yes the 4c is an interesting road car, fun on road if you dont mind a jolting ride. The 4c is CF tub unrealized potential because it has subpar suspension, weird steering at the limit, paddles and at best a so so engine. There is now a whole aftermarket in the Uk trying to adress the 4c handling foibles, esp at the limit. The 4c is a true modern Alfa in that it promises much but is half baked in execution.

Ill say the 4c looks great and its interior is inspired, plus the exposed cf tub is car porn. Its just not a dynamicaly well developed road/track machine which is what it pretends to be.We can argue about he 4cs handlign till the cos come home, read any uk, euro or australian car mag and youll see the testers raise it as
a significant issue, something we never hear about the elige. Having driven both I concur.


In any event this thread is about the alpine, and it would be interesting to see some real road tests at this point.

The elise has been on sale for 20 years and many years has sold decent numbers, (that alone implies its a great.) the point I was making with elise sales and for that matter 4c sales is that clearly there is still a market for great lightweight sportscars of 2k units per year, which should be good for renault if the alpine is not a dynamic question mark like the 4c. We'll see how the alpine sells, its far more practical than an elise and probbaly dynamicaly far superior to a 4c, styling one has to see in the flesh, and its certainly not 4c sexy but it may be retro cool, so maybe alpine got the formula right and it wills ell a sustaned 2000 units per year for a while.

The Alpine can probaly also be amped up in a few years by 100 horsies and continualy developed as the elige was. This alpine is the car that can threaten Lotus's usp. the 4c could have been that car too, except dynamicaly it misses the mark by wide margin.
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