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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-21-2003, 10:25 AM Thread Starter
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Cool How to start a rumor.

How to start a rumor...

The August "CAR" magazine (UK) wrote that the Elise engine subframe is designed to accept a V6 engine.

What if... in 2004 the Elise was offered with the Toyota 4 cylinder engine, followed in 2005 by the introduction of the Elise with a lightweight Toyota V6?

The difference in weight between a 4 and a 6 could be less than 100 lbs. It would be like a lighter Acura NSX.

Car companies typically hold back a year or two before offering things like this, so that a particular iteration of car can have a longer life cycle... no need to redesign if you can offer improvements that attract new buyers.

Does this sound possible? Probable?

Thomas
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-21-2003, 10:44 AM
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It sure would be difficult to outperform and Elise with a powerful V6 (assuming that there would only be 100lbs or so difference in weight - which seems a bit optimistic). With rumors of an Esprit replacement, it seems a bit unlikely that Lotus would make their low-cost car outperform their flagship, which might cost twice as much.

Even if they do decide to go that route, I wouldn't expect to see it in the states any time in the near future - I don't see Lotus having the budget to introduce a new engine to the US market for at least a few years (assuming that we are not getting a V6 next year).

I would like to see one for comparison's sake - it would sure be interesting.
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-21-2003, 10:47 AM
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Really dont' know what Lotus has plan but we can sure guess. Typically those type of changes are made mid-life of a design cycle 3rd yrear if they go with a 4 year plan. Then again how long was the Esprit around?

If we do end up with a new chassis that can handle the V6 it's more likely to go into a different version of the car, as MattG suggested a new Exige, hardtop with maybe even a longer wheelbase. Or Lotus not being too sure of the USA market may have plans to drop it into the Elise. Personally if the power curves of the 4 are a decent match to the car & at 190hp vs ~220hp for a v6 & 100+ lbs that would all go over the rear tires, I'd stick with the 4.
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-21-2003, 10:47 AM
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Hmmm..

Not sure what to think about that.

I might still rather have the lighter/less hp car. But then again. I know a more powerful version tends to devalue the other car, which I would not be happy with.

And maybe... I would really want the V6 version. Guess I could consider buying it and selling the other one. It probably would not be a cheap thing to do... but I would have the car for at least a year anyways.

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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-21-2003, 10:50 AM Thread Starter
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V6

What I am hinting at, is that the Elise V6 could be the Esprit replacement...

Imagine if Lotus offered a Turbo V-6, and rebodied the car with an all carbon fiber body... some titanium bits... forged wheels, etc... perhaps they could save enough weight to have the V-6 version weigh-in close to the 4 cylinder Elise, but with 50% more torque and power.

Price would probably be up where the Esprit used to be.

It's just crazy talk, I know, but wouldn't that be cool? (Trying *hard* to start a nutty rumor!)
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-21-2003, 12:44 PM
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Re: V6

Quote:
Originally posted by Thomasio
(Trying *hard* to start a nutty rumor!)
Well, if all you're trying to do is start a new rumor about a replacement Esprit based on an enlarged and rebodied version of the Elise, I believe that rumor is already circulating.

As a matter of fact, I might even go as far as to say that the car has already been promised, developed, tested, and scrapped by Lotus.

"The Lotus M250 concept car first appeared at the 1999 Frankfurt Auto Show. With little changed, this near-production M250 showed up at the 2000 Geneva Auto Show. A lightweight aluminum chassis keeps the M250's curb weight around 2,000 pounds. Power comes from a 250-horsepower 3.0-liter V6 engine. Lotus says the rear-wheel-drive M250 should accelerate from zero-to-60 mph in less than five seconds. In typical Lotus fashion, handling, responsiveness and agility were all top design priorities."



I suppose another one could come around, but I would expect that it is more like a different car completely than an Elise with a big engine.... In which case I'll be more than happy with my 4 cylinder Elise.
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-21-2003, 12:55 PM Thread Starter
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Blasphemy

I'm ready to be flamed here, but here goes...

I drove a Honda S2000 in an autocross yesterday. The car is fantastic, but it made me realize that high-horsepower, high-rpm cars are a real chore to drive fast.

Maybe a V-6 would be worth the weight penalty...

Now don't get me wrong... there is definitely a place and need for a 4 cylinder, minimalist Elise. (I loved driving the S2). But I think that a V-6, if the weight is kept in check (say +100 lbs) could be a very, very fun car (if not as nimble as the S1/S2/S? Elise).

The car would be of a different character, but might be a good alternative to the retired Esprit.

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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-21-2003, 01:00 PM Thread Starter
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P.S.

P.S. "CAR" magazine (UK) talked about the Elise S3(?) having a chassis that would be a cross-platform with an Aston Martin. This leads me to believe that either: 1) the Elise will be a little bit bigger or 2) Aston Martin is entering a new market.

Aston Martins are much larger cars than Elises in modern times. (And much, much pricier). I don't mind bigger, but I do mind heavier.

Any thoughts on the cross-platform report?

Thomas
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-21-2003, 01:12 PM
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As far as the S2000 goes, it's ~1000 lbs heavier the the Elise we'll be getting, very peaky motor with a 9k redline with very little torque. The toyota as it stands isn't nearly as peaky & with a bit of Lotus tuning not a big concern (for now, we'll have to wait for the real deal).

A modular chassis that can grow 8" or so for the Esprit would make sense. Dropping a V-6 with TT and the I/C most likely wouldn't fit into the Elise. Now a N/A V-6 dropped into a Elise or a differnt model with the same W.B. is a possibility.

On the new chassis, rumor is that it's 2" longer then the S2 and would be the bases for the next gen Esprit. Given that the S2 chassis comes in at 150lbs, even with slightly larger body panels I'd guess less then 40lbs added.
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-21-2003, 01:20 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks

Good information Larry, thanks.

2" really is nothing... and I'm guessing that the wheelbase might not even reflect all of the 2" increase.

Your 40 lb estimate (for body alone) sounds pretty reasonable. Maybe another 40 or 50 for crash worthiness and a few pounds for the engine/transmission package.

The point you make is a good one: a lighter car will be a lot more tolerant of a low-torque engine. Or should I say, a lower-torque engine is more noticable in a heavier car than in a lighter car.

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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-21-2003, 01:36 PM
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On the weight, the dealers have been saying 150lbs over the Euro version, between the Rover & Toyota its 50lbs, gotta have the bumpers, air bag(s), plus the extras they've already done for the S2.5 & if it's a bigger chassis it could be 150-200lbs... in any case we should know by the end of the year.
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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-21-2003, 01:48 PM Thread Starter
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lbs

So what would that be... 1700 lbs + 150 =1850?

I suppose 150 is like a medium sized passenger.

Would that be your guess for the U.S. weight?

Thomas
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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-21-2003, 02:21 PM
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Re: P.S.

Quote:
Originally posted by Thomasio
P.S. "CAR" magazine (UK) talked about the Elise S3(?) having a chassis that would be a cross-platform with an Aston Martin.
I don't think that's correct...I think they merely said that the platforms would share certain aspects of design and construction techniques. A similar philosophy, but totally different implmentation.

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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-21-2003, 02:26 PM
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Re: lbs

Quote:
Originally posted by Thomasio
So what would that be... 1700 lbs + 150 =1850?

I suppose 150 is like a medium sized passenger.

Would that be your guess for the U.S. weight?

Thomas
Has anyone gone for their test-drive without a passenger? I doubt it, so most of us have only driven the Elise with 150-200 lbs. of ballast anyway. It's not going to be a deal-breaker unless it comes in over 1900 lbs. or has alot worse than 10:1 lbs. per horsepower.
Someone suggested that the low torque motor is less of a factor in a lightweight car than in a heavier one, and I completely agree. The S2000 is nearly 1000 lbs. heavier than the Elise will be and does amazing things with only 153 lb./ft. of torque. I for one am not at all concerned about this, and frankly, the Elise has never been about drag racing, it's about handling and driver involvement. I think having to rev the motor to get every last bit out of it is part of the fun.

Robert
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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-21-2003, 02:45 PM
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My only concern with the Toyota motor is the power delivery. When we get to the hot cams, there is a fair size step up. Granted haven't dirven the Celica (yet) so don't know how bad it is & Lotus most likely will smooth it out. In any case have driven a turbo for over 12yrs. If it's half or less of the spool up & down then I'd be happy. Own a first gen Integra it was a sweet sounding rev happy motor, think something like that would be a good fit for the Elise.
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post #16 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-21-2003, 04:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by LarryB
My only concern with the Toyota motor is the power delivery. When we get to the hot cams, there is a fair size step up. Granted haven't dirven the Celica (yet) so don't know how bad it is & Lotus most likely will smooth it out.
The transition to the hot cams is pretty bad, I wouldn't want that happening in a corner. I think it'll just take some learning. A fellow MR2 owner has a Celica GTS, and mentioned that it's not bad once you get the hang of it. You just learn to shift either before the 6k switch, or at very high rpms instead (8.2k?) to keep you in the powerband.

I don't know how much Lotus can really mess with that motor before they have to recertify it for US use. Besides, smoothing it out will probably not be possible, unless some power is sacrificed (like if the ignition timing were retarded when switching to the hot cam, gradually easing back to normal over several hundred rpms) or a new cam profile is used (which may require some level of recertification).

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post #17 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-21-2003, 04:15 PM
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With the Elise coming in a good 500lbs lighter then the Celica, the switch over is going to be alot worst. Would think Lotus would redo the cam profile to smooth it out if they're going with that motor. In any case it wouldn't be long now before it offical & the curves are the thing I'll be looking the hardest at (hope there's isn't a added delay for those). While I'm use to a turbo, really don't want that effect with the Elise.
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post #18 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-21-2003, 04:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by MattG
I don't know how much Lotus can really mess with that motor before they have to recertify it for US use.
By putting the engine in a different car, they will have to recertify it. It's called type certification. They are going with an engine that's already tested only because they know that it should pass and has all the on board diagnostics that the EPA requires (read: less R&D costs).
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post #19 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-21-2003, 06:37 PM
 
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It'll take a lot of work to get the 2zz-fe's curve anywhere near as smooth as the F20C's. I can post the dynos if you don't mind rather large image sizes (newcelica.org and a quick google search will do the trick). The 2zz-fe, from everything I've seen and read, is simply a generation behind Honda's engines. It's anemic below 6k with less power than the 1zz corolla engine all the way to the cam changeover, where it lunges forward. Playing with how aggressive the cams are can certainly help to alleviate the problem but if they want to hit 200 HP, I'd think that means the lower cam has to be more aggressive (instead of the higher rpm cam being less aggressive), which will negatively affect emissions and possibly/probably mpg.

I'm not too concerned, Lotus have done great work in the past. I just don't think the optimal choice. Then again I doubt too many people said the Rover engines were the best choice, either.
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post #20 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-21-2003, 06:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by ya hachu
It'll take a lot of work to get the 2zz-fe's curve anywhere near as smooth as the F20C's. I can post the dynos if you don't mind rather large image sizes.
the dyno comparison:
http://www.elisetalk.com/forums/show...=&threadid=554

and just for the sake of argument, if we were to get a Honda engine, it would almost assuedly not be the F20C because of the need for a transverse gearbox. It would need to be the K20A, which is only a small step behind the F20C.

... And more nitpicking, isn't it the 2ZZ-GE - the FE's are the econo motors if I'm not mistaken (or maybe it's just that the 1ZZ-FE is the econo motor?)
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