Who is Happy with the Direction Lotus is leading us Towards? - Page 2 - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #21 of 149 (permalink) Old 10-01-2010, 06:22 AM
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I have to admit......Im really starting to like the new Elise! But WHERES the Exige??
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post #22 of 149 (permalink) Old 10-01-2010, 06:28 AM
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+1

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post #23 of 149 (permalink) Old 10-01-2010, 06:37 AM
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i like the new look. its 180 degrees different but still recognizable. looking forward to driving one when it comes out.
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post #24 of 149 (permalink) Old 10-01-2010, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Abe View Post
Enough with the negativity threads

This is a $1B dollar project that Lotus needs to get funding for and whether it's Proton who provides the financial backing or some other manufacturer who buys Lotus, I'm 100% completely onboard with this

Trust me, I get it. You guys were attracted to the whole "performance thru lightweight" philosophy but in the end, Lotus is in the business of being profitable and regardless of what you feel how the company should have been run, Lotus has been unprofitable for MANY, MANY years.

Something had to eventually change and I for one am happy that it took a REAL marketing person to market Lotus better than his predecessors who were more engineers than marketing experts...no offense to them btw.

Like the saying goes, "you can't have your cake and eat it" The niche market (Elise/Exige) dried up years ago and unfortunately more used Lotus cars were/are being sold than new.

This if nothing else gets people talking about Lotus good, bad or indifferent but more importantly, will cater to the masses.

I remember when the whole 993 vs. 996, air-cooled vs water-cooled and yada, yada, yada debate went over, yet Porsche managed to become the most profitable auto manufacturer in the business. Even in a down economy where my industry had the worst August in history, Porsche along with Audi had a strong earning.

People talk about the Chris Bangle design yet BMW sold more cars in that ERA than previous designers.

Everyone speaks of a crowded market, really? I see Aston Martin, Ferrari, Lamborghini and Porsche/Audi. Does it really hurt the market or better yet would customers really feel insulted that Lotus has entered this market? Maybe to enthusiasts but to the masses which Lotus is catering to, it's not. Variety is the spice of life, Lotus is part of that spice and isn't it many of you who say competition is good for business?

If not now, when is Lotus to enter this market and show case their engineering prowess? I mean, C'mon now! They've won soo many awards and achieved many accolades, why not give them a chance?

Don't look at these designs as final products but rather, look at them with the potential of being much better. 2013 is when we "should" see the first model (Esprit) and there's many things that can happen to better the product. Also, look at it as a way of funding their way to the true Lotus mantra which cannot be achieved thru the current system.

To me it's a small price to pay although I'm really digging ALL their concepts.

I keep reading, "Colin Chapman would be rolling in his grave", really? I think Mr. Chapman would have done this years ago and still be the innovator he was and not wait 13+ painful years of being unprofitable.

I cannot wait until the LA auto show when these same cars will be on display at the same location Lamborghini is typically at

Here's hoping for the best, GO Lotus

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Abe Reyes

+1

I will speak as an outsider since I don’t consider my self a Lotus fan yet. I think Lotus is on the right track, if you look back at the Elise in ‘93 it was a revolutionary design, compared to the look of the Elan, Esprit, Europa’s with the 60’s through 80’s dated design language. I’m sure many old timers were appalled at the new futuristic look for a Lotus since it didn’t look anything like those cars or even a Lotus 7.

Now performance through light weight is a relative term, there’s no (Lotus) law that states a car must be less than 2K pounds to be light cause it all comes down to power-to-weight ratio (the Bugatti Veyron, the Noble and now the Lambo Sesto Elemento are living prove of it)

I’m sure Lotus will make the new line of cars perform very well and raise the craftsmanship standards that have made Ferrari legendary, so is all for the good. Plus no one will be able to insult us “hey dude, you drive a Go-Cart” but I do see a big positive and a negative.


Positive:
In the far future this Forum will go back to what it once was, a Forum for older well educated people (lawyers, doctors, engineers Pilots etc. the only people that can afford such a car)

Negative:
The entry level Elise at $70K is out of my reach, forget about the Elan or Esprit or even the Enternet Lol. I guess when I sell my car Lotus will force me to go back to my first choice, an STI!! Now, how do I explainto my wife why I had to choose an STI again

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post #25 of 149 (permalink) Old 10-01-2010, 07:47 AM
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If these cars actually make it with these initial designs I would be surprised...usually they get many revisions before coming to market but with that being said I think the styling direction is strong but not perfect...

The elise has a few odd lines (in particular the different body color line from rear to the door is very off) but the rear and front look very strong.

For me, the Elan and Esprit have the best designs...and maybe the Elan being the best as it seems to completely work in all areas. The one thing that stands out is consistency with variance. All the cars should not look exactly the same but they should include very common characteristics.

Making Lotus a full featured brand is exciting for me to see and really want that. They are trying to hit all the fronts from apparel, new models, experience, performance, etc. It’s an extremely tall order to get all those moving parts working well and on target. I really hope they do as it should add to the ownership experience.

I think the biggest item is if they feel and drive like a lotus, period. Are they nimble, do they carve up the road like nobody’s business, do they perform way past expectations and most of all do they give you that special feeling when driving (lotus owners know that feel and know they are in a very special club)

With that being said, I have bought 2 Lotus cars and for me it’s a love hate thing...I love the simple no thrills features, body curves and performance to dollar but what I hate is the lack of fit and finish in the interior, exterior and components that work (say AC or stereo for instance) but, they are all underpowered. So if they can build a car that performs better, fit and finish is better, styling is better, experience is better, and feels and drives like a Lotus they will have hit the holy grail of cars. I would definitely pay more for that and buy more Lotus cars.

I really hope they hit the mark to improve the brand we all love.
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post #26 of 149 (permalink) Old 10-01-2010, 07:48 AM
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Abe,
I agree with you, but we've talked about this at length. I am VERY happy there is a new Elise coming that stays relatively true to the concept. The price point is right too. I really like the new Elan and I think it's the most successful of the new designs but where's the convertible?

Just like Porsche, I don't care if they create a more diverse portfolio in order to survive and continue to build their core products.
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post #27 of 149 (permalink) Old 10-01-2010, 07:51 AM
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I for one, like the designs although to me they look too similar.

I think the issue is the naming? I simply don't look at that car above and call it an 'Elise'.

Maybe just recognize the S1/S2 Elises as automotive genius and end of life them? Perhaps these new cars should all be called something else?

If I suspend my 'that's an Elise' judgment and just look at the car - I think it's cool. I REALLY dig the interior.
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post #28 of 149 (permalink) Old 10-01-2010, 08:17 AM
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I like both the old and the new design direction. The majority of the new cars Esprit, Eterne, and Elite are at a whole new price point and I have no idea how they will compete at that level or what volume Lotus needs. It seems like too many big ticket models at one time. The pricing of the new Elise appears to be $55K although I see people mentioning $75-80K? I think $55K will work for many current Lotus fans. It will be interesting to see how the Elan competes with the probable target 911. These new cars are not coming out for quite some time . People have 4 to 5 years to keep buying the just revised Elise.
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post #29 of 149 (permalink) Old 10-01-2010, 08:27 AM
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Starting to pack my lunch, skipping Starbucks, and clipping coupons so I can afford an Elan.
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post #30 of 149 (permalink) Old 10-01-2010, 08:29 AM
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I am neutral to the concepts presented - they don't compell me to run out and buy one - but I don't think they are horrible either. I am seriously struggling with the design direction regarding with what makes them a Lotus.

I can slap a Cadillac badge on a Pinto - but it doesn't make it a Cadillac. Doesn't the brand and style and all that contribute to that stand or mean anything?

Porsche and Jeep may be extreme examples - but stylistically they retain intrinsic elements of design, a trademark, that demonstrates continuity, ties in and is representative of the brand. Corvette is another moderate example that comes to mind. Generally, for some car brands, it is a little more thematic like a grill (Pontiac/BMW), or the tail lights, a roof line - some tell tale design element or theme that ties the car with either a predecessor.

As I look at these new versions - I don't see a connection to any characteristic design elements or themes. Where are the oval lines or other elements that seem characteristic of Lotus? Other than the name on the back and logos - I don't make the connection.

I am especially confused by the reuse of Elise, Elan and Esprit names. I have always felt that if a car carries the same name, it should have some connection, tie-in, continuity or else why call it the same thing? Why is the new Elan an Elan?

Taking this beyond the style, there seems to be no tie-in either to the core brand philosophy of "simplify/performance through lightweight" which is what has made Lotus unique and endure.

I would respect this move to expand if there was at least some demonstrated attempt to integrate the core philosophy to at least develop innovative solutions that deliver on the objective balanced with the expanded direction.
For instance, if more creature comforts are what the market demands, then find a way to develop or adapt "lightweight" creature comforts.

I think this would be better appreciated by the existing Lotus owner/enthusiest community and build upon the uniqueness that has, if nothing else, allowed the company to endure and progress (something that many British manufacturers can't claim). Lotus is recognized for its engineering team - well leverage that expertise to integrate that core philosophy into solutions that adapt to an expanded approach rather than just discard what has established the brand.

I'm not so hard core to not recognize that there are regualtions and other mandatory items that add weight. For instance, I don't feel that each subsequent model "has to" be lighter than the former (but then again it doesn't have to be bigger or heavier either) - it may not be practical - but at least continue to strive for maintaining balance or improving.

Lotus shouldn't loose their way now because what they have stood for is more relevant now than before. It could be argued that the "simplify/performance through lightweight" philosophy/approach Lotus has built its brand upon is more critical and valuable today than ever before because of these increasing regulations. The timing of this pivot by Lotus is confusing right now when it seems that it is finally be getting the legitimate recognition it deserves and beginning to get adopted by others. Ferrari and Lamborghini (Lotus's apparent target benchmark) among many others are seeing the value in this approach to meet more stringent gas mileage requirements.



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post #31 of 149 (permalink) Old 10-01-2010, 08:50 AM
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I can slap a Cadillac badge on a Pinto - but it doesn't make it a Cadillac. Doesn't the brand and style and all that contribute to that stand or mean anything?
Actually, Cadillac DID slap a Cadillac badge on a Chevy Citation and call it a Cadillac Cimmaron....

While I generally agree with your sentiment, it doesn't really reflect Lotus history/reality.

Do you see a continuity from say, the original Elite to the Series II Elite? The original Elan to the M100 Elan? The original Europa to the current (not available in the US) Europa? Do you think the Elise/Exige bear a family resemblance to the 7, Type 14 Elite, Europa and original Elan? Take the badges off, park a pristine Europa next to an Exige, and people who do not know Lotus would not believe they came from the same manufacturer.

And even though there is SOME family resemblance between the original Elan and the original Europa, the Europa's styling was radical enough that it evoked really strong sentiments, really like or really hate.

Have you seen the straight lines and sharp angles and creases, as opposed to the ovals you refer to, on the G Bodied Esprits and the 70's era Eclat, Excel, and Series II Elite?

The original Elise when it came out really hit much of the Lotus world pretty hard in terms of styling...it simply did not look like what, up to that point, a Lotus looked like.

What about continuity of technology? The 7 had a ladder frame, didn't it? The Elite had no frame, it was a fiberglass monocoque with the suspension pieces glassed in. The Elan, Europa and Esprit had backbone chassis. The Elige/Exise have the aluminum tub. The Evora the modular aluminum tub. Early in Lotus history, engines were pretty much anything, including tractor engines, Chapman could cut a deal for. The Renault engine in the original Europa was picked largely because it came out of a front wheel drive car, and the transaxle could easily be converted for use in the mid engine/rear drive application. The original twin cam was as much a Ford as it was a lotus engine, the 910 and V8's were Lotus, but then it was back to external providers for the Elise and Exige. First the Rover in the Elise, then the Toyota. The decision to go with Toyota was an economic, not engineering decision.
Tractor engines, french engines, japanese engines, brit engines, ford blocks....

Up through the Esprit there were Renault, MG, Triumph, Jaguar, Anglia (the bumper on the Europa), Toyota, GM and Lord knows who else's parts in those things.

To me the new Lotus is simply evolution of the brand. Like the Mustang II, it may be a disaster and nearly kill off an automotive icon. Or it might keep Lotus viable for another few decades. If you REALLY look at the history of Lotus, the evolution of the DNA of the cars themselves is very darty, like a pinball game. Not a linear theme at all in any respect.

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post #32 of 149 (permalink) Old 10-01-2010, 08:53 AM
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Cars are becoming more technologically advanced, they have more comprehensive safety features, and customers demand greater comfort and quality. All this comes at the price of extra weight and cost, therefore I believe Lotus has taken the correct route to being a successfully, viable company.
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post #33 of 149 (permalink) Old 10-01-2010, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by spectre View Post
. . .

I think the biggest item is if they feel and drive like a lotus, period. Are they nimble, do they carve up the road like nobodyís business, do they perform way past expectations and most of all do they give you that special feeling when driving (lotus owners know that feel and know they are in a very special club)

With that being said, I have bought 2 Lotus cars and for me itís a love hate thing...I love the simple no thrills features, body curves and performance to dollar but what I hate is the lack of fit and finish in the interior, exterior and components that work (say AC or stereo for instance) but, they are all underpowered. So if they can build a car that performs better, fit and finish is better, styling is better, experience is better, and feels and drives like a Lotus they will have hit the holy grail of cars. I would definitely pay more for that and buy more Lotus cars.

I really hope they hit the mark to improve the brand we all love.
Sounds like an Evora to me .

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post #34 of 149 (permalink) Old 10-01-2010, 09:03 AM
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I'd love to find some silver lining in this (a Esprit with more power than originally estimated is not a bad thing), but there's not much to be had. I don't see Lotus succeeding at reinventing themselves as Aston-lite and courting the glitter car crowd.

Sorry, but for five brand new, earth-shattering concepts, they all more or less look like an S2000 backed into an Aston, and have NOTHING in common with their namesakes.

A 2,800 pound Elan? Dumping half a ton of weight into the Elise?

Dear Lotus: If I want a Porsche or an Aston Martin, I'll buy a Porsche or an Aston Martin. I come to you because until very recently you did what nobody else in the automotive world did.
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post #35 of 149 (permalink) Old 10-01-2010, 09:08 AM
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I am just getting over the shock. First of all, it's incredible that Lotus introduced not one model but rather a full line up of cars! If you were a fan of Lotus in the 70's with the Esprit, Elan, Eclat, etc., you should be happy with the new line-up. For those who like the less is more principle, cars such as the Elise, then you may be a bit disappointed. All I can say is that we live in interesting times, and shall wait and see the end product. In the meantime, I will enjoy the Elise of present, which provides a most unique driving experience.

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post #36 of 149 (permalink) Old 10-01-2010, 09:10 AM
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If these cars actually make it with these initial designs I would be surprised...usually they get many revisions before coming to market but with that being said I think the styling direction is strong but not perfect...

The elise has a few odd lines (in particular the different body color line from rear to the door is very off) but the rear and front look very strong.

For me, the Elan and Esprit have the best designs...and maybe the Elan being the best as it seems to completely work in all areas. The one thing that stands out is consistency with variance. All the cars should not look exactly the same but they should include very common characteristics.

Making Lotus a full featured brand is exciting for me to see and really want that. They are trying to hit all the fronts from apparel, new models, experience, performance, etc. Itís an extremely tall order to get all those moving parts working well and on target. I really hope they do as it should add to the ownership experience.

I think the biggest item is if they feel and drive like a lotus, period. Are they nimble, do they carve up the road like nobodyís business, do they perform way past expectations and most of all do they give you that special feeling when driving (lotus owners know that feel and know they are in a very special club)

With that being said, I have bought 2 Lotus cars and for me itís a love hate thing...I love the simple no thrills features, body curves and performance to dollar but what I hate is the lack of fit and finish in the interior, exterior and components that work (say AC or stereo for instance) but, they are all underpowered. So if they can build a car that performs better, fit and finish is better, styling is better, experience is better, and feels and drives like a Lotus they will have hit the holy grail of cars. I would definitely pay more for that and buy more Lotus cars.

I really hope they hit the mark to improve the brand we all love.
Couldn't have said it better myself. I loved my Elise, but hated having to wonder where the 50k purchase cost went to... it certainly wasn't to materials, fit & finish, or even an exotic engine. Sad when a 15k Hyundai looks "refined" in comparison.

If they make good use of the higher cost of these vehicles they can make the attention to detail and fitment rival say, Aston Martin, while still giving us the highly engineered and tuned driving experience that Lotus is known for.


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post #37 of 149 (permalink) Old 10-01-2010, 09:19 AM
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Hate the new Elise. When did the Elise become a non targa, get over 2,000 lbs and look like a catfish that had it's head bashed in?

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post #38 of 149 (permalink) Old 10-01-2010, 09:27 AM
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I for one, like the designs although to me they look too similar.

I think the issue is the naming? I simply don't look at that car above and call it an 'Elise'.

Maybe just recognize the S1/S2 Elises as automotive genius and end of life them? Perhaps these new cars should all be called something else?

If I suspend my 'that's an Elise' judgment and just look at the car - I think it's cool. I REALLY dig the interior.
In my mind, I don't see it as an Elise either (although I basically like this design). Why not call them: MR2 (Elise), Celica (Elan), Supra (Elite), LS400 (Eterne) and LTV (Espirit)?
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post #39 of 149 (permalink) Old 10-01-2010, 09:51 AM
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I'm happy with this direction and I am happy for Lotus. Lotus deserves to dream big and be bold!

Most complaints that I've read on this forum are superficial, about styling and some weight issues. Sorry, since when does styling trump performance??? These are prototypes. Styling will change. Yes, weight is important. But I do not see why every Lotus has to weigh under 2000 pounds.

I consider myself a re-born Lotus fan (loved the 70's and 80's Lotus cars, but did not own any of them as I did not have the money or the legal age to drive). So I'm relatively new here. The point is that I would never had considered a Lotus if the Evora wasn't on the market. I guess it makes a small point that Evora and other (heavier maybe, but more powerful) Lotus vehicles have a future.

I am disappointed about the tone of discussions here. I had hoped Lotus fans would be more supportive of the Lotus brand. If Lotus does not succeed, you have nothing to root for. That is incredibly sad.
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post #40 of 149 (permalink) Old 10-01-2010, 10:02 AM
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I'm happy with this direction and I am happy for Lotus. Lotus deserves to dream big and be bold!

Most complaints that I've read on this forum are superficial, about styling and some weight issues. Sorry, since when does styling trump performance??? These are prototypes. Styling will change. Yes, weight is important. But I do not see why every Lotus has to weigh under 2000 pounds.

I consider myself a re-born Lotus fan (loved the 70's and 80's Lotus cars, but did not own any of them as I did not have the money or the legal age to drive). So I'm relatively new here. The point is that I would never had considered a Lotus if the Evora wasn't on the market. I guess it makes a small point that Evora and other (heavier maybe, but more powerful) Lotus vehicles have a future.

I am disappointed about the tone of discussions here. I had hoped Lotus fans would be more supportive of the Lotus brand. If Lotus does not succeed, you have nothing to root for. That is incredibly sad.
+1

I hope the new direction works out great, so that when I'm ready to move past my current SC that I have some choices that are equally awesome to drive ... I'll remain hopeful, and thrilled with what we still have btw, until the new cars can be driven!


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