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  Topic Review (Newest First)
03-17-2019 08:02 AM
brgelise I'll comment on the height issue. I remember my first used SUV, a 1991 Mitsubishi Montero LS. It was underpowered but surprisingly comfortable with the suspension seat as well as capable of dealing with major league muddy roads in Maine in spring on way to Saddleback before road was paved. The ride height got us above the spray of trucks on snowy and rainy journeys all winter long. Mileage was better than any of the American offerings at the time and damn near as good as old Estate Wagons. For those of us that drive in the winter a lot, that extra height desire isn't about being taller, at least to me, it was about outward visibility in nasty weather.
So for my needs here is what I have owned
1991 Mitsu Montero LS
1994 Mitsu Montero SR (still a favorite)
2000 Isuzu Trooper Limited
2003 Isuzu Axiom (wish I kept it!)
2006 Subaru Tribeca Ltd (gave me Carpul tunnel due to lousy ergonomics)
2008 BMW X5 3.0Si
2011 BMW X35d (would still have if they had recalled driveshaft and urea tanks earlier)
2015 Range Rover Evoque Dynamic 2 door. (would still own except that 9 speed tranny sucks!)
2016 Range Rover Sport HSE (love 99% of vehicle except firm ride on frost heaved roads) 100% reliable!!
2015 Lincoln MKC Reserve (sleeper great little SUV but see below for reason its gone)
2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio. Not only best SUV I have ever owned or driven but also a top 5 vehicle I have ever owned) #1-3 are Lotus BTW!

Wagons just don't get your vision line above a tractor trailers's tire spray enough. Primary reason I won't put Eibachs on Stelvio. Notice most of my earlier SUV's were boxy --> space efficiency without going super sized to Yukons etc
02-18-2019 06:16 PM
Catsailr27 We have a 2017 CX-5 gets 27-30 MPG love the handling and overall car as a DD, 2000 F250 Superduty 19 MPG handles like crap tows anything forever at 12-15 MPG and the Elise I can't keep gas in lol All bases covered for whatever driving needed. I do miss my '99 Chrysler Town and Country 21-25 MPG fully loaded but stripped behind the front seats and I had a system of footlockers with all my gear plus table saw and compressor for any remodel project. HD helper springs helped it ride level even with 1200 lb load. Handled great even in the mountains and offroad towing a trailer in remote sites. Even towed a 35' cherry picker around one home while working on it.
02-18-2019 05:34 PM
steelypip I specifically didn't mention the S because I think it actually hits its design check boxes pretty well. Not as well as it might if it were designed by Lotus chassis engineers, but well enough. I'd define it as a sport sedan instead of a GT car, though, along with things like the Alfa Giulia and BMW 5 series. The flat underfloor battery makes some sense in the S (mostly to put all the battery mass as low as possible), but a lot of the potential to make a large, comfortable space in an efficiently sized car is wasted by the wide center console in many models (gotta emphasize that big, blingy touchscreen). If you're going to make such a wide car you might as well put the battery partially in a center spine (a vestigial driveshaft hump, like Corvairs had), which both adds rigidity and reduces the thickness required of the floor where peoples' feet go while maintaining the same KWH capacity.

Among Teslas, my complaint is with the model X (which is Tesla's current 'SUV/Crossover' offering, and thus on topic). I think a focused clean sheet of paper design (it shares 30% parts with the S) would not have resulted in something that looks so much like a Model S with water retention, nor would it have silly gullwing doors, nor would it have such an inefficient seating arrangement. The whole vehicle seems to be an example of function following form, which is antithetical to any Lotus philosophy (either the stated one or the jaded/realistic one). They had the bits to make a truly amazing car but made a blingy cash cow instead.
02-18-2019 03:48 PM
senna's daddy
Quote:
Originally Posted by steelypip View Post
The Tesla model of having a flat 'sled' battery under the floor makes a lot of sense for a station wagon. A little clever Lotus-style engineering would allow the battery box to be the structural floor (and a chassis structural member in tension and torsion) with just a little shell of aluminum sheet or blow molded plastic above to hold the carpet in when the battery was out. With a GT car, something like the Volt's center spine battery makes more sense.

I've always felt that Tesla could have done a lot better job with the model X if they'd actually been willing to optimize the vehicle. Too much bling and not enough function.
Funny you say that about the Tesla, I've always thought that Elon cut a deal with Lotus and used the stillborn Elite for the design of the Model S.
02-18-2019 07:36 AM
steelypip
Quote:
Originally Posted by senna's daddy View Post
I think we'll see a convergence of electric power and SUVs, like this Bollinger which is a perfect fit for Lotus' bonded aluminum origami method of construction.
The Tesla model of having a flat 'sled' battery under the floor makes a lot of sense for a station wagon. A little clever Lotus-style engineering would allow the battery box to be the structural floor (and a chassis structural member in tension and torsion) with just a little shell of aluminum sheet or blow molded plastic above to hold the carpet in when the battery was out. With a GT car, something like the Volt's center spine battery makes more sense.

I've always felt that Tesla could have done a lot better job with the model X if they'd actually been willing to optimize the vehicle. Too much bling and not enough function.
02-17-2019 11:02 AM
senna's daddy I think we'll see a convergence of electric power and SUVs, like this Bollinger which is a perfect fit for Lotus' bonded aluminum origami method of construction.

https://www.bollingermotors.com/
02-17-2019 10:56 AM
me73
Quote:
Originally Posted by brgelise View Post
So you compared the Subie with back seats up to the RRS with back seats up. You said you are carrying people. I find that suspiciously BS laden.
Drop the back seats and only consider 2 people and the BS inflates. Cargo footage numbers don't lie.
Not Sport, Evoque, apologies for the mis-step. Thanks for your polite consideration.
02-17-2019 10:22 AM
brgelise So you compared the Subie with back seats up to the RRS with back seats up. You said you are carrying people. I find that suspiciously BS laden.
Drop the back seats and only consider 2 people and the BS inflates. Cargo footage numbers don't lie.
01-29-2019 07:28 AM
David Craig I once picked up a 32 inch tube TV at BestBuy. The sales guy said "where is your truck" and I pulled up in a hatchback Toyota Tercel and successfully managed to take the TV home.
01-29-2019 06:41 AM
me73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dylan View Post
Agree it can't be the versatility. With the ever more-sloping back lights, there is essentially no cargo space anyway. If you look at profiles of most SUV's, say in the small to mid-large category, note the distance between the top of the rear seat back and the rear glass. It's awfully small. They get around this by lengthening the load floor, but cubic inches on a chart doesn't convert to real world utility at all.
I tested this exact scenario once. Loaded up a 2008 Subaru impreza hatchback, which I think everyone would agree is a small car, with bags, kids car seat, people. Then unloaded the exact same stuff into a 4 door Range Rover Sport. I had to put one of the bags that fit into the Subaru into someone's lap and the front seat passenger, who was comfortable in the Subaru, had to move their seat all the way forward in the Range Rover to fit the car seat in back. That Range Rover is a complete packaging failure.
01-29-2019 06:22 AM
4380r
Quote:
Originally Posted by Octonion View Post
No matter how this story is spun, a Lotus SUV is a shame to the brand. It is an abhorent idea that Hethel needs to drop. There are other ways for the company to thrive assuming Lotus is still being run by competent people and not mediocre utilitarians.

If we are just talking utility, why not a station wagon?

SMH!!
I don't agree. If Chapman were alive today, and he needed an SUV to keep the brand alive so that he could pay for racing and his interest in aviation, he'd do it in a minute.

Yes, he was a brilliant designer (although many of the race cars he designed weren't particularly safe) but he was also a businessman, known to cut corners to make ends meet. The original Renault engine in the S1 and S2 Europas weren't there because of their technology, power, etc. It's because he was able to cut a deal for a cheap engine with a trans-axle he could make work in a mid-engined car. The Eclat, Excel and S2 Elite were comparative pork pies compared to the street cars he'd built up to that time, and gasp...were four seaters!!!

Not only would he have signed off on an SUV, he'd probably have been interested in actually designing it. By most accounts by the end he'd all but lost interest in the street car business in favor of racing and his aviation hobby/interests. It's known that his interest in street cars was pretty much limited to their contribution to paying for his racing efforts.

Instructively, the Cayenne basically saved Porsche's bacon.
01-29-2019 06:05 AM
Dylan
Quote:
Originally Posted by NC25T View Post
I have always though people buy SUVís not because of their versatility but because they do not like sitting low to the ground. They like being equal or taller then everyone around them.

I also do not look at possibility of Lotus making a SUV as a shame for the brand. I think itís a shame most manufacturers who use to produce great cars have had to go this direction to turn a profit and ensure their future. Alfa, BMW, Lamborghini, Porsche and I am sure many others will follow.

Be it good or bad itís the world we live in
Agree it can't be the versatility. With the ever more-sloping back lights, there is essentially no cargo space anyway. If you look at profiles of most SUV's, say in the small to mid-large category, note the distance between the top of the rear seat back and the rear glass. It's awfully small. They get around this by lengthening the load floor, but cubic inches on a chart doesn't convert to real world utility at all.
01-28-2019 07:03 PM
me73
Quote:
Originally Posted by NC25T View Post
I have always though people buy SUVís not because of their versatility but because they do not like sitting low to the ground. They like being equal or taller then everyone around them.

I also do not look at possibility of Lotus making a SUV as a shame for the brand. I think itís a shame most manufacturers who use to produce great cars have had to go this direction to turn a profit and ensure their future. Alfa, BMW, Lamborghini, Porsche and I am sure many others will follow.

Be it good or bad itís the world we live in
It's true, but we still don't have to like it. We all drive little cars and know that it's annoying at least but dangerous at most that we can't see around these things and can't be seen by people in them. I buy wagons.
01-28-2019 05:54 PM
NC25T I have always though people buy SUVís not because of their versatility but because they do not like sitting low to the ground. They like being equal or taller then everyone around them.

I also do not look at possibility of Lotus making a SUV as a shame for the brand. I think itís a shame most manufacturers who use to produce great cars have had to go this direction to turn a profit and ensure their future. Alfa, BMW, Lamborghini, Porsche and I am sure many others will follow.

Be it good or bad itís the world we live in
01-28-2019 09:57 AM
Dylan https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/F...otingBrake.jpg

See full article in Absolute Lotus magazine.

But for other wagon examples:

https://www.mbusa.com/mercedes/vehic...E/model-E63S4S

Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud I Shooting Brake - Revivaler

Is This Aston Martin DB6 Wagon the Greatest Shooting Brake of All Time? - The Drive

https://autoweek.com/article/auction...atchback-today
01-28-2019 08:20 AM
Octonion No matter how this story is spun, a Lotus SUV is a shame to the brand. It is an abhorent idea that Hethel needs to drop. There are other ways for the company to thrive assuming Lotus is still being run by competent people and not mediocre utilitarians.

If we are just talking utility, why not a station wagon?

SMH!!
01-28-2019 07:12 AM
David Craig I'm amused that people don't want minivans anymore. But these days the larger SUVs look very much little minivans with higher road clearance and less interior space.

I'll stick with sedans.
01-28-2019 06:13 AM
brgelise Any doubts of its potency are completely banished with the Phase 2 tune. This thing is silly quick now!!

Only thing I have not yet considered is installing the Eibach springs because it rides and handles so damn well stock!!
10-15-2018 12:24 PM
brgelise That is why I call my Stelvio a Guilia wagon. Long as it goes up and down the side of the mountain in winter with 4 snows, its good to me.
10-14-2018 11:25 AM
steelypip Had this exact conversation in the parking lot waiting for boy scouts to get loaded into family trucksters. We were comparing a friend's well-loved Honda Pilot, which has actual off-road capability with a Toyota Rav4 (about five years newer), a Mopar minivan, a 4-dr Jeep JL Wrangler, and a Subaru wagon.

Conclusion: the sube wagon is the same vehicle the Rav4 is but with better utility because it doesn't fake being an offroad vehicle -- same ground clearance, same wheelbase, but driveline takes up less cubage, so isn't so tall, thus has less aero drag. The Pilot, surprisingly, had the same (out of the box) off-road capability as the Jeep, but had more interior volume (and attendant comfort) because it didn't have a ladder frame and conventional driveline eating up otherwise useful space.

I suspect the sube handles the best of them as well, as its CG is at least 6" lower than anything else in the list. The minivan is probably second.

The Grand Caravan had an insanely clever flat-floor stowing 60/40 third row seat option that showed that somebody at Daimler Chrysler (as it was at that time) understood why people buy minivans. It had no sex appeal, but it hauled a lot of scouts and gear, just like it was supposed to.

The Wrangler makes lots of sense only if you want your serious off-road vehicle to have four doors and mod it into a serious offroad vehicle. A stock one is an awful station wagon, but that's what people use them for.

A whole lot of bad compromises, most of which are caused by function following form, which is in turn caused by buyers being unwilling to admit that they need a station wagon or a utility people hauler (minivan), and not a vehicle that actually involves 'sport' (on or off pavement) in any way.
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