Okay so which was it? To me it looks like no one wanted to buy a FWD car. So being FWD had everything to do with its demise. It was just expensive enough to make a FWD car the Lotus way, but no one wanted to buy it.Elanlover said:Sadly, the Elan died not due to being FWD in any respect at all. It really was cost. Thnk about it. In 1991 the Elan retailed for about $38 - $40k USD I think. What's an Elise go for now in 2006? $38 - $40K for a car in 1991 that was FWD (no one at the time felt a FWD drive car was a true exotic) was a bit much to swallow. The federlizations costs for the US market were very high. Every Elan sold LOST money as they never had enough volume to realize the production savings they had hoped for.
I think the sheer physics of a FWD layout will always cause it to be third fiddle to RWD and AWD, this logic is as applicable today as it was in 1991.
I know many here would not be driving Elises/Exiges if they were FWD. Oh wow, there's another idea for a thread
Sorry, but the bright future part is pure speculation. Unless of course you consider the Kia Elan an indicator of "success." Ugh!Elanlover said:The Elan had a bright future ahead of it. Designs for a coupe, 2+2, AWD and "super" variant were on the drawing board. A full size, mostly drivable M200 was created as a successor.
FWD cars make performance driving more accessible (read "easier" to drive) but are no substitute for RWD or AWD platforms, afterall in a FWD car that while they do hold up the @ss end of the car and hold it "level", the rear wheels are mainly just along for the ride.Elanlover said:Sad really. What would have happened to the sportscar world had the Elan been viable and sold at a competitive price? I wonder if the poll would have been "Are RWD sportscars dinosaurs?"...
I've often joked that most FWD cars are like motorcycles (in reverse):
What do (most) front-wheel drive cars and motorcycles have in common?
Both have only two wheels that matter, and only one is the drive wheel! LOL!
(NOTE: I say most front-wheel drive cars, because most have open differentials which lead to the infamous "one wheel peels", AKA "Motorcycle burnouts")