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Latest info from Lotus USA

2741 Views 33 Replies 25 Participants Last post by  strawtarget
Lotus USA was kind enough to fill me in on a couple questions I had today.

Question - Will A/C be standard on the cars?

Answer - Not sure yet. Factory liked the idea of having A/C on all cars due to assembly line efficiency. We may not know the answer to this one until cars come off the line.

Question - Will LSD be an option?

Answer - Maybe, it is being worked on. Lotus is well aware of the level of interest in this option. The drivetrain components from Japan come preassembled without LSD. I was told the car will work well without it. The Sport 190s that run without an LSD on the track do so without a problem. The LSD may be a dealer installed option.

The guys at Lotus have been absolutely wonderful at taking their time in answering questions about the car. It's tough when there's an ocean between us and the plant, but I feel confident the Lotus people on this side of the pond are doing their best to get us what we want.

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>>The guys at Lotus have been absolutely wonderful at taking their time in answering questions about the car. <<

This can be read two ways. (I read it the wrong way at first, but couldn't figure out the change in tone... until I figured out that I read it wrong.)

Your communication with Lotus is great! I hope they realize that the performance minded who buy the Elise for performance may (I speak for myself, and I hope for many others), very well wish to forego the extra weight of A/C. Heck, I took all the A/C components out of my S2000. Make A/C a Touring option, is what I vote.

I believe the Elise would be fine without LSD, so if it is a dealer installed option, I will leave the Elise as is from the factory.
The flip side to the LSD question is SoloII. Making the LSD a dealer-installed option negates it's use in stock classes. I suspect autocross is where the LSD will prove most important, so, if they make it a dealer installed option, the people who need it most won't be able to take advantage of it. Hopefully it will be a factory option.

I'm glad I'm not the guys 'n gals back at Lotus, trying to make sense of all this...

If the dollar stays at this terribly weak level we may find more things being dealer add-on's. Lotus has a pricepoint they need to keep and the dollar's slide over the past year isn't helping this very much.

Just a different perspective on things.....
I wonder how much 'dealers' can be trusted to do add-on work skillfully.

I also remember dealer add-on A/C of yore; Porsche, BMW, etc. Not really factory designed for the car but a definite add on item by looks and function for an American market.
Maybe A/C, sound deadening, and ABS will be dealer add-ons! :)

Concerning the LSD issue, it would have been alot cleaner if Lotus had made it the standard for the drivetrain. I would think a much higher percentage of these cars will see the track compared to anything else sold in this country.
On a similar note, it is to autocrosser's advantage for everything possible to be standard. At least in reference to autocrossing against each other.

A serious autocrosser that buys a car that has optional A/C.. just about is required to remove the A/C. If the other guy you are running against does not have it, you better not have it too. It's simpler when the car comes standard with it. We can all use our A/C.

I know a LOT of people are buying this car for autocross, and a a good number of these people are serious or semi-serious autocrossers. But yes, I would think this is all confusing to Lotus.

It does *appear* that creating new options might be a way of increasing profitability on the car. They stick to the $38.5-39k list price. But that now covers a base car.
Speaking of which, how much is the car in UK? Also around $40k US?
no ac = no daily driver = lost sales

i got rid of my birkin seven partly because of no ac.

I was thinking the same earlier. Intially, we thought the car would be about $40k with the only option being a hardtop. Now the list of optional extras seems to be growing with each report. It's not outrageous, but a few thousand more than planned.
drrjv said:
no ac = no daily driver = lost sales

i got rid of my birkin seven partly because of no ac.

And no sound proofing means extra rattles, probably = no daily driver = lost sales.
It's 40 degrees (F) tonight in Wisconsin. Trust me, *I* don't need A/C. :(

I think Lotus may not want to get too greedy:

[1]EU trade war begins.

[2]Bear market rally may have ended. Stock market decline resumes. Nikki is -351 at this moment.

[3]Dollar decline continues.

[4]Record, and increasing US consumer debt.

[5]Competitors, such as Porsche Boxster, are sold at $1000 over invoice.
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It's 40 degrees (F) tonight in Wisconsin. Trust me, *I* don't need A/C.
It's 76 degrees at 11:30 PM in Florida, I NEED A/C

I guess it depends on where the majority of the cars will be sold. Since FL and CA seem to have the most deposits, I'm assuming the car will have it.

Heres an idea. Those that want the LSS suspension probably are more concerned about using the car on the track and most likely dont want air conditioning because of the added weight. Instead of charging $3000 for the sport suspension, delete the A/C and charge $2000. This way the racer crowd can use the extra $ to buy a hardtop which might be required for racing. (I dont know racing rules, but I assume they dont want people in open cars without a rollbar or other safety features such as a roof if possible)

I am concerned about the price creeping up too. I just hope we dont get nickled and dimed for all of the options that we originally thought were included. I originally was told the car would come with A/C. Now I dont want to have to pay an extra grand for it if it is some sort of luxury package. We are already paying MSRP, so Lotus doesnt have to worry about giving incentives and rebates like other companies to sell the cars, and the dealers are making a few grand off each car and not having to discount them. Lotus could just raise the dealer invoice and leave the MSRP alone instead of raising the price to the consumer.

Please see the links below from for invoice cost on a Bmw Z4 and a Porsche Boxster. The dealer profit is from 3-$5K and that doesnt include options (Sorry there was no info about the s2000 or Esprit dealer cost) Most American cars I've bought before costing about 15-20K I've been able to talk the dealer down about 10 to 12% off the sticker and they were still making a profit of about $500- $1000. Most American car manufacturers also give a 2 or 3% commission (holdback) to the dealer at the end of the year based on total sales, but this doesnt apply to most foreign car dealers. The dealers also have advertising costs too that they need to pay for newspaper ads, etc, which amounts to a couple hundred $ per car. I've heard as long as the dealer makes around $1000 per car they are happy, but this could be for a dealer that is selling a couple hundred cars a month.

On a Benz SL the dealer profit is about 6K, but they dont sell as many either:
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Porsche is the most profitable car company in the world. Some cars are poor value (C4S $90k+), but some are still relative bargains (GT3 $105k) in my book.

However, I bet adamant doesn't regret buying that 2.5L Boxster for even a second ($50k).
Originally, I thought that Lotus would not offer many options on the Elise to simplify production and save money. Even though the car is hand made, it's got to be more expensive to try to customize each car, and then you have problems if customers change their minds.

With such a limited production car, it would seem to make sense to keep it simple and not have a lot of option packages. I still believe that Lotus needs to keep the car under $40,000 to really compete (not counting the hard core group that will buy it no matter what).
can someone tell me how much heavier with the A/C ? 50kg? 100kg? and how much faster for A/C VS no A/C?
to me I think the A/C is a must item for CA. i know alot a ppl will take the car on track only, but that also a cool car for daily drive. I know maybe alot a ppl at the forums rich enough to spend 40k for a track only car, but is not fair for ppl who want the car for daily drive but need to paid extra for A/C, which is a standed item for all the car at the market now.
I have a track car for myself, if you really want the car for track only, just take everything off. don't even need to keep the passager seat and sound system, don't even need to have hard top. that can take off some more weight and go faster

I'm not going to pay extra for everything that I thought was included. I'm too poor. If I have to pay extra for a/c, that may be another thousand bucks. I was going to use that money for the sport option, or whatever the $1,000 option package was.

I may be forced to stick with my S2K.
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