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A thread about the Lotus Sports Suspension.....

What is it?


Lotus is offering a suspension upgrade for motorsports use. This is not intended to upgrade the car for the street, but to enable a skilled driver to extract a little more peformance from the car on the track.


How much does it cost?

The Sports Package is $2480.00

What is in it?

The Sports Package replaces the wheels with a different set from Rimstock. The front rims are 1" wider (from 5.5" to 6.5"). The rims are a 7 twin-spoke design instead of the standard 8 spoke Lotus rims. These rims are forged and machined. The rims on the cars at the LA Autoshow looked like machined rims.

The tires are replaced with Yokohama A048s. The front 175 series tire is replaced with a wider 195 series.

The struts are replaced with non-adjustable lotus tuned Bilsteins.

Ride height is adjustable. There is a plate for the steering rack to add more space to accomodate the change in height.

Alignment is more aggressive.

I think there is an adjustable front swaybar.

So what does that do to the handling then?

For the most part, it removes some of the tuned in understeer when going into a corner too hot. That means it creates more potential oversteer also.

The car will ride stiffer and can corner flatter.

Should I get this?

This is a very important question! I think many people think in terms of an option being better, because it must be, it's an option and costs more. I think in this case, this is not true. This option has some compromises. And if you are ordering the car without having the ability to test drive a car with LSS, you might want to think about this.

The standard car is not a soft car. The standard car for many people will be harsh. You hear things like drivers mentioning they could feel an insect as they drove over it, and could know if it was an 8-legged spider or a 6-legged beetle. You can certainly feel the road in the standard car. This is no luxo-cruiser by any stretch.

The LSS version will be stiffer. And for many people, it will make daily drives a little more brutal. So that is one of the trade offs then. When you are not on a track, you will get almost zero benefit from this option. Maybe absolutely zero benefit. But you will feel it on a daily commute.

The other downside? The car will be more difficult to drive at 10/10ths in terms of extracting the potential, unless you are somewhat experienced. The tendency to oversteer at speed is a real phenomena that can and will bite many people. A little more understeer is a good thing for 95% of the people out there. And maybe that percentage is too low.

So we are left to consider two major points.

The compromise in ride comfort vs the time you spend on a track or autocross lot.

The increased oversteer and your ability to use it.

And a third point... the difference in ability of the car with LSS, will be at the upper ends of performance. If you go into a corner at 8/10ths or 9/10ths, it will most likely not matter if you have LSS or not. You are not using that upper ability of the car. And keep in mind that the car without LSS is not slouch on a track. You can walk away from other cars in the corners!!

But if you have a potential for misjudging a corner, going in too hot, and then lifting or hitting your brakes... I would suggest NOT getting the LSS.

If you spend most of your time on a commute or drive in the country, and might just take it to an rare track event, I would suggest NOT getting the LSS.

If you have weak kidneys or live where there are potholes, or you have passengers that will not like the harsh ride, please consider that when thinking of the LSS.

Can I order it later?

Of course. If you are on the fence about this, you can order an LSS kit later. Note, they will not sell bits of it, but will sell an entire kit. And it will cost more. But you would end up with an extra set of rims and tires going this method, along with some other spares.

But I am really a serious national autocrosser, is this for me?

Actually, the answer here maybe no also. It depends. If you intend on bolting on some serious external reservoir Penskes or Moutons...then you will not need the supplied struts. And you can also probably find lightweught aftermarket racing rims. And you are not going to use the supplied Yokohama A048 tires. And you are going to do your own suspension alignment.

So what is left? Maybe that spacer plate for the steering rack. And you should be able to buy that as a part from Lotus.

Okay, so who then will want the LSS

The guy who thinks you have to have an option because you can. :) And the person that intends on doing autocrossing or track days a bit and wants and can use that little bit of extra ability...AND has some experience driving midengined cars at speed.

That person should consider getting the LSS. All IMHO of course. :)
 

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I'm getting it. It can't ride rougher than my Jeep... NOTHING DOES:D
 

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Randy Chase said:
A thread about the Lotus Sports Suspension.....

What is it?


Lotus is offering a suspension upgrade for motorsports use. This is not intended to upgrade the car for the street, but to enable a skilled driver to extract a little more peformance from the car on the track.
But it's legal for street use!:D :D
 

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Is the ride height of the two models ( sport vs. standard) any different as far as looks?
 

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Can the shocks be adjusted as some have suggested for a firmer or softer ride?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
ulmpharmd said:
Is the ride height of the two models ( sport vs. standard) any different as far as looks?
Pic of standard front rim vs LSS. I did not see much in terms of noticeable difference in ride height.


 

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Randy...now that you are there, any further opinion as to whether 205s are gonna fit up front or are we gonna be stuck running the Yoks for autox?
 

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Randy, is that ardent red that's at the show like a ferrari red (super bright and deep) or like the paler calypso red. I have not seen it in person.
 

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The S1 LSS came with adjustable front swaybar so I would assume ours would too.

The dampers are not adjustable, but the ride height is.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Brak said:
Randy...now that you are there, any further opinion as to whether 205s are gonna fit up front or are we gonna be stuck running the Yoks for autox?
I spent about 20 minutes laying on the Lotus booth carpet with my hands up inside the wheel well. The very difficult thing is that there is no way to see up there, so I stuck my camera inside and fired off those two shots. I could only go by feel.

I don't feel anything near the inner sidewall of the tire while the wheel is pointed straight ahead. That is not saying much. There is some close clearance to the inside of the LSS rim though to a knuckle of some sort. But the tire should clear that.

I was told that under full lock, the 195s will rub a bit. So the 205s will even more so. However, you should never be at full lock while racing, and if you are, please brace for the crash as you understeer into something. :)

THE BIG QUESTION still is this.... The wheel gap is pretty small, about an inch or less? And there is some travel under loading. Even Lotus says they designed in some softness as the optimum handling of these cars actually uses that softness to corner optimumly. So the distance of the tire/wheel well will change as you compress that side.

And it looks like you can easily compress more than the 1" gap. SO what happens then? The body there feels thick and strong. If it's a slight rub, maybe no big deal. Can you shave the corner of the tire a little bit like some of us used to years ago with BFG R1s? Maybe. It looks like adding any spacers to the front will make this potential interference more likely.

So... in a nutshell, I don't know. :( What it is going to take is someone like me, putting a 205 tire on this thing and seeing how it works under loading.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
ulmpharmd said:
Randy, is that ardent red that's at the show like a ferrari red (super bright and deep) or like the paler calypso red. I have not seen it in person.
I think it looks like a Ferrari Red, slightly lighter. It is nice. Some of the camera pics I have seen posted have horrible colors IMO. I like my Olympus. :)
 

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Hi Randy,

First off thanks alot for all your efforts. Secondly thanks for helping make up my mind about LSS (not for me).

Sorry if this was answered b4. I could not find anything solid on the front tires. Does the standard car come with 195 or 205's in the front?
 

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typo sorry, 175 in front or 195 with the standard package?

The only advantage for me with wider fronts would be the braking, any advise threr?
 

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Randy,

The information you have supplied is not in line with the dealer guide I was given yesterday. According to it the standard is:

Front 5.5J x 16, with 175/55 R16 AD07 tire
Back 7.5J x 17 with 225/45 R17 tire

LSS is:

Front 6.5J x 16, with 195/50 R16 A048R tire
Back 7.5J x 17, with 225/45 R17 tire

not 195 and 205 on the front.

Other than that, thank you for the info. I think that really I should stick with the regular car and be sure I have something I can enjoy both on the street and the track.

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Of course! I was just thinking of the tires I am putting on. Stock is 175 series.


IMHO, anyone not sure about LSS, *probably* should not get it.
 

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You didn't deter me, I just spec'd my car and it included the LSS. A good set of SSR comps will run you close to 2K. The package looks to be worth it in my mind. The Lotus engineers did considerable track testing to optimize high speed handling. If you are taking the car out on the track regularly it's worth it. Sounds like a lot of people are going to try to dial out the understeer by putting 205s up front. LSS does it for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
But then you were not the person I was trying to deter. :)

I am putting 205s on the front, not to dial out understeer, but because that is the only size they make good enough race rubber in.
 
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