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Discussion Starter #1
On the last afternoon of the Driving Academy we drove the Exige S and the Evora S on the full course. The Exige is longer, wider, and obviously more powerful than the models we have in the U.S., and it's a full, clear, unequivocal level up in performance from my supercharged Elise. I would say that it edges toward supercar territory, and I would trip over myself on the way to the dealer if it were available in the U.S. (Parramint seems to be scared of it, as he only drove the Evora S on the course. Understandable.) It's also quite comfortable inside: they've upped their game on interiors. Performance and looks-wise, it is a monster machine.

The Lotus Driving Academy is worth the three days if you've got them. Compared to other racing courses, it's very light on classroom time and heavy on just getting out on the track and challenging your mistakes and your ignorance. One memorable takeaway: power slides are very difficult to control if you're a beginner at them. However, I don't know of any other course that even teaches you how to execute them for the sake of learning how to work with them.

Norwich ("Nor ich") is a very charming small English city. Hethel is a field of some sort of crops and a lot of pheasants.
 

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At ~$3,300 the price is right, even if an extravagant indulgence for many. This may have to be squeezed in my future planning.
 

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Powerslides are easier to master, if you start with tires which have less grip. Khumo Estca tires come to mind as a great slide-teaching tire. You can hang your rear end out all day with those. Toyo Proxes R1R require a bit more skill (which hopefully you developed with a more slippery tire). Hoosier A6 tires go from wheeeee! to wooops really fast.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Powerslides are easier to master, if you start with tires which have less grip. Khumo Estca tires come to mind as a great slide-teaching tire. You can hang your rear end out all day with those. Toyo Proxes R1R require a bit more skill (which hopefully you developed with a more slippery tire). Hoosier A6 tires go from wheeeee! to wooops really fast.
No doubt, but I should have been clearer: Drifting the car in a 360 degree, perimeter-hugging path around a circular skidpad. That's the exercise that was difficult.
 

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Keep the updates coming please. Great info and fun to read.
 

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Is the Lotus Driving Academy in LHD or RHD cars?
The driving academy is definitely on my list of things to do next time I'm in the UK.

I wouldn't worry too much about LHD or RHD - I driven some really tight roads in Scotland in unfamiliar (manual transmission) cars: it's a very short time before you don't notice that your in a RHD. Err, except when you occasionally hit the windshield wiper instead of the turn signal stalk!

Glen
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Is the Lotus Driving Academy in LHD or RHD cars?
Mostly RHD. I had a LHD Elise for a very small part of three days. I did find that downshifting under pressure (approaching a turn under heavy braking) with my left hand caused me to miss a good number of shifts. The most comical was when muscle memory made my left hand initially grab the blinker when I wanted to downshift, as that's all I normally do on that side of the steering wheel.

Other comedy: I'd get into the left-hand side of a RHD Elise for a demo run with the instructor, right hand in first to hold the steering wheel, and just fall sideways into the cabin because there's no steering wheel.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Keep the updates coming please. Great info and fun to read.
Okay, here are some last tidbits. The Elises are 1.6 liter, 134 hp cars. You might think that that's not nearly enough power for your massive abilities, but then you watch your legendary skills dissolve into a long series of mistakes on the course. Meanwhile, when the instructors (some of whom are engineers at Lotus Consulting, others have other roles at the company, most or all have had some sort of racing career) switch seats with you, that little car just rockets through the turns and down the straights. No more blaming the equipment! When we did the full course, they set up a temporary chicane before Windsock Corner to slow us down. I probably went through the chicane at 40-50 after some gentle braking. Danny never lifted, didn't brake, pointed the car across the track and went through at 100 mph every time.

There's a heel-and-toe exercise. I was definitely the only student in my group who knew how to do it and was comfortable with it. But, of course, I was doing it wrong. Simon taught me to separate the braking and downshifting into two distinct actions rather than one complicated motion, picking separate spots on the track for each. Do the hard braking, then follow quickly with the heel-and-toe downshift. It made a real difference for smoothness, and we all know that smooth is fast.

Finally, i heard amazing stories about the just-previous CEO. Sadly, I'm not allowed to put these stories on the internet. Let's just say that he left a really strong impression on everyone at Lotus.
 

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This certainly sounds like a brilliant experience!

Norwich ("Nor ich") is a very charming small English city. Hethel is a field of some sort of crops and a lot of pheasants.
Pronounced "Naaaar-ich" by the born and bred Norfolk locals - haha!
Can confirm that Norwich is a lovely city though if anyone is unsure about whether to visit ;)
 

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Okay, here are some last tidbits. The Elises are 1.6 liter, 134 hp cars. You might think that that's not nearly enough power for your massive abilities, but then you watch your legendary skills dissolve into a long series of mistakes on the course. Meanwhile, when the instructors (some of whom are engineers at Lotus Consulting, others have other roles at the company, most or all have had some sort of racing career) switch seats with you, that little car just rockets through the turns and down the straights. No more blaming the equipment! When we did the full course, they set up a temporary chicane before Windsock Corner to slow us down. I probably went through the chicane at 40-50 after some gentle braking. Danny never lifted, didn't brake, pointed the car across the track and went through at 100 mph every time.

There's a heel-and-toe exercise. I was definitely the only student in my group who knew how to do it and was comfortable with it. But, of course, I was doing it wrong. Simon taught me to separate the braking and downshifting into two distinct actions rather than one complicated motion, picking separate spots on the track for each. Do the hard braking, then follow quickly with the heel-and-toe downshift. It made a real difference for smoothness, and we all know that smooth is fast.

Finally, i heard amazing stories about the just-previous CEO. Sadly, I'm not allowed to put these stories on the internet. Let's just say that he left a really strong impression on everyone at Lotus.
Can you at least tell us if it was a lasting strong negative? or strong positive impression? :rolleyes:
 

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Can you at least tell us if it was a lasting strong negative? or strong positive impression? :rolleyes:
Considering they sued the guy after he left... Think we know the answer to this one.
 

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Okay, okay, but what about a topless Evora? Any rumblings about that?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Okay, okay, but what about a topless Evora? Any rumblings about that?
You know, I asked about a sunroof for the Evora or a targa version like the Elise. I didn't ask about a convertible because I can't put a convertible on a racetrack. The answer I got back is that the Evora's roof is very integral to the car's overall rigidity, the implication being no. Let it be said, however, that when it comes to future plans, Lotus seems to come in right behind Apple in terms of keeping quiet what it wants to keep quiet. So I have no idea.
 

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Discussion Starter #17

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Discussion Starter #18
In London now

There is a Lotus store on Regent Street. Regent Street is the flagship shopping boulevard (I believe--I'm no expert). The store is having a 50% off sale. I now own the leather luggage. :facepalm:facepalm:facepalm
 
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