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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
To do a quick hackjob of it.

All we have right now is a luke warm Evora market dwindling I suppose ? We have a rather heated market of trade for all variants of used eliges. I honestly can't speak about all the older LOTUS cars... But the future of LOTUS in the US?

What might possibly come next ? I am simply in the dark and no gossip to trade over ?
  • Is the Espirit going to happen ?
  • Is anything other than the Evora going to be available ?
  • Have the troubles at Hethel blown by ?
  • Could the V6 Exige somehow be made available in the US ?

Anyone venture their own guess ? Everyone was armchair quarterbacking when LOTUS was on the ropes a couple years ago. Now I don't see a single thread on this topic. I really am curious to hear some of the elder's of the community unless I have missed the other prognosticating thread ? Maybe if time permit a more succinct commentary than my own from the cheapseat. :popcorn:
 

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I think a new car is coming in a year or two. Three at most. The Evora's been out since 2009 in Euro that makes it 5 model years old. Lotus wouldn't spend the cash to get it U.S. certified and why would they if it's nearing the end of its product cycle.

So, either something new is coming or Lotus is just going to pull out of the U.S. But, if that was true, why would they bring on board West Covina Lotus and the new Scottsdale Lotus?

Of course someone will say, a friend at Lotus said no new cars, etc. But why would Lotus talk about new cars and hurt existing car sales (and it's not like Evoras are flying off the showroom anyway) and not to mention the Paris Five debacle. So, you ask for my arm car call, and that's it.
 

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Was the Evora market even warm to begin with? I think Lotus' biggest problem is advertising. Most people here don't even know wtf it is.
 

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I think a new car is coming in a year or two. Three at most. The Evora's been out since 2009 in Euro that makes it 5 model years old. Lotus wouldn't spend the cash to get it U.S. certified and why would they if it's nearing the end of its product cycle.

So, either something new is coming or Lotus is just going to pull out of the U.S. But, if that was true, why would they bring on board West Covina Lotus and the new Scottsdale Lotus?

Of course someone will say, a friend at Lotus said no new cars, etc. But why would Lotus talk about new cars and hurt existing car sales (and it's not like Evoras are flying off the showroom anyway) and not to mention the Paris Five debacle. So, you ask for my arm car call, and that's it.

Scottsdale Lotus doesn't exist, unless you know something I don't. It was absorbed by Ferrari at their dealership and before the end of last year dealership service rights were pulled. Now there is no one certified to repair in AZ, and no one to fix recalls like my oil line. Seems like a downward spiral to me...
 

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Yes, Penske gave up the franchise. Won't even touch a Lotus for service at this point. and I was there almost ever 6-8 weeks. ;)

However, Brighton Motorsports (at least a few weeks ago) was in the process of becoming a Lotus dealer. It just takes time to get through the process (UK approval and DRB approval). I even e-mailed the owner and he was pretty excited about it. He wanted to be a dealer but Penske beat him to the punch a few years ago. They've even worked on a few Elise.

Home Page | Brighton Motorsports | Collector Cars | Scottsdale, Arizona
 

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The Elise/Exige aren't importable and the only car Lotus currently offers is the Evora. There's a lot of problems with Lotus in the US but the biggest one is, quite honestly, the Evora is underpowered. I love handling. I had an Elise, now have an Exige. I'll never sell it. It out handles anything else i've ever driven and is a phenomenal car.

When you start talking about handling weight plays a huge factor. The Elise and Exige are super light. They have a niche. They sacrifice comfort, amenities, and luxury almost entirely for pure handling, while being more reliable, civilized and drivable than an Atom, Bac Mono, Ultima GTR, etc.. They fill a niche perfectly. Exotic looks, styling, good reliability and they're "the best" at handling.

Still, power is a factor. Lotus added superchargers to the Exige and the Elise, helping this issue. The NA Elise and Exige aren't too bad in this aspect as they're still inexpensive enough to compare to cars of their time like E46 M3's, Cayman S', etc... 0-60 in mid to high 4's is acceptable for the price and the looks and handling more than make up for not blowing the doors of ferraris. The Exige S and Elise S helped fix this. 0-60 in the low to flat 4's definitely adds a little more credibility when comparing against the newer stuff while starting to dip into not-so-old ferrari numbers. Unbeatable handling and acceleration that won't have you laughed at. As much as we hate to admit it, straight line speed can't be ignored. There's a reason BOE Fabrication, Vision Function, BWR, etc are in business. Handling is wonderful and i'll never discredit it or be "that guy" but we can't ignore the fact that at the upper end these cars are butting heads with cars like the Nissan GTR, C6 Z06, and even used Audi R8's, Gallardos, Ferraris, etc... Sure the Lotus is more visceral and raw, but it's also less comfortable, less livable, and less useable every day. When the majority of people think "I'd like a race car for the road!" They're really thinking "I'd like a comfy poseur car with lots of leather I can relax in on long road trips and maybe occasionally the exhaust barks at me when I want to play a little". The Elise/Exige make a Gallardo or F458 seem like Bentleys by comparison, but there's tons of people that think of Gallardos and F458's as loud and uncomfortable. It's sad but it's true.

And so we have the Evora. The livable Lotus. More comfort like a Ferrari. Looks and styling to compete with Ferrari. A nicer interior with more luxuries. But it loses the weight argument. It's not 2000lbs. It's comparably heavier than the Elise/Exige. 50% heavier. 3000lbs. It should have fit right in with the GTR, R8, Z06, Viper, etc edging out the others in handling but still holding it's own. At 3000lbs it no longer fills the "niche" of being the car that out handles everything else. It doesn't fit many niches except rarity really. There aren't many cars. There aren't even many dealers to see any cars to even know they exist. And as much as we can try preaching "handling" over acceleration, people spending up to $95,000 on a car are probably going to cross shop with other vehicles.

The car looks the part sitting next to a Ferrari at half the cost, it handles well to compete with Ferrari at half the cost, but at the end of the day a 275-350hp Toyota engine in a super rare car with expensive parts, a horrible supply chain for replacements, and a weak dealer network is a complete deal breaker for many many people. Boring cars these days have 350hp. 4 door cars. Cars you take kids to soccer practice in. If the Evora weighed 2000lbs it would be perfect. Even 2500lbs. But 3000lbs changes a lot in buyers' eyes. The "Toyota engine" thing is excusable if it gave the Evora 450-500hp, but 350 for the supercharged version doesn't cut it. The Evora comes off as a super car and super cars these days need horsepower. Lotus may have always been about handling, but I seem to remember the Esprit V8 Twin Turbo being able to give the F360 a run for its money back in the day. The Evora needed to bring the same performance to the table and it fell on its face.

I hate saying it and I may get flamed for it, but that's honestly what the problem with Lotus is. They make awesome track cars and lightweight sports cars, but we can't get them in this country anymore. Their super car offering, although excellent in the handling dept, is underpowered and nobody wants to spend nearly 100k msrp on an impractical looking two door exotic if it can't even get out of its own way.

And finally, most consumers are idiots. People drool more over 0-60 times, magazine articles, top gear videos, and perceived value than actually spending time driving cars and buying what cars feel involving and rewarding to drive. The average Ferrari owner walks on to the dealership and goes "I want that red one!". Most owners aren't enthusiasts. A good amount of them buy exotics as status symbols. Most people drive computer controlled appliances. Nobody wants a car that requires work to drive. Push the gas pedal > Computers do stuff > Awesome 0-60 time to brag about to friends. Rinse. Repeat. Companies like BMW and Porsche sold out giving consumers boring clunky SUV's to help fill their coffers and raise profits to fund super cars like the GT3 and R8. If Lotus is to survive they either need to be bought out by a big car company with lots of money and used as the performance wing of their lineup, or they need to hit a super car out of the park with incredible performance in all areas and a sub-100k price tag.

End of rant...
 

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Yes, Penske gave up the franchise. Won't even touch a Lotus for service at this point. and I was there almost ever 6-8 weeks. ;)

However, Brighton Motorsports (at least a few weeks ago) was in the process of becoming a Lotus dealer. It just takes time to get through the process (UK approval and DRB approval). I even e-mailed the owner and he was pretty excited about it. He wanted to be a dealer but Penske beat him to the punch a few years ago. They've even worked on a few Elise.

Home Page | Brighton Motorsports | Collector Cars | Scottsdale, Arizona
It will be interesting to see if he picks it up. Scottsdale Ferrari said someone wanted the certification, but who knows how long that will take to happen?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for taking the time to lay out your perspective gents !
 

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Honestly, I think they are toast. Really.

Evoras - great cars - just don't sell at any level to care about as new cars. Laughable really.

So, they need a 'new' car. Problem is competition. When the Elise came here - 10 years ago - think about that, 10 years ago, what was the competition at that price point (dollar amount, looks)? Basically you had the Boxster.

Now, there's much more competition. The Alfa 4C could spell big problems for any next gen Elige.

Frankly, I just can't see a situation in which Lotus succeeds. The Elise came here after it was already a proven wave maker abroad and right on the heals of the 'iconic' Esprit. Add to that, many of the Lotus dealers that existed 6 years ago dropped the franchise or are no longer. None of these things bode well for Lotus.

So, I'll just enjoy my Elige. I love the car, but I'm not as married to the 'brand' as others. I don't love my Elise because it's a Lotus. I love Lotus because they make my Elise. If Honda made my Elise, I'd love it just as much. Just because I love what the Elise is doesn't mean I'll love, like or hate any other cars that Lotus does afterwards.
 

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If you step away from the whole Lotus mystique..the 'niche' car (niche by definition means narrow target market...not a good thing for a retailer), the 'rawness,' the 'add lightness,' etc. Step away from all the Lotus aura and just look at it from a business perspective.

Long in the tooth product that excels in some things, but overall does not compete well.

Limited dealer network.

Unknown product pipeline.

The industry itself requires huge resources for R & D, manufacturing, distribution, owner support, etc.

From a strictly business perspective, ask yourself this question: Would YOU invest in Lotus?
 

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My two cents... Its nice to see a lot of elder statesmen at classic car drive ins give me a lot of thumbs up and praise when I bring my Elise or Exige to them.. Lotus has a lot of respect with the motor heads... It also get a lot of thumbs up from people that don't know what a lotus is... Marketing is key in the us... I bet if lotus made a rallye sedan that would spank the handling off the Subaru's and evos and powered it accordingly.. You'd open up a huge market to the hipster generation...something new to the table ..look at the Mercedes cla amg ...50k and crazy performance .. It would then create money to build on dealerships and brand to younger generation. With more money lotus can build the flagship esprit... You have a reputable company namebrand build on it ..open a plant in the states.. Like Japanese companies did...
 

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I don't love my Elise because it's a Lotus. I love Lotus because they make my Elise. If Honda made my Elise, I'd love it just as much.
Very well said!

I remember growing up seeing a lotus here and there. I paid a lot of attention to cars as most boys did in there early years. I never really cared too much about cars I though I would never own. I mean yeah, Labo's and Ferrari's, and lotus alike. They are cool looking expensiveness and hard to come by. At least that is messaged I received back then. Never did I think I would actually own one? I always wanted that damn countach.

I remember when I bought my mr2 spyder, no one knew what it was so I removed the Toyota emblem just to keep people guessing. I got things from Bugatti to porch. Don't get me wrong I love Toyota's but they're not exactly exotics. The first time I saw the Elise was on the mr2 forum, and I said to my self "Self, I must have that car". I didn't put much thought in to it again because, well its a Lotus. After a few years and a decent career I looked in to them and found it was with in my do-able range. I some an orange one on a car sale add for 30 k 2005 in 2008, I was like huh? I didn't buy it but still didn't think it was that affordable.

So yeah, I didn't buy this car because its a lotus, I bought it because its an Elise. Oh and the emblems stay on this one, I Love the fact I can say I drive a Lotus, after all why not but this car is one of a kind. I don't think any of the other cars Lotus makes are for me. And I certainly don't like the new Elise. Though I wish Lotus the best and hope to see them prosper. After all they made the Elise!
 

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If you step away from the whole Lotus mystique..the 'niche' car (niche by definition means narrow target market...not a good thing for a retailer), the 'rawness,' the 'add lightness,' etc. Step away from all the Lotus aura and just look at it from a business perspective.

Long in the tooth product that excels in some things, but overall does not compete well.

Limited dealer network.

Unknown product pipeline.

The industry itself requires huge resources for R & D, manufacturing, distribution, owner support, etc.

From a strictly business perspective, ask yourself this question: Would YOU invest in Lotus?
Separating my 'car guy' brain from my business/marketing/sales brain - I honestly so no model in which Lotus succeeds in the US.

If storied brands (with bigger, better, more illustrious) history such as Alfa died in the US (after selling many more cars), then why wouldn't Lotus?

The Elige is a great and iconic car and will have a special place in motoring history, but the platform (s2) is 10 years old. Hell, if you go back to the S1, it's like 178 years old.

I simply see nothing from a) their management as a company, b) their loss of dealer network, c) their complete lack of presence in the US market and d) their current/recent/proposed product offering that suggests success.
 

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Separating my 'car guy' brain from my business/marketing/sales brain - I honestly so no model in which Lotus succeeds in the US.
You have to define "succeeds" in this context. Lotus has soldiered on with the occasional up year separated by many down years for 60 years now. This is how it goes with them, and how it will continue.
 

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And there's the poor F1 performance this year that will have an effect on enthusiasts who consider competition success a factor in making a sports car purchase. I agree that a more mainstream performance vehicle, like the WRX, would be a boost to Lotus' overall sales.
 

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And there's the poor F1 performance this year that will have an effect on enthusiasts who consider competition success a factor in making a sports car purchase. I agree that a more mainstream performance vehicle, like the WRX, would be a boost to Lotus' overall sales.
I'd think that anyone who cares about racing success would understand that the F1 and LeMans teams have nothing to do with Lotus Cars.
 

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Very well said!

I remember growing up seeing a lotus here and there. I paid a lot of attention to cars as most boys did in there early years. I never really cared too much about cars I though I would never own. I mean yeah, Labo's and Ferrari's, and lotus alike. They are cool looking expensiveness and hard to come by. At least that is messaged I received back then. Never did I think I would actually own one? I always wanted that damn countach.

I remember when I bought my mr2 spyder, no one knew what it was so I removed the Toyota emblem just to keep people guessing. I got things from Bugatti to porch. Don't get me wrong I love Toyota's but they're not exactly exotics. The first time I saw the Elise was on the mr2 forum, and I said to my self "Self, I must have that car". I didn't put much thought in to it again because, well its a Lotus. After a few years and a decent career I looked in to them and found it was with in my do-able range. I some an orange one on a car sale add for 30 k 2005 in 2008, I was like huh? I didn't buy it but still didn't think it was that affordable.

So yeah, I didn't buy this car because its a lotus, I bought it because its an Elise. Oh and the emblems stay on this one, I Love the fact I can say I drive a Lotus, after all why not but this car is one of a kind. I don't think any of the other cars Lotus makes are for me. And I certainly don't like the new Elise. Though I wish Lotus the best and hope to see them prosper. After all they made the Elise!
Yep.

I had an Evora for a weekend and I liked it but didn't love it. I wasn't 'raw' or 'visceral' enough for me. And for the price point, with no dealer network in Chicago, I'm just too busy to deal with crap breaking/issues.

As far as the Elise, the S3 styling just doesn't float my boat. The S1? To me, it looked like a kit car. Didn't like the styling at all. The S2 is where it's at.

The 'Paris 5' - the Esprit is something I'd never buy (price point) and the new Elise they showed ( the baby Gallardo) was just whatever.

So, I'd buy a Lotus car because I like the actual CAR. I wouldn't buy the car just BECAUSE it's a Lotus.
 

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You have to define "succeeds" in this context. Lotus has soldiered on with the occasional up year separated by many down years for 60 years now. This is how it goes with them, and how it will continue.
Yeah, but let's explore that. Esprit has nice success in the US. Elige was hot fire in a bottle. One of the more iconic important sports cars of all time.

The Evora? Gorgeous car, but the market is speaking. It didn't capture the same success (or even near it) as the Elige.

So, I base my opinion on what I'm seeing.

I just don't see an actual CAR they they will see here that will lead to those up years.

Simply put, where is the NEXT Elige from Lotus?
 

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The Elise/Exige aren't importable and the only car Lotus currently offers is the Evora. There's a lot of problems with Lotus in the US but the biggest one is, quite honestly, the Evora is underpowered. I love handling. I had an Elise, now have an Exige. I'll never sell it. It out handles anything else i've ever driven and is a phenomenal car.

When you start talking about handling weight plays a huge factor. The Elise and Exige are super light. They have a niche. They sacrifice comfort, amenities, and luxury almost entirely for pure handling, while being more reliable, civilized and drivable than an Atom, Bac Mono, Ultima GTR, etc.. They fill a niche perfectly. Exotic looks, styling, good reliability and they're "the best" at handling.

Still, power is a factor. Lotus added superchargers to the Exige and the Elise, helping this issue. The NA Elise and Exige aren't too bad in this aspect as they're still inexpensive enough to compare to cars of their time like E46 M3's, Cayman S', etc... 0-60 in mid to high 4's is acceptable for the price and the looks and handling more than make up for not blowing the doors of ferraris. The Exige S and Elise S helped fix this. 0-60 in the low to flat 4's definitely adds a little more credibility when comparing against the newer stuff while starting to dip into not-so-old ferrari numbers. Unbeatable handling and acceleration that won't have you laughed at. As much as we hate to admit it, straight line speed can't be ignored. There's a reason BOE Fabrication, Vision Function, BWR, etc are in business. Handling is wonderful and i'll never discredit it or be "that guy" but we can't ignore the fact that at the upper end these cars are butting heads with cars like the Nissan GTR, C6 Z06, and even used Audi R8's, Gallardos, Ferraris, etc... Sure the Lotus is more visceral and raw, but it's also less comfortable, less livable, and less useable every day. When the majority of people think "I'd like a race car for the road!" They're really thinking "I'd like a comfy poseur car with lots of leather I can relax in on long road trips and maybe occasionally the exhaust barks at me when I want to play a little". The Elise/Exige make a Gallardo or F458 seem like Bentleys by comparison, but there's tons of people that think of Gallardos and F458's as loud and uncomfortable. It's sad but it's true.

And so we have the Evora. The livable Lotus. More comfort like a Ferrari. Looks and styling to compete with Ferrari. A nicer interior with more luxuries. But it loses the weight argument. It's not 2000lbs. It's comparably heavier than the Elise/Exige. 50% heavier. 3000lbs. It should have fit right in with the GTR, R8, Z06, Viper, etc edging out the others in handling but still holding it's own. At 3000lbs it no longer fills the "niche" of being the car that out handles everything else. It doesn't fit many niches except rarity really. There aren't many cars. There aren't even many dealers to see any cars to even know they exist. And as much as we can try preaching "handling" over acceleration, people spending up to $95,000 on a car are probably going to cross shop with other vehicles.

The car looks the part sitting next to a Ferrari at half the cost, it handles well to compete with Ferrari at half the cost, but at the end of the day a 275-350hp Toyota engine in a super rare car with expensive parts, a horrible supply chain for replacements, and a weak dealer network is a complete deal breaker for many many people. Boring cars these days have 350hp. 4 door cars. Cars you take kids to soccer practice in. If the Evora weighed 2000lbs it would be perfect. Even 2500lbs. But 3000lbs changes a lot in buyers' eyes. The "Toyota engine" thing is excusable if it gave the Evora 450-500hp, but 350 for the supercharged version doesn't cut it. The Evora comes off as a super car and super cars these days need horsepower. Lotus may have always been about handling, but I seem to remember the Esprit V8 Twin Turbo being able to give the F360 a run for its money back in the day. The Evora needed to bring the same performance to the table and it fell on its face.

I hate saying it and I may get flamed for it, but that's honestly what the problem with Lotus is. They make awesome track cars and lightweight sports cars, but we can't get them in this country anymore. Their super car offering, although excellent in the handling dept, is underpowered and nobody wants to spend nearly 100k msrp on an impractical looking two door exotic if it can't even get out of its own way.

And finally, most consumers are idiots. People drool more over 0-60 times, magazine articles, top gear videos, and perceived value than actually spending time driving cars and buying what cars feel involving and rewarding to drive. The average Ferrari owner walks on to the dealership and goes "I want that red one!". Most owners aren't enthusiasts. A good amount of them buy exotics as status symbols. Most people drive computer controlled appliances. Nobody wants a car that requires work to drive. Push the gas pedal > Computers do stuff > Awesome 0-60 time to brag about to friends. Rinse. Repeat. Companies like BMW and Porsche sold out giving consumers boring clunky SUV's to help fill their coffers and raise profits to fund super cars like the GT3 and R8. If Lotus is to survive they either need to be bought out by a big car company with lots of money and used as the performance wing of their lineup, or they need to hit a super car out of the park with incredible performance in all areas and a sub-100k price tag.

End of rant...
Porcupine hit the nail on the head. Thank you for that. Amen.
 

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I agree that the Evora hasn't captured the hearts and minds like the Elise/Exige, but that isn't really new either. There are countless Lotus models that sold in similar relative numbers. Basically every model other than the original Elan, the Europa (kind of), the Esprit, and the Elise/Exige. They're still within their usual pattern. It's just a very different pattern to any other car company, and not a very profitable one at that.
 
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