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Discussion Starter #1
The Datsun 240 Z weighed only 2,200
lbs and was made via uni-body contruction and sheet metal instead of fiberglass composite material because
insurance rates would be much lower according to the person narrating the
History Channel's presentation concerning the car. Would Lotus have been better off going that route?
 

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Re: Re: Why Didn't Elise Go The Sheet-Metal Route?

Patricko said:
I am one the phone to Henthal now...:rolleyes:
So was I! Are you getting "the line has been disconnected or no longer in use?" What' s going on at the factory? :confused: *

Seriously, my guess it that fiber glass was more economical than sheet metal. *;)
 

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Lotus started out with fibreglas early on in cars, think the first Lotus in Fibreglas was the elite ca 59? prior to that I think the vette was the only fibreglass car. As I recall chapman liked it for it's light weight and it's comparative ease to work with. I suspect he also liked the fact it was cheaper to, Chapman would always save a buck when he could.
Chris
 

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From a production point of view composites are SLOW -long production time - when compared to stamping a sheet metal part and are thus more expensive for volume production. However, steel stamping has HUGE tooling costs, which in volume can be amortorized to get a effective per part cost.

But, Lotus has never gotten to those sorts of volumes and they've always wanted the flexibilty to make running changes. That's possible with the tooling used for composites.

Also consider when comparing the early Z's to todays cars that those cars were not burden with smog, safety (air bags, side door beams, bumpers, crash padded dash, roll over protection, fuel tanks, etc). Compare the 2200 lb Z with the Europa (similar age) and you see a 1500 lb Europa vs the 2200 lb Z.

As for the Elite, it was the FIRST vehicle that was not only monocoque (uni-body), but completely composite. Look at one and you'll see the suspension & drivetrain are bolted directly to the body (made of glassfiber). That can't be said of the Vette (ever!) It was and continues to be a steel chassis with a glass body bolted to it. In fact the current Vettes have a steel sheet backbone chassis that is very similar in design to the Elan, Europa, Esprit, Lotus 40...

Kiyoshi
 

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Imo,
Chapman was an F1 team owner/builder.
Composite materials are the doorway to achieving his mantra "build Lightness"
The Factory realise his mantra .
Fibreglass in itself does tend to be heavier than a comparable steel or ali panel.
I don't believe the Elise clamshells are classic glass fibre in total composition.
Other methods of building lightness have gone into the construction of the Elise.... Ali chassis and suspension. Minimal number of steel fasteners. The lightest US emissions compliant powertrain with adequate torque even though it is the ability to rev that produces horsepower.
m.
 

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Fibreglass also disspates more impact energy in a crash as it delaminates/disintegrates than comparable weight steel parts.

Same story for carbon-fibre parts, but to a higher degree. (especially for the high-pressure autoclaved stuff that costs $$$$)

Flexibility is one of the key points for using GRP. Cost these days is becoming less of an issue as mainstream manufacturers also start using fibreglass parts on their cars like hoods, tailgates, etc., so volumes rise sharply and costs go down.

This is one of the reasons that, since the S2 Elise, the clams are now made in france using an automated process and are no longer hand-laid like on the S1. The same factory also makes parts for other large car manufacturers.

Result is lighter, stronger, more uniform and cheaper parts (of course this is not visible in the end-user price.. Clams are still expensive.. )

GRP production can now scale much better compared to the old production processes.

And GRP has one *major* advantage over metal panels: they won't rust.. ever... :D

Bye, Arno.
 

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Arno said:
------This is one of the reasons that, since the S2 Elise, the clams are now made in france using an automated process and are no longer hand-laid like on the S1. The same factory also makes parts for other large car manufacturers.

Result is lighter, stronger, more uniform and cheaper parts (of course this is not visible in the end-user price.. Clams are still expensive.. )

GRP production can now scale much better compared to the old production processes.-------


Bye, Arno. [/B]

One more point to be mentioned is that this automated process is the main reason why the S2 became more edgy than the S1:

The body of the S2 consists of many separate and rather flat pieces, which have to be glued or screwed together after leaving their moulds.
Hand laid glass- / carbon – or Kevlar-fibre reinforced parts still are the stronger and lighter ones. But you have to work with vacuum in oder to save epoxy or poliester resign. Strengh is in the fibres, the resign makes the weight.
 

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Patricko said:
But the Elise with SP is 1930lbs...:)
But the MR-S Spyder is also bigger, with more luxury amenities, sound deadening. I'm sure if Toyota build it smaller, with less features, sound deadening material, use of lighter material (alum and CF), they can built a mass produced mid-engine, 2zz engine, 1900lb car for less than $30k.
 

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What is the weight difference between the 1zz and the 2zz?

What luxury features does the Spyder have, that the Elise does not? I will start with one I know of, a spare tire.

What features does an Elise have that the Spyder does not?
Integral rollbar.
Oil coolers
Start button :)
 

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nyoneway said:
But the MR-S Spyder is also bigger, with more luxury amenities, sound deadening. I'm sure if Toyota build it smaller, with less features, sound deadening material, use of lighter material (alum and CF), they can built a mass produced mid-engine, 2zz engine, 1900lb car for less than $30k.
so buy a Spyder, strip it, and go to their forum :rolleyes:

Seriously your argument is retarded. The Spyder chassis is aweful, the engine sucks, there are few if any luxury amenities, and even if you strip it it will STILL not be 1900lbs.

They didn't use sheetmetal because there was no reason to and it would have been counterproductive.
 

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half truths and healthy speculations

they are not the same car...were not designed to be the same car.

there is no real comparison between the two...other than maybe fun factor. for the money the toy people did a fair engineering job. they fell short on stuff, but at a budget. the target was the miata. a lot feel they beat the target- and they don't lie about the amount of hp the little thing makes vs what a certain other manufacturer has done more than once :D
 

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Randy Chase said:
What is the weight difference between the 1zz and the 2zz?

What luxury features does the Spyder have, that the Elise does not? I will start with one I know of, a spare tire.

What features does an Elise have that the Spyder does not?
Integral rollbar.
Oil coolers
Start button :)
The most basic.... carpet.

The 1zz and 2zz is basically the same size... and comparable in weight. The MRS is also a bigger car.
 

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Randy Chase said:
What features does an Elise have that the Spyder does not?
A TRUNK! ;) If you ask me, it's the Elise's reasonably sized trunk that gives it a huge edge over the Spyder, making the car more capable for weekend getaways.
 

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Even without the touring pack you have carpet, just not as much. And carpet is only a couple pounds.

Having spent many miles in a Spyder, I just don't see the a lot of things that the Spyder has that the Elise does not.

But the Elise has a larger engine (I guarantee there is much more weight difference in a slightly larger engine, that in all the carpet bits). The Elise has the rollbar. The Elise has a trunk. The Elise has the dual oil coolers.

I think the size difference is minimal.

Elise is 2.6" shorter. It is lower by 3". But the Elise is 2" wider.

IMO, I think Toyota put a lot of effort into making the Spyder as light as it is. They would soon be seeing decreasing returns on investment to get things much lighter. What really could they do to it, and still have a car that is functional and something people would drive?

I would love to know what the body alone of the Spyder weighs.

Then compare the Aluminum frame at 155 pounds plus the clams, to the stamped steel. I am curious.
 

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Randy Chase said:

I would love to know what the body alone of the Spyder weighs.

Then compare the Aluminum frame at 155 pounds plus the clams, to the stamped steel. I am curious.
From an old post at SpyderChat...I can't remember the original poster:

2000 MR2 Spyder (ZZW30) Component Weight Chart
Item

Weight (lb)

Stock Wheels
14.6 lb front wheel
15.2 lb rear wheel

Hardtop 47lbs
Complete Soft Top (including side brackets) 45lbs

Cross-bar (connects between side brackets) 5 lbs
Rear tray (under soft top) 4 lbs

car w/ 1/8 tank gas (indicated) 2185 +/- 4 lb
c50 transaxle 79 +/- 1 lb
front wheel 14.6
rear wheel 15.2
front tire -Yokohama 18.7 +/- 1/4 lb
rear tire -Yokohama 20.8 +/- 1/4 lb
spare w/cover & bolt 25.0
spare lid 3.0
front surround 2.8
spare bucket and support straps 8.2
"K51" tool kit 8.0
rear storage doors 5.4
rear storage floor 3.0
rear storage end covers -removable 0.8
rear storage package shelf 3.6
passenger seat 32.8
driver seat 34.6
floor mats 4.6
sun visors 1.0
wind deflector 1.4
plastic covers of brace behind seats 1.6
brace behind seats w/ latch 4.4
engine vanity cover 0.6
rear strut tower brace 1.4
power steering pump, lines, fluid 13.8
front splash shield 1.4
rear splash shield 2.0
exhaust splash shield 1.2
headlamp (1) 4.0
taillamp (1) 2.4
cowl cover 1.6
front inner fender liner 1.2
rear inner fender liner 1.0
rear bumper 10.0
tubular rear bumper braces (2) 0.6
left rear fender 10.4
right rear fender 9.8
rear deck lid (w/ stop lamp) 20.0
rear deck lid prop 0.2
side vent (1) 0.4
front bumper 8.2
front fender 4.0
front hood 22.0
front hood prop 0.4
wiper arms (2) 2.0
muffler 27.6
catalytic converter (3rd & final) 16.8
exhaust manifold cover 2.4
exhaust manifold (w/ cats) 16.2
heat shield -small 0.2
heat shield -exhaust (black) 1.2
hardware (total of removed) 3.4
OEM battery 28.0
battery mounting 2.0
intake system (pipe in fender only) 1.4
air filter 0.6

+/- 0.2 lb unless noted
 
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