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..the sportscars that are designed and offered to the US in the future?

I'm hoping that BMW, Porsche, Chevy, Audi, etc will reconsider their bloated ways. Or are we DOOMED to a future dictated by the safety/comfort/green nannies?

Here's hoping enough Elise owners rejoice loud enough to influence the other OEMs...

Whaddya think?
 

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Not sure why the "green nannies" would have a real problem with small cars like the Elise. Low emissions, significantly better than most fuel economy. Sounds good to me.
 

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NOt sure they could change the mindset of the average american sports car enthusiast who seem to be wrapped up in output, ie if 300 hp is good 500 is even better. Think the vette, and other performance reflect the average american sportscar enthusiast.

Only a relatively small number of people will even give the elise passing consideration. I actually had hopes for the solstice to be a departure for GM, but it's 2900 pounds with 165(?) hp motor! Yikes

Chris
 

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Isn't there a plan for 200+ hp solstice? Supercharged I think.
 

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I expect that at least one company will produce a car to compete with the Elise, but I'd be surprised if the car had any influence beyond that. The average American seems content to drive bloated rog hogs, and the only way I see that changing is through legislation forcing the auto makers to change (which is about as likely as me getting my Elise tomorrow).
 

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Perhaps. As of right now, companies are rewarded for keeping weight the same or having a marginal increase.

The new 997 weighs more, but has a suspension far superior to 911s of days gone by, and thus for the same power, the car can be faster around a race track and yet have a more luxurious interior. This is truely the market that Porsche is going after. So I think your question Shinoo, will be answered by how America receives the Elise in the long run. Perhaps then other makes will begin to respond to their buyer contingent. But part of me says they will never go back...especially not when most of their customers like the cars as they stand. Maybe a Boxster RS will emerge.

The next M3 will move further into the GT category for the next iteration and perhaps the 1/2 series will become the enthuisiasts choice. These days, with HP and suspension prowess, lap times are STILL going down, and manufacturers have little incentive to reduce weight.

Just check out my posts on Rennteam.com about how the 911 Turbo is overweight. I'm not met with many supporters!
 

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Isn't the new Aston made using the Lotus extruded/bonded aluminum system? I thought I read that Lotus is licensing this manufacturing technique to others?
 

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It's a cultural thing... Us 'Merican believe in the "Big Hammer" theory - If a Big Hammer does the trick, then an EVEN BIGGER hammer is better.

It's in everything we do. Super size is better than large. 500 hp is better than 450. 1000 watts is superior to 750.

Why we even get into it on this forum... 225 is better than 190. 1.2 is better than 1.09.

To say 1950 is better than 3000 can only be appreciated by an aeronautics engineer. The rest of the masses don't give a hoot.

It's like that woman on the CNBC review of the Elise... "No cupholders?!?"

Sad...:confused:
 

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I doubt it'll effect audi. Maybe I'll get an RSQ if my number on the list isn't called soon ...


http://www.audiusa.com/
 

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If Lotus sells 100,000 copies maybe the big guys will consider it. I think 2500 a year for 4 or 5 years won't be of any interest to the mainstream manufacturers. The kind of volume we are dealing with is for Lotus, TVR, Caterham, etc. Plus, the Elise will not appeal to the mainstream American, it is very much a nitch car. It is far too raw and basic and small to sell in volume.
 

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I hope so.

There was talk almost 3 years ago now of BMW producing a "Z5 coupe" weighing right around 1000kg and using a 240 HP engine.

There were even spyshots of it testing, along with a CGI mock-up based on the spyshots:







nothing ever came of it though :confused:
 

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I can understand why BMW & even Porsche aren't in the "efficient engineering" is better. It takes a lot more time & money to design in that mode. Besides, the Germans are "Big Hammer" people too... proof is the Panzer!!

The only thing forcing the Germans to build smaller cars is the cost of fuel and the size of their roads.

Now the Japanese have a different mentality. Culturally they accept small & light. They have to. There's no resources on their island.

The Elise will be watched, but not copied. Which means in racing the Elise like EVERY Lotus in the past will be regulated to the point of being uncompetitive.

Randy & Robert - I hope you prove me wrong on this with the SoloII board, but in the past EVERY Lotus has been treated to a big dose of "don't play in my class".

In '91 when the X180R Esprit was winning races, after EVERY race the weight "god" would stop by the Lotus paddock and add another 200 lbs. It was at the point where the race car was 300 lbs heavier than stock. It was carrying so much lead that the team couldn't find anywhere to put it!

/soapbox...

Kiyoshi
 

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The Morgan Aero 8 uses an extruded bonded aluminum chassis that is nearly a direct rip-off of the Elise. Even though their booth was right next to Lotus, the Lotus people didn't seem to mind. Perhaps it was because there was about 8 people at the Morgan booth, while the Lotus was was surrounded.

Attached is a pict of the Morgan chassis. Note the lack of people around the ropes;)

Barry
 

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khamai said:

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Randy & Robert - I hope you prove me wrong on this with the SoloII board, but in the past EVERY Lotus has been treated to a big dose of "don't play in my class".
They are scared of any car that is imported in limited numbers, dominating a class.

For example, right now there are probably 1000 Z-06 Corvettes seriously autocrossing, of which maybe 50 will show up at Nationals. Along comes an Elise and it's classed in SS and beats up the Z-06. Instantly 50 drivers realize that they have no chance of winning SS at Nationals, what will they do? As long as they can also buy the same car, it's all fair right? But if they can't... then a class is affected. If the Elise dominates SS, I bet that the following year, most of those 50 Z-06 drivers will have jumped class or stayed home. And that is what worries the SCCA board.

I can understand it and speaks to the perception of Lotus that they are so scared of it.

The Elise is a little bit different, because it is imported in numbers that are relatively large. Over 1000 is easily seen as significant numbers of cars. The main concern will be the waiting list. The price is reasonable (the SCCA board is also concerned about a car that is *very* expensive dominating... but I hear talk about the Porsche GT3) :eek:

Because of the numbers being imported, the SCCA board seems to have agreed that it will be allowed to run in a stock class. Certain cars have been relegated to playing only in prepared classes that allowed a lot of other mods (such as the previous Viper). If (as I have been whispered to) the car is classed in Stock, then the WORST place as far as difficult, is Super Stock (SS). I think it will do fine there. If they think it can run in AS (S2000 '04, C5 Corvettes, Porsche 968), then fine. Let's run in AS.

The one thing the board has said to me, is that they are not too concerned because per the rules, they can easily and quickly move the car should it prove uncompetitive or too dominating. I just hope they don't move it to ASP.
 

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Several thoughts come to mind:

* Until the U.S. steps down from its most-obese-nation-in-the-world throne, there isn’t much incentive to sell smaller, lighter cars if you want more than niche sales volume. It’s really sad when I visit Europe and I can easily identify American tourists by the width of their asses. Isn’t selling the virtues of light weight cruelty to fat people? Well, it’s not like they could fit into the 13.5” wide seats of the Elise, anyway.

* High numbers are easy to market. They are the easiest to understand attributes of a car and are easy to compare against other cars. It’s harder to sell the lightweight driving experience unless the customer is taking a test drive. What numbers for the Elise are significantly higher than the competition? Gas mileage. But until gas prices reach a level that truly alter buying/driving habits, most people don’t care. Even if things change and people start caring, hybrid technology and/or diesel will fill in to satisfy horsepower cravings, keeping cars heavy.

* Perception of safety sells. Although both are low to the ground, it’s easier to feel safe in a big Vette than a tiny Elise. There are several proposals like mandatory side airbags, mandatory electronic stability control, active pedestrian-accident cushioning, etc. that will weigh down cars even more.

* Materials science needs to evolve, and nanotechnology will help. However, if someone develops the next carbon fiber that is also inexpensive to produce, I fear it will just give people an excuse to add more features to cars.

* Signs of hope: Today’s middle-aged adults grew up on muscle cars, but today’s kids are growing up on sport compact cars. Success of cars like the Cooper and the xB are encouraging.

* Lotus was a huge influence on the Miata. I personally can’t wait for the ’06 third generation, which will have more power while shedding over 300 pounds of fat.
 

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atyclb said:

There was talk almost 3 years ago now of BMW producing a "Z5 coupe" weighing right around 1000kg and using a 240 HP engine.

There were even spyshots of it testing, along with a CGI mock-up based on the spyshots:

nothing ever came of it though :confused:
Yeah, I remember that. I had my BMW dealer start a waiting list for it (with me at #1) after hearing about it. Fortunately no deposit was required. Too good to be true.
 

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Dan said:
* Lotus was a huge influence on the Miata. I personally can’t wait for the ’06 third generation, which will have more power while shedding over 300 pounds of fat.
True... The Mazda design studio purchased 2 Elans during the designing of the Miata/MX5. But, look what happened in the translation! Serious bloat!!!
 

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Funny thing about that picture...

Believe it or not, the Elan has more interior space and a larger trunk.
It also rides better, handles better and accelerates faster.


Oh yeah, and it looks better too.


But wait, there's more!
It also came in hard top and 2+2 variations.


Of course, there are a few reasons why the Miata might make a better daily driver...
 

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khamai said:
True... The Mazda design studio purchased 2 Elans during the designing of the Miata/MX5. But, look what happened in the translation! Serious bloat!!!
You know we're a hardcore lot when we're ragging on Miata as examples of serious bloat. Once our cars get there this site will be a virtual ghost town as we're all out driving or polishing our cars and no longer killing time here waiting for our toys.

Until then...we're all DOOMED!

Jim
 

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“examples of serious bloat” :D

My S1 Elise build in 1996 weights empty 705 kg and I can reduce this without major problems to less than 690 kg.
 
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