2 3 4
kanaric
kanaric Dork
9/24/14 9:44 p.m.

The Cayman vs Evora thing is weird. It's an obvious cross shop but nobody gives it the time of day.

Try finding a Genesis V6 vs 370Z comparo as well. Similar power, similar type of car, similar price. However you will not find a single Genesis vs 370z article from any site on the internet. It is always 370Z vs Mustang GT and cars like that and the Genesis V6 vs the Mustang V6 and cars like that.

I'm hoping this lack of respect for the Evora = me buying one in the next 5-10 years on the cheap. I'll take it thank you.

edit: Actually it looks like there are a lot of Evora s vs Cayman s comparos. I guess it's a Lotus marketing fail.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH MegaDork
9/25/14 8:05 a.m.

I don't think Lotus will ever have the "prestige" - I prefer "snob appeal" - of Porsche, Ferrari or most of their competition. They've built themselves a reputation as a scrappy underdog that builds somewhat-affordable track weapons. Their cars and customer base represent the ultimate threat to the ego of the kind of people who buy "prestigious" performance cars. Lexus left the gate with more "prestige" than Lotus has ever had because they were about higher prices and exclusivity from the start, even though most of their cars are cheaper than any Lotus.

I think they should stop trying to be what they've never been and probably never could be, and work with what they are. If anything they should move downmarket with cheaper cars, maybe even kit cars, and definitely stick to "hardcore" cars. They should dig deeper into their little niche instead of trying to escape it. Maybe they should look into making aftermarket parts, that's a market where their brand would be worth a lot, and it could bring them more in-house manufacturing capability as a side effect.

Matt B
Matt B SuperDork
9/25/14 10:19 a.m.

Poor marketing and snobbery aside, I guess I don't get the Evora dismissal by some here. As much as I lust after an Elise, I think I'd rather drive the Evora every day. Not only is it going to be easier to get in and out of, but more comfortable and more powerful in the lower half of the rev range.

I guess I kinda see them as a second coming of the original NSX, but with a factory supercharged option. They're about the same weight, power (or more), plus unlike the Europeans they don't come with a let-me-empty-your-wallet powertrain. Screw the prestige, I'd rather keep my bank account. Assuming the electronics hold up, they're at the top of my hoping-n-praying list for a sports car in a few years.

Vigo
Vigo PowerDork
9/25/14 3:13 p.m.
I don't think Lotus will ever have the "prestige" - I prefer "snob appeal" - of Porsche, Ferrari or most of their competition.

You don't sell $100,000 motorized carts on objectivity and sensibility. Anyone playing in that price zone HAS to sell prestige.

They should dig deeper into their little niche instead of trying to escape it.

I agree with that. The last time i heard a long term product forecast about what kind of cars the last CEO wanted to sell, it sounded like a terrible idea that would never work. A few years later, here we are with basically ONE model that doesnt even sell enough in one year to justify the cost of upgrades/features that mainstream manufacturers handle/pay for as a matter of course because their products make money.

I guess I kinda see them as a second coming of the original NSX, but with a factory supercharged option.

That's a VERY appealing thought, but why don't more people think that? I guess at the time, the original NSX really was faster than most of its peers even though they cost more and came from more prestigious brands. The Evora can't swim in those waters on paper in 2014 and it cant sell the things that are good about it in real life to people who will never go look at one because it didnt even make it into the magazine comparo with the rest of the cars they get excited about. I guess there aren't enough almost-super cars with 'only' 300-something hp for 'only' 60-70k for the Lotus to rise to the top of them instead of being a party of one in the corner by itself.

I guess the wide range of excellent high performance cars to choose from these days is a great thing even if it's kind of a killer for Lotus.

kanaric
kanaric Dork
9/25/14 7:02 p.m.
Matt B wrote: Poor marketing and snobbery aside, I guess I don't get the Evora dismissal by some here. As much as I lust after an Elise, I think I'd rather drive the Evora every day. Not only is it going to be easier to get in and out of, but more comfortable and more powerful in the lower half of the rev range. I guess I kinda see them as a second coming of the original NSX, but with a factory supercharged option. They're about the same weight, power (or more), plus unlike the Europeans they don't come with a let-me-empty-your-wallet powertrain. Screw the prestige, I'd rather keep my bank account. Assuming the electronics hold up, they're at the top of my hoping-n-praying list for a sports car in a few years.

This is how I feel as well.

But the thing is with all this in mind it doesn't make sense as like a "exotic". It should of just been a lotus designed supra sold by Toyota.

Wally
Wally MegaDork
9/26/14 5:42 a.m.

Thinking about it I don't remember ever seeing an Evora in real life. It just seems odd since I see almost everything else driving around here.

Ian F
Ian F UltimaDork
9/26/14 8:28 a.m.

In reply to Wally:

I have seen them on the road in private hands, but I think that's mainly due to my proximity to a dealer.

It might also be worth mentioning the Evora is not a cheap car, despite the base MSRP. The ones on the local dealer lot are stickered at $90K give or take, depending on options. Unfortunately, the soon to be closed dealer I pass by during my commute has deactivated their website so I can't link to their current inventory anymore.

bmw88rider
bmw88rider HalfDork
9/26/14 8:44 a.m.

http://www.lotusofaustin.com/web/inventory/new

Here you go Ian. 77K and 87K depending on options. Not cheap at all but they are in the same range as a Cayman S now a days.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH MegaDork
9/26/14 9:22 a.m.

Looks like Lotus is working on a crossover and sedan, but will they be cheaper cars, or more expensive ones going after the Cayenne crowd?

http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/amid-bad-news-lotus-sales-actually-46-sedan-crossover-table/

turboswede
turboswede UltimaDork
9/26/14 10:08 a.m.

So a Lotus Crossover would be what, an original Land Rover dressed up in modern styling?

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH MegaDork
9/26/14 10:32 a.m.

I'm thinking more like a tall EK Civic.

oldeskewltoy
oldeskewltoy SuperDork
9/26/14 10:34 a.m.
GameboyRMH wrote: Looks like Lotus is working on a crossover and sedan,

OMFG..........

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson PowerDork
9/26/14 10:36 a.m.
turboswede wrote: So a Lotus Crossover would be what, ......

A really bad idea. It's one thing to produce light weight slightly fragile sports cars for the hard(er) core fringe of the sports car market, but that won't fly for a crossover. People who buy crossovers will expect a rock solid vehicle where everything feels solid and works. Flimsy E36 M3 wont cut it.

They should concentrate on upping their game in the sports car market to make themselves real players there without diluting themselves further.

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson PowerDork
9/26/14 10:43 a.m.
Matt B wrote: I guess I kinda see them as a second coming of the original NSX, but with a factory supercharged option. They're about the same weight, power (or more), plus unlike the Europeans they don't come with a let-me-empty-your-wallet powertrain. Screw the prestige, I'd rather keep my bank account. Assuming the electronics hold up, they're at the top of my hoping-n-praying list for a sports car in a few years.

I think Matt's point is worth repeating. A quasi 'super' car with rock solid reliable 'cheap as chips' powertrain that doens't cost an arm and a leg to maintain is a huge selling point for mere mortals on the used car market a few years down the road.

Having said that I don't think the Porsche Boxster(S)/Caymen(S) twins are anywhere near as unreliable as internet lore has people believing. so do you want a pretty reliable car that takes big bucks if something goes wrong, or a possibly less reliable car (outside the engine bay) that's cheap to fix when something goes wrong.

After driving an Elise I know that's not the car for me, it's too small and kit car-ish for me to want to drive daily, but I'm now wondering about an Evora as a P car alternative in a few years. I just wish they came with any other manufacturers engine except Toyota who I have (an admittedly irrational) distaste for.

turboswede
turboswede UltimaDork
9/26/14 10:48 a.m.
Adrian_Thompson wrote:
turboswede wrote: So a Lotus Crossover would be what, ......
A really bad idea. It's one thing to produce light weight slightly fragile sports cars for the hard(er) core fringe of the sports car market, but that won't fly for a crossover. People who buy crossovers will expect a rock solid vehicle where everything feels solid and works. Flimsy E36 M3 wont cut it. They should concentrate on upping their game in the sports car market to make themselves real players there without diluting themselves further.

I agree completely. Crossovers are today's Family trucksters (fullsize wagons essentially) and Lotus is not known for that sort of construction or build. When I envision a Lotus off-road vehicle, crossover or sedan, I see an original Wrangler or Land Rover or even an ATV none of which are exactly "solid" in feel compared to say an Escape.

The last time they did a sedan that was moderately successful it was the Lotus Cortina, so maybe they'll follow suit and jazz up an already decent product with their own version of sporting prowess? Unfortunately that would mean they'd likely be casting about in Proton's sales lot and that is a rather discomforting thought.

captdownshift
captdownshift HalfDork
9/26/14 10:51 a.m.
Adrian_Thompson wrote:
turboswede wrote: So a Lotus Crossover would be what, ......
A really bad idea.

this I'd rather see a lightweight FWD hatch with close ratio 6 spd and limited slip, or a lower cost non carbon fiber (but still aluminum) front engine convertible/coupe model then a crossover or SUV from them.

turboswede
turboswede UltimaDork
9/26/14 10:52 a.m.
Adrian_Thompson wrote:
Matt B wrote: I guess I kinda see them as a second coming of the original NSX, but with a factory supercharged option. They're about the same weight, power (or more), plus unlike the Europeans they don't come with a let-me-empty-your-wallet powertrain. Screw the prestige, I'd rather keep my bank account. Assuming the electronics hold up, they're at the top of my hoping-n-praying list for a sports car in a few years.
I think Matt's point is worth repeating. A quasi 'super' car with rock solid reliable 'cheap as chips' powertrain that doens't cost an arm and a leg to maintain is a huge selling point for mere mortals on the used car market a few years down the road. Having said that I don't think the Porsche Boxster(S)/Caymen(S) twins are anywhere near as unreliable as internet lore has people believing. so do you want a pretty reliable car that takes big bucks if something goes wrong, or a possibly less reliable car (outside the engine bay) that's cheap to fix when something goes wrong. After driving an Elise I know that's not the car for me, it's too small and kit car-ish for me to want to drive daily, but I'm now wondering about an Evora as a P car alternative in a few years. I just wish they came with any other manufacturers engine except Toyota who I have (an admittedly irrational) distaste for.

I just wish the Evora came with a removable top option as that kills it for the wife and I. She loves the Elise because it is very pretty in her eyes and has a removable top, but no automatic option. The Evora has an Automatic (or semi-auto, etc.) but the top isn't removable. At least Porsche makes the Boxster and Cayman which are essentially the same cars only one has a removable top and one doesn't.

Personally I don't mind the Toyota drivetrains as the K-series sucked monkey nuts and there aren't a lot of other options out there aside from what, GM? Now that they are owned by Proton, they'll likely go that route in future drivetrains, but at what cost?

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson PowerDork
9/26/14 10:55 a.m.
turboswede wrote:
Adrian_Thompson wrote:
turboswede wrote: So a Lotus Crossover would be what, ......
A really bad idea. It's one thing to produce light weight slightly fragile sports cars for the hard(er) core fringe of the sports car market, but that won't fly for a crossover. People who buy crossovers will expect a rock solid vehicle where everything feels solid and works. Flimsy E36 M3 wont cut it. They should concentrate on upping their game in the sports car market to make themselves real players there without diluting themselves further.
I agree completely. Crossovers are today's Family trucksters (fullsize wagons essentially) and Lotus is not known for that sort of construction or build. When I envision a Lotus off-road vehicle, crossover or sedan, I see an original Wrangler or Land Rover or even an ATV none of which are exactly "solid" in feel compared to say an Escape. The last time they did a sedan that was moderately successful it was the Lotus Cortina, so maybe they'll follow suit and jazz up an already decent product with their own version of sporting prowess? Unfortunately that would mean they'd likely be casting about in Proton's sales lot and that is a rather discomforting thought.

There was also the Lotus Carlton (or Omega in the rest of Europe)

Twin turbo 377hp 177mph sedan in 1990!!!

If they went that root I'd love to see a Lotus Evoque, but as they use Turdbota engines we'd probably be saddled with some god awefull Lotus Rav-poor

tuna55
tuna55 UltimaDork
9/26/14 10:57 a.m.

Chiming in here as someone who would love to own an Evora, Elise or Exige... but owns a minivan and a Leaf.

I think the major problem with Lotus's business case is that they are really good at building a type of car that just doesn't get sold very often.

I am not sure of the right way to fix this; the right way is not fixing their product line. Some tie in with a spec Lotus class, some more autocross presence, they need to utilize what they are good at and monetize that rather than trying to sell a Porsche. Porsche is really good at that already. Lotus won't build/sell a better one. Buy Porsche cannot build or sell a better Lotus. They need to turn that into dollars. They can. Smarter businessmen are required to figure out the specifics, though.

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson PowerDork
9/26/14 11:20 a.m.

In reply to tuna55:

The issue with that is that they've always built cars on the fringes, but the population of North America and Europe is a lot bigger than it was, plus they now have markets opening up in Eastern Europe, China, the middle east etc. that simply weren't accessible to them 30-40 years ago. Their potential market is huge compared to what it was. Ferrari, Porsche (just sticking with the 911 series) etc. both sell far far more cars than they did back then, Lotus should be able to as well.

Not sure I agree with the one make and autocross thing. Autocross, no matter how people delude themselves is less than a blip on a rain drop in an ocean when it comes to sales impact. Sure Mazda has a presence, but they sell a metric E36 M3 ton of Miata's and are pulling from 25 years of cheap used cars. Croc had success with the Neon, but they were selling a $10k car that could also take the kids to school and bring home the groceries. There is a one make Elise championship in in England (or there used to be) but over here I see the racing landscape diluted buyond the capacity for another high (relative) cost to performance ration in an already over crowed world of club racing. Being able to buy a $20K Miata to race on a one make championship is a far cry from being able to buy a $50+K Lotus for a one make championship. By the time someone can afford that much money they can afford to go semi pro racing, single seaters or similar. And they just haven't sold enough same spec cars to pull from the used market for a single make championship.

Ian F
Ian F UltimaDork
9/26/14 12:05 p.m.

In reply to Adrian_Thompson:

Agreed. It's been proven a number of times the "hard core enthusiast market" is simply not large enough to sustain a single model within a brand, let along an entire brand (last RX7?).

Vigo
Vigo PowerDork
9/26/14 12:13 p.m.
I just wish they came with any other manufacturers engine except Toyota who I have (an admittedly irrational) distaste for.

Well at least you admit it.

Croc had success with the Neon, but they were selling a $10k car that could also take the kids to school and bring home the groceries.

I think Lotus could do ok with something in the vein of a 1g Neon successor. A cheap, practical car that had the sporting basics down pat and excused some lack of refinement by just being a lot more fun to drive than the other options. The compact car game has made huge strides since the early 90s, though. Given the existence of the excellent Fiesta ST just over 20k and Abarths selling new under 20k, i think Lotus would have to build a VERY cheap sporty car to get any traction in the market. In other words, a TRUE 1g neon successor. :p

Honestly, it almost HAS to be really cheap because im not convinced Lotus can do high quality mass production EXCEPT at very high prices. I dont think they can pull off a 'mid-range' product like the Macan or upcoming Tesla. and need to 'go back to basics'. My .02

mblommel
mblommel Reader
9/26/14 12:15 p.m.
Ian F wrote: In reply to Adrian_Thompson: Agreed. It's been proven a number of times the "hard core enthusiast market" is simply not large enough to sustain a single model within a brand, let along an entire brand (last RX7?).

I think there's a market but price creep always seems to kill it. The RX7 is a good example of that. There would have been a lot more buyers for that car if it was 10 or 15 grand cheaper.

More recently the Elise was a victim. When it was first announced they would sell them here it was supposed to be "just under" $30K, then it was $35K, then it was $40K.... By the time the dealers were done with extra options and the rest of their B.S. they were selling for $55K. You aren't going to find a lot of takers for an elemental car like that at that price point.

I know the exchange rate and our stupid federal regulations aren't helping matters but if they could offer a car in the $20K to $25K range then I think they wouldn't have any problem selling every single one they could build.

Ian F
Ian F UltimaDork
9/26/14 12:56 p.m.

In reply to mblommel:

Perhaps. The proof will be the long-term sales viability of the Frisbe twins. That said, the FRS/BRZ is about as bare-bones as a modern car can be, built by manufacturers able to leverage the buying power of their entire model lines (millions of cars) and yet it still sells above your price point.

We can cry about it all we want, but the dream of a $20-25K limited production sports car simply does not have any basis in reality.

mblommel
mblommel Reader
9/26/14 5:07 p.m.
Ian F wrote: In reply to mblommel: ...the FRS/BRZ is about as bare-bones as a modern car can be...

Probably true. Too bad they can't just make this with one more wheel and better looking fiberglass bits: Under $20K but it's not a "car"

2 3 4
Our Preferred Partners
RLbozXA6Y4qXxCnYFdYzWrYDMIfdUdAZ6MNERnlQR1xbai0dov2NDDhyhXzJJSSH