Lotus Elan

Lotus is in a new era ..

PostPost by: rcourtney » Mon Jul 31, 2023 5:26 pm

Just received this email from Lotus …

Lotus is in a new era.

We are on a transformative journey from an iconic British sports car company to a global luxury lifestyle brand. As part of this journey, we are excited to announce that our first major European flagship store on London’s Piccadilly is now open.

Experience the Eletre, the world’s first all-electric Hyper-SUV. Discover the Emira, the last ever petrol-powered Lotus, and catch a glimpse of our record-breaking Evija.

This is Lotus like you have never seen it before…
1968 Lotus Elan +2 (Saturn Silver / Black)
User avatar
rcourtney
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 55
Joined: 16 Jun 2014
Location: London

PostPost by: JonB » Mon Jul 31, 2023 6:17 pm

Lotus is turning its back on its roots and we all know what happened last time they did that… M100 *cough* *cough*. A return to true form is what saved them - Elise.

How short memories are these days.
User avatar
JonB
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 2425
Joined: 14 Nov 2017
Location: South Herefordshire

PostPost by: gherlt » Mon Jul 31, 2023 6:28 pm

I wouldn't state the M100 as a way to this "new strategy".
I would rather indicate the 70s, when Lotus moved upmarket (and away from Lotus' kit car image),
with "luxurious sports car" Eclat/Elite and "super car" Esprit.
1964 S1 (at paint shop)
1967 S3 DHC
1969 S4 FHC (at BB's home)

https://theelanman.com for details on Brian Bucklands book.
https://shop.lotus-books.com for more Lotus related books.
We ship worldwide. PM/Email me.
gherlt
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 640
Joined: 20 Jul 2006
Location: Weiden (DE) & Tarragona (ES)

PostPost by: ajwheels » Mon Jul 31, 2023 7:08 pm

There is real value in something that comes from an inherent interest and passion……and “something” is lost when the motive is primarily based on the potential profit to be had by a “luxury lifestyle brand”…..

Oh well….I got my little piece, and I am reminded of it every time I go for a drive…..but then, I’m just an old guy lost in the past…..
1966 S3 DHC
45/6261
User avatar
ajwheels
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 64
Joined: 06 Feb 2020
Location: San Diego, CA

PostPost by: seniorchristo » Mon Jul 31, 2023 9:25 pm

Lotus found success by finding a niche market, now they seem to be just following the crowd. It's going to be difficult to differentiate themselves from the EV competition. EV cars cars will end up being of similar weights so no real difference there. I think Lotus is making a mistake abandoning the ICE market and wouldn't be surprised to see them return someday.
67 Elan Super Safety
67 Elan +2
seniorchristo
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 631
Joined: 19 Dec 2013
Location: Pennsylvania, USA

PostPost by: h20hamelan » Mon Jul 31, 2023 10:23 pm

Difficult
Era
Aren’t there a few green zones around now, where the only carbon footprint is a distance away from the central business districts.
Cough cough
Suppose the synthetic fuel which is 40% more intensive to make will be allowed, as only h2o is visible from the tail pipe.
Born, and brought home from the hospital (no seat belt (wtf)) in a baby!
Find out where the limits are, and start from there
Love your Mother
Earth
User avatar
h20hamelan
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 2034
Joined: 25 Sep 2010
Location: RACECAR spelled backward, is——RACECAR! Kayak, Kayak. The Faster You Drive...The Slower You Age

PostPost by: cliveyboy » Tue Aug 01, 2023 7:33 am

"Global Luxury lifestyle brand". Its Lotus not LVMH
When Dany Bahar was CEO he tried that. Luxury goods shop in London, £1000 sports bags.
It got him the sack amongst other things.
I am all for a company working on its image but I am a firm believer in the old adage stick to what you know.
Lotus are world leaders at one thing. Making great handling sports cars. Any distractions from that is just a waste of time, effort and talent.
1972 Elan Sprint FHC
cliveyboy
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 882
Joined: 22 Sep 2003
Location: Oxfordshire UK

PostPost by: Andy8421 » Tue Aug 01, 2023 7:41 am

h20hamelan wrote:Suppose the synthetic fuel which is 40% more intensive to make will be allowed, as only h2o is visible from the tail pipe.

Hmmn. Perhaps you could link to the details of this fuel?

Even burning pure hydrogen in an ICE produces NOx at the tailpipe.

There has been a desperate fight back by ICE manufacturers that somehow a magic fuel or hydrogen will allow them to keep their ICE factories running. There is probably a case to exempt low volume manufacturers (The "Aston Martin Exemption") from the ban on ICE cars, but I think the game is up for the big guys.

As to whether Lotus can compete in the EV space, it has to be remembered that the first Tesla was a Lotus in drag, so there is history there. As long as third parties are willing to supply Lotus with batteries, software, motors etc, I guess they could produce a custom body and suspension setup - not that different to the Elan where most of the running gear and engine were sourced from others. Whether there is a market for it, or it is viable remains to be seen.
68 Elan S3 HSCC Roadsports spec
71 Elan Sprint (being restored)
32 Standard 12
Various modern stuff
Andy8421
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1228
Joined: 27 Mar 2011
Location: Surrey, UK

PostPost by: EPA » Tue Aug 01, 2023 9:00 am

Did you see the recent episode of Harry’s Garage on Youtube discussing the various Eco and renewable fuel options, he had an expert from one of the manufacturers of these fuels explaining the differences and Harry’s eyes visibly glazed over trying to understand what the guy was saying.
User avatar
EPA
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 169
Joined: 08 May 2011
Location: Preston

PostPost by: Andy8421 » Tue Aug 01, 2023 10:08 am

EPA wrote:Did you see the recent episode of Harry’s Garage on Youtube discussing the various Eco and renewable fuel options, he had an expert from one of the manufacturers of these fuels explaining the differences and Harry’s eyes visibly glazed over trying to understand what the guy was saying.

I had a look, thanks for the pointer. Its a complex subject, and everyone involved has their own axe to grind.

For my mind, there are two separate issues, tailpipe emissions and CO2 release. Ignoring CO2 for a moment, I would much rather fossil fuel is burnt in a power station a long way from a city, rather than ICE vehicles blowing their exhaust in the face of pedestrians. When studies refer to the effects of ICE on city pollution and public health, its not the CO2 they are referring to. Synthetic fuels aren't going to fix that. I used to work in central London, and the improvement in air quality with the increasing number of battery vehicles, in particular cabs, is very noticeable.

CO2 is more complex, and depending on who is presenting and which axe they have to grind, there is a tendency to compare chalk and cheese and be selective about the numbers. To do it properly, you need to consider the CO2 produced in 'dust to dust' manufacturing of a vehicle, (extraction of raw materials, its production, expected life and eventual disposal), and the CO2 produced in 'extraction to use' of the energy required to power it. Many analysis conveniently forget that the production and transport of fossil fuels produces large amounts of CO2 in itself.

If you take a more holistic approach, my old Landrover (for example) is still going strong, and given the limited mileage I use it for, the worst thing I could do is buy a Tesla to replace it as the CO2 produced in the production of the new car dwarfs any reduction in CO2 I would enjoy by driving the Telsa in place of the Landy. This was the point that Rowan Atkinson was making in his article in the Guardian.

As for synthetic fuels, that seems to be a red herring. If the point is capturing carbon from the atmosphere to offset the carbon produced burning fuel, wouldn't it be better just to use the existing fossil fuel infrastructure and fuels where the CO2 involved in its construction and production has already been 'spent' and have a separate carbon capture plant? Mixing up the two seems muddle headed and more about marketing than anything else.

FWIW, this carbon capture to offset fossil fuel use approach is so far the only real solution for air travel. You can use hydrogen in heavy truck and marine transport where weight isn't an issue, but Jet A-1 is an almost perfect fuel for air transport, and no proposal so far has been a credible alternative.
68 Elan S3 HSCC Roadsports spec
71 Elan Sprint (being restored)
32 Standard 12
Various modern stuff
Andy8421
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1228
Joined: 27 Mar 2011
Location: Surrey, UK

PostPost by: cliveyboy » Tue Aug 01, 2023 10:44 am

As Andy mentioned it is not as simple or straight forward as people think.
There are so many arguments and factors involved.
The reality is the world is heavily invested in Oil and the ICE and needs time to diversify. Many car makers own there own manufacturing plants. Engine plants can not over night start producing electric motors. Gearboxes, pistons, valves, crank shafts, turbos etc all these manufacturing plants could be obsolete.
Oil companies have trillion dollar investments world wide and contribute many billions in taxes to the economy. These are massive revenue and job losses which neither governments or companies will happily accept to pacify the anti oil activists.
I believe the electric car industry will grow but it seems to be rushed into without thought for transition. In the UK electric cars are getting popular but held up by the lack of charging infrastructure needed.
Petrol stations can become charging stations but that again takes time and massive investment and needs to be introduced as demand grows and the ICE less popular.
I can certainly understand why the car companies are still talking about ICE at least for the short term
1972 Elan Sprint FHC
cliveyboy
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 882
Joined: 22 Sep 2003
Location: Oxfordshire UK

PostPost by: Donels » Tue Aug 01, 2023 4:12 pm

I really do think the world has been blinded by Tesla into going electric. Longer term I suspect the answer will be all of the above. Electric for city dwellers, hydrogen for trucks, maybe electric hydrogen hybrids and maybe synthetic fuels for ICE.

There’s huge emissions, child labour and political issues with the metals to make all electric, not least of which is there enough lithium to go round? China is cornering the market in the required metals. Do we want seabed mining? It’s a very complex issue and I’m sure all electric is not the answer.

A couple of weeks ago I spent the weekend in London and driving back I stopped at the Oxford services on the M40. All of the many Tesla chargers were occupied, there was a queue of about 6 cars waiting and groups of Tesla drivers standing round presumably discussing how great their cars are. They were going to be there for a while.

I would happily drive a hydrogen ICE car, the NOx issue can be controlled by controling combustion temperature, water injection for example. Well it’s dangerous will be the retort, have you seen a lithium battery fire?

Just my thoughts…….
Last edited by Donels on Wed Aug 02, 2023 1:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Elan +2
Elise mk 1
Donels
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 705
Joined: 10 Sep 2016
Location: Tamworth

PostPost by: Andy8421 » Wed Aug 02, 2023 6:52 am

Donels,

As I mentioned above, everyone has an axe to grind.

Hydrogen isn't a source of energy, you can't mine it or drill for it, you have to make it. It is an energy delivery system, much like a battery.

If you use electricity for hydrolysis to make hydrogen it is at least green (depending on where the electricity comes from) but it is very inefficient - much better to use the electricity to charge a battery. You can reform methane with steam to make hydrogen, but that still leaves the CO2 to do something with. The vast majority of hydrogen is currently produced from natural gas reformation and has a big CO2 footprint.

Hydrogen is tricky to work with, and tough to store. It may have a place in marine transport or heavy trucking where cryo storage may be possible, but I remain to be convinced about passenger car usage. Of all the car companies that tried hydrogen powered vehicles (fuel cells or combustion), there are only two left in production - Toyota and Hyundai.

It is worth looking at who is pushing for hydrogen use and make up your own mind about their motives.

Use of Hydrogen for home heating - supported by gas supply companies who have thousands of miles of gas pipes that would otherwise become stranded assets.

General production of Hydrogen - fossil fuel companies looking for markets for methane (from natural gas).

Hydrogen for personal transportation - car companies who will have engine plants that will otherwise become stranded assets without the use of combustion engines.

I am not anti hydrogen, it has its place, but I think it will remain a niche product.

Regarding your other points, Australia is the world's largest producer of lithium at nearly 50% of global supply. China comes in at only 15%. The troubling mineral in Li-ion batteries is cobalt, which comes mainly from the DRC with attendant child labour and exploitation issues. Tesla have phased out the use of cobalt in over half of their batteries, and aim to make the rest cobalt free - although they haven't given a timeline. Worth pointing out that cobalt is widely used in the fossil fuel industry, but not to the same extent as battery production.
68 Elan S3 HSCC Roadsports spec
71 Elan Sprint (being restored)
32 Standard 12
Various modern stuff
Andy8421
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1228
Joined: 27 Mar 2011
Location: Surrey, UK

PostPost by: JonB » Wed Aug 02, 2023 12:33 pm

I'm just going to pipe up here regarding Tesla.

I have a Model 3 and they are becoming ubiquitous on UK roads. The "charging infrastructure issue" isn't one for me, as I have access to Tesla's charging stations and anyway I charge at home 99.99% of the time. Sure, when planning a trip I may have to be conscious of charging locations, but that is the only problem. I've never had to wait for a stall (although I accept they get busy at peak times).

I must say that my reasons for choosing it are around the on demand power and novel technology / minimalistic interior rather than wanting to claim green credentials. It costs (for me) a tenth the price to run as an equivalent vehicle (assuming 40mpg and fuel was £1.20/litre when I did the calculation). Zero road tax (for now) as well, and it has fantastic range.

Lotus do have the all-electric Evija but where did the expertise come from to build it? I wonder if their previous work with Tesla (on the old Roadster) is working both ways...

Anyway... a lovely nuanced discussion here, keep it up fellas!
User avatar
JonB
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 2425
Joined: 14 Nov 2017
Location: South Herefordshire

PostPost by: Donels » Wed Aug 02, 2023 1:26 pm

Interesting comment on Lotus and Tesla Jon.

I was in a Tesla shop, not sure what they’re really called, and they had a stripped down chassis. The front bulkhead was a large aluminium casting and the suspension uprights were slices of a large extrusion just like oversize Lotus Elise brake/clutch/ accelerator pedals. The rear was essentially the same and the battery box/ floor in between was glued extrusions just like an Elise chassis.

I suspect a lot of Lotus engineering went into it. The Lotus CEO Matt Whindle is also ex-Tesla.
Elan +2
Elise mk 1
Donels
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 705
Joined: 10 Sep 2016
Location: Tamworth
Next

Total Online:

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 11 guests