Lotus Elan

Why plus 2?

PostPost by: desprit dan » Sat Apr 23, 2011 6:31 pm

Ok, maybe because of the bank holliday, I have a bit more time, but a serious question, why is the plus 2 called a plus 2? it doesn't really have much more in common with the original Elan than a Europa; a completely different body, trim (obviously) wider track ,it only really shares engine and box, was it just a way of getting around type approval?
This then leads me to the question what should it have been called?
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PostPost by: Timb » Sat Apr 23, 2011 7:32 pm

You are a bit late for April 1st.
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PostPost by: Lotus fan » Sat Apr 23, 2011 7:35 pm

The extra 2 seats in the back !
Colin needed seats for him and Hazel PLUS 2 kids..............
Theres a bit more to it than that but that the gist.
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PostPost by: desprit dan » Sat Apr 23, 2011 7:57 pm

I can see the concept of the plus 2, I've got an E type 2+2 ( in bits obviously) but that is just a lengthened coupe, whereas, the plus 2 elan is really a different car.... isn't it?
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PostPost by: ardee_selby » Sat Apr 23, 2011 8:56 pm

desprit dan wrote:This then leads me to the question what should it have been called?


S'obvious...the "Baby Elan" per poem from CL newsletter! :wink:

"I wanted the Elan
She wanted a pram
Taking the pill
Just made her ill
So what did we do?
We had a Plus Two"

Cheers - Richard
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Sun Apr 24, 2011 12:19 am

I believe it was called the Plus 2 because at over 200 lb I fit in it. :D

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PostPost by: CBUEB1771 » Sun Apr 24, 2011 1:17 am

desprit dan wrote:I can see the concept of the plus 2, I've got an E type 2+2 ( in bits obviously) but that is just a lengthened coupe, whereas, the plus 2 elan is really a different car.... isn't it?


The Elan +2 and the Elan share much more than the engine and gearbox. Going back to your original post, they are far closer to each other in design than either is to the Europa. Using your E-Type analogy I would say that the Elan and Elan +2 are at least, if not more, closely related than are the original 3.8 Series 1 E-type and the V12 E-type. Ultimately I am not sure what this whole discussion is about. :roll:
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PostPost by: desprit dan » Sun Apr 24, 2011 6:57 am

Just a simple question, did Lotus never consider giving a vehicle, (with a completely new body shell) a new name?
looking an the newer Lotus range of cars, (to my eyes at least) some seem very similar, and yet they all have different names.

To use the Etype anlogy (again) the difference between the coupe and the 2+2 is quite subtle, many people aren't aware of the difference unless it is pointed out, the plus2 ,on the other hand shares nothing with the original Elan (asthetically),and I think unlikely that someone could confuse the two; the component commonality, is much the same as Ford or British Leyland vehicles of that time i.e engines gearboxes, axles etc, and yet every different body shell type (within that year range) had a seperate identity.
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PostPost by: pauljones » Sun Apr 24, 2011 8:41 am

Back to the E Type part,

Wasnt it made into a 2+2 to suit the American insurance market where it was cheaper to insure the +2 style cars,So working on that principle,was the lotus made into a plus 2 to increase over sea sales too.

Or am I way wrong here.???
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PostPost by: Craig Elliott » Sun Apr 24, 2011 9:00 am

I suspect they did consider giving it a different name (the prototype was called the Metier). But that they probably decided to appeal to people that had owned the 2 seat Elan but had started families and so kept the name but added the tag. As previous posts have suggested there's a lot of design work in common between the two (albeit stretched in some instances for the +2)- engine, gearbox, driveline, chassis, suspension, steering etc.

Anyway - happy easter all!

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PostPost by: CBUEB1771 » Sun Apr 24, 2011 4:15 pm

pauljones915 wrote:So working on that principle,was the lotus made into a plus 2 to increase over sea sales too.


Chapman was persistent in trying to move Lotus up-market, Elan/+2/Europa to Elite/Eclat/Esprit and on. I don't think there was a US insurance issue specifically but broadening and raising the market level was a consistent trend.
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PostPost by: blackandgold » Fri Apr 29, 2011 8:46 am

Check out the following Autocar feature on the Elan +2 introduction it answers most of your questions

Alternate names considered were Elite, Elite II, Elite +2
Attachments
Autocar 67 Elan +2 PG 1.jpg and
Autocar 67 Elan +2 PG 2.jpg and
Autocar 67 Elan +2 PG 3.jpg and
Autocar 67 Elan +2 PG 4.jpg and
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PostPost by: desprit dan » Fri Apr 29, 2011 10:40 am

Many thanks for posting the scans, I did read somewhere that Chapman had absolutely no interest in the plus 2, and was focused on the new generation of wedges; personally I think the plus 2 is the best of the bunch (I need to change my user name to reflect this!)
The plus two (it has been said many a time) is always in the shadow of the Elan, I wonder if that would have been the case, had it been given its own identity?

With regard the the Etype comparison, it is debateable as to whether the car was stretched to accomodate kiddies, or an auto box, for the lucrative US market!
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Fri Apr 29, 2011 6:16 pm

Colin Chapman did not design either the Elan or Elan +2.
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PostPost by: desprit dan » Fri Apr 29, 2011 6:36 pm

That is probably why he was disinterested in its conception and design; (if in fact the story is true) I think what I was getting at was, maybe it was an unloved child right from the start, and that is why it never gained a separate identity.
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