Lotus hopes to match supercar makers' quality with aluminium spaceframes

Lotus is planning to use rivet-bonded aluminium spaceframes and part-stressed aluminium skins on all five of the sports cars it revealed in Paris.

The move comes as it aims to raise its quality to the standards set by supercar makers Ferrari, Aston Martin and Lamborghini.

Read more on Lotus's six new models

The firm’s dramatic revamp was unveiled in Paris, with celebrities such as Mickey Rourke and Naomi Campbell taking the covers off the Elite 2+2, the Esprit supercar, the Eterne saloon, a new mid-engined Elan and a new Elise.

Lotus engineering chief Wolf Zimmerman — a board director at AMG until a month ago — told Autocar that exterior finish and interior quality will improve dramatically as the firm moves upmarket.

Zimmerman also said the new city car concept, shown at Paris alongside the sports cars, will play a vital role in the company’s strategy. This is partly because it must lower its fleet-average CO2 figure, and also because Lotus envisages offering a high-end, urban commuter car along the same lines as the Aston Martin Cygnet.

Read more about the new Lotus city car

Lotus faces a challenge in meeting its CO2 target, since its new, bigger, more powerful and heavier range will push its average up compared with today’s range, while the average for virtually every other car maker is falling.

Zimmerman also revealed that although the V6 and V8 engines will be Toyota-sourced, the Elise’s force-fed 2.0-litre engine will come from elsewhere.

See all the latest Lotus reviews, news and videoRead the full A-Z review of the Paris motor show

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12 October 2010

[quote Autocar]The move comes as it aims to raise its quality to the standards set by supercar makers Ferrari, Aston Martin and Lamborghini.
[/quote] Best of British!

12 October 2010

Am I the only person who thinks that this whole Lotus exercise (including the return to F1) is merely designed in order to sell millions of slightly-upgraded Proton city cars, labelled as Lotus, for a few thousand pounds more than the Proton version?

12 October 2010

[quote SpiritOfSenna]Am I the only person who thinks that this whole Lotus exercise (including the return to F1) is merely designed in order to sell millions of slightly-upgraded Proton city cars, labelled as Lotus, for a few thousand pounds more than the Proton version?[/quote]

If it is any kind of cynical scam it's more likely to be an exercise in increasing share values so that the current owners can offload at a profit.

I don't think it is though. Although, we'll be lucky to see even half the new cars they launched at Paris over the next ten years.

12 October 2010

They are making bigger, heavier and more expensive cars in the present climate!!

All they needed to do was improve their quality, make their cars more cost competitive and improve everyday usability. Cars like the MX5 have been stealing sales from Lotus for over a decade now, what were they doing all this while.

12 October 2010

I am a Lotus owner, a Lotus enthusiast, I'm also a Porsche owner and enthusiast. I really detest the way the Editor of this magazine allows himself and the magazine to be so clumsily used as a conduit for Lotus PR hype. We've all witnessed this process endlessly over the years and it's truly pathetic. The obviously unreachable weight targets so slavishly reported for the 340R, which to anyone with a modicum of engineering knowledge were impossible from day one, the unbelievable hype that surrounded the handling of the original Elise ( which now I'm certain is sorted ), the breathtaking accolades given to the Evora, which the car buying public have all but comprehensively rejected. The current edition of the magazine, he apologises to Jaguar, for making the styling model of the new Esprit his "Best in Show" over the Jaguar C-X75, because "it matters so much". I wonder how many times Lotus have appealed to journalists to be kind to there car "because it matters". I pay for Autocar Magazine because it once represented the pinnacle of objective motoring journalism, not regurgitated PR hype, and "favored" reporting. If you do this sort of stuff for Lotus, just what in the magazine can be believed ? Finally, as a Lotus enthusiast Mr. Editor, could you get your Lotus facts right, I refer to the issue 22 September, page 11. As I've suggested before, perhaps a few less jollies and a little more editing is needed ! Regards.

12 October 2010

Lotus aims to boost quality should be easy in the short term as they are not famous for their quality but it will get harder and harder to do this without ending up with a price premium on their target cars.

12 October 2010

[quote Ravon]I really detest the way the Editor of this magazine allows himself and the magazine to be so clumsily used as a conduit for Lotus PR hype. We've all witnessed this process endlessly over the years[/quote]

You're not wrong, but it's not just Lotus and nor is it particularly new.

I recall in the 1990s a longterm test TVR being described in generally glowing terms despite dumping its oil all over the car park and losing a window - a whole window! - whilst driving along. Can you imagine a magazine letting a proper manufacturer get away with something like that? Me neither. But they're boys, aren't they, the staff here - they can't help themselves getting carried away, and readers need to remember that.

12 October 2010

From memory Lotus have been quoted as 'aiming to boost quality' since the introduction of the Elan +2 in the late 1960's.

PaulJ

12 October 2010

[quote Ravon]I am a Lotus owner, a Lotus enthusiast, I'm also a Porsche owner and enthusiast. [/quote] Ravon I think you should go to the "who has the best car on the forums" thread. you have got good chances it seems. Apparently there is a watch to win.

12 October 2010

[quote MarkusMorelli] Apparently there is a watch to win.[/quote]

Now I might be in with a chance for best watch. (Heuer Silverstone today). Is there a prize car to be won?

PaulJ

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