I don’t like the Lotus:( They all look like early 2000’s Hondas to me. The rears are nice though.
Note that the plethora of supercars is coming at the same time that the richest 400 americans saw their incomes increase by a factor of 5 in the last 13 years. It’s very good times for luxury brands.
Interesting reading what you guys think about the Lotuses. I have been a Lotus guy all my life. There has been a big shakeup at the company, and the designers responsible for the (brilliant I think) Evora are out:
The new ones were all done by Italians, who were apparently in such a hurry to design 5 cars in less than a year that they had to copy/paste all the front ends. Anyway, of the new cars, the Elan is the only one that really works for me:
The stance and proportions in the rear flanks are very good. I like it on its own merits, but other than the badges, there is nothing about it that says it’s a Lotus. That probably doesn’t matter to their target market, but it does to me. They are trying to take the brand upmarket, so this car, which is really not much more than a rebodied Evora, will be 50% more expensive.
This is a strange strategy (announcing all your cars for the next 5 years) that will probably kill current sales. There seems to be something else going on behind the scenes there, but nobody really knows what it is.
Scott, that looks like a live shot. Are you at the show?
When I think Lotus, the Esprit (love it) is the first thing that comes to mind, then the Exige (also love it!). I’m not sure where’d I go in rebooting the entire design language of the brand.
Scott: I love the Evora too. I heard that the Evora was in the can for 3-4 years before release, and it still looks stunning.
I definitely see the cut & paste aspect. Also, the Italian influence. They look more like initial Lambo sketches than Lotus.
I heard about the upmarket drift too. Lotus is going to release a front engine GT car named the Elite (at the Paris Show). The bad thing is that it is going to weigh about the same as the competition and be just as plush. Think of an English Maser GT. I think, in the long run, it’s flushing away all of the good brand building that Lotus has done since the Elise debuted in 1996.
What about the Eterne? Seems like an odd direction. Although if Porsche can eek out some success with the hideous Panamera this might do alright.
The design doesn’t bother me, the fact that it’s a Lotus bothers me.
A nice piece breaking down the collection of new Lotus’s:
I dig the Jag, I only wish some of the edgier parts were more rounded. Very nice form direction, though.
The Lamborghini I think has too many curves. I think it should still look sharper. I also think the edginess is more powerful when there is less going on, much like previous lamborghinis.
Here is some opinion from a fav. stop of mine:
My first problem with these cars is that they don’t look like Lotus. The current Elise / Exige and Evora might not be the most elegant sports cars, but they do look striking and unique. The same cannot be said to the new prototypes. They look like Ferrari California (Elite), Aston Rapide (Eterne) or just any design exercises from no-one-knows companies (Elise and Elan). Only the new Esprit shows some quality. In fact, the Esprit was largely shaped by the previous design boss Russell Carr before he was sidelined by Dany Bahar. The other cars were designed by Donata Coco, the new design head appointed by Mr. Bahar. If you remember, Coco served as Ferrari’s design chief from 2005 to 2009, during which he helped defining the shape of California. No wonder the Elite looks so much alike the Ferrari !
Coco is an unfortunate guy. He spent most time of his career at Citroen, responsible for C2, C3, Xsara Picasso etc. yet few people know him. Then he succeeded Frank Stephenson at Ferrari. Apart from California, he was also said to be responsible for 458 Italia, though no one knows how much he involved these designs behind the shadow of Pininfarina. Finally, a call from his old colleague Bahar gave him a great opportunity to demonstrate his talent. Within a few months he penned 4 cars plus modified Russell Carr’s Esprit, built their (non-running) prototypes and made some nice CG videos for demonstration in Paris motor show. Very efficient indeed. Unfortunately, in the rush he forgot the first principle of automotive design - brand character. What makes a Lotus different ? What can be learned from the previous Lotus cars ? Mr. Coco seemed to ignore these questions and concentrated on working on his own, creating something he prefers.
Hadn’t heard that about some of the Esprit being done by Russell Carr. Not sure I buy that, although that car was pretty far along when Bahar rolled in, so it’s plausible. It really has a lot of the same solutions as the other cars. The nose obviously, but also that concave surface under the side windows. The only thing that really stands out on it is the way the rear haunches roll around onto that carbon center section, and that concave rear window.