Add lightness - reduce sales. Add weight - add sales & margin?

eclat2emira

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We've all got over the heavier than expected weight of the Emira but I think Lotus made a very clever shift in philosophy and strategy by doing this that has not been discussed very much here or anywhere else...

Lightness costs money. It takes more time to design and it generally uses more costly materials. We seem to have a number of cyclists on the forum and they will understand very well the escalating costs and diminishing gains in pursuit of lightness.

So if Lotus had decided to pursue lightness with the Emira it might have added £5000 or more to the price but i think that would have been a less attractive value proposition. For most people it might have made it marginally more desirable but the added cost would, I believe, have have reduced the number of potential Emira buyers.

What they have done, and if the tests to date are to be believed (but we'll have the independent tests very soon...) is focus on ride & handling and the whole tactile experience including driver feedback and the aural experience.

In this, I think they have found a winning formula by re-examining the whole proposition and how they now balance weight, cost, performance, desirability and a host of other factors..

The soon to be had independent verification of that will be the acid test of whether that new recipe is a winner.

Those are my thoughts, interested to know if you agree or have a different take on it. A successful collaboration between those responsible for product design and those in marketing often finds the commercial sweet-spot.
 

FederGigant

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I think you are right for the most part, but comparing it to the Evora 400, the Emira uses the same materials and technologies. It just got heavier due to the new features it got as well as the more luxurious approach as well as maybe stricter safety regulations. Nevertheless it is still cheaper than the Evora 400 was, especially if you consider the inflation since the Evora 400 debut.
If you compare it to the Evora 410 GT, you can clearly see how they added all the carbon parts there, which reduced the weight and raised the price. I would prefer more carbon parts and less weight, but I probably wouldn't want to pay the big premium that it would come with, so Lotus probably went the right way.
 

Racer X

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I sure hope that it results in a great driving experience. I can say I’m disappointed in the published weight. Driving an Elise, a Miata or a 4C (wish I could sample an Alpine 110) really makes you appreciate how lightness makes you feel like a real part of the car. Gordon Murray just built a V12 powered car that only weighs in at 2,200lbs (albeit at a high price), so it IS possible even with today’s regulations to build a light car. How much would it have cost Lotus to build a car at the 2,800lb mark- don’t know. Alfa was able to accomplish that at a lower price point; who knows. 400hp would feel a lot stronger with 500lbs less weight to push!
 

xen

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I agree, it’s a business at the end of the day. I just wish they had brought both options to market I.e.

Emira - V6 Manual
Emira S - i4 (full fat)
Emira GT - stripped out, low weight, full power

That way purists get their car, speed nuts get theirs and hardcore enthusiasts get theirs.
 

TomE

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The Elise and Exige proved over 25 years there was a market for light weight and great driving dynamics with significant compromises on comforts. But it was a niche and small market.

Then when they tried to go up market with the Evora, they found you couldn't just sell the great handling and a partial attempt at a more premium interior. Adding power and subtracting weight for the 400/410/430 added to the list price but didn't add any more sales. Clearly people wanted something different.

With the Emira they're trying to tackle all those comfort, features and technology requirements they think everyone now wants from a more up market sportscar. They've done that without taking the price out of line with their perceived competition. If they can maintain or enhance the driving dynamics compared to the Evora, then great - but history shows they can't sell loads of brilliant drivers cars purely on how they drive.
 

Nova

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Yea... as I type this, the rear wheel of my 29er is sitting with a broken spoke because the carbon wheelset was built with alloy nipples and succumbed to the weight of my fat ass after 3 seasons of riding. I'm going to get them rebuilt with brass ones.

Beyond weight, what's also important is how the weight is distributed and placed. Lotus seems to be really capable of managing this aspect of car design, to the effect that I would expect a Lotus vehicle to be more nimble than a similarly heavy vehicle from a different brand.

Of course, weight is weight, and lighter is always better given that other variables are similar.
 
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eclat2emira

eclat2emira

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I think you are right for the most part, but comparing it to the Evora 400, the Emira uses the same materials and technologies. It just got heavier due to the new features it got as well as the more luxurious approach as well as maybe stricter safety regulations. Nevertheless it is still cheaper than the Evora 400 was, especially if you consider the inflation since the Evora 400 debut.
If you compare it to the Evora 410 GT, you can clearly see how they added all the carbon parts there, which reduced the weight and raised the price. I would prefer more carbon parts and less weight, but I probably wouldn't want to pay the big premium that it would come with, so Lotus probably went the right way.
Yes, and the addition of those new features means spending even more money elsewhere if you want to compensate for the weight gain they bring.

If those who wish to can add aftermarket (or Lotus) carbon parts later then that lets people tailor the car to a package that works best for them.
 
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eclat2emira

eclat2emira

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I agree, it’s a business at the end of the day. I just wish they had brought both options to market I.e.

Emira - V6 Manual
Emira S - i4 (full fat)
Emira GT - stripped out, low weight, full power

That way purists get their car, speed nuts get theirs and hardcore enthusiasts get theirs.
Totally agree, I have a feeling we will end up with all those options in time, the Emira as it stands is a great "base" to widen out from.
 
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eclat2emira

eclat2emira

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Yea... as I type this, the rear wheel of my 29er is sitting with a broken spoke because the carbon wheelset was built with alloy nipples and succumbed to the weight of my fat ass after 3 seasons of riding. I'm going to get them rebuilt with brass ones.

Beyond weight, what's also important is how the weight is distributed and placed. Lotus seems to be really capable of managing this aspect of car design, to the effect that I would expect a Lotus vehicle to be more nimble than a similarly heavy vehicle from a different brand.

Of course, weight is weight, and lighter is always better given that other variables are similar.
That's a really interesting point re weight distribution - I agree a 1400kg Lotus will be a better deployed 1400kg than others.

And yes, lighter will always be better - Gordon Murray knows what he's talking about!
 
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eclat2emira

eclat2emira

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The Elise and Exige proved over 25 years there was a market for light weight and great driving dynamics with significant compromises on comforts. But it was a niche and small market.

Then when they tried to go up market with the Evora, they found you couldn't just sell the great handling and a partial attempt at a more premium interior. Adding power and subtracting weight for the 400/410/430 added to the list price but didn't add any more sales. Clearly people wanted something different.

With the Emira they're trying to tackle all those comfort, features and technology requirements they think everyone now wants from a more up market sportscar. They've done that without taking the price out of line with their perceived competition. If they can maintain or enhance the driving dynamics compared to the Evora, then great - but history shows they can't sell loads of brilliant drivers cars purely on how they drive.
Yep, Lotus have very ably demonstrated the limited market for brilliant drivers cars!

Sweet spot? we'll soon see...
 

EspritGuy

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We've all got over the heavier than expected weight of the Emira but I think Lotus made a very clever shift in philosophy and strategy by doing this that has not been discussed very much here or anywhere else...

Lightness costs money. It takes more time to design and it generally uses more costly materials. We seem to have a number of cyclists on the forum and they will understand very well the escalating costs and diminishing gains in pursuit of lightness.

So if Lotus had decided to pursue lightness with the Emira it might have added £5000 or more to the price but i think that would have been a less attractive value proposition. For most people it might have made it marginally more desirable but the added cost would, I believe, have have reduced the number of potential Emira buyers.

What they have done, and if the tests to date are to be believed (but we'll have the independent tests very soon...) is focus on ride & handling and the whole tactile experience including driver feedback and the aural experience.

In this, I think they have found a winning formula by re-examining the whole proposition and how they now balance weight, cost, performance, desirability and a host of other factors..

The soon to be had independent verification of that will be the acid test of whether that new recipe is a winner.

Those are my thoughts, interested to know if you agree or have a different take on it. A successful collaboration between those responsible for product design and those in marketing often finds the commercial sweet-spot.
This seems rather astute. So many months into this Reveal and Launch I'm surprised it hasn't arisen sooner. Then again we've had much time to ponder. Bring on the reviews!
 
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eclat2emira

eclat2emira

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This seems rather astute. So many months into this Reveal and Launch I'm surprised it hasn't arisen sooner. Then again we've had much time to ponder. Bring on the reviews!
Thank you, this has been in my head since soon after the launch, it's kind of like they have grown up and realised what they need to do if they want to be more than a very small niche player, albeit one that is world class at what they do.
 

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Yea... as I type this, the rear wheel of my 29er is sitting with a broken spoke because the carbon wheelset was built with alloy nipples and succumbed to the weight of my fat ass after 3 seasons of riding. I'm going to get them rebuilt with brass ones.

Beyond weight, what's also important is how the weight is distributed and placed. Lotus seems to be really capable of managing this aspect of car design, to the effect that I would expect a Lotus vehicle to be more nimble than a similarly heavy vehicle from a different brand.

Of course, weight is weight, and lighter is always better given that other variables are similar.
On that last point........
#For-the-dieters
 
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