Lotus Driving Academy

cloud9blue

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Curious as to how many of you have done or signed up for the Lotus Driving Academy. What's your experience and tips to get the most out of it.

A few friends and I signed up for the Introduction class, which includes factory and 2 x 20 mins track driving, using it as an opportunity to experience the car in a closed course environment before my own eventually shows up late 2023 to 2024. I used to decent amount of track days with my e92 a few years back, so I am more interested in learning how Emira handles on the track and seeing the car up close.
 

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I've done previous versions in Elise/Exige. The instructors are brilliant and will quickly gauge your level of previous experience and driving skills. Most of the time they will be saying "push harder here", "you don't need to brake yet" and "you can go faster next time". You'll learn a lot about the capabilities of the car and develop your track skills.

I did Bronze and Silver under the old scheme and was planning to do Gold before Covid stopped it.

It's also a huge advantage to do it in a Lotus-owned car rather than your own, and to do it in the model you've ordered or bought.

The factory and Classic Team Lotus tours are worth doing too if you have time. I think they've structured the programmes so you can do intro on one day and intermediate the next. With the old setup you used to be able to do Bronze, Silver and Gold on three consecutive days - expensive!
 

christophermalex

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I did email about an October reservation hoping they might have i4’s in the mix and they said they aren’t sure when they actually will. Crossing fingers it might work out but doesn’t feel likely.
 
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cloud9blue

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I did email about an October reservation hoping they might have i4’s in the mix and they said they aren’t sure when they actually will. Crossing fingers it might work out but doesn’t feel likely.
auto v6 and DCT i4 are definitely not available for the event anytime soon. i asked as well, since a few of my friends who are not comfortable with track driving in a manual car wanted to come along.
 

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I've booked in on the Tailor Made Advanced later this month. It'll be my first time doing anything like this so wondered if anyone has any advice for making sure I make the most out of it?

I've driven a number of high performance cars on the road before so have experience with circa 400bhp rear wheel drive cars, as well as owning a caterham 7.

My current thoughts are trying to learn how to handle the back end slipping out (as this is something I've never really felt comfortable with) and asking about some advice for heel and toeing, as well as general track driving. But if others have suggestions for someone newish to this, I'm all ears!
 

Joel

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Lucky you on an early test drive 😀
This is pretty much what I'm taking it as, an early and hopefully very enjoyable test drive! Will certainly report back once I've done it. Mines on the 29th so still a couple of weeks away, but I am very excited about getting to drive one so soon!
 

First Lotus

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A friend and I are booked for 13th July on the tailor made option. Always wanted to do this type of thing but always found them expensive.
When it enables me to test drive (properly albeit on track not roads) a car I've ordered, and see all colours except magma (confirmed by Lotus), then there is a enough value in it for me.
I'm so excited already.
Shame we're not on the same day... We're practically identical in terms of experience and desires.
I've booked in on the Tailor Made Advanced later this month. It'll be my first time doing anything like this so wondered if anyone has any advice for making sure I make the most out of it?

I've driven a number of high performance cars on the road before so have experience with circa 400bhp rear wheel drive cars, as well as owning a caterham 7.

My current thoughts are trying to learn how to handle the back end slipping out (as this is something I've never really felt comfortable with) and asking about some advice for heel and toeing, as well as general track driving. But if others have suggestions for someone newish to this, I'm all ears!
 

Joel

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A friend and I are booked for 13th July on the tailor made option. Always wanted to do this type of thing but always found them expensive.
When it enables me to test drive (properly albeit on track not roads) a car I've ordered, and see all colours except magma (confirmed by Lotus), then there is a enough value in it for me.
I'm so excited already.
Shame we're not on the same day... We're practically identical in terms of experience and desires.
That is a shame! I'll make sure to let you know what I find out, hopefully it'll make yours better
 

TomE

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I've booked in on the Tailor Made Advanced later this month. It'll be my first time doing anything like this so wondered if anyone has any advice for making sure I make the most out of it?

I've driven a number of high performance cars on the road before so have experience with circa 400bhp rear wheel drive cars, as well as owning a caterham 7.

My current thoughts are trying to learn how to handle the back end slipping out (as this is something I've never really felt comfortable with) and asking about some advice for heel and toeing, as well as general track driving. But if others have suggestions for someone newish to this, I'm all ears!
Talk to the instructors about what type of driving you want to improve and let them guide you on what to learn/practice. There's a difference between the skills and techniques for fast road driving and for trackdays, although obviously some overlap. The instructors are very good and you'll learn a lot.
 

GetawayDriving

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This is pretty much what I'm taking it as, an early and hopefully very enjoyable test drive! Will certainly report back once I've done it. Mines on the 29th so still a couple of weeks away, but I am very excited about getting to drive one so soon!

I’m also doing tailor made advanced on the 29th! See you there!

My “program” sounds similar to yours, with the only difference being that it sounds like I have more on-track experience. I’ve received coaching on track from a more experienced buddy, and have had instruction from pro drivers on 3 different occasions in 3 VERY different cars, but those were not full days of instruction. I’ve also done a number of solo track days, track-cross and autocross in my own cars.

During the days above I focused on basics: seating position, hand-position, looking through corners (originally I struggled with not looking far enough through the corners), finding the proper racing line, inputs (braking in a straight line before corner entry, smooth on and off throttle, avoiding snap oversteer). I might recommend those places as areas of initial focus for general track driving if you haven’t spent time with them already, but the instructors will obviously know much better than I :)

At this point I feel like I understand the basics of car control / input (although if these are RHD cars I’ll be all screwed up) and it’s more about getting comfortable working up to and playing at the limit (feeling the edge of grip, controlled oversteer, getting on power earlier, courage/commitment carrying speed through the corners). My heel-toe skill is average at best, but that feels higher up the hierarchy of needs so to speak, on a modern car anyway. My last instruction was only a handful of laps around Portimão in the A110, that instructor confirming what I already knew about myself: I have the tools I just need more commitment (part of that is also not being familiar with the track layouts, and never having enough experience on any one track or with any one Model of car to be comfortable at the limit).

I’m also looking at this as an advanced test drive, while improving on the above fundamentals.

I’ve driven Elise, ND Miata, A110, Radical RXC, Model 3 Performance, 992.2 911 GTS all on track (Plus Exige S240, 981, 718, Caterham 7 and Alfa 4C extensively on road) so I should be able to speak to how the Emira feels relative to those, and can hopefully dust off my unused journalism degree and give this board some sort of review :)
 
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emiraspain

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Excellent stuff. Me too! Any idea of the topics that you’re looking for them to cover?
yes...turn in being soft, 0 - 60 being less than 10 seconds, gear change being not what it should be.... wheel gap apparently, steering wheel thickness
the rest is all up to you guys, learn away :)
 

Andrew P

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Excellent stuff. Me too! Any idea of the topics that you’re looking for them to cover?
I don’t have any fixed requirements- just excited to learn, drive the Emira and feel what it’s like on the track
 

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It’ll be interesting if they have both Touring and Sports setups and you can drive both.
 

Andrew P

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It’ll be interesting if they have both Touring and Sports setups and you can drive both.
I will get as much information on this and all the other important points. Keen to see the colours in real life. My order is i4 in Seneca it stands But I’m sure the v6 manual will impress too
 

TomE

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A lot of people are going to be interested in your feedback on the gearshift. No pressure! :)
 

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