Suspension: Touring and Sports options

Emirahep

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Lotus promised us a further note on suspension choices. But as that still hasn't arrived, here's my attempt. This draws on discussions with the Lotus team, published info and some of my previous posts.

The tl;dr version

You've got two suspension options and one of them also has two tyre choices. A lot depends on personal preferences, but if you want a simple answer...

Get Touring if your Emira will be a daily driver, used for long road trips, you drive on mixed road surfaces (including potholes, ruts, concrete highways with dividers, off camber roads), you're new to Lotus and have not previously had cars with a stiff suspension setup.

Get Sports if your Emira will be a weekend fun car and/or track toy, you drive on mainly smooth roads, you've previously driven cars with a stiffer suspension setup and prefer that. You've got two choices of tyres.

If you'll be driving in mainly warm, dry conditions and want the ultimate dry weather grip and performance then get the Michelin Cup2 tyres. But accept they will wear faster and are compromised at low temperatures (under about 7 degrees) and on wet surfaces. They are a track-focused tyre first, and you can use on the road.

For all other situations the Goodyear Eagle F1 tyres are a great all round fast-road and all weathers tyre (not "All Season" meaning winter sub-zero use too). They are also very capable on track for the occasional track day. These are the standard tyre with Touring.

Neither suspension option will be bone-shakingly stiff or armchair soft.

Of course it's also about personal preference. There will always be exceptions to the above and it's impossible to be prescriptive about all circumstances.

My Emira is for weekend fun on the local cross-country roads, longer road trips and a couple of track days per year. But I've gone for Touring because it better suits my local roads (often poor quality) and the trips I do, plus I prefer the Touring handling on track. The Lotus folks agreed with my choice for my circumstances. I also know people who currently daily drive Exiges and Evora 410s/GTs and are happy to have the stiffer setup in a daily, so are going for Sports on their Emira.

Here is Gavan Kershaw, Lotus Director of Attributes and head of the ride and handling team talking about the options:

For more details read on...
Tom,

Many thanks for the great explanation and detail. I have locked in Touring spec but I am interested in limited slip diffs.

This is an extract from The Intercooler review “There are two chassis specifications, Sport and Touring, which come with different springs and dampers, with Goodyear Eagle F1 Supersport tyres on the Touring model and Michelin Cup 2s on the Sport. The car I drove was a Touring, but with an optional limited-slip differential fitted.”

I never saw any drivetrain options other than Touring vs Sports. Can you shed any light on the comment about LSDs ?

Thx 🙏
 

kitkat

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Great post. I personally am going for the Sport suspension on my Emira but fully plan to get a Ohlins TTX setup. I think both Bilstein setups will be pretty great out of the box though. Should be easy to dial in balance that you want with alignment.

Has there been any word on actual spring rates or anything yet? That is the info I would really love to know.
Touring: F 55N/mm R 110N/mm
Sport: F 60N/mm R 115N/mm

However these spring rates don’t mean anything without knowing motion ratios and sprung vs unsprung weight.
 

VL3X

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Great post. I personally am going for the Sport suspension on my Emira but fully plan to get a Ohlins TTX setup. I think both Bilstein setups will be pretty great out of the box though. Should be easy to dial in balance that you want with alignment.

Has there been any word on actual spring rates or anything yet? That is the info I would really love to know.

Tour spring rates are 55/110nm front and rear.
Sport is 60/115nm.

@kitkat beat me to it. ;)
 

Leonard

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Touring: F 55N/mm R 110N/mm
Sport: F 60N/mm R 115N/mm

However these spring rates don’t mean anything without knowing motion ratios and sprung vs unsprung weight.
I cant believe these are the only differences. And I think more importantly as some have mentioned before inc myself the bushings and anti roll bars must be beefier to account for the difference in ride. Be goodto know all these exact specs tho...
 
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TomE

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Tom,

Many thanks for the great explanation and detail. I have locked in Touring spec but I am interested in limited slip diffs.

This is an extract from The Intercooler review “There are two chassis specifications, Sport and Touring, which come with different springs and dampers, with Goodyear Eagle F1 Supersport tyres on the Touring model and Michelin Cup 2s on the Sport. The car I drove was a Touring, but with an optional limited-slip differential fitted.”

I never saw any drivetrain options other than Touring vs Sports. Can you shed any light on the comment about LSDs ?

Thx 🙏
LSD is fitted with the V6 Manual only. It's not optional, as you can't choose to delete it on the V6 Manual or to add it with the V6 Auto or i4.
 
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TomE

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I cant believe these are the only differences. And I think more importantly as some have mentioned before inc myself the bushings and anti roll bars must be beefier to account for the difference in ride. Be goodto know all these exact specs tho...
The question was about the spring rates. The dampers, bushes, ARB and geo setup are different too between Touring and Sports.
 

Leonard

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The question was about the spring rates. The dampers, bushes, ARB and geo setup are different too between Touring and Sports.
Thats what I mean tho. Everyone mentions spring rate like it makes the biggest difference between sport and touring. Its only a part of it, IF the rest of the chassis is upgraded. It would be worth knowing to as gives a better picture of the overall differences in set up amd how it may feel.
 

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It will be super interesting to find out what sorts of things they also changed in sport.

The pessimist in me wants to think they've only changed the damper shim stack for more high speed compression and rebound, slightly stiffer springs, and slightly stiffer bushings with regards to steering, and alignment. I'm not even convinced they'd have changed ARB yet. Once we get cars and do deep dives we'll figure it out I guess.
 

Tonyshepp

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It will be super interesting to find out what sorts of things they also changed in sport.

The pessimist in me wants to think they've only changed the damper shim stack for more high speed compression and rebound, slightly stiffer springs, and slightly stiffer bushings with regards to steering, and alignment. I'm not even convinced they'd have changed ARB yet. Once we get cars and do deep dives we'll figure it out I guess.
Maybe diff is slightly tuned??
 

Emirahep

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LSD is fitted with the V6 Manual only. It's not optional, as you can't choose to delete it on the V6 Manual or to add it with the V6 Auto or i4.
And it’s the same LSD whether you spec Touring or Sport suspension on the V6 manual ? Thx
 

kitkat

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Maybe diff is slightly tuned??
Sure, that's the idea -- but I'm one that wants detail.

As someone who likes to tinker with suspension I like to understand what the goals were and what changes were made to achieve that goal.
 

JXJ

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Interesting extract from review by Goodwood.com

’But as you’d expect with any Lotus, the Emira is all about its chassis and, bar a couple of reservations, it comes close to brilliant. Certainly, that softly sprung, languid gait that has been a hallmark of street-tuned Lotuses for years is ever present in this Touring specification car. The ride quality is good by any standards, and terrific for a mid-engined two-seat sportscar. The steering remains in the tiny minority to keep faith with hydraulic assistance – thank heavens for that – and is perfectly weighted and geared. You can really feel the road and, at up to the seven to eight tenths effort level you’ll use in a public space, this is a fine handling and riding car, fully worthy of its founder’s initials on its badge.

Even so, the softer suspension is not so well suited to track work, at least when combined with that aforementioned limited slip differential. It rides kerbs weirdly well and grip levels are fine, even on the all-rounder Goodyear tyre. But push too hard and the car will soon start to exhibit quite pronounced understeer, which is not very Lotus like at all. You can work around it, by being more conservative with entry speed or trailing the brake in the apex. Thereafter it can even be made to drift quite nicely, which is another trait you don’t expect from a Lotus. My strong instinct is the car would be better off either without the differential or with the sport suspension springing.’
 

digilotus

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Interesting extract from review by Goodwood.com

’But as you’d expect with any Lotus, the Emira is all about its chassis and, bar a couple of reservations, it comes close to brilliant. Certainly, that softly sprung, languid gait that has been a hallmark of street-tuned Lotuses for years is ever present in this Touring specification car. The ride quality is good by any standards, and terrific for a mid-engined two-seat sportscar. The steering remains in the tiny minority to keep faith with hydraulic assistance – thank heavens for that – and is perfectly weighted and geared. You can really feel the road and, at up to the seven to eight tenths effort level you’ll use in a public space, this is a fine handling and riding car, fully worthy of its founder’s initials on its badge.

Even so, the softer suspension is not so well suited to track work, at least when combined with that aforementioned limited slip differential. It rides kerbs weirdly well and grip levels are fine, even on the all-rounder Goodyear tyre. But push too hard and the car will soon start to exhibit quite pronounced understeer, which is not very Lotus like at all. You can work around it, by being more conservative with entry speed or trailing the brake in the apex. Thereafter it can even be made to drift quite nicely, which is another trait you don’t expect from a Lotus. My strong instinct is the car would be better off either without the differential or with the sport suspension springing.’

I suspect we will find that the Goodyear tyres are not great at high lateral loads because of the softer sidewalls that improve ride comfort and reduce noise. Harry's video highlighted the dB(A) sound pressure difference between Goodyears and Cup2s which is significant (over double the sound pressure!)

This makes the Goodyears great for road usage scenarios and NVH, but not good as a track tyre. Just like most street tyres, at 9/10ths the soft sidewalls will start to significantly deform with lateral load, causing wear on outer tyre edges and reduced tread contact with the road. This will create noticeable front-end understeer through loss of grip.

The Cup2s have comparatively hard sidewalls that are designed to be used on track with high lateral load. This comes at the expense of NVH. Coupled with the sports suspension tyre geometry, I'm confident most understeer at the limit will be much better controlled with Cup2s.

Being a street car, Lotus would have designed the Emira to exhibit understeer for safety, especially with touring geometry. Inexperienced drivers who try to push too fast through corners will be less likely to end up causing a spin that may result in catastrophic outcomes for passengers.

Those of us that are track rats should be able to easily remove any remaining understeer through a simple geometry reconfiguration. I don't see this as a fault of the car, rather a safety-first approach which is hard to fault.
 
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xen

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I suspect we will find that the Goodyear tyres are not great at high lateral loads because of the softer sidewalls that improve ride comfort and reduce noise. Harry's video highlighted the db(A) sound pressure difference between GoodYears and Cup2s which is significant (over double the sound pressure!)

This makes the Goodyears great for road usage scenarios and NVH, but not good as a track tyre. Just like most street tyres, at 9/10ths the soft sidewalls will start to significantly deform, causing wear on outer tyre edges and reduced tread contact with the road. This will create noticeable front-end understeer through loss of grip.

The Cup2s have comparatively hard sidewalls that are designed to be used on track with high lateral load. This comes at the expense of NVH. Coupled with the sports suspension tyre geometry, I'm confident most understeer at the limit will be much better controlled with Cup2s.

Being a street car, Lotus would have designed the Emira to exhibit understeer for safety, especially with touring geometry. Inexperienced drivers who try to push too fast through corners will be less likely to end up causing a spin that may result in catastrophic outcomes for passengers.

Those of us that are track rats should be able to easily remove any remaining understeer through a simple geometry reconfiguration. I don't see this as a fault of the car, rather a safety-first approach which is hard to fault.
Very informative thanks. So it’s essentially:

Sports - For the drivers
Touring - For the drivers (who can’t drive)

😅
 

digilotus

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This is an interesting tyre review that may be of interest.

The Michelin 4S is somewhat similar to the Goodyear F1 SS. You can see the change from understeer to more oversteer between the road tyres and Cup2s and how much more the road-focused tyres deform under heavy lateral load.

 

TXEMIRA

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Sports - For the track rats
Touring - For the road pussy cats
;)
I was thinking (justifying) a name change here.

Sport - rename to Track.
Touring - rename to Road.

Since mine will never see a Track I went for the pussy cat set-up… :)

#ForTheKittens
 

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