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98 Blue M
04-04-2002, 07:49 PM
Before anything else I must recommend the factory tour greatly. They have a person whose only duty is to give tours and to know tons about Lotus. It was great and it's only ₤10 ($15 or so), but I don't think they actually charge anything since they never asked us for our money.

The first part is the Esprit area. You walk around a small area considering the fact it is a car factory. The car starts out as an H shaped frame with an engine and tranny. They they put on the body (prepainted) and start to work on the wiring. It was a little wierd because the paint was all messed up and they didn't seem to care. They said they don't worry about it until the car is all put together. It takes about 3 weeks to build one car with about 6-7 cars in production at anytime. The last 3-4 days is just inspection of the car to fix any problems.

The Elise area is huge and is much more of a proper factory looking setup. The car starts out as the bare aluminum chasis. They then put in the engine and the suspension down to the hubs and brakes. They do the alignment at this point. It's all cool to this point until they put on the body panels. I know that the body is held together by a strong adhesive. But it's a little wierd seeing this. They have a machine that put the door sill panels on first. They just put the panels on to to arms that align then push the body panels on to the chasis. It's so wierd to see this. Not sure why but it just is. I keep thinking it's a model car for some reason. The back pillars and the front window pillars go on now too. All the othe body panels are then attached. The seats are built by hand right there in the factory. They don't buy them prebuilt. The leather for the Espirit and the other materials are there in big sheets. They had a couple rows of standard Elise and Espirit there and another set with embroidered Lotus insignias on them. Really sharp, just like in a Porche Boxer.

They have something like a dyno there just to start up the car and test the engine/tranny/computer stuff. If you opt for the alarm they do this here and it takes about 15-20 minutes to program the keys. Once they are "done" making the car they put the car in QA. QA is 4-5 rows of cars 20-30 deep that spend at least a day or two going over everything to make sure the quality is there.

That was a lot of fun. They had a back parking lot with several hundred news cars of various types there. After seeing all of the colors together I'm starting to lean towards the gunmetal gray. It really does look awesome. It has a depth to the color and the car really does somehow looks different. I wanted to take a picture but photography is a huge No-NO in the Lotus Factory so I wasn't brave enough to take a quick pick. :)

So the trip was worth it. The factory is great and the tour takes you right on the floor of the shop and you can talk to the people that are working on the car. Everyone is nice and the coffee is free. :)

And on a side note they had a Lava Orange Exige (pronounced more like Exege I found out) sitting in front of the building where you go for the tour. I found out it was for a TV show called "Faking it" It's where they take two people and they swap jobs for a day. This guy is a saleperson of some type and they are teaching him to be a race car driver.

majorbonr
04-04-2002, 10:21 PM
leaning toward's lava orange if it look's good on the car. also have you seen the ice blue? i like that too.

TIA

HalcYoN
04-05-2002, 03:01 PM

98 Blue M
04-05-2002, 04:45 PM
Really does look nice. I'm sort of stuck between Gunmetal gray, Yellow and orange. They all look great on the car. Of course my girlfriend hates the Elise and especially hates the Orange and yellow colors. I figure if you're going to be in a car like that you might as well stand out from the crowd even more with a really cool color.

It *really* is a bright orange. Just something about it I love.

cuz if it is, im' going lava orange! majorbonr
04-05-2002, 07:27 PM

HalcYoN
04-06-2002, 12:47 PM
Go Horns. I have a feeling Lava Orange will get more compliments from fellow Longhorns than my Kyalami interior does now, heh.


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