What are the characteristics of a Jalop's dream car? Lightweight, Diesel engine, reliable, driver-oriented/ less gizmos, easy to work on & (relatively) cheap to maintain, manual shifter... oh and it should be a wagon or hot hatch!
Jalops like to cry that there really is no modern car that matches all the characteristics of the one above and how this or that company has lost their way.
Pictured: What a Jalop's ideal car may or may not look like
Let me introduce you to a company that hasn't lost their way. A company that, to this very day, stays true to the credo of their founder Colin Chapman. I am talking of course about Lotus Cars.
Apart from not offering a Diesel option, or a hatch/ wagon (however they did once), Lotus checks about every box in the Jalopnik Dream car beauty pageant.
Lightweight? Yupp, more so than most comparable cars in the market anyways.
Reliable? They have Toyota engines for Pete's sake. They'll survive World War V.
Driver Oriented/ less Gizmos? You need some serious, serious ADD to get distracted by the interior of a Lotus.
Easy to work on & cheap to maintain? Say it with me, T-O-Y-O-T-A engine!
Manual shifter? There's also an automatic transmission available, but don't mention it. I mentioned it once, but I think I got away with it.
Oh yeah, but do they look good?
No. They're fucking gorgeous. They look better than many cars that cost twice as much!
So yeah, these wonder machines, these gems of driving pleasure should sell like hot cakes right? Right?? RIGHT???
Lotus is on the verge of bankruptcy, yet again.
But...but it's like they're doing everything right! Their cars haven't turned into luxo barges! There's no Lotus SUV! They haven't sold out (pun intended), unlike BMW, Honda or Porsche! They even kicked Dany Bahar out, who wanted to change the brand! So what's wrong here?
Maybe the brand has paid too much attention to the enthusiasts and forgot to look at what the market wants. Maybe they've put too much emphasis on tradition and forgot innovation.
BMW, the smallest of the big Germans, regularly shits on tradition. The M3 is now the M4, there will be front wheel cars, the nomenclature makes no sense and the cars have become so large, that if you park one next to the beach, Greenpeace will try to push it back into the ocean.
Maybe car companies, especially smaller ones, need to pay less attention to the enthusiasts and pay more to the public that has different needs. Even if that means breaking with traditions. And once they've catered to the average consumer, they can come up with something like this and say: "Hey kid, I haven't forgotten about you!"