Excel (and Lotus) magazine scans

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TrevorK
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Re: Excel (and Lotus) magazine scans

Post by TrevorK »

richardw wrote:
Wed Jun 10, 2020 16:03
So, unless you drive competitively on the track, I agree there is a very good case for driving an older car with skinny tyres in order to have fun!! And to my mind, RWD handling is much more fun than FWD.

Cheers, Richard
Tony Rudd always said that the best Eclat was the 520 with its skinny tyres as it was so much fun.

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rbgosling
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Re: Excel (and Lotus) magazine scans

Post by rbgosling »

rbgosling wrote:
Wed Jun 10, 2020 16:37
richardw wrote:
Wed Jun 10, 2020 16:03
...After all, F1 tyres are hardly low profile - nor have they ever been.
These days that is because the tyre sizes are part of the prescribed rules. For the 2022 season (was due to be next year before the Covid-19 crisis pushed back the rule change) they are changing to more modern low-profile tyres.

Traditionally, before the rules set the tyre sizes, F1 tyres were not low profile because the tyre technology to make low profiles work hadn't been developed. If you wanted a good wide tyre for extra grip, then a higher sidewall was the price to be paid for it.

You are absolutely right that the tyres and suspension components need to work in concert. Both contribute to the stiffness, so if the tyres are stiffer the suspension should be more compliant to compensate, and vice versa. But the behaviour of a spring and a damper is more predictable and tweakable than a rubber tyre, so a suspension designer (particularly in F1) would prefer most of the compliance to be in the springs, which can be controlled, than the tyre, which is less controllable (particularly with a single tyre supplier providing the same tyre to everyone). Of course there are several further issues in F1, for instance how a stiffer shallower sidewall will affect tyre wear, which are not so relevant to road cars.

It's messing with the balance that makes things wrong - so fitting an incorrect tyre could screw up what the engineer was trying to achieve in either direction. It's just that there are many more idiots fitting over-stiff tyres to cars designed for "normal" tyres than there are people trying to fit compliant high-profile tyres to their M3 and then finding the handling is screwed.

Then again, if you are adapting a road car for track use and are happy to screw up the ride in favour of better handling, fitting low-profile tyres may be a legitimate step in doing this - if you know what you are doing!!
Rather contradicting what I said earlier, my senior colleague James Allison talks about the current vs. new low-profile tyres in F1 in this video https://youtu.be/oFuhJoX64MU (quite a long video answering lots of questions, but this is the second question in after about 2 minutes). He says for F1 the current tyres are better, and he should know.
"Farmer" Richard

1990 Lotus Excel SE (Lilith)
2004 Jaguar X-Type Estate

richardw
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Re: Excel (and Lotus) magazine scans

Post by richardw »

Thanks for that very interesting clip Richard - lots of good information and insight!

Cheers, Richard
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tezzan
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Re: Excel (and Lotus) magazine scans

Post by tezzan »

I found another interesting article in my dusty collection of car magazines - a road test of the Eclat Riviera, courtesy of the 1982 Motor Road Test Annual

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rbgosling
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Re: Excel (and Lotus) magazine scans

Post by rbgosling »

From this week's Practical Classics!

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"Farmer" Richard

1990 Lotus Excel SE (Lilith)
2004 Jaguar X-Type Estate

richardw
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Re: Excel (and Lotus) magazine scans

Post by richardw »

Great article Richard! Well done. Good to have a hero in our midst!!

Cheers, t'other Richard
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