No Substitute - GFWilliams Lotus Exige Mirrors
I've always been keen to collaborate with fellow owners and tuners to address mutual challenges, problems, or frustrations to make the Lotus Exige V6 platform better. Today I announce one of the most exciting collaborations with GFWilliams!
We had a joint frustration in fixing the design fault which is the Rover Metro mirrors Lotus continue to use for the Exige and Elise platforms. Even the £100K plus Lotus Exige 430 Cup comes with the cheap Rover cast offs!
The frustration goes beyond just aesthetics but also function, typically we found at high speeds the Metro mirrors would start to move inward from air resisting to their brick like shape. Also the mirror glass itself doesn't do much with helping with visibility often restricted and therefore causing blind spots.
We both agreed the Magical Racing (MR) mirror housing was the best design after scouring through other options such as ARP and SPA. The MR housing also came with engineered mirror glass which was 3D curved to provide wider and safer visibility with added blue colour for anti glare.
Its at this point that we both parted ways, I went with the MR solution using a long stem and elbow, GF went with a tuner who had created a stem to work with the mirror housing. In essence I'd gone with a 'because race car' look and GF went for a 'sleeker' visual solution.
My path even though solid and secure still felt 'bolt on' and a bit 'agricultural.
GF had different problems - His first set broke, then his second pair broke!
Fast forward and we both came back to discuss how a better solution could be made, leveraging the MR carbon housing mirror, but with an improved stem which had function and form.
To improve the strength we agreed an aluminium stem would be best to give the necessary rigidity to stop any vibrations at high speed but also the structural strength to not break. Working from scratch GF started sketching ideas...
Sketches soon started to form in to CAD and it became clear GF was getting inspiration from the time he'd spent shooting Pagani Zonda's in his past.
The challenge was getting from a visual design and theory into an actual design which could be CNC machined holding true to function, form, and practical ability to produce. Working with a specialist CAD and CNC house a revised design was created and then finalised before a test sample was machined.
Before jumping into full on stem machining, the decision was taken to machine simply the mounting to ensure a rock solid fitment and accuracy for the OEM bolt mountings.
Mounting passing test! Our first test sample was produced.
The first test piece was machined in two parts with the ball added as a separate 'screw on' part. Under inspection we decided to 'do it right' and the ball became part of the machining.
It takes a full day on a 3-Axis CNC Machine to make one pair of stems. The process is very long but the end result is worth it!
With the stems anodised black and fitted the design passed expectations and GF duly felt the need to perform final testing at Snetterton circuit reaching over 140mph on the straights and reporting zero vibration and a rock solid mounting.
Design - Complete!
Production Sample - Complete!
Final Track Testing - Complete!
Which now brings us on to the final stage of general release to the market.
ALIAS23 in collaboration with GFWilliams are now officially taking pre-orders for the first limited production run!
USA Customers please visit GRP to order
As this is our first production run, we will be limiting numbers for the initial batch, therefore we will be operating a cut off for the first run on the 30th August.
We expect to ship within three to four weeks from the point of order. We endevour to ship earlier but as its our first run we would rather air caution than disappoint.
We will be operating a first come first serve model. This is a custom made to order purchase no refunds are available on this product.
Thanks again to GFWilliams for leading and collaborating on this project!