Some basic questions about Elise ownership. - Page 2 - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community

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post #21 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-25-2012, 06:38 PM
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Elise and Exige have completely different manufacturing processes for their bodywork. The Exige is hand laid and therefore thicker and a bit tougher. Elise bodywork is vacuum molded and therefore thinner, lighter and a bit more fragile.

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post #22 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-26-2012, 07:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Know View Post
Elise and Exige have completely different manufacturing processes for their bodywork. The Exige is hand laid and therefore thicker and a bit tougher. Elise bodywork is vacuum molded and therefore thinner, lighter and a bit more fragile.
Vacuum-Assisted Resin Transfer Molding is the term. 'vacuum molded' implies it is made like an RC car body, hot-formed plastic on a vac table, which isn't the case.

It's just fiberglass mat that is squeezed in a set of molds, put under vacuum, and resin gets pumped in.

The Exige clams are made with more manual labor.

We should really stop perpetuating the claim that, since the driveline is Toyota, it is therefore reliable. I would dare say the 2ZZ is one of the more problematic Toyota engines. Wiped cams, oil pump gear explosions, etc. Not to mention the Lotus- caused problems- dying at hot idle return (ECU tune), oil line ruptures, etc.

And from what I am seeing, the clutches do not last nearly as long as you would expect a toyota clutch to last.

The good part is, that when it does break, the parts are cheap. If you can do the labor yourself, it isn't ever going to kill the pocketbook. If not... get some friends.

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post #23 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-26-2012, 07:59 AM Thread Starter
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^They are generally reliable cars though, aren't they? I autocross with a guy who has an Elise that he autocrosses 25-30 times a year, along with doing several track days per year. I think he bought it new and has had it for 5 or 6 years. I don't recall him ever complaining about any problems with the car. I also know a couple of other Elise and Exige owners who autocross, and they always show up, they don't seem to miss events because their car is broken. I've done a few track events with the Golden Gate Lotus Club, and I don't recall anyone having a break down at the track. I'm sure it happens, cars break, but they seem like they are at least as reliable as the average grocery getter.
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post #24 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-26-2012, 09:09 AM
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i have autox and tracked my car and i have never had any problems... note that i did preclude "racing, and slicks" in that case - there are a few preventative measure one should make in prepping the car to prevent oiling limitations, buts thats fairly true for some other wet sump cars as well.

clutch is slippery, doesn't matter on the track much. engine mounts are soft details though that you can live around if your not on slicks or racing.

they are generally reliable cars. i personally do not know of any cars (of the dozen of so i have run with) that have suffered any of the mentioned problems, sure - they do happen though. its not like a miata has never broken down though on the track. blown a brake line or tossed a ring...

maybe my friends and i have just been lucky... proceed with caution on FI kits... (i would just recommend not doing that) sort it if your going to run slicks...

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