Unfortunately in the brilliance that produced the Elise the Lotus engineers over looked the fact that the only contact the driver will have with the car, under favorable conditions, is with his seat, feet and hands. As everyone is aware the pedals are a mess, the brakes are over boosted, the shifters have been recalled and the seats, for many, are like sitting on plywood. Even with these over sights the car is wonderful to drive.
Lotus did address the shifter with a recall (although the replacement did nothing for feel) and redesigned the pedal box for 06. With no cruise control I found that the gas pedal was cutting into the bottom of my foot after about 5 hours of highway driving. After some thought and measurement of several sports cars that are easy to heel-toe/double clutch I made the following modification.
Decreasing the amount of brake pedal and gas pedal free-play is also very helpful. The height of both pedals can be adjusted. Not that anyone would advocate such action, but a tiny amount of pre-load on the brake booster has an appreciable effect
but is not safe to do according to the Lotus service instructions
. As an aside FTE does not make a smaller vacuum servo or a larger diameter brake master cylinder. With the sensitive brake pedal a little speed provides more time to execute the double clutching.
You might enjoy watching the old movie Grand Prix. That's how I taught myself to double clutch when I was 16 y/o. Proves what a bad influence TV has on teenagers. Once you master the technique you will never go back to "coasting." Listen to the engine as the throttle is blipped
(short jab of the throttle) on down shifts. There is no time to look at the tach. Might try the following: The engine is at 4500 rpm in 4th, apply the brake lightly and keep your foot on the brake the whole time, put in the clutch, push the shifter into neutral, let the clutch out while the transmission is in neutral, internally rotate your right leg so that your heel is now over the gas pedal and with your heel blip
the gas pedal hard enough that the engine sounds like it revs to 4000 rpm, put in the clutch, push the shifter into 3rd, blip
the gas pedal hard enough with your heel that the engine revs to 4000 rpm, let the clutch out, release the brake. If done correctly the car will not jerk and the engine will smoothly decelerate from 4000 rpm
Sounds complicated but can be done in less than 1/2 second. During spirited driving double clutching down shifts to utilize engine braking tends to stabilize the car. When near the limit of adhesion double clutching prevents the car from spinning due to the sudden application of engine drag to the rear wheels when the clutch is let out. Plus the engine is in the power band with the correct gear selected for the exit of the corner.