I had a 1988 Carrera track car for 4 years before I bought the Elise. The Carrera was a stock 3.2 but with headers, exhaust, and lowered gears. I think (no real data) the Elise is quicker to maybe 75 after which the Porsche is better. I know that at the brake zone at the Glen, after the esses, the Carrera was around 127-130 mph (indicated) before the gearing and around 135 after, while the Elise can't exceed around 121 MPH (real), which is 125-130 indicated.
I have driven my NA elsie against a 80s carerra track car on track. Down the straights once the speeds get up there the carerra was def a little quicker. I guess thats the higher top speed.
The elsie could go far deeper into a corner and then brake harder and later. Lots of time to be gained there.
The carerra was a full on stripped caged suspension track car. The elise is bone stock NA besides rotors pads and slicks. I am not as good as the carrera driver, yet once he waved me by I could put distance on him. And this was on a big track. Lots of time to be gained being fast on corners.
Yep my elsie gets up to an indicated 128ish between the esses and the bustop at the glenn, 121 real you say, sounds right. On corners comming of an apex esp at place like lrp, i never found a lack of power, on straights once you get up into 4th its relatively tepid. For comparison the exige V6 arrives at and given corner a good 20 mph faster and has more brakes.
Of course for relatively little money you can supercharge an elise and add 100+hp, although i like the purity of the na car and for backroads its more than plenty. If youre runnign 3rd and 4th gear backroads you can keep an elise motor on the boil, the issue will be too much not too little speed.
Was on a tightish winding 4 lane yesterday, came across one of those new bewinged V8 camaros. I cant even say I was pushing it too hard, just a great tempo flow, the camaro was like a lumbering bread loaf, and soon invisible. On the highway the lotus wouldnt see which way the camaro went. Horses for courses.
Frankly all things considered, if youre a sporting driver there is no better car than an elsie. Some other cars may exceed it in certain categories like accleration, but overall you cant beat an elise, they really are that good. Drove mine to an apointment this am, what way to start he day...