Do Supercar Owners Have More Fun?? - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-06-2018, 11:07 AM Thread Starter
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Do Supercar Owners Have More Fun??

I love the looks of the McLaren 720. Brilliant design to eliminate the giant side scoops seemingly every other car in this class have.

I could afford one of these, but would never spend $300k on anything but a house.

And, it's way too fast for me.

I'd be much more likely to buy an Aston Martin.



This leads to the question: Do supercar owners have as much fun as Elise/Exige/Evora owners???

Probably none offer the ride/handling compromise, or the great feel of a lightweight, agile car.

But, what I loved about the Elan and 7, and now the Elise was just that sensation.

More important, perhaps, is that the "performance envelope" of these Lotus cars fits our driving rules and conditions very, very well.

Country roads were made for our cars. No skill is required to blast down the highway = less fun.

Where the hell would I go to get my s/car up to 189 mph? Jail is less fun than you might imagine. I tell you that from having spend a day & night.


---

Just parking a supercar would give me the heebiest of jeebies. Geez, I don't even park the XRS where it can get dinged....

Can't imagine running errands in a Ferrari or ~.


If any s/car owners wish to chime in, please do.


=gb=
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post #2 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-06-2018, 11:28 AM
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I had a Ford GT briefly when they were new.

(old post from 12 years ago) https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f162...gt-sale-30228/

Too expensive, too wide, goofy doors, less luggage space than an Elise. Couldn't park it ANYWHERE without worrying. I didn't keep it long.

Recently bought a 2011 Elise, which is more fun to drive, and less to worry about. I love it, can't wait for winter to end so I can get it back out. I also have a 993 Porsche, old enough to be classic, new enough to have AC that works. I like it too.

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post #3 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-06-2018, 03:03 PM
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Between my Elise, my Aston Martin, and my well used Miata, in truth, the Miata is the most fun. Not the best to drive, mind you, but the most fun to own. Why? Because I can actually USE it. I can commute to and from work in it and park it anywhere. I drive it in any weather, I take it where ever I want and leave it where ever I want. No one pays attention to me. Anything that breaks is dirt cheap to replace or fix. Dings, scrapes, road rash, bring them on. It doesn't hurt that it's a small, very light car that is also genuinely fun to drive at nearly legal speeds. I don't plan on keeping it for long, I was looking to get something to play with over the winter, but in truth, the ownership experience of a Miata is really hard to beat.
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post #4 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-06-2018, 03:18 PM
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Our Honda Civic Si is a ton of fun. And feel just fine having it out just now in 18 degrees with lotsa salt on the roads.

200 hp and a six speed manual. Have to work at it sometimes to get some performance. Just right.

Won’t even take our 370Z Nismo out right now, maybe not for weeks. And it’s well under $50,000.

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post #5 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-06-2018, 03:37 PM
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I think it really comes down to how much the car is worth relative to your income/available cash. When I was 16 I would have treasured a Miata. Now, like me73, it would be a car I wouldn't care as much about. If I was a billionaire I'd have no problem daily driving a 250-300k car. $2k to fix a door ding? Sure, no problem!

Of course, ingress/egress and other usefulness(or lack of) comes into play. But the $ amount is all relative. If you haven't seen it, check out "tax the rich" on youtube. They do ungodly things to "priceless" cars, but to them, they're about as valuable as that miata is to "us".
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post #6 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-06-2018, 03:43 PM
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Good point Desk Reference. How would I really know what’s fun for someone with a buncha millions more than mine?

If I do ever decide to swing a new Aston or Mclaren or Bentley or even a nice custom whatever Lotus will offer in a very few years, I’ll treat her like the Mona Lisa and shelter her like a good looking daughter.

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post #7 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-06-2018, 05:32 PM
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I think a useful quote to remember is "most supercars are point-A to point-A cars".

Personally, I've basically given up on expensive cars after being rear ended three times in different cars (fortunately never in the Lotus), by people who were uninsured (one DUI, one commercial livery driver who gave me fake paperwork). I won't even start about the [your favorite expletive here] SUV drivers who seem to tailgate and generally drive aggressively every chance they get, even in bad weather.

Maybe I'll pick up a used Evora once they go under 30k. Then I can sort of treat it as a "disposable" car that some idiot can crash into and (barring personal injury) I won't care about.

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post #8 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-07-2018, 06:22 AM
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post #9 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-07-2018, 06:30 AM
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Maybe impossible to answer since "fun" is a subjective thing.

Some guys have more fun winning a straight-line race...and I'm guessing most of us here don't.

I will say that around here where I live...my Elise does get somewhat of a supercar treatment. Pictures being taken...questions asked at every gas stop...people walking around it while it's parked. And that's been the least enjoyable part of my ownership thus far.

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post #10 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-07-2018, 07:48 AM
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I think it really comes down to how much the car is worth relative to your income/available cash. When I was 16 I would have treasured a Miata. Now, like me73, it would be a car I wouldn't care as much about. If I was a billionaire I'd have no problem daily driving a 250-300k car. $2k to fix a door ding? Sure, no problem!

Of course, ingress/egress and other usefulness(or lack of) comes into play. But the $ amount is all relative. If you haven't seen it, check out "tax the rich" on youtube. They do ungodly things to "priceless" cars, but to them, they're about as valuable as that miata is to "us".
It's partially the value, but there are other factors. The condition of the car, the rarity, the significance are all factors. Have you ever bought a new set of knives so nice, balanced, and sharp that even though they will last forever and can be sharpened, the last thing you want to do is dull them by cutting things? It's kind of like that for me.

I wouldn't enjoy just any beater in the same way. The Miata is actually a fun car to drive. Most high end sports cars are so capable that they are mundane and somewhat cumbersome drive around normally. It's the most disappointing thing to me about modern cars. My Aston is wide, the view out the front and rear are compromised and generally harder to place on the road than a normal car let alone a small sports car. That and most of them don't offer manual transmissions anymore. This is the deal breaker for me for a Mclaren even if I was considering one. I hate that.
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post #11 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-07-2018, 09:50 AM Thread Starter
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I agree with above opinions in that if one was filthy rich, it'd be a different circumstance.

Spending 5% of one's wealth is very unlike spending 25%.

Large cars, even Esprits, don't do as well on my favorite country roads.

Of course, when I got the Elise (after 20 yrs of driving the Elan I restored), it felt a bit like a GT car; my first British car with A/C and 6 speeds.

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post #12 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-07-2018, 06:02 PM
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I had an interesting conversation while I owned an Elise. I was contemplating the switch to a Noble. During a Lotus meet, a Noble owner came out and talked to another Lotus owner.

He said that while the Noble is better in every performance parameter, you can't drive it everyday like you would a Lotus. The Lotus owner argued and balked, but it's true.

When you move up from a Lotus to a Noble, you see the difference. You can't whip the Noble around everyday roads because the performance envelope was so much higher.

You also can't just park a Noble everywhere and not worry about it. Funny thing is the Lotus wasn't that bad. I took it out everywhere and parked it in some questionable neighborhoods visiting friends. I just wasn't that worried about the Lotus.

I miss the Lotus. Its everyday usability is something that was great and it still looked the part too.

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post #13 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-07-2018, 09:12 PM
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I've driven a friend's McLaren 570S, and he's actually a former Elise owner. We both said the same thing -- the 570S feels a lot like an Elise but with 10x more power. The chassis and handling feels really similar and it absolutely doesn't feel like it's carrying an extra 900-1000 lbs more than an Elise. I heard that a lot of former Lotus engineers worked on the 570S, so I guess it would make sense that it'd have some similar DNA. However, it was also a lot more comfortable than my Elise.

When it comes to driving, I guess it depends if you're mostly driving on the street or the track. On the street, the 570S has so much power that it's just effortless. But you'd never use more than 25% of what that car can do, except for maybe very short bursts. And on the track, I'd rather have the Elise. I think it comes back to the fact that I have more fun driving a slow (if you can call the Elise slow) car fast than a fast car slow.

I certainly don't have the skill, guts, or wallet to drive a fast car fast.

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post #14 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-07-2018, 09:49 PM
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Between my Elise, my Aston Martin, and my well used Miata, in truth, the Miata is the most fun. Not the best to drive, mind you, but the most fun to own. Why? Because I can actually USE it. I can commute to and from work in it and park it anywhere. I drive it in any weather, I take it where ever I want and leave it where ever I want. No one pays attention to me. Anything that breaks is dirt cheap to replace or fix. Dings, scrapes, road rash, bring them on. It doesn't hurt that it's a small, very light car that is also genuinely fun to drive at nearly legal speeds. I don't plan on keeping it for long, I was looking to get something to play with over the winter, but in truth, the ownership experience of a Miata is really hard to beat.
I miss my old Miata. I've actually contemplated selling my 997TT and replacing it with a newer Miata multiple times. I haven't pulled the trigger yet, but the Miata was a car that I really enjoyed while the 997TT is a car that I respect. I'm still keeping the 997TT for now because I think I haven't really used it in a manner (long grand touring road trips) that would really highlight the positives about the car.

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post #15 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-07-2018, 10:32 PM Thread Starter
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I sold my TT Supra to get the Elise and was thrilled to do it. Supra had little steering feel until you were illegal. Driving position was slightly similar to being in a well.

It was fast, about 420 hp, and a great GT type car. Stabile as hell at 155 mph. And, to me, a very good looking car.

But...I LOVE the Elise and now (BOE 300) it's probably faster until very high speeds are reached.

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post #16 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-08-2018, 07:11 AM
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I love my Elise both for the ride and for the looks.

But somehow I also really liked my 1986 Toyota Tercel.

I think the manual transmission is a big part of the experience.

So I don't think I'd be truly happy with any of the supercars unless they had a manual transmission. Also the percent of income comment earlier would apply to me. I consider my Elise a consumable car and drive it in winter. I don't know if I would be willing to do that with a Ferrari, Lambo or a McLaren.
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post #17 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-08-2018, 08:05 AM
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I miss my old Miata. I've actually contemplated selling my 997TT and replacing it with a newer Miata multiple times. I haven't pulled the trigger yet, but the Miata was a car that I really enjoyed while the 997TT is a car that I respect. I'm still keeping the 997TT for now because I think I haven't really used it in a manner (long grand touring road trips) that would really highlight the positives about the car.
To me, Porsche is the biggest tragedy in the sports car segment. Any Porsche 911 or 944 up until 1990 was a tactile blast to drive. The 911s and some 944s had fantastic manual steering, small size and relatively low weight. Even the 944s with power steering were very feelsome. The cars were almost as connected to the driver as our beloved Elise.

The 964, while still small, started the conversion of the 911 into the all encompassing GT that the 928 failed to successfully be. It got (significantly) heavier, more capable, and more complicated. While I still get a little giddy when I get into a 993, it's just not the same true sports car experience that the earlier cars were. Then in 1997, Porsche finally introduced new chassis that were larger, more stable, more GT and alot less fun.

One of the most disappointing things to me is to look at the original Boxster concept from 1993. It was the size and weight of a Miata, but with the power and sounds of a Porsche and the handling of a mid-engine platform. It would have been a fantastic driver's car, an Elise without the questionable build quality. In the transition to production Porsche changed the fundamentals of the car so much that while it still looked similar to the concept, it was and still is a GT, not a sports car. I respect 911s and Cayman/Boxsters (owned a Boxster S for a number of years), but I find them frustrating because they aren't what I want them to be.
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post #18 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-08-2018, 06:32 PM
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As the owner of a 2011 NA Evora, with a BOE CAI and Full 2bular Header-Downpipe-Metrallic Cat Exhaust System, AND a 2017 McLaren 570S I can address the OPs questions directly.

My background is in Porsches, going back to my 1st car a 1956 Porsche Speedster I bought in 1965. I have raced Porsches in SCCA National since 1975, and Vintage Sports Racers since 1987.

When I drove one of the 2010 Evora Demo cars, I felt that it was the best handling street sports car that I had ever driven. I promptly ordered a new NA Evora, with the Promise that it could be upgraded to an S car with a Factory Lotus Kit, like the Eliges. That NEVER happened, so I upgraded my NA Evora. I sold 2 rare Porsches to purchase the Evora at MSRP, before the price was dropped, and dealers would deal on them.

In recent years, I have driven several new sports car marques, and never found any of them to handle like my Evora, until I drove a 570S. The 570 S handles just like an Evora, but with 562 HP, vs the 276 / 345 / 400 of the Evoras, in a car of similar weight. Like the Evora, in the 570S you feel Connected to the car and road, getting the feedback that a race car typically gives you. The 570S has conventional Springs, Sway Bars, and Adjustable Shock Absorbers that give you this feedback, unlike the 650S and 675S models that have the Active Hydrolic Suspension, WITHOUT standard springs and sway bars. The 650S and 675Ss that I drove were very comfortable, quick, with terrific flat handling, but lacked that connection. I definitely preferred the 570S, regardless of price. My impressions are also reflected in the written and video reviews of the 570S. The 570S is NOT just a stop light racer car; it is best enjoyed on a twisty back country road, where its nimble superb handling comes to life, with the HP to rocket you out of the corners. I dont track either my Evora or 570S, as I have my Bobsy-Porsche Sports Racer that I race every summer.

To answer some of the other questions / points made in this thread:
Yes, the 570S is an expensive car, and I am careful where I take it and park it, BUT no more so that I do with my Evora. As I told my wife, the money is not lost, and if I sell it, I will not take any more of a loss than I will on my Evora.
The visibility out of the 570S is MUCH better than the Evora, with higher windshield, side windows, and a MUCH larger rear window.
Ingress and egress are easier than the S1 Evora, and the cabin space is roomier in the 570S.
The 570S is very comfortable, and will make a great trip car as well as a back country canyon carver.
There is no back seat area or rear luggage space, but there is a front trunk for luggage.
Size wise, the 570S is 5.3 longer, 7.5 wider, 1.1 lower, and 3.7 longer wheel base, with a weight of 3,175 vs 3171 for the Evora 400.
Although I have always preferred a 3 pedal car, the 7 speed dual clutch is the 570S is seemless in anticipating the correct gear selection in any of the auto modes, or you can choose to paddle shift it yourself.

Bottom line, I like both my Evora and 570S. The 570S is definitely more powerful, and adds an element of speed and excitement above the Evora.
Is it more fun ? Id have to say yes, if your definition of fun is spirited driving; or, even if you are just cruising, and enjoying its creature comforts.
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post #19 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-08-2018, 07:58 PM
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Great writeup on the 570S/Evora and awesome pictures. I'm sure you don't get any attention in either of those.

Curious about your take on the modern Porsche's if you've owned or driven any of them. I have been considering a 991 S as a daily driver to compliment my Elise/Exige (have both at the moment, but will likely only keep one.) I don't expect it to be anything like my Lotus, but as Porsches have gotten bigger have they lost their magic?

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post #20 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-08-2018, 08:23 PM
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Many years ago I dove in the deep end with a ferrari 512 BBI. There are serious drawbacks to a big car, a heavyish car with excess hp and car that requires more $$ to run. Today its just my classic car to drive on occasion and mood. I also never saw to get another modern supercar because after the elise everything seemd lacking in terms of pure drive pleasure, too isolated and numb in terms of response or d to expensive to run on track.

There are also the responses from other road users which are genraly not positive if youre pressing on in supercar.

Pull the same manuvers in an elsie and people laugh and smile at the small cute inocuous car, you are not rubbing their noses in it, just sharing the fun.
As to power the NA elsie is perfect for backroads, if you have acess to open twisty backroads, if not the lotus dosent really shine. The question was about fun, well there is that old saying, its more fun to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow. Or as I like to say, a lotus is really fast but you have to work for your speed.

A 570 or a 488 youre holding back except on track. However the modern suepcars can really be driven around rain or shine, hot days no problem the ac works. Then if a little piece of road opens up, or no one is on the on ramp in front of you, its pedal down for a few seconds. A modern sueprcar is an opportunistic feeder, its comfortable and always ready, you take little bites at opprtunities and gaps when they present themselvs. In thats emse they are perfect machines to run in modern traffic/roads most places. By that I mean you drive "normaly" and grab corner or gap here and there.

In an elise, well its a sunday backroad drive, if you have those types of roads and conditions its sublime. But for most roads and conditions in most of America and elise can be a pain, whereas ironicaly a modern supercar is coseting.

That all being said, given modern traffic condtions, pretty much any car or corssover will do for daily driving.

I find of the fun cars that my elise gets most use, lots weekend drives, and the exige is for track. The other spotrtscars hardly get used these days. Its either crossover SUV to get somewhere, or a lotus for the drive when consdtions are optimal. Like earlry sat/sun or track.

However I was in FL recently where most roads are pretty straight(besides great on and off ramps)and thought of what car i would own there. A Zr1 vette or 570 came to mind. Lots of Hp to dispatch cars, great comfort, great ac, nice stereo, the abilty to cruise slow confortably in 30 mph zones, enough size to feel safe amongst the idiots on cell phones, and yet still the ability to feel the limits of adhesion on off ramps and well as shoot out a cannon on on ramps which is about as much as you can hope for on the road most places in the USA. Plus a vette or 570 is probbaly great for an occasional trackday. You can also drive these cars places like visiting friends running errands or out to dinner. Horses for courses. Depeds where you live, what roads you have acess to.

But if its on road or even track, and there are lots of twisties little traffic etc, you simply cannot beat a lotus for the purity of the drive experience. Well a 997 Gt3 comes close, and even then an exige V6 takes the cake if you can drive one on backroads when no one is looking.

Put it this way, if youre a drivers driver and could keep only one sportscar its the lotus without question, its not even a debate.

Having read the above evora 570 post, well somewhere in the future is a 570.

As for a 991 as daily, probably works great at everything needed for the daily hustle and still more fun to wheel than something else that does the same job.
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