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post #61 of 76 (permalink) Old 01-30-2019, 09:28 AM
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It was mostly after reading glowing reviews of Elises on the Ferrari forums that I had the epiphany: All of those cars, as amazing as they are, are compromised. They have to be comfy, luxurious, quiet, have a good stereo, power top, etc. and that is why they weigh 50-90% more than the Elise and are as big as my E90 M3 daily. In trying to appeal to a mass market, in many ways those cars are diluted and not as pure as the uncompromising Elise.
This.

This is why I didn't buy something else. I was looking hard at an Abarth Fiata (Fiat 124 Spider), but it just wasn't different enough from my venerable DD convertible Celica to justify the purchase. I wanted the simple, connected driving experience my Fiat X 1/9 had, except done better and without the compromises corporate parts bins bring.

With the Elise I got all of that. And nothing else. I sometimes wish that there was a little more room behind the seats, because I used to stash things back there on the X when carrying a passenger. I very rarely wish for a bigger or second boot. The single-mindedness of the car means that other things are sacrificed. That's OK. A scalpel makes a bad steak knife and a terrible hatchet. Use the tool for its designed job and enjoy its optimization.

I embraced its singular focus before I bought the car, and I have yet to regret the purchase...was out visiting with it last night, in fact, discovering another Easter egg.
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post #62 of 76 (permalink) Old 01-31-2019, 06:28 AM
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The problem I see is that for every 06 for sale, there are 10 times more 05's. Based on my budget (low $30's) the 05 is almost inevitable for me unless I can find a good 06 that is in budget.
The reason I asked is because the differences between the 05 and 06 are mainly very minor cosmetic items, and they don't use a throttle cable. So if there's something that makes it much better, I'd like to understand what that is. But there's been no response.
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post #63 of 76 (permalink) Old 01-31-2019, 07:48 AM
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I have a 05.. but driven an 06 and 07.. they feel the same, from throttle to driving characteristics
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post #64 of 76 (permalink) Old 01-31-2019, 12:37 PM
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My 05 had problems with the steering rack, AC, oil coolers, and ABS. The 06 has had none of those issues plus it has LED tail lights and drive by wire.

O6 Elise Full Lotus Sport Ohlins Suspension Upgrade, VF Stage 2
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post #65 of 76 (permalink) Old 01-31-2019, 01:23 PM
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My 05 had problems with the steering rack, AC, oil coolers, and ABS. The 06 has had none of those issues plus it has LED tail lights and drive by wire.
I see. However, the steering rack, AC, oil coolers and ABS are the same part numbers between 05 and 06.
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post #66 of 76 (permalink) Old 01-31-2019, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by LesAlbin View Post
My 05 had problems with the steering rack, AC, oil coolers, and ABS. The 06 has had none of those issues plus it has LED tail lights and drive by wire.
LED tail easy to obtain, or better yet get a set from GRP
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post #67 of 76 (permalink) Old 02-01-2019, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by LesAlbin View Post
My 05 had problems with the steering rack, AC, oil coolers, and ABS. The 06 has had none of those issues plus it has LED tail lights and drive by wire.
  • Steering rack issues really seem to be car-by-car. As another reader pointed out, it's the same part number.
  • A/C problems are a legitimate beef if they haven't already been fixed. That said, an '05 is a 13-14 year old car. Anything needs A/C work by then, anyway. I'd file this one under 'inspect the particular car and decide.'
  • Oil Coolers - the TSB for the hose fittings kept moving the end date later and later. Later than '05 models are definitely not free of this concern unless they've had the TSB work performed
  • ABS also looks like a car-by-car issue. Some had it, many didn't. See also CDL module issues and broken shifters.

Taillights: I happen to be something of a Luddite in that I like that I can replace a dead taillight bulb for a buck anywhere on the planet. I probably will go to plug-into-the-bulb-socket LEDs for the brake lights (because of the improved response time), but that's plug and play on the '05 Elise rear lamps. At this late date, an 05-11 Elise doesn't look like current sports car styling anyway - it's obviously out of the same styling generation as the C5 Corvette, for instance, so I don't really worry about 'cutting edge styling cues.' That said, I think there are some very attractive aftermarket LED rear light options, and if somebody rear-ended my car tomorrow I would consider them VS putting the reflector and bulb lamps back in.

Drive by wire. Yeah. It exists. Unless it comes with automatic shifting, I don't see what it gets me (not that I want auto shift on my Elise either) - I don't want dynamic traction control on an Elise - I don't drive it in snow, and if I wanted lots of hand-holding to save me from my bad driving habits I would have bought...oh yeah...nearly anything else with a computer to manage the car at the edge of adhesion. I know what it got the OEM (lower emissions and better fuel economy) but I don't see what it gets me versus ye olde throttle cable. So I'd file that one as a wash.

Newer ECU (computer), though, is a win for other reasons: tuning is much easier on the T4e versus the T4. I'd consider a later car more carefully if I were planning on big mods to the stock engine. OTOH, tuning is not that bad on the T4, either - we do have vendors who will drop a tune on your ECU of any year, and there are replacements available as well. Given the large installed pool of T4s in '05s (the most plentiful Elise), they're not going anywhere.
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post #68 of 76 (permalink) Old 02-01-2019, 01:10 PM
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Easy to obtain, but not cheap. If they come with the car it's a plus.

I did replace the standard back up bulbs in my 06 with LEDs. MUCH brighter.

O6 Elise Full Lotus Sport Ohlins Suspension Upgrade, VF Stage 2

Last edited by LesAlbin; 02-01-2019 at 01:18 PM.
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post #69 of 76 (permalink) Old 02-01-2019, 01:14 PM
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Keep in mind that the same part number may not be from the same manufacturer. I had one steering rack on my 05 replaced under warranty and another on my own dime both with factory parts. Third one was aftermarket. I understand Lotus changed vendors for the part, but I don't know when. I do know my 06 has not had any steering rack problems.

Don't know if the same applies to the ABS.

O6 Elise Full Lotus Sport Ohlins Suspension Upgrade, VF Stage 2
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post #70 of 76 (permalink) Old 02-01-2019, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by LesAlbin View Post
Keep in mind that the same part number may not be from the same manufacturer. I had one steering rack on my 05 replaced under warranty and another on my own dime both with factory parts. Third one was aftermarket. I understand Lotus changed vendors for the part, but I don't know when. I do know my 06 has not had any steering rack problems.

Don't know if the same applies to the ABS.
05-11, same crappy rack that needs to be replaced with a Titan.
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post #71 of 76 (permalink) Old 02-03-2019, 09:05 AM
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I did replace the standard back up bulbs in my 06 with LEDs. MUCH brighter.
Do you remember which LEDs you used?
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post #72 of 76 (permalink) Old 02-03-2019, 10:26 AM
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If you do ever decide on LED tail lights, consider what I make and the price for this Plug N' Play option. Very bright, unique, and striking design.
https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f12...-exige-448521/
and the videos:
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2005 Chrome Orange Elise, BWR supercharger, TR Motorsport F1 rims and R888s, Nitron NTR40 Single Adjustables with Eibach springs,Sector 111 308BBL brakes, BWR Silent Touch exhaust, CF side scoops, front splitter, and engine cover.
Central Florida
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post #73 of 76 (permalink) Old 02-03-2019, 06:16 PM
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Cool lights
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post #74 of 76 (permalink) Old 02-04-2019, 02:26 PM
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This is what I used. They are pretty bright.



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O6 Elise Full Lotus Sport Ohlins Suspension Upgrade, VF Stage 2
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post #75 of 76 (permalink) Old 02-04-2019, 02:32 PM
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Noticed that the Right Rear tire is mounted the wrong way on the Orange Elise. Should be flipped around to allow water to escape from under the tread. As it is water is forced to the middle of the tread.

O6 Elise Full Lotus Sport Ohlins Suspension Upgrade, VF Stage 2
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post #76 of 76 (permalink) Old 06-30-2019, 01:11 PM
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Oh. I do plan to track the car several times a year at Lime Rock, and possible a few more auto X events as well, but I will be spending most of the seat time on fun backroads either on the weekend or to/from work.
Hi thill, fellow NASIOC'er! Ran into this thread while doing homework on the Elise for intentionally buying one as well for running in A-street for Autox as well as just something more enjoyable that won't depreciate like a brick.

Did you ever wind up purchasing one? Working on the car myself is a little scary to me as well, but I found that smaller cars are far easier and more entertaining to work on (BRZ for example was great to work on).
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