First Elise: how should I spec it? - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-08-2017, 02:41 PM Thread Starter
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First Elise: how should I spec it?

Hi everyone,

Pretty soon (should be a matter of a few days) I will place an order for a 1.6 Elise, finally fulfilling the promise I made to myself 16 years back when I first saw it parked on the street.
Unfortunately, the closest Lotus dealer (which is more than a 100km away from where I live) is a multi-brand one and he doesn't seem to be very knowledgeable regarding Lotuses, so I hope you could give me some tips.

Let's start with stating that I plan on using the car as a daily. I researched this matter and test drove a 20th Anniversary S3 extensively and I'm well aware of most limitations of the Elise as a daily driver, and I think I can embrace them.

The first thing I would like to ask you guys is if anybody knows what the colour palette for the my 17 model looks like. My dealer only had an old palette from 2 years ago and I'm pretty sure it didn't reflect the actual colours available.
I also read around here that it is possible to request an old Lotus paint colour at the same price as the metallic paint option. Is this correct?

I would also like to know what you guys think about the lightweight carbon fibre seats. Are they gonna be as comfortable as the standard ones? I count on driving the Elise also on long journeys, so a comfortable(-ish) seat is a must.

Last but not least: fully carpeted interior. Yes or no? I do like the esthetic, but don't know if it yields any benefit whatsoever.

The other options I was thinking about are forged rims, sound insulation, black pack, cruise control and the Alcantara interior trim and vents.

Thanks in advance to anybody who will drop a message, this is hugely appreciated.

Cheers
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-08-2017, 02:47 PM
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Most on this forum are in the U.S. We've not been able to buy/order a new Elise for a few years now.

Owned, loved, enjoyed, and now gone:
1969 Europa S2 Blue
1970 Europa S2 White
1974 Europa Twin Cam Blue
1974 Europa Twin Cam Blue
1984 Turbo Esprit Calypso Red
2005 Elise Starlight Black
2005 Elise Saffron Yellow
2005 Elise Ardent Red
2006 Exige Graphite Grey
2007 Exige Canyon Red

Other:
1970 MGB GT
1970 Datsun 510
1984 Honda CRX Si
1984 Pontiac Fiero
2004 Chrysler Crossfire
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-08-2017, 03:07 PM
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Cheers! Have you tried?
https://www.thelotusforums.com/forums/index.php (Join up!)
and of course, the source:
http://www.lotuscars.com (Go to the bottom of the page and select from the Model Range dropdown).
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-08-2017, 03:37 PM Thread Starter
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I will post this on thelotusforums.com too, I saw guys from all over the world in the introduction section and didn't realize this was mostly a US-centric forum, sorry!

Of course, in the past months, I checked every internet source I could find regarding the Elise
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-08-2017, 05:05 PM
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My two cents: Black wheels make every car look better, not just a Lotus, but definitely a Lotus. I replaced my carpets immediately with a durable surface and keep the carpets safely for the next owner. It's not a Jaguar or a Porsche, i.e. it's not a luxury-performance automobile. It's the purest sports car that you can buy, and its very basicness is its aesthetic. But that's just me--I track my car, I drive it every day when I can (New Jersey), it's all about the driving, and I don't want to be vacuuming and shampooing carpets.

Sound insulation: Again, personal preference. I've had my Elise for 10 years now, and I've probably turned the radio on 3 times. For me, the aesthetic experience in this car comes from the suspension and the steering, the sound of the engine, and the appearance. I personally wouldn't try to turn it into a luxury cruiser, but that's just me.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-08-2017, 06:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GMdV View Post
Let's start with stating that I plan on using the car as a daily. s the metallic paint option. Is this correct?

I would also like to know what you guys think about the lightweight carbon fibre seats. Are they gonna be as comfortable as the standard ones? I count on driving the Elise also on long journeys, so a comfortable(-ish) seat is a must.

Last but not least: fully carpeted interior. Yes or no? I do like the esthetic, but don't know if it yields any benefit whatsoever.

The other options I was thinking about are forged rims, sound insulation, black pack, cruise control and the Alcantara interior trim and vents.

Thanks in advance to anybody who will drop a message, this is hugely appreciated.

Cheers
Though we are in the U.S., I think we can offer some opinions on whether we would want some of the options, given that some of us have owned these cars for over 10 years! Overall, I would say don't load the car up with a ton of options as it gets pricey and most of them really don't contribute to enjoyment of the car.

Color: Don't listen to anyone else, just go with tugs at your heart strings. I think these cars look best in sharp skittle colors. That said, I went with metallic grey because I loved the red interior so much.

Carbon seats: Pricey option likely, but could go for these if you plan to track. If not, skip them. Comfort should be about the same.

Carpet: Likely will make the car a bit less noisy and less hot. Personally I think the Elise is not a great daily driver, so I would skip the carpets and save the weight / cost.

Forged rims: I went aftermarket for wheels, but factory forged wheels look good and are light enough.

Sound insulation: Similar to carpet. If you are daily driving and aren't used to cars this basic / raw, might want to go for it.

Cruise control: Never needed it myself, so would skip.

Alcantara: I prefer leather, so would skip, but depends what looks best to you!

Black pack: Even though I have black wheels on mine, I think black wheels are a fad, and my next car will have silver wheels. Totally personal.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-08-2017, 06:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GMdV View Post
I will post this on thelotusforums.com too, I saw guys from all over the world in the introduction section and didn't realize this was mostly a US-centric forum, sorry!

Of course, in the past months, I checked every internet source I could find regarding the Elise
There do seem to be more people from the US on this forum but plenty from all over world. You might get some answers here but very few own or post about the S3 Elise compared to oher forums. Don't take that as unwelcoming but as someone trying to point you in a direction that will give you better results.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-08-2017, 06:30 PM
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1.6L 134hp engine... I'm sure it'll still be very rewarding to drive, but I think you should probably opt for higher hp model...

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-08-2017, 06:35 PM
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I have daily driven my Elise for about 4 years. I have to say I have had stock Elise seats & now I have technocraft carbon seats... the stock seats are good, but the carbon ones are manageable. The Elise seats kind of cradle you in so it just works out.

I would say don't worry about carpeted interior. The Elise doesn't have a cup holder and even if you do get one, the car shakes a lot, so if you hit a bump and say you have some coffee or whatever beverage, there's a chance it's going to shake a lot more violently than your average car and splatter everywhere. Don't ask how I know this.

On another note it sounds like you understand the limitations. Get some ear plugs for long trips if you decide to change out exhaust. Lastly become a great defensive driver if you aren't already. People don't see you down there!

Enjoy your car! Welcome to the Lotus family!
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-09-2017, 04:00 AM Thread Starter
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First of all, thanks everyone for your advices.

I know the Elise is not and never will be a GT. The reason why I plan on specifying some comfort oriented features is because they don't seem to add much weight and they would make commuting with the car enormously less painful.

Anyway: carbon seats are in and carpeted interior is out
I might get the Sprint edition, at this point...
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