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Discussion Starter #1
HI All,
Posted by Mark A of SELOC an exige owner:

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111R driven.......................on track!

At the RMA track day at Bedford today (Less said about the organisation the better at the moment).

Lotus brought along a 111R for people to try out, so felt I had to really.

Power wise it felt similar to the Exige although probably a little punchier at high rpm as the VVT kicked in, there was a noticeable change. Car felt quite composed, and probably the most nicely balanced S2 I've driven (not hard as only driven a couple).

Difficult to push hard as only had a few laps and it was very wet, back end comes out nicely though .

The most impressive thing about the car was the brake stopping power, found myself coming back off the brakes as it was scrubbing off too much. They work very well. Shame the pedal feel is absolutly abismal.

If I was in the market for a new Elise, it would be that no question, wouldn't even conside a K-series now, don't know if I would chop in a S2 for one, much prefer to have a Honda fitted for less money than it would take to change.



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Several people have commented on the brake feel - hopefully it will be better by the time it gets here...Do you know if the car had LSS ?- I would suspect it did since he says "back end comes out nicely"
 

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ivan1 said:
Several people have commented on the brake feel - hopefully it will be better by the time it gets here...Do you know if the car had LSS ?- I would suspect it did since he says "back end comes out nicely"
about the brake feel, also remember that these are people that are currently driving S1 and S2 Elises. I bet to us Yanks that are driving the watered down crap we get in this country the brakes will feel amazing.

-Steve
 

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ivan1 said:
Do you know if the car had LSS ?- I would suspect it did since he says "back end comes out nicely"
No.. No LSS available for the 111R in europe yet.

The S2 LSS can't be used as the weight of the 111R is higher, so the spring/damper rates would be wrong.

Back end came out easily because it was on a very wet track AFAIK (it's pretty abysmal weather here at the moment.. lots of rain..)

Wet track/road + Elise == very easy 'back out' action..

Bye, Arno.
 

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today's review from SELOC:

Just got back from the 111R test drive at Castle. I think my girlfriend's gonna leave me as I have no choice. I HAVE to buy another Elise. Not necessarily a 111R, but after 10 months of that !"£$ing MX-5, it's got to be done. End of story.

The 111R was very, very impressive indeed. Solidly-built and completely rattle free - even over potholes - it felt utterly refined but still had the elusive 'Elise feel' and purpose that no other sports car can emulate. I was gobsmacked by it - astoundingly fast, even from low revs, and the handling and steering feel is just as good as ever. Contrary to popular belief with the so-called lack of torque from the Toyota engine, the 111R puts its power down very well, and when that cam change kicks in, it's demonic. The gear feel is definitely better than the K's with a much cleaner feel when it snicks into place.

I know a lot don't think much of the brake pedal feel and travel but I had no problems with it. Then again, I've been driving the Mazda which has a similar travel and feel and I had no problems with the 111R feel or heel/toeing for that matter. I can see how someone coming from an earlier unservoed Elise would need time to get used to it though. It is a very marked change.

Although the 111R I drove had the full refinement kit, it's good to see just about everything is still on the options list which means you can easily buy a pared-back 111R, which is what I'd buy.

Most importantly, I genuinely believe this IS the car Lotus needs in order to survive. It will steal sales from Boxster/TT owners, et al, who are seeking the same kind of refinement but a more hardcore drive. The 111R does this perfectly. Everything that makes the Elise so special compared to every other roadster on the road is still there (maybe dumbed-down slightly in places) in all it's glory. The VXT is history - it struggled to sell even with all that power against the Elise. The 111R has killed it. Most importatnly, it's killed it with a N/A engine.

I know the hardcore won't agree with the above (softening the car, etc.) but the car can be just as hard and agressive as any other. An amazing car.

I just can't afford it.

BTW: It was great to see some familiar faces again, plus meet a few new ones.
Just got back

After seeing mcmartyp's face when he got out of the 111R, I'm inclined to believe everything he says

Oh, and thanks to Pat for making my Elise feel slower than it already is.


Have to say I was very impressed with the 111R. Power seemed avaialble right through the rev range, but when you hit 6k it just comes alive!! Rev up to 8/8.5 then change gear and because the six speed box has that extra selection of ratios, you can keep it in the 6k - 8k power band. Think it would be a lot of fun on track......

Not sure about the servo / feel issue. I drive another car as well as my elise so I guess I am used to the servo feel, others may not like it. Either way, the brakes did seem to scrub speed off very effectively.

All in all, I was very impressed.

Thanks all at Castle Lotus - all very friendly, and I even managed to put Ralf Schumacher upside down on the F1 simulator and go on to a stunning victory, outbraking JPM on the last corner...

Matt
 

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I love the reviews...

Specially this, quote worthy

it felt utterly refined but still had the elusive 'Elise feel' and purpose that no other sports car can emulate. I was gobsmacked by it - astoundingly fast, even from low revs, and the handling and steering feel is just as good as ever. Contrary to popular belief with the so-called lack of torque from the Toyota engine, the 111R puts its power down very well, and when that cam change kicks in, it's demonic.
Excellent!

I can't wait...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
ANother pretty positive endorsement.

Being gobsmacked is a ringing endorsement by a brit.
Chris
 

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I am not sure I want to know what it means:)
 

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I found this definition online:

It’s a fairly recent British slang term: the first recorded use is only in the eighties, though verbal use must surely go back further. The usual form is gobsmacked, though gobstruck is also found. It’s a combination of gob, mouth, and smacked. It means “utterly astonished, astounded”. It’s much stronger than just being surprised; it’s used for something that leaves you speechless, or otherwise stops you dead in your tracks. It suggests that something is as surprising as being suddenly hit in the face. It comes from northern dialect, most probably popularised through television programmes set in Liverpool, where it was common. It’s an obvious derivation of an existing term, since gob, originally from Scotland and the north of England, has been a dialect and slang term for the mouth for four hundred years (often in insulting phrases like “shut your gob!” to tell somebody to be quiet). It possibly goes back to the Scottish Gaelic word meaning a beak or a mouth, which has also bequeathed us the verb to gob, meaning to spit.

So if you get hit with spit, you are gobstruck?????
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Here's the latest driving impression from Pat Crew of SELOC, had the car at a track day Sat.

Chris

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Castle Open Day - thanks for the 111R drive

I know other posts have gone up re driving the 111R, and I'll come to that in a minute, thought I'd add my thanks to Ian and all his staff at Castle Lotus for laying on 3 111R's, lots of food and drink and the F1 sim courtesy of PG.

Good to see a dealership who are just as enthuiastic about the cars as the people who want to buy them and judging from Ian's plans for the dealership the Lotus brand will play a major role in their expansion.

111R

I waited patiently all afternoon for a turn with Mark Fullalove, having been out on track with him in a standard S2 sometime ago.

The immediate perception is that the car is well built, certainly compared to my S1, and the use of sounding deadening allows for conversation and lends an air of civility, KIV the market this car was intended for at the outset.

On paper the car has gained weight, principally because the engine is heavier requiring, if my info is correct, a reworking of the rear sub frame (feel free to correct me, I may wrong!). Mark drove intially and demonstrated straight from the off the nature of the cars engine, very much like the K series to 6,000rpm at which point VVLI kicks in, the engine note builds, quite thrashy but aurally statisfying and off you go.....

Given that the roads around Stansted were busy, Mark then demonstrated just how good the brakes are, had it been in my car, lock up would have happened. A lot to be said for ABS on damp roads.

We popped into the petrol station to fill up, at which point I had a go at putting on the roof, why oh why didn't they do this roof at the outset for the S1! Very quick to put on as it was chucking it down! Cannot vouch for how leak proof it will when parked up though.

Had a good look around the car while Mark paid up, build quality is excellent, it has to be to satisify the US market and Lotus cannot afford to get this car wrong for the US.

Interior fit is good, interestingly the mats are secured by plastic lugs that slot into the floor and require a small turn to release i.e. no glue! and floor corrossion will not be a problem! a solution for the S1 perhaps??

Seats are supportive, if not a bit fusy in finish in terms of the stitching. Strangly there was no hand brake gaitor considering that the gear stick gaitor and tunnel were all covered in leather. Electric windows were a novelty, feel a bit flimsey when pushed, but again the finish was good and the side glass seal to the rubber seemed far better than on any Elise I have seen so far.

And so to driving. First impression was that you sat marginally higher than in a S1, not sure if thats the same for the standard S2, this may be a consequence of different seats mounted on higher rails, nevertheless the driving position is still superb and familiar to anyone who has driven an Elise.

The gear change is excellent if slighty notchy, a longer throw compared to the short ratio box which was standard with my S1 111S and more precise than the standard S2 I have driven. 6 speeds is a novelty, but you're only ever likely to visit 6th when you are travelling on the m-way/interstate - take your pick!

The aspect that strikes you straight away is the brakes, having jumped out of my S1, the initial shock of having a degree of travel in the pedal takes a few goes to get used to.

Once we had a clear road, I took the car to 85mph+ to see how well it came to stop when you stood on them hard and they felt very reassuring and not as fitchgety as S1 brakes. Braking coming into RAB's as you would approaching a chicane on a track and they provide a lot of feedback, more so than I was expecting and only in the most severe of instances would you provoke ABS to kick in.

The actual engine is as everyone as described, anything below 6,000 in any gear and it feels like a standard S2, anything above and a smile appears.... It caught me out though when I went to overtake, as I thought 3rd, as I would in my car would be sufficient to get by, when I should have dropped to 2nd. It revs very freely and throttle response is superb compared to my S1, a little light on the speedo comes on to tell you that it might be an idea to change, somewhere around 8,500.

Suspension is again superb, not the conditions or circumstances to provoke it fully, but felt even more planted than a standard S2. Tyres maybe a bone of contention for the US market, the Potenzas that come across from the standard S2 are superb for day to day use on UK roads. It appears however that the US Yoko specced tyres have a softer shoulder and more give, the idea being that they will be more compliant for pothholed US roads, not sure of the logic there given the state of UK roads!!! I know a lot of the US cars being ordered are coming with the Sports pack which gives them the A048's, they will see a noticable difference in grip between the two!!!

Overall impressions are of a car that sits happily in two camps, it has to if its to crack the US market, refined enough in character to attract owners of Boxsters/TT's/ etc but with bags of Lotus character once you unleash the engine and explore its handling.

Our Us members maybe bemoaning the fact that they have not had there cars yet, but I believe thats for a good reason. Any build quality gremlins will have hopefully been ironed out of the production line by the time the US cars start pitching up. The last thing Lotus needs is relability problems with a new car launch.

As it stands the car is spot one for the market intended, given the success the car will no doubt be it will lead onto the more hard core developments that have come about later in the standard S2's life as in the 135R. For those wanting a more hard core look there is the new Exige, however, I suspect that it may end up going down the same route that I did with the S1 and find itself with a supercharger.......


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nice review, although when I read his concerns about the Yokohama tires included with the standard suspension it again makes me second guess myself as to whether I should have gone with LSS (I didn't).
 

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Discussion Starter #14
You can always order the tires fitted to the UK euro cars and ship em in.
Or would it be possible to order them from the big tire warehouses here?
Chris
 
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