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Tire abuser
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Discussion Starter #1
I am very new to Lotus cars and have not tracked mine... yet.

We were watching a recorded episode of Top Gear last night and saw something interesting. They were comparing a Lexus ISF 430 to a BMW M3. They ran the cars on their test track with the test driver (the Stig) and posted the results on the board. As the result went up for the M3 they noted that it was about the same as the Lotus Exige. I understand that all tracks are different and some favor power over handling, etc.. but still I was surprised the M3 would hang with an Exige on what looks like (to my untrained eye) a fairly tight track.

It just made me curious... Does that seem about right, or can we blame The Stig?
 

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He's on fire!
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Why does it matter? The time says it all... it IS right, for that particular track.
 

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I am very new to Lotus cars and have not tracked mine... yet.

We were watching a recorded episode of Top Gear last night and saw something interesting. They were comparing a Lexus ISF 430 to a BMW M3. They ran the cars on their test track with the test driver (the Stig) and posted the results on the board. As the result went up for the M3 they noted that it was about the same as the Lotus Exige. I understand that all tracks are different and some favor power over handling, etc.. but still I was surprised the M3 would hang with an Exige on what looks like (to my untrained eye) a fairly tight track.

It just made me curious... Does that seem about right, or can we blame The Stig?
i think you may be underestimating the m3 a little bit

those cars offer a ton of ability when it comes to performace & practicality... now are they consistantly faster than an elise/exige? i think alot of that depends on the driver/track but its not shocking that they are hanging with a lotus on a track

were not comparing it to 98 mustang GT here
 

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i think you may be underestimating the m3 a little bit
I'll second that. I had a track instructor a couple of years ago that had an M3. When we went out in his car so he could show me how to do it, I was seriously impressed with the performance out of that boxy looking family car...
 

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Tire abuser
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Discussion Starter #5
It does not really matter... But it is not like they ran the cars on the same day. I would think track conditions vary with temperature, moisture and other factors. Also, we don't know other things, like what tires they were running. I was just wondering if people that track an Exige, or even an Elise, would be surprised by that result. I don't really care about the bmw, they still don't interest me but I did not know they would do that well on a track.
 

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Temperature and moisture can make a huge difference. Look at some of the club time trial times. I actually did that when I was looking at my last racecar. I owned class records in my 90 M3 at Lime Rock and NHIS. Looking at the racecar logs, it was a second a lap faster than my M3. Yes....it was a racecar, so you'd expect it to be faster.....until you saw that it was an SCCA ITA car...an 87 CRX. The time trial results will likely show track tire'd cars in the hands of good drivers.
 

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pretty cool that an exige is about as fast with half as many cylinders and not much more than half the power.
 

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I can see what you're saying. Exige is a "track" oriented car... M3 is not as much. Yet, it still can keep up with the exige at the track. I think it does have something to do with the power level.... it's pretty common to see cars doing well with 300-400hp from factory. Even when the Exige is light, it just doesn't have the power. I think a lot of track focused reviews on the elise/exige said the same.... an amazing car for the track, but lacks the power when competing with its competition.

That's when the other crazy guys come in with their 400hp+ Exiges ;)
 

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In the right hands, even an early 90's M3 is very capable on the track.

Two years ago I had a driving event at Road America, but ended up shredding one of my Exige rear tires and had to sit out... an old timer offered me a ride-along in his older M3, and I figured "why not."

The guy drove the car so fast into corners that *literally* on every corner I was saying to myself "don't let my arms flail *when* he crashes... don't let my arms flail... hold the harness...", but he sailed through time after time.

I've never experienced that in any car: the guy was magical with his M3. I'll bet nobody could touch his lap times in any of the cars there that day.
 

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I can see what you're saying. Exige is a "track" oriented car... M3 is not as much. Yet, it still can keep up with the exige at the track. I think it does have something to do with the power level.... it's pretty common to see cars doing well with 300-400hp from factory. Even when the Exige is light, it just doesn't have the power. I think a lot of track focused reviews on the elise/exige said the same.... an amazing car for the track, but lacks the power when competing with its competition.

That's when the other crazy guys come in with their 400hp+ Exiges ;)
I


I agree but to me "track oriented" doesnt have that much to do with speed. It is more about reliablity and how hard the car is on consumables and things like that.


To me a miata is more track oriented than GTR, even though the latter is way faster. How many track days have you been to where giant powerfull cars are suffering from brake fade or high oil temps or going to limp home mode?
 

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Gamera The Atomic Turtle
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it makes complete sense to me, but throw a 300 whp supercharger on the Lotus, and i suspect the Lotus would clearly have the advantadge.
 

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you can supercharge bmws just as easily

actually usually turbo, but you get the idea
 

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I thought the M3 was already twin turboed like the 335is
 

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Gamera The Atomic Turtle
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my point was to supply equivalent hp - just give the Lotus the same exact whp as the
M3 and see who wins. It's not gonna be the M3. And even though I hate to admit it, BMW's are good driving cars. Maybe great driving cars. But the fact is that BMW does stand for "Break My Wallet".
 

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My buddy with a 335i is SOOOOO glad he got a service contract, he would have been out about 4k for the repairs in the past year otherwise.
 

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shay2nak
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IIRC 1:25.1 for exige s and 1:25.3 for M3 sedan (coupe would be faster still)

M3 has almost twice the power and twice the cylinders and twice the displacement.
 

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And about twice the weight.

IMO you can never compare a modded car to a stock one. That's like saying "strip out the M3 to make it weigh close to the Exige and see who wins." Apples to oranges.

The fact of the matter is the M3 is a great car and is feels very "at home" on a higher speed track. Great (albiet heavy) chassis, with big power, and a very dialed suspension. It wouldn't surprise me in the least if it was of similar performance to an Exige... while having tons more luxury, comfort, and cost.
 

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They ran the cars on their test track with the test driver (the Stig) and posted the results on the board. As the result went up for the M3 they noted that it was about the same as the Lotus Exige. I understand that all tracks are different and some favor power over handling, etc..
A track designed by Lotus I might add.
 
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