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Thanks for your comments!

I feel exactly the same. I have a '06 MX-5 (miata) and an '05 Elise. Driving the Miata is cushy, not the connection with the road that the Lotus has!
Yesterday I drove a friend's Boxster. Great engineered sportscar, but it did NOT give the thrill that I get when I drive the Lotus!
 

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There's no question about it. The Lotus simply ruins you for every other car out there. There is nothing else like it.:)
 

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Well, I thought we had talked ourselves out of the Lotus for good and went to the BMW dealer. We drove an M roadster and decided it wasn't worth the $ difference (to us anyway) and sat down to make a deal on an S. I think I backed out about as late as you possibly can. I just got that feeling in the pit of my stomach all of the sudden and something didn't feel right. My wife was in kind of a "I can take it or leave it mode", but she wasn't really showing it. I was glad, cause I went more towards the "leave it" side. We left and discussed the situation and decided we both felt like we were settling for something. It wasn't that we were both in love with the Z4. It was just what we liked best for what there is out there to compare it to. I don't want to spend this kind of money and feel like I'm compromising. That's just stupid.
I think we're both more excited about the Elise, but want a local dealer. Maybe somebody around here will pick them up in a year or so. Maybe the right used one will come along and I can spend more time getting educated about them.
I get kind of a bad reliability vibe about the car from this board, but I know it's probably skewed a bit. You hear allot more about negative experiences in these places then the positive ones, and I think bad news tends to have more impact anyway. I own a 2006 Ridgeline that I absolutely love and have no problems with, but if I read one of their message boards I could find issues with it also.
Thanks for all your imput. I'll keep lurking and trying to learn more.
 

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Can the Lotus be a daily driver?

I live in southern California and currently work at home 50% of time and fly to customer sites other times. I test drove the Porsche Boxster and will see how the Lotus drives this week.

My friend laughs and calls the Lotus a toy car but I love the aggressive looks and unlike the Porsche Boxster or Cayman or even 911, the Lotus cars are not a dime a dozen in San Diego. I have a 1996 BMW 3series for my daily driver.

I can decide after the test drive.
 

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mixxalot said:
Porsche Boxster or Cayman or even 911, the Lotus cars are not a dime a dozen in San Diego.
Yeah - it is even worse in LA ( in some parts ) I see 10+ Porsches a day.

davidb said:
I get kind of a bad reliability vibe about the car from this board
Well that's because the people on this board drive them hard and mercilessly. And track them.

On my Honda del sol I had to:
Replace the rotors
Replace the pads
Replace the brake hoses
Replace the bleeders
Bleed the system many times
Replace the master cylinder.
Flush the brake system.

(and I opted for wilwood front brakes ( 4 piston ) )
Other people with "better" driving styles never had to do any of the above.

Can you tell I like to brake HARD?:evil:

The rimsa and the bottom 3rd of the car are usually coated in brake dust.
 

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That's one of my reasons for not getting a Boxster - three of my friends already have them. they're all over the damn place here in LA.
and personally, I think quite a number of people get them solely because they're the cheapest way to get a "Porsche" for bling. (only peeps with Cabriolets and Carrera's get my respect).

The rougher ride, and spartan and small interior of the Elise is enough to keep most of those materialistic folks from buying one. (as those will be the same comments you'll get from them!)
But I just tell them that it's the closest thing to a real race-car, and it out handles every other car on the road.
- and I get more looks too!
 

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The Elise best defines the description of "Sports Car". Everything else in, around and above the price range is trying to be too "plush". But I guess that sells more cars, to more people.
 

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I thought I would just summarize the first 7 pages and hopefully this'll help someone else. (I've simply copied and pasted these directly from what other's have posted). I've broken it up between just caring for your car and things you should remember while operating your vehicle. Please add/comment as necessary if I've missed anything or have anything incorrect. Thanks guys!

Car Care:

*Be careful when you get in an out of the car. Your shoes can scuff or scratch the paint or leather trim. Work on a technique to get in and out of the car. Eventually, your muscles will strengthen and getting in and out will be easier.

*Be careful when you let go of your seat belt. It's possible it could scratch parts of the door's paint section.

*When you open the trunk, watch out for belt buckles which may scratch the rear clam shell. Watch the key and key chain because it could scratch the deck lid. Be careful not to over extend the Boot lid when opening the trunk, it will hit the roll bar cover chipping the paint.

*Gently press the engine cover lid down at the lock to latch it; don't slam it

*Carry a soft rag with me in the car and put it in between the handle of the fuel nozzle and the car. It's fine on some nozzles, but on others the handle will rest on your car and scratch the paint.

I've used an OEM rubber gas flap for 911s for a long time. It is a rectangular rubber sheet that clips around the filler and rolls out of the fender. A rag underneath it may be a good idea on the Elise due to the fender contour. $ 6; p/n 9732 at: Porsche® Parts and Accessories or Gas Bib

*Do not wash the car with the nose pointing in an upward position such as an inclined driveway. This will cause the water to run in to the rear storage area. I washed it again with the nose pointing down and had no problems.

*The dealer should bring it down to the recommend 26/29 (LSS) during PDI but might forget. (TIRE PRESSURE). 28/31 is perfect for the street and 22f/24r is great for the track.

*WD-40 does a great job getting rid of scuff marks/debris/tar marks from the rear diffuser.

*Tell your friends not to hold on to the windshield frame when getting in the car. They usually get in without holding on to it, but they are grabbing it trying to get out faster than you can say something.

*Another item to check upon vehicle delivery and to perdiocally check is the secureness of the battery mount. One of elisetalk's members suffered a lot of rear clam damage due to a loose battery rolling about in the trunk area while the vehicle was being driven.

Car Operation:

*Brake lights don't light up immediately when you press them. The dealer can make adjustments.

*It is easier getting in/out of the car by places the seat all the way back. First time I have ever had to do that. Passenger seat is fixed all the way back already.

*It may take some time to get use to your point of view, especially when pulling up to larger cars in traffic.

*Take step inclines or speed bumps either slowly or at an angle. If you scratch the clam shell, it could be very costly.

*Don't leave your key in the ignition or leave it in the accessory position for too long. It may drain the battery.

*The Elise has a short wheel base and little steering inputs translate to large directional changes. The Elise steers very quickly.

*Let the car warm up adequately (until a temperature number reads in the digital display) before getting on the car and going into the second cam.

Until the car is warmed up the red shift light has a lower RPM limit (varies 5000-6000 RPM) for each gear. So try not operate the engine at RPMs higher than when the light comes on. This will restrict operation into the second cam.

I would not get into the second cam until at normal operational temperature which seems to be 186 degrees in my car with ambient temps in the 40s and 50s.

*Idling. The Elise's ECU needs to "learn" the atmosphere. So, you should let the engine idle (about 10 to 15 seconds) when you start and stop the engine.

This helps reduce or eliminate an unstable idle because the engine learns how to adjust to standing still (as opposed to being in the driving rpm range).

*And, on corners, DON'T LIFT, DON'T LIFT, DON'T LIFT

*Adjust your headlights upwards, both beams. Everyone I know had to do this and it makes a significant diff.

*Drive with your finger on the horn button in traffic. Yes, you will inadvertently honk once or twice.

*Get a better horn; do a search.

*Notice how often you can't see the faces of large truck, SUV, semi drivers. You know that means they cannot see you. Get multivex mirrors and eliminate the blind spot. In the meantime, adjust your mirrors to angle behind the pass seat, i.e. so you can't see any of yourself. Do not count on other drivers seeing you - think ahead and take into account that they might not see you, be distracted; don't expect you to stop that quickly etc.

*As with any car with great brakes...make sure you KNOW how close the guy behind you is...because, odds are...his car cant ''break'' nearly as fast as yours...
 

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These are all great notes -- thank you so very much - I just picked up my 07 Elise last friday -- I can't get over how fantastic it is and I am curious as to why there aren't many of these around here in Toronto. It's like a no brainer -- "sexy beast" is how it was described to me by a buddy who drove in it with me over the weekend.
 

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you're all very helpful:rolleyes:
 

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Find a highly recommended Lotus experienced body shop near you and visit them. Meet the owner.

It feels alot better knowing there is somewhere to take your car for a lower front clam scrape on a steep driveway or worse...:)
 

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Well, I thought we had talked ourselves out of the Lotus for good and went to the BMW dealer. We drove an M roadster and decided it wasn't worth the $ difference (to us anyway) and sat down to make a deal on an S. I think I backed out about as late as you possibly can. I just got that feeling in the pit of my stomach all of the sudden and something didn't feel right. My wife was in kind of a "I can take it or leave it mode", but she wasn't really showing it. I was glad, cause I went more towards the "leave it" side. We left and discussed the situation and decided we both felt like we were settling for something. It wasn't that we were both in love with the Z4. It was just what we liked best for what there is out there to compare it to. I don't want to spend this kind of money and feel like I'm compromising. That's just stupid.
I think we're both more excited about the Elise, but want a local dealer. Maybe somebody around here will pick them up in a year or so. Maybe the right used one will come along and I can spend more time getting educated about them.
I get kind of a bad reliability vibe about the car from this board, but I know it's probably skewed a bit. You hear allot more about negative experiences in these places then the positive ones, and I think bad news tends to have more impact anyway. I own a 2006 Ridgeline that I absolutely love and have no problems with, but if I read one of their message boards I could find issues with it also.
Thanks for all your imput. I'll keep lurking and trying to learn more.

We hear every noise in the Lotus and know immediately that something might need fixing. We are fully aware of the status of our cars.

In your fancy big cars, you hear nothing...nice and quiet. A light comes on and reminds you to take your big car in to the shop. And you pay big money to fix that bad boy when the warranty is done.

You look at a Lotus and you know immediately that you want it.

If you don't feel that, don't bother. :up:
 

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Thanks for all the great info here. Very helpful. The thing I have learned about the Elise so far, be very careful when backing up, especially if you are going to parallel park it. And for getting out, I use the grippy part of the seat to lift myself out, no grabbing the windshield, door, dash, etc. Have to remind my friends of that all the time.

I too considered a Z4 (either the current one or the new folding hard top verison) but the cost of a used Elise was much less than a new Z4, and the car handles and looks far better. Amazingly enough, it has been easy to care for so far. Mine is kept in my garage, and covered as well.

Lastly on the battery. Most cars I have owned have needed to be plugged in over the winter or if I wasn't driving them for several weeks at a time. As mentioned earlier in this thread, the alarm system on a Lotus draws a little power constantly. The same goes for my Aprilia Atlantic scooter, though it has a much smaller battery and will be dead after about a week or two when it is cold out.
 

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great stuff, I agree, but w/one adjustment:

2ZZ engine builder on LT says to wait 10 minutes after reaching operating temp to get on cams.

Better safe than sorry?? I do this...now.
 

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I wouldn't say 10 minutes, it may be more like 5. Your car needs to get to proper temp first.
Once you see your temperature show the degree's status on your dash, then your pretty much good to go.

Same thing with the Turbo Epsrit's, you need to wait for the temp to reach that certain degree than your good to go. In the Esprit, you can actually hear the engine "kick down" to rev at first start idle rev.

Bruce :shift:
 

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I wouldn't say 10 minutes, it may be more like 5. Your car needs to get to proper temp first.
Once you see your temperature show the degree's status on your dash, then your pretty much good to go.

Same thing with the Turbo Epsrit's, you need to wait for the temp to reach that certain degree than your good to go. In the Esprit, you can actually hear the engine "kick down" to rev at first start idle rev.

Bruce :shift:
the guy said specifically to wait 10 minutes AFTER you see oper temp. Just because water temp is up, doesn't mean oil temp and all metal parts are up to oper temp.
 

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Fastliz,

I valet parked all through college and may be one of the few people who was a responsible valet, but I was known for taking care of peoples cars because I myself was a car fan. I was appalled to hear that a valet wouldn't let you self park. I honestly typically reserved a couple of spaces towards the front of the beach clubhouse parking just for such people who may want to selfpark. The funny thing about it was the fact that the gentleman who had a McLaren SLR had no problem with me parking his SLR when he brought it, but he also knew me as I had been parking his other cars for years. A gentleman who had a Lotus Elise also had no issue with me parking his car, but people would come in with a Mini Cooper S and even cheaper cars and feel like I was going to somehow ruin it. Then again, both the SLR and Elise wouldn't let others park their cars and if I wasn't there, they would drive through and park themselves. I never reved the engine hard, never drove cars hard, I parked the cars and then brought them back...I sprinted to the car to speed up the process. Its sad that people abuse vehicles/property that isn't theirs. I drove all sorts of cars over the years with that job and honestly don't know of many cars that I haven't driven (driven in the sense of parked and brought back), but my eye has always been on that Lotus Elise, which I hope to one day be able to afford one for myself. I'm new here, but I have been reading for a while...vicariously living through actual owners lives
 
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