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Discussion Starter #1
I'm just wondering if anyone else has thought about what I have. Looking at the used Esprit market you can get a fairly newer model Esprit with low miles for around the same price as a new Elise. I was very tempted to buy one such car I saw about a month ago. But opted for the new Elise instead. I've heard too many stories of reliability with the Esprit that I didn't want to take the risk. Even though I love the car.
 

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Those cars were outdated 15 years ago. Compared to other sports cars, they are slow and expensive to maintain. Other than the limited cool factor, there isn't any reason to own one.
 

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i can't afford an Esprit...so no. I think the elise is better, or at least it is exactly what I'm looking for.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Joecooool said:
Those cars were outdated 15 years ago. Compared to other sports cars, they are slow and expensive to maintain. Other than the limited cool factor, there isn't any reason to own one.
I dont know if I'd say it's outdated. Still looks cool and does 0-60 under 5 secs it's still aperformance machine. Granted it costs a lot new, it's not so bad for the used price. But obviosuly I opted for the Elise as well.
 

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I've always loved the esprit. I owned an 87 and a 93, both were wonderful cars, the reliability and quality really improved from 91 onwards (one of the positives of GM ownership at the time). Neither of my cars had any problems out of the ordinary.

The only sticking point with owning an esprit is parts availability on some components. The cost of maintaining is quite high as well.> Citroen gearbox (88 and earlier) are unobtainium, the Renault box is getting there!

They're a great deal as far as what you get for the money now on the used market, especially if you can do the work on them yourself.

Chris
 

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My friend bought a used 99 Esprit. It looked great and was damn fast. However, the car would overheat in traffic, the headlights would occassionally stay up when turned off, and buttons would stick when pressed.

The car is from another era. Unless you are set on the Lotus name and looks of the car, I'd look elsewhere. The Elise is better.
 

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The Esprit is a fast car by most any standards. I like the look of it, but it is showing its age. Handling and fun to drive wise I think the Elise gets the nod. Interior leg room/head room is also superior in the Liz. The Esprit however, is better appointed.
You should also know that while it may be cheap to buy a used Esprit, you will likely not save anything on maintenance unless you are able to do the work yourself.

My choice is the Elise… That’s why I’m on the list:)
 

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Ara said:
I love the schizophrenia on this board. Some folks acknowledge, even embrace depreciation when talking about a 1 year old Lotus, while others believe that their car will not depreciate appreciably in 3 years. Ha ha haaaaa...
If you compared the European depriciation rates for the Lotus Esprit and Elise, you would see that the Esprit depreciates at a faster rate than an Elise (in percentage points).

Most of the people speculating about depreciation rates are in the USA. The only model for comparison in the USA is the Lotus Esprit, which invariably leads to confusion about the expected depreciation rate for the Elise..
 

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I thought the Esprit was an awesome car until I spent a track day at Road Atlanta with one. No bragging but my Audi TT walked it all day long, and it was a newer V8.
 

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The Esprit is a beautiful car and despite what others have said on this thread, still looks great. The performance is very, very good. The maintenance costs are the hidden problem. The cars are hand built so each car is different. One can be great, the next a lemon. You need to be careful in evaluating the specific car. The controls on the Elise are much better. Ergonomics were never a strong point for the Esprit so don't expect much. Dependsing on your personal tastes, history will likely show the S4S as being the best Esprit built. Although the V8 is an awsome car (and was the real vision Chapman had for the car), the S4S was a lighter and more agile car and purer from a historical perspective.
 

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Please remember, folks -- the Elise will be the same animal as the Esprit. Although it will have a Toyota drivetrain, the Elise should present the same ownership experience as its big brother.

You're setting yourself up to be disappointed if you're expecting a faultless -- or even durable -- car. Indeed, the 1,000 mile checkup is set up to sort out the little things that shake loose, need adjustment or break in that time period. A Lotus will need more attention than a "normal" car.

Be advised -- if something needs to be repaired that is not under the warranty -- you'd better be sitting down before you hear the price. There are not many sources out there for parts, and those that do have parts are keenly aware of this.
 

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Goose said:
Please remember, folks -- the Elise will be the same animal as the Esprit. Although it will have a Toyota drivetrain, the Elise should present the same ownership experience as its big brother.
There's a big difference between ~200 cars per year and ~2500. There are also more viable overseas options for parts. I agree maintenance will be higher, but I will be dissapointed if it resembles Esprit ownership in anyway.
 

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Those who think that the Elise will be as reliable as "normal" cars should read Pistonhead threads on some of the issues customers are having with the new Elise that has been for sale in the UK for a few months now. These cars to me are hobby/track/fun cars and are much like the Esprit ownership. There's nothing wrong with that as it keeps it rare and out of the hands of the normal American sports car buyer.
 

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I reiterate my sentiments about the ownership experience. While the Elise is produced in greater quantities than the Esprit, it is still a handmade car produced by a low-volume manufacturer. As such, the Elise could not be as fully "developed" as cars offered by large-scale producers (such as extensive durability testing of minor components). The result is that owners new to the Lotus Experience should embrace the potential for little annoyances with their cars -- it's just part of the deal.

Parts availability in the US is still unknown. Although there are/will be several suppliers of add-ons and modifications, comprehensive (those who stock the entire parts list for the car) suppliers will probably be few. Again, acceptance of this situation should prevent any ugly surprises for owners new to the Lotus Experience. Currently, Dave Bean, Sports Car World, RD Enterprises and some others stock Lotus parts (in addition to Lotus and their dealers). Relative scaricity may keep part prices high for some time.

An interesting tidbit regarding the S1 Elise: The car uses mirror housings from another car (a Renault or something). To develop a lotus-specific mirror would have cost more than the entire development cost of the Elise!

I don't want to be a pessimist. I just want new Lotus owners to enjoy their Loti (Lotuses?) without any surprises that they might not have budgeted for. The Elise is still an "exotic" -- exotics can be costly to maintain. If I'm proven wrong on this issue (believe me I want to be), it will be a pleasant surprise. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Goose said:
I reiterate my sentiments about the ownership experience. While the Elise is produced in greater quantities than the Esprit, it is still a handmade car produced by a low-volume manufacturer. As such, the Elise could not be as fully "developed" as cars offered by large-scale producers (such as extensive durability testing of minor components). The result is that owners new to the Lotus Experience should embrace the potential for little annoyances with their cars -- it's just part of the deal.

Parts availability in the US is still unknown. Although there are/will be several suppliers of add-ons and modifications, comprehensive (those who stock the entire parts list for the car) suppliers will probably be few. Again, acceptance of this situation should prevent any ugly surprises for owners new to the Lotus Experience. Currently, Dave Bean, Sports Car World, RD Enterprises and some others stock Lotus parts (in addition to Lotus and their dealers). Relative scaricity may keep part prices high for some time.

An interesting tidbit regarding the S1 Elise: The car uses mirror housings from another car (a Renault or something). To develop a lotus-specific mirror would have cost more than the entire development cost of the Elise!

I don't want to be a pessimist. I just want new Lotus owners to enjoy their Loti (Lotuses?) without any surprises that they might not have budgeted for. The Elise is still an "exotic" -- exotics can be costly to maintain. If I'm proven wrong on this issue (believe me I want to be), it will be a pleasant surprise. :)

Well said Goose. It's kind of like people getting into Porsche's. Upkeep, even on a Boxster is more than the average car. And they made tons of Boxsters. You're paying for the name in that case but still the same guidelines. I don't see the Lotus being any different on upkeep than a Boxster. As far as price is concerned. Exotics do demand more $$$ regardless of entry price. I guess best case scenario is the car ends up too much $$$ for some that got caught up in the hype and it provides some good priced used Elise's for others :D
 
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