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Auto Express (UK) Review of US Elise

2329 Views 30 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  MattG
Auto Express (UK) Review of US Elise
(Thanks to JD for finding it)

Another welcome change is the six-speed gearbox. However, the additional kerbweight is noticeable, particularly under braking. The suspension is far softer, too, although Lotus says the Elise we drove was a US-spec model tuned for uneven roads. When the UK car is finalised, the double wishbone set-up is expected to have been revised.
This is EXACTALLY what I didn't want to hear. I'm not going to pull my order as the car is too awesome with even a soft suspension. Guess this solidifies my order for the Lotus Sport Suspention.

That really pisses me off. We've been here for YEARS telling Lotus not to make the ride softer for the US Market but there they go doing it. I really hope that this not true but I fear that it is.
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Another thing a lot of us probably didn't want to hear:

"In fact, the newcomer is 90kg heavier. Lotus says this won't matter, as it's targeting a different breed of driver."

I sure hope those quotes arent legit because I think they'll find that they're sorely mistaken.

What we'll end up with is a halfbreed Elise that doesnt make anyone truly happy. Cushy enough that true enthusiasts arent happy and have to rework it, and quirky/difficult enough that your average joe wont put up with it.

The average joe just wont buy it which will leave us to buy it and change everything over to a "sportier" set up, pulling out weight and adding stiffer dampers at great expense to us...only to end up with a car thats similiar to the standard UK spec.
You guys crack me up.

Read the other posts in SELOC about the lack of credibility Autoexpress has in the UK, they're about as highly regarded as motor trend from an enthusiasts standpoint.

If this suspension is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO soft why the hell are racers like Andy Mcbarron, who owns an S1 and a Lotus 7 saying the suspension is great (Andy's write up in ReMarque is pretty positive) I also saw his reaction just after he drove the car and he was quite pleased with it.

For chrissakes, you haven't even driven one yet!!
zvezdah1 said:
For chrissakes, you haven't even driven one yet!!
I think someone has an ego problem:p
Too much caffeine! :p
Chris "Whose self esteem is too low to have an ego."
Yea, you guys are a bunch of crybabies.

I'm exactly the market lotus is trying to reach and I'll be more than happy with a softer suspension. It will be a daily driver, 50 mile commute on the freeway every day and It will probably see a track once or twice a year.

We've got a limited amount of people on this message board which represents the die-hards who have been waiting for this car for years, but I would submit that the other 2900 people who will make up the 3,000 first year production will be just like me and will welcome all the changes lotus is making.

It's called "building a market and a demand for your product." If lotus only made track cars they'd be out of business real quick!

It's difficult to believe the impressions of any car mag, as you can always question who is influencing the editing.

So I think we'll all have to testdrive one, that bicker about our first hand impresions about the US S2.

So, where can I find a US elise?
Perhaps after LA show.
Hopefully they'll take the show cars and let them do the rounds of dealers like the euro cars have done. Think this would go a long way to easing peoples minds to actually drive the car before the one they've ordered arrives.

Since you're in UK you could hit up Lotus cars to get you a drive in one at the factory!! ;)

Yep, one lukewarm review doesn't mean much, let's remember how positive the other reviews have been up till now.

And in response to smura's comments: as one who HAS been waiting for years now and exhorting Lotus not to make the car too soft, I'm realizing, now that the car is finally almost here, that we have to face up to reality: U.S. roads ARE crappy, in quite a few places. So maybe yes, the suspension needs to accomodate that. Most U.S. drivers (including me) want A/C, so yes A/C should be added. And so on. (I draw the line at cupholders, though ;) ) I'm probably like many out there, who would LIKE to think that we'll be going out to Trackdays etc., all the time, but in reality this will probably be very much a once-in-awhile if ever thing. So 99 percent of the time, we'll be out there in the real world. Still it's just nice to know that you can !

Just my 2 cents, I look forward to actually reading the review, of course.
zvezdah1 said:

Since you're in UK you could hit up Lotus cars to get you a drive in one at the factory!! ;)

I tried. Got a lesson in drifting a 111s instead. Still a right good time, but even the test driver was hoping to take me out in a US spec. I think he liked the car too!
The factory guys feeling about the car should be a big hint at just how good it will be.

I've heard a lot of the guys who've worked on the develpment of the car are thrilled with the package they've created!
smura said:
Yea, you guys are a bunch of crybabies.
Yeah I know. I wouldn't be a crybaby though if I had an Chrome Orange Elise to drive. ;)

I understand that US roads suck, US commutes are longer, blah blah... But I want and honest to goodness dyed in the wool sportscar. I don't want compromise, A/C, soft supple leather, GPS auto navagation with air ride suspension, heated seats, etc etc. I want handling and speed - in that order. I'm willing to give up a little speed for better handling.

After being part of the Elise wannabes for this long I've really changed what I want in a sports car. If it weren't for the Elise coming to the US I would seriously considering the 7 or a derivitive. I used to prize the M3 or any Ferrari as the best sports car. Now I understand that they are "luxury" sport tourers - a subtle but very significant difference.

Can I get a witness???? :cool:
Now I really wanna drive both a LSS car and a normal Elise. Living in Pittsburgh, I need to know if the LSS car will survive our horrid roads. I also have to make certain it will have enough ground clearance, as Front Clam replacement will be costly.

Is it possible to get a car with a stiffer suspension but not lowered?
This article reminds me of when the McLaren F1 first came out some journalist said; "the brakes are no good, the engine too loud and the car too twitchy." All rubbish. The rest is history.

I think we are buying a piece of prized Lotus history too.

Im just in the mood to bitch today. Im usually the one making fun of people because they're picking the car apart before driving it.

My Navigator has rust along the door inside bottom of all four doors. I never noticed it because its in a place where you dont see unless you're bending over or standing at a distance with the door open.
I looked online and apparently this is a problem Ford has had with lots of F150's and Navigators. Took it to the Dealer today and Ford WILL NOT honor my warranty because Im 3,000 miles over the mileage on the complete warranty. It also has an extra "corrosion" warranty which expires in one month but according to my rep that means they''ll cover it ONLY if there are HOLES in the body and mine doesnt have holes yet. WTF.

Anyway, like I said, Im just in the bitching mood. When I saw that article about the "differerent" market and soft suspension it set me off. :)

I cant wait for mine to get here. I dont care if it has BIG O shocks on it.
Derek said:

Is it possible to get a car with a stiffer suspension but not lowered?
Yes, in fact it would be cheaper to just replace the struts on a non-LSS model later. Leave the height alone.

You can order the car (as far as we have heard) with the wider front rims of the LSS. There is nothing you can't change later to make the car more LSS-like.
I'm actually very encouraged by the review. Please keep in mind they tested the car on a test track with smooth surfaces. Lotus understands what is required for US roads. I grew up in MI and lived in MN for 10 years. Believe me, a 'softer' suspension is very much favored in those pot-hole marked roads.

The LSS is looking tastier to me - especially since our CA roads are pretty smooth....

Also for those of you who want something even harder - the aftermarket will offer some solutions. Don't despair! :rolleyes:

I doubt the LA show cars will be made available for test drives. There are several other big shows after LA that the cars should be sent to. Chicago and NY shows are huge. I doubt Lotus USA would risk damaging the show cars.

They are suppose to have built some just for the show, and I think a few as testers. Cross your fingers!
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