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I'm #23 in SF. And have been told by my dealership that I might not get my Elise till March. I'm driving a 4 door '89 Camry and it's driving me crazy. Two friends have offered to sell me their two seaters (I guess kids change your priorities). Both have low miles and are in excellent condition. After reading this site about AutoX. I was thinking I could use one of these cars to learn how to really drive until my Elise finally arrives. Which would you choose?

Since I'm very much a novice car guy. I would appreciate your thoughts.
 

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I'd go for the s2k over the boxster anytime, the S2k is cheaper and is a great car from all reports.

Chris
 

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knucklehead said:
I'm #23 in SF. And have been told by my dealership that I might not get my Elise till March. I'm driving a 4 door '89 Camry and it's driving me crazy. Two friends have offered to sell me their two seaters (I guess kids change your priorities). Both have low miles and are in excellent condition. After reading this site about AutoX. I was thinking I could use one of these cars to learn how to really drive until my Elise finally arrives. Which would you choose?

Since I'm very much a novice car guy. I would appreciate your thoughts.
I would pick the Boxster as the engine layout is the same as the Liz. But really I would just hold out for the Elise as I don’t think either car will be as satisfying.
 

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Do you have any experience driving a rear wheel drive car? If not, definitely do this. Better to learn on an old, used car than on a shiny new Elise!
 

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Do you intend to keep the Boxster or S2k when the Elise arrives? If so, I would probably go for the Boxster, depending on the year. This based on liveability and aesthetic features.

Driven hard, it seems like the S2k will teach you more in stock form even though it has a different engine configuration. The Boxster could be quite benign until you really push it hard.

In terms of overall excitement, the S2k is probably going to be better (YMMV). The Boxster S doesn't feel that much more substantial unless you drive the Boxster too.
 

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These are really two different approaches to sports cars. The S2k is low maintenance and easy to drive. You need to rev the engine (unless it is a 2004 model) to gain speed. The Boxster is slow unless you get the S. The Boxster is high maintenance. The engine does well around town and the freeway. Neither of these cars is a match for the Elise. The Elise is faster, will stop shorter, corner better, and be low maintenance. Keep your money and wait for the Elise.
 

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Something to consider ... If you want to keep your costs low try a Toyota MR2 - it is a mid-engine RWD car and a good car to learn on while you wait for the Elise.
 

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Keith said:
Something to consider ... If you want to keep your costs low try a Toyota MR2 - it is a mid-engine RWD car and a good car to learn on while you wait for the Elise.
Buy this one.. :evil-smiley:

http://www.mr2beast.com./
 

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rbullett said:
These are really two different approaches to sports cars. The S2k is low maintenance and easy to drive. You need to rev the engine (unless it is a 2004 model) to gain speed. The Boxster is slow unless you get the S. The Boxster is high maintenance. The engine does well around town and the freeway. Neither of these cars is a match for the Elise. The Elise is faster, will stop shorter, corner better, and be low maintenance. Keep your money and wait for the Elise.
Um No. There was never a single S2K that could touch my Boxster S on the track, no way, no how, not even close. I'd be willing to bet that the Elise would be hard pressed to as well, but with LSS might be a good match. I never had any maintenance issues with the Boxster, unless you call changing the oil high maintenance. BTW, the base Boxster is no slouch either, in the right hands it will easily keep up with or surpass other cars on the track that have better 0-60 times. Heck maybe this guy should just buy a Mustang?

Simple advice: choose the car that is right for you.
 

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Well being a nsx owner and a former s2000 owner I can tell you that a s2000 is honda precision at its best. The car fits you like a glove. The one time I was at the track I had no problem pulling on a stock boxster s. Mr smiley is failing to mention the 20k in mods he had to his car to make it a fabulous track car and no way how way ever could a stock boxster s pull on an s2000 assuming equal drivers. Buy the s2000 and pocket the extra change for a rainy day unless you need the reassurance of a porsche insignia on your car to be cool. Hell buy the s2000, install a comptech supercharger which is warrantied by honda. Push 300++ at the wheels, blow the 911's out of the water and still have 15k to spare.

p.s. dont get me started on reliability and cost of service.. honda is light years ahead in that dept. Unless you have extra $$$ for the service.
 

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I currently drive a '97 Boxster. I'd say I like the interior better in the Boxster. I find the S2000's interior very claustrophobic due to the large center tunnel. In fact, I feel more comfortable in the Elise vs the S2000 for the same reason. The S2000 is more aggressively set up than the Boxster. But for most intent and purposes, the Boxster comes pretty close and is very easy to drive. I thought I could hang on pretty well with NSX's in the curves on the track except obviously that I get blown away in the straightaways. Where Porsches come in tops, are the wonderful engine note and the brakes.
Since the next Boxster may come in a few months' time, it doesn't help resale value either :(
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks everyone for your advise. It looks like there are two very separate camps to this decision. As to the recommendation of an MR2, I had one four years ago and loved it. In fact it's the reason I want the Elise so bad. The two friends are figuring out exactly how much they want for the cars. When that happens I'll let everyone know. And get your opinions when price is a consideration. I'll probably sell the car once my Elise comes. So resale will also be a factor.

thanks again everyone.
 

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lotus reliability

rbullet wrote about the Elise: "and be low maintenance."


Uh, this is a Lotus, and this would be the very FIRST low maintenance Lotus.

True, it's way ahead of other Loti in many respects, but the jury is out on this, even though there are what, 7 years of Euro Elises running around across the pond.

Remember, although it's got a 'reliable' drive train, this particular motor has had some reliability problems in Toyotas.
 

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Actually I mentioned the mods in another thread, you missed that, and it wasn't $20K it was more like $4K. The reason the S2K can't hang at the track is simply torque, the motor doesn't have enough of it. And while straight line performance is similar between a stock S2K and a stock Boxster S, track performance is not. The S2K when pushed to the limits has a nasty tendancy for the car to swap ends, it also takes a superior driver to wring the most out of the S2K on the track and 99% of people on the track are not superior drivers, if so they'd be driving competitively. :)

Back to my statement that he should buy whatever car he thinks is right for him given his situation. There are pluses and minuses of each car, it all depends on what he's looking for. For example if he wants a trunk he can put a golf bag with clubs in, he should choose the Boxster. If he wants a small 2 seater without a lot of power but fairly light and nimble and decent at autox, then choose the MR2, if he wants a combo of something in between choose the S2K, like I said, reasons for each car.

FWIW, the Elise suffers from the same low-torque problem that the MR2 and S2K suffer from. Accelerating out of a turn on the track there is no substitute for torque...


NSXTASY said:
Well being a nsx owner and a former s2000 owner I can tell you that a s2000 is honda precision at its best. The car fits you like a glove. The one time I was at the track I had no problem pulling on a stock boxster s. Mr smiley is failing to mention the 20k in mods he had to his car to make it a fabulous track car and no way how way ever could a stock boxster s pull on an s2000 assuming equal drivers. Buy the s2000 and pocket the extra change for a rainy day unless you need the reassurance of a porsche insignia on your car to be cool. Hell buy the s2000, install a comptech supercharger which is warrantied by honda. Push 300++ at the wheels, blow the 911's out of the water and still have 15k to spare.

p.s. dont get me started on reliability and cost of service.. honda is light years ahead in that dept. Unless you have extra $$$ for the service.
 

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Later Apex said:
The S2K when pushed to the limits has a nasty tendancy for the car to swap ends, it also takes a superior driver to wring the most out of the S2K on the track and 99% of people on the track are not superior drivers, if so they'd be driving competitively. :)
I can confirm that. There were about 3 s2ks running at the autoxes in the club I went to before I moved down here to b'more, and without fail each one of them would spin out on at least one run per autox. Apparently while in most cars you don't know you've pushed it up to the limits until you hit a few cones, it seemed these guys didn't get there till they spun. Don't know if it was the driver or the car, but it was at least fun to watch. :)
 

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Later Apex said:
FWIW, the Elise suffers from the same low-torque problem that the MR2 and S2K suffer from. Accelerating out of a turn on the track there is no substitute for torque...
:no: Hang on there a second... The Liz doesn't suffer from a lack of torque. I have one and can safely say that while on paper it may seem that this is the case, in practice it is not.

As for Elise vs Boxster S... NO CONTEST LIZ HANDS DOWN!!! I've driven both cars extensively. The Elise is far quicker in a straight line, can carry much more speed into a corner and can exit at a much higher rate of speed... If this weren’t true on all counts there would be a brand new Boxster S sitting in my garage not a brand new Elise.
 

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Boxster?? Ummmm....not so much.

While my beloved 1987 911 in the the shop for a few days for some minor fixes (pending sale), the dealer kindly loaned me a 2004 Boxster. It is a gorgeous car, very fast and very plush, but it might as well be a Lexus for all the excitement it transmits. The car is just too quiet. There is no engine noise and virtually no exhaust note. I feel nothing from the road. It is like a sensory deprivation tank. This example has A/C issues, too, but that's unique. I have been in other Boxsters that freeze me out.

I was seriously contemplating a Boxster if the Liz didn't work out. After this experience I may seriously reconsider selling my 911. It is low mileage, beautiful, track-tuned, no power steering, no power brakes, no airbags, no nannies. It is an earlier version of "the purest sports car on the planet." Best of all, it is a sensory-overload. It has great feel, great feedback and that awesome sound through a sport exhaust. It still turns heads. AHHHH, I will miss it.
 

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I'll try being a voice of reason and say neither. Hanging in the six to eight months until you get your Elise. If you really want to Auto X, use the Camry.

It probably won't handle well, but it will teach you a thing or two about control. The fastest and best handling aren't always the best to learn on, and driver skill makes up a big portion of "handling."
 

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Or if you need something fun for a few months without spending much money, how about an old Miata? I drove one that a friend borrowed me for a couple of days, it cost him $700. Not much power, but still entertaining to drive. And it would give you some good auto-x experience in a small RWD car.
 

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Boxster... hands down... much more fun to drive than the S2K. I don't know if there are any mountains where you live that you plan to go up and down them like a bat out of hell. If yes, the Honda will be boring. The Porsche on the other hand will scare you once in a while because of the mid engine layout, especially coming downhill. Plus it looks much better than the Honda, IMO.

Honda = great engine, reliable, not bad looking.

Porsche = Well balanced, good looks, mid engine, very good road holding.

Neil
 
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