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I dont own yet but have been on 2 test drives of a 2008 elise sc 60th. I found the car in the color I want but its across the country or I would have bought already. I like the car, the drive, the feel of the road, a lot of things people say are downsides...

Anyway, after both test drives I drove home with a bad headache. I didnt think much of it until I read some of the noise threads, mainly the one about potential hearing loss. I didnt think it was that loud but I could have been distracted by all the fun I was having.

I dont want to mod the car or exhaust so is the stock car (2008+) with touring loud enough to need earplugs? The sound deadening threads are beyond what I would want to do and dont really give much real info on how much it helps.

Are the newer elises basically the same as the older ones? A lot of the threads I did manage to find talking about this were several years old.

I know: "get a boxster" or "its a noisey car"
 

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...as far as sound, the newer cars are the same as the '05s - i have the stock exhaust and touring insulation, and yes, if you're driving hard or for long distances, it's loud enough to need earplugs...i never use them on short daily drives, but it's trivial to keep a set in the cubby for whenever the whim strikes, no different from keeping driving glasses in my car, really...
 

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Most of the noise is tire noise. The touring pack is a little better than the standard. Earplugs make a big difference to how fresh you feel after a long drive. You can still hear the radio with them in. I put a large piece of Confor Foam under the seat which helps with driver comfort as well.
 

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When I drove my Exige on the street (it is track-only now), I always wore earplugs. IMO, the radio is more clear with earplugs as the earplugs tend to eliminate the buzzing and humming sounds that all of the cars make. Earplugs may seem like a PITA, but they enabled me to enjoy the car much more. This is a unique car and trade-offs between comfort and fun are unavoidable.
 
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