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the Exige is a fastback coupe with aerodynamic enhancements for more downforce and different (more race oriented) suspension.

I believe at this point we do not know what the differences are, if any, between the Exige suspension and the Elise Sport Pack suspension.

There is no official word on it coming to the US. I believe some on this board already have their name down which seems a bit ridiculous to me but to each their own.

-Steve
 

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From what I have heard, the sport suspension US Elise is the same as the Exige other than the bodywork, aerodynamics, and grill/trim pieces.
 

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Will they bring an Exige over? I think so, but they will not bring it over like it is. There has to be more differentiation between the US Elise and the Exige first.

That will probably happen with a supercharged engine in a couple years. And priced significantly higher.

Is that certain? Hell no. Lotus intends on having three models within 2 years. I can see someone at Hethel deciding that the Exige is not a priority.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Randy, do you think one of the new models within next few yrs might be a Elise body/suspension with more powerful engine rebadged as another model...I would definitely be up for that...although I havent driven the Elise yet(so take what I say with grain of salt), would like to see somewhere near 250bhp!...:)...would also like the wheels/tires abit wider esp. up front to dial out some of the understeer I have been reading about.
 

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I *really* think that understeer is not an issue and if it was for you, easily solved with now available 205 series tires. But I don't think it's an issue.

I really don't have much of an idea about the other two possible models if one of them is not the Exige, but we have read about possible Esprit replacements.

The other two cars will occupy different pricing points.
 

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mact,
I REALLLY think you should drive the present form US Elise, think you'll be quite happy with it.

As I recall they put understeer in subsequent models because drivers were getting in over their heads on the street with the oversteer dialed into the S1.

Personal opinion, the Elise won't be offered from the factory with more hp in the near future, English at LCU said they weren't going to seriously look at the exige coming here as a street car until 6-9 months from now. Also, if it'll come, most likely increased hp and wouldn't be at all surprised if at least 10k higher in price.

We also don't know if it would get in under the elise exemptions. If not that reduces the chance of it coming here. The original exige did not sell well in Rest of world when it was built.
Chris
 

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I'd also like to put the 'understeer' in context.

Yes, the modern elise 'understeers', but only compared to the old one. Many drivers who come from 'ordinary' cars see harly any at all until they gain some experience with the car and then start to notice the effect (in the S1's case they probably crashed the car in this time period :) )

It's in no way comparable to the (terminal) understeer you experience in (for instance) a VW Golf of any other standard front-wheel drive car.

Oh.. And some people also complain about the wrong sort of 'understeer' in the elise because they take a slow corner sharply and then nail the throttle.

Instead of a power-slide (they expect) this often results in the rear pushing the car straight across it's front wheels.. (which they don't expect)

Even the S1 will 'understeer' in these cases, but that's just silly..

Slap on some skinny rear tires and you'll only ever see oversteer, everywhere! :)

Bye, Arno.
 

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I have to comment on the "understeer" issue.

In my experience with RWD performance cars, 9 times out of 10 any understeer has more to do with driving style than the actual car. An extreme example was at an autocross a year or so ago. I was talking to a relative novice in C-Stock, and he was complaining about his Miata understeering. He asked if I had swaybars, shocks, etc. to get rid of the understeer. I explained that I didn't have any understeer problem to solve. He was having a lot of trouble, so I went on a ride with him. He was going in so incredibly hot that he was locking up his front tires under braking and then wildly swinging the steering wheel as he entered a sharp 180 degree turn. :rolleyes: Of course the result was that he was plowing right through the outside of the turn.
I took him on a ride in my car (which is more stock than his) the next time out, and the light bulb went off. There's no understeer if you come in slow, hit your (late)apex, and squeeze onto the throttle as you unwind. It's much faster too.
"Go slow in the slow parts and fast in the fast parts".

The point is, understeer and oversteer are dynamic - they're not the same in all conditions. For optimal handling, you really want a car that is setup to slightly understeer. This allows you to adjust the car's attitude with the throttle. I can't seem to locate it right now, but there's a book called (I think) "Secrets of Solo II Racing" that has the best discussion of it I've ever read.

In short, unless you've driven the Elise and you have extensive track/autocross experience to go with the high performance driving classes you've taken, don't worry about any "understeer" you might have read about. I have a feeling the Lotus engineers probably did a pretty decent job of setting up the car right out of the box. After you've done a few events, you'll be far better able to judge how to setup the car to your driving style. Either that, or you'll realize (after losing to the hot driver in a Hyundai Elantra) that you've got plenty of learning to do on the car as-is. Heck, I've been autocrossing and doing track days for years and I'm still learning tons from a stock Miata!
 

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Yep. Read the review and check the video of me autocrossing the federal Elise at Lake Tahoe. I could create understeer and oversteer with driving inputs on a non-sport suspension car. It was very well balanced.

As an instructor, I agree, most students that comlain about understeer create the condition and often worsen it with additional steering input.

But some cars do plow. Not the Elise.
 

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To say that understeer is totally dependent on the driver is incorrect. I took my mother's SL55 to Streets Of Willow which is a very tight track. It was an unbelievable pig. I'd like to see anyone pull that car around a track without experiencing a considerable amount of understeer.

However, you do have a valid point. It brings to mind the Top Gear (i think) episode with the original S2 Elise when the driver on the show kept getting lots of understeer and then Lotus's suspension engineer came out and showed him how to really drive it.

-Steve
 

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Toss in my 2 cents...

Does the Elise need 250hp?
I don't know a racer who won't take more power. But, seriously this car is QUICK. You can carry so much speed through corners and transients that your corner exits will be 10+mph faster. The 190hp we are getting is more than ample.

Understeer?
Randy correctly pointed out that with car we drove at the WCLM the driver was able to get the car to rotate and change direction with a quick simple input to the steering or throttle. That's FAR from terminal understeer/oversteer where the driver gets the feeling that they are just there for the ride and doesn't have control over where the car is pointed.

Watch Randy's vid again (on a thread here or on the GGLC/WCLM site) and you'll see the Elise start to over rotate and then instantly (almost too fast) respond to Randy's steering correction. It's what you'd want a GOOD car to do.

Kiyoshi
 

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offroadr35 said:
To say that understeer is totally dependent on the driver is incorrect.
I don't think anyone is saying that. As I mentioned some cars are pretty bad and any racing is just an exercise in minimizing the understeer.
 

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khamai said:

...and you'll see the Elise start to over rotate and then instantly (almost too fast) respond to Randy's steering correction.
Yeah, the surprised me. I was easily able to catch the oversteer and collect the car (though now offline) but it was just hooked up and shot back towards the inside. A wonderful trait if I knew it would do that. :)

Damn.... is my car here yet?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
thanks for the replies...very insightful...thats why I said take everything I say with grain of salt cause of course I dont know what the hell Im talking about...:)...Im only running intermediate class at track events so I have an enormous amt to learn still...also, Im used to alot of understeer cause I have E46M3 which is quite heavy and one of the main reasons Im switching over to the Elise...I think in longrun, will make me a better driver...hey, guess what???...I sold my M3 in 3days!(well, I havent received money yet but have verbal agreement). Now Im without a track/weekend car til next summer at least...:(
 

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ok the exige is a racier car than the elise, but this not make it perfect already.. my exige is occupied with a set of steel break hoses, a open end exhaust, ohlins springs and a stiffer rol bar.. (exige will arive in september, parts are already waiting.. grrrr)

its also possible to get a softtop on it, but than the dealer wil have to drill some holes into the framework...

i also tought the understuur problem is a little bit corrected by putting other size tyres in front.. but its true.. slow in.. late apex, he is always later than you think and than booom... hard on the gas...

yes here in europe its possible to get a compressor kit for the exige and 111r that produces about 50hp plus the 192.. so a total of 240... i think yes you need this because in comparison with other supercars i already drove and raced against, the exige has not got that much streetlign speed.. ok its ****ing fast.. but on a track like spa francochamps, you need every pk you can get... but in the twisty chicanes, no porsche can follow...

3 months after the deposit i can expect the exige.. but maybe.. 4.. 5... grrrrrrrrrr yep no summer race car for me also...
 

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Going to the understeer question, I actually like some understeer in the car - as on the Boxster or the Esprit. Will be getting the Elise without the sports suspension as well since I'd like to do some road trips with it. I'm not an expert driver, but do autocross and track occasionally. On the track, I like the fact that the Boxster shows a definite tendency to push as I hit the gas. It gives me reassurance that as long as my foot is on the gas, the car is not going to spin. This gives me the confidence to push the car harder. For daily driving, not having to fight with the car is always an excellent state to be in, especially when you are not in the mood to fully concentrate on the driving or when the road and weather conditions are less than ideal.
 

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Handling of an understeery car

To illustrate the issue of counterbalance the understeering of a car, consider my venture this past weekend into rally crossing with a 300SDL Mercedes for the fun of it.
( practicing for my elise )

I went around the first time an I hit the corners too shallow and had to steer too much which lead to terminal understeer.
Then on my second run I drove more aggressive and tried to keep the tail lose and hit the apex ( a cone ) better.

I am not a big resource on vehicle dynamics but I have often played with understeer/oversteer on my SDL. It can do both with the right driving.

My first run was 1:31 where Subaru drivers came in at 1:26. I thought hey I can do something here.

Results speak for themselves: ( ultimate beat the white MR2 in my 3rd run. I thought that was impressive )
http://www.nwr-scca.org/rallycross/July_18_2004.htm
A video made it to a Subaru site:
http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?p=7087150#post7087150
Repeated here for convinence:
www.zero2blur.com/merc.mpg
I'd like somebody with understanding of dynamics perhaps commenting on the video?

I had concerns regarding my suspension, but actually I think my wife and I will be going to the next for fun.

If was a real crowd pleaser.

Thanks for looking.

Jari
 
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