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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am cross shopping the Honda S2000 and the Lotus Elise. This will be a second car for weekend cruising around town and on the twisties in the local mountains in San Diego (very little track - if any). I could care less about all the extra amenities the Honda S2000 has (power windows, nicer interior, bigger trunk, etc.) but looking for more all around fun! I have test driven the Honda S2000 and really like it but would prefer a little more kick (especially in the low to mid range). I haven't found anything out there that really hits me and says "this is the one". The M3 is to cushy, the Corvette is really fun but a little to redneck (and I hate the backend) and the Boxster S seems a little overrated IMO. The Honda is pretty close to hitting the "gotta have it" button. I guess I'm looking for a 4 wheel alternative to a motorcycle.

My question is do you think the Lotus will be a little to "hardcore" for what I am after or hit the spot? I am also concerned about the cost for servicing, reliability and body integrity. I am not much of a "show car" person but rather just want the thrill without many headaches. I toyed with getting a S2000 and having a supercharger installed (and brakes, and springs, and wheels, and clutch) which came to over $14K in upgrades which placed me at the Lotus Elise price point (provided they are sold at MSRP). Bottom line is I am not thrilled with anything out there in the under $50K range. Is this the answer?

BTW - I have already placed my name on the list at Symbolic in La Jolla and am at least 1.5 years out.
 

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As someone recommended to someone else in another thread, get the S2000 now and drive it for a year while you wait on the list.

Then make a decision. Perhaps aided then by taking some rides and seeing more of the cars in person. You are very welcome to take a ride in my Elise.

The only thing you lose is a year's value on the S2000 and some fees. Not to suggest it's a minor cost, but I think it's worth it if you can afford it. You get to use the S2000 for over a year, and you will have a VERY good basis of comparison a year from now.
 

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To me it sounds like you are decribing the Elise perfectly. Not too many frills, fun to drive, etc.

But I wouldn't rule out the new C6 either. The stereotype of the Vette is no longer applicable IMO. The new Vette looks great, is smaller, has 400 hp, and will provide almost supercar performance for under $50k!!

The only other alternative might be a slightly used 911 which should be a steal when the 997 arrives this September.
 

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I think you'll find this forum a bit biased towards Lotus but Randy makes a good point about the Honda. As also mentioned above, the C6 is begining to get the car back to where it should be. I still wouldn't consider it for the reasons you mentioned though.

I think a Caterham 7 would be even more raw than the Elise and will show less loss of investment until the Elise gets here. It's rare so you won't see many of them. It may also turn out to be to raw. You have to judge for yourself. As for reliability, you can drop your choice of new engines and trannys in the car so you can get as wild and/or reliable as you want. Standard power is a Ford Zetec and then you can go from there.
 

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heatmiser said:
...but would prefer a little more kick (especially in the low to mid range).
From everything else you have described, the Elise sounds like a good fit, but it won't have much low and mid-range kick either. The Corvette clearly excels there. A supercharged S2000 might also meet that rquirement. Someone may come up with a suitable supercharger kit for the Elise, but that would certainly take you out of the sub-$50K bracket. 1.5 years from now the MSRP may also be higher than it is now.
 

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To me the Elise and the S2000 are very different cars, i would think a cross-shopping comparasion would be the S2000 and a Boxster, and a Z4... thoose are very similar cars - good (but not amazing) sports car traits in a comfy enviroment. but actually i think the S2000 is kinda cheap (in quality) to the other 2... but thats why its cheaper...

There is not much (for sale in the us) to compare the Elise too... you get a state of the art tub chasis, no power steering, targa top, mid-engine, street refined track car.... a TVR tuscan would be a close comparision i think, a 7 is not "really" street-able like an Elise. A Panoz AIV might be a comparision also, but not as engaging to drive, and you can't track it (no roll bar). a noble, but that considerably more expensive. really you have to jump into the +100k market to find good comparisions, but lets be honest, its starts to get out classed, and who would take an Elise over a something like a Gallardo....

The Elise is unique in its level performance, sportscar traits, price, and economy.
 
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