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Discussion Starter #1
I've been lurking since September when I put down a deposit. I've move about 6 slots (to 13) and just placed order. I drive an A6 2.7T. Previously drove TT and 94 RX-7 before that. 94 RX-7 has been my favorite car in 21 years of car ownership (yes, that makes me 37). Wife has a Tahoe which is the family car. I live 2.4 miles from work and put about 6k miles per year on a car. Lotus dealer is about 5 miles from my office. Saw the 111S in a London showroom in November and fell more in love with the Elise. It will, however, be my daily driver and I have some concerns.

1. How does the fiberglass shell stand up to door dings? How do you fix em if you get em? If someone bumps me in his/her car and damages clam, how much will it cost to replace?

2. Soft top. Okay, so it leaks. How much? Where (floor, seats)? How effective is the hardtop against rain?

3. A/C? Is it a Toyota unit? How well does it work? Does the insulation in touring pack in combo with the A/C do an okay job? In Texas, effective A/C is a must in July and August. Can ACP tell us how his has worked this week in the 111R?

4. Wind entry into cabin. My friend's boxster has a lot of backdraft (if that's the right term) even with the back wind shield. My other friend's Z4 is pretty calm. How does the elise compare? I would think the targa-like top makes it pretty effective at wind buffeting?

5. Safety. Am I dead in an SUV collision?

I absolutely love the car, but one starts to second-guess himself when he is going to drop 40 large on a car like this. Wondering if Z4 or Porsche is way to go. How many of you intend to use as daily driver? Do you have same concerns/questions or different ones you want to share?
 

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Well, I'm not sure I can answer many of your questions, but I do intend on using this as my daily driver (except in the winter...)

If you concerned that you might want something more practical, then the Boxster might be a better choice (lots of trunk room, creature comforts, etc). Personally I just got rid of my Boxster and can't wait for the Elise. The Boxster was great, but it just felt big and wasn't as much fun to drive as (I hate to say this) my old Miata. The Elise seems to be the right combination of a small fun car but also with serious performance.

My only concern is the long drive if it needs to be fixed. The closest dealer is 2hrs away.
 

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Although a number of people on the Seloc forum use the Elise as a daily driver, I'm not sure that it is very well suited for that. I would suggest having a practical daily driver econobox and the Elise for fun and occasional commuting.
 

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jeffs said:

My only concern is the long drive if it needs to be fixed. The closest dealer is 2hrs away.
It is a toyota powerplant afterall, so in an emergency that shouldn't be much of an issue.
 

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James A said:
Although a number of people on the Seloc forum use the Elise as a daily driver, I'm not sure that it is very well suited for that. I would suggest having a practical daily driver econobox and the Elise for fun and occasional commuting.

I totally agree with James on this one. I drove a Euro 111S down in Australia last year for two weeks. No way would I want to drive this car everday in the US. It's really Not a great every day car. I would suggest you get another vehicle as a daily driver and use the Elise as a weekend fun box. That is what I am doing.

Best Wishes,
Mitch
 

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babak said:
It is a toyota powerplant afterall, so in an emergency that shouldn't be much of an issue.
I hope not. Not that I really worried about it, but my concern is the stupid little things that break. For the most part I've had good luck with new cars, but my Boxster was in the shop 4-5 times within the first couple of months for various reasons. That's would be a serious hassel now.
 

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BSMESQ,

Lets see if I can anwser some of your questiosn as a current and future Lotus owner.

1) No dings. The fiberglass body (like a corvette's) does not ding. Instead if it is hit hard enough (and I do mean hard) it will crack. In old age, Lotuses do tend to get "spider cracks" which are caused by slight sagging of the bodywork which translates through the paint and clearcoat. I'm sure Lotus has continued to perfect the process and this may never happen to Elise.

2) It's British, so yes it leaks. It's better than a Seven but that's not saying much. Bring a towel.

3) I have no idea. I'll try to find out. If it doesn't work well, take the top off and drive faster.

4) See above.

5) The elise has an aluminum tub around the passanger compartment like a F1 car. So the anwser is as long as the bumper of the car that is hitting you hits on the body your OK. But as BMW used to advertise, it's better to avoid the accident than be safe in it.
 

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I'll take a stab at answering your questions:

1. I believe fiberglass is relative resistant to dinging. However, it's much harder to fix if it is damage. In a crash, the clam shell will absorb a great deal of energy, but will also be destroied. Self-scarificing. :)

My greatest non-accident concern would be parking behind a larger vechicle. Because the front of the Elise is very low, it would be very hard to see.

2. Not sure how water-restraint the top is. I've heard the Elise's top is better than the earlier design. I think I read a test on the new 111R that said there were a few drops.

3. I think the A/C is still from the Euro model.

4. I took a test drive in a Euro S2 on city and freeway. I think the wind buffetting is similar to my Boxster with the windows up.

5. Safety? Does the name James Dean and 550 Spyder ring any bells? ;) Seriously, I'm having the same concerns about the Elise myself, especially since Phoenix is populated with a majority of SUV and full size pick ups.

My understanding about the Elise is that the clam shell will absorb most of the kinetic energy from a frontal or rear impact. The aluminum frame will also add to the protection of the occupates (especially the high side sill in the event of a side impact). The down side, the Elise will probably be totaled. I think the one weak spot is either a much higher vehicle roll over the Elise, or rear ending a much larger vehicle and wedging the rear wheel into the passenger compartment. And no, I don't think the hard top will help. ;)

Personally, I do have the same safety concerns you do, especially since I'm planning on using my Elise to commute 2-3 days a week. If it doesn't work out, I'd sell/trade one of my motorcycles for an RX8.

As far as just getting another Boxster or a Z4 instead of the Elise. No, they don't offer the same fun factor to me anymore. I'd pay $40K+ for a car I really like, but I won't pay $35K+ for a compromised choice.
 

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I've driven a Miata as a daily driver for the past 14 years in sunny Southern California. Put 25,000 miles per year on it up until the last couple of years, now down to about 18,000 per year. I've had fun driving it and comfort has not been a problem. Taken 5 day trips with the wife without too much difficulty. I intend to drive the Elise as much as possible - perhaps not every day while the Miata continues to have life in it, but definitely every day once that dies.

1. I like Wallabyguy's answer.

2. Sounds like the new soft top may limit leaking.

3. Sounds like the A/C should be adequate, given the small size of the interior cabin space.

4. My impression from a brief test drive a year ago was that wind entry was less than with my Miata, due to the targa type top. Did not drive at high speed though.

5. Seems to have done pretty well in the crash test.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Re: Re: Daily driver questions

Allan Gibbs said:
I'll take a stab at answering your questions:

As far as just getting another Boxster or a Z4 instead of the Elise. No, they don't offer the same fun factor to me anymore. I'd pay $40K+ for a car I really like, but I won't pay $35K+ for a compromised choice.
Allan

You've hit the nail on the head for me. I like the Z4 and Boxster, but I'm not passionate about them like I am the Elise (I am passionate about a 911, but can't afford it) . Why pay the same (or more) for a car I like as I would pay for a car that excites me? The answer to my rhetorical question appears to be "practicality", which is not a very emotionally compelling argument!
 

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Judging from a great many of the posts about leaking on SELOC, one of the major fixes was to spray the fabric with a water repellant, this causes the water to bead off quicker and not puddle. The other thing, the new cars have had the top seal redesigned, incorporating a wing in each corner at the top of each windshield pillar. This wing I believe was used on the boxster, basically channels the water away so leakage is further reduced.

People in the UK having drives in the new 111R in the rain have said they don't leak.

A very large number of people on SELOC and the UK in general use their cars as a daily driver. One fellow hit the 100k mark in his S1 elise last year.

It all depends on what you need out of a daily driver. My present daily transport is and has been for a couple years a motorcycle. I'll use the elise when the weathers nice to go to/from work, when crappy I'll ride the bike (go figure!)

I can think of lots of reasons WHY NOT to get the elise, but one really good reason WHY TO GET, because I want it! :)

Chris
88 days and a wakeup................................
 

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I fully intend to use my LSS equipped Elise as my daily driver (~40 miles daily.) I also plan to attend as many track days as I can, time and money permitting. The only thing I haven't decided yet is if I will buy a second set of wheels to mount snow tires or a second (cheap) car for the winter.

And before anyone asks, yes, I am crazy. :D
 

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Very glad to hear that fiberglass isn't very susceptible to normal door dings. Now, just gotta worry about being rolled over by a careless SUV driver backing up. :D
 

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Re: Re: Re: Daily driver questions

Well, my thoughts are practical is cheap. It' doesn't cost much too buy a car just to get you from point a to point b economically, safely, and comfortably. If you buy something used and already taken the depreciation, you can even the the "practical" for cheaper.

Emotional/exciting things are danagerous because they push you to do things you don't need to, or even should do. But that's part of the charm. At $40K, the Elise has the emotional appeal (at least for me) of car that cost two, three, and four times as much.

Hence, if I have to play the scenario out in my mind, I can get the "emotional" for $40K and a practical "beater" car for $5 to $15K, and still come ahead of a Boxster S or especially a 911.
I guess I don't want one car that does it all. I want two car that do what they do excetionally well.

The hard part..... the waiting. :(

But... if you really want a Boxster, they're getting some pretty heavy discounts, especially since a new 911 and Boxster are coming soon.
 

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I'll use the Elise as a daily driver except when it's raining or snowing. Then I go back to my Mitsu Spyder. I'm a lot more concerned with driving an exciting car than with creature comforts, especially since my commute is only 15 minutes. However, I am planning on running the Elise to Tennessee from Philly in August for the NASCAR race in Bristol. My 18 year old son is going with and can't wait for a turn behind the wheel. I hope it doesn't kill us to be in the Elise for 7 hours..:rolleyes:
 

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Snow don't bother my Elise..

After a while it starts to look like this though.. Somewhat more black all over :)

Yes, the white bits are snow/ice on the car.. and it's on snow tires with 15/16" wheels..

Sorry about the geek (aka.. me..) in the picture :D

Bye, Arno.
 

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I use my car as a daily driver. I have over 200bhp and track biased Nitron suspension (400lb/in front 475lb/in rear) and it is fine. I'm now at around 70k miles. I think most elises in the UK are used as daily drivers as they are as practical as a miata with a lot less wind buffeting with the roof off but noisier.

It leaks a bit with the soft top but it is an S1 and these are much worse than the S2 for leaks. It can be a bit noisy.
 

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Surferjer said:
However, I am planning on running the Elise to Tennessee from Philly in August for the NASCAR race in Bristol. My 18 year old son is going with and can't wait for a turn behind the wheel. I hope it doesn't kill us to be in the Elise for 7 hours..:rolleyes:
7 hours shouldn't be too bad, as long as you're the one behind the wheel! :) It'd kill me to go that long itching to drive.
 
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