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Well, I've had my new '05 almost a week now, and I've crawled under it, around it, had it all apart and put it all back together. There have been some interesting changes made throughout the model year. Here are the high and low lights:

-The Acupuco radio doesn't sound any better than the LA radio, but it has the distracting color and lights show that's mind-boggling. WTF was Blau thinking? Advantage: early model

-The gas cap isn't connected with a tether on the later car. I liked the tether!!! I wonder is I can move it over? Advantage: early model

-The heater knobs on the later model are polished instead of brushed. Brushed matched the interior better. Advantage: early model

-The seats on the later model are way cushier and more comfortable than the early model. They're both touring, but the difference is startling. Advantage: later model.

-Some of the screws holding the front service panel have nice soft rubber washers where they might contact the fiberglass. Not so on the early model. Advantage: later model

-The Starshield install is much improved on the later model. Apparently practice makes perfect, or at least better. Advantage: later model

-Many of the screws and bolts went from a hex design to a star design. No advantage, just curious.

-The car's VIN number is etched into the front crash structure in the passenger side. Not so on my early car. No advantage, just a note.

-The shifter on the later model feels way more substantial and nice compared to the unmolested hex shifter. Advantage: later model.

Not a difference, and not a vaild comparison, just an observation: my running base shocks with LSS springs is not a good substitute for LSS shocks/springs. The LSS shocks provide a stiffer, what will turn out to be a more stable and faster run on course.

Both cars still kick ass! :)
 

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Surferjer said:
-The Acupuco radio doesn't sound any better than the LA radio, but it has the distracting color and lights show that's mind-boggling.
IIRC, the color and light show indicates the radio is in it's demo mode. Demo mode is the default out of the box. The manual will have instructions on how to turn it off.

Thx for the comparo! Did you look to see if there were other running changes such as trunk carpet and the door weatherstripping?
 

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Hmmm. I'll check on the stripping and carpet. One thing for sure-both tops on my early model were leak-proof. I don't know yet about the new car.

Thanks on the radio. It's going to the old car, so I don't really care. I'm moving my XM / MP3 receiver to the new car.
 

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I have a late 05 that has the first 3k on the tach taking up the same space as the next 1k. The seats do seem comfier (is that a word?) than others I have driven. The shifter seems smoother with the round shaft. The LSS ride seems more brittle but the roads are awful around my house and one of the LSS cars I drove had Neova's on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Both my tacs are "racing" tacs, i.e. scrunched 1-3K.
 

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The rear diffuser and other nearby details changed a bit. More bolts on the rear edge. The area near the large bolts is now dimpled. So the diffuser may sit lower in that zone. Or maybe what it threads into changed.
 

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in another thread someone pointed out that all 7 bolts that hold the hard top in place have Torx T40 (star pattern) heads on the later '05 models. I can confirm that this is the case with my top. I prefer only having to have one tool to remove the top. Only problem is no Torx tool was included with my car, I've got only allen keys in my tool kit. No big deal I've ordered a T40 screw driver but I'm not sure if the dealer screwed up or if lotus didn't get the new tools in the car once they switched the hard top bolts?
 

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Also the wheel changes....the different LSS wheel finishes, the flush badges on the later base wheels, the temporary Exige wheels during the LSS wheel shortage...
 

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pixlpush said:
in another thread someone pointed out that all 7 bolts that hold the hard top in place have Torx T40 (star pattern) heads on the later '05 models. I can confirm that this is the case with my top. I prefer only having to have one tool to remove the top. Only problem is no Torx tool was included with my car, I've got only allen keys in my tool kit. No big deal I've ordered a T40 screw driver but I'm not sure if the dealer screwed up or if lotus didn't get the new tools in the car once they switched the hard top bolts?
You sure? I got a Torx wrench that looks a lot like an Allen key in my toolset, but the tips are definitely Torx. VIN 13XX.

ed
 

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Where exactly did you find the VIN etched?

I am just curious to see if mine has the same, I don't have much confidence in the cheap VIN plate on the front window.
 

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azskycop said:
I don't have much confidence in the cheap VIN plate on the front window.
Besides the new location, there is a sticker on the inside of the side rail, and it's stamped on the chassis by the front suspension.
 

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I've changed the color on my Acapulco display. It's an ugly brownish yellow now, but it matches the tach and speedo. I also dimmed it a bit to reduce the reflection in the rear glass.

I first tried to match the ugly brownish green of the fuel/temp display, but that was just way too nasty. :)
 

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Surferjer said:
-The Acupuco radio doesn't sound any better than the LA radio, but it has the distracting color and lights show that's mind-boggling. WTF was Blau thinking? Advantage: early model
Yes, this it the hideous demo mode. Simply press and hold the MENU button for four or five seconds and it will take it out of demo mode. You can put it back into demo mode again by pressing and holding the MENU button again.

-Brian
 

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I've also noticed a difference in the instrument binnacle. On two very early models that I compared my car to, the anti-glare capability was accomplished with a very grainy texture which blurred the vision such that it was hard to read the speedo & tach. In mine, which is also somewhat early, the anti-glare is a very fine-grained texture which doesn't noticeably impede my ability to read them. I have never seen this mentioned before...though unless you have the two cars side by side with the tops off, it's really hard to compare them.
 

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FlyLo said:
I've changed the color on my Acapulco display. It's an ugly brownish yellow now, but it matches the tach and speedo. I also dimmed it a bit to reduce the reflection in the rear glass.

I first tried to match the ugly brownish green of the fuel/temp display, but that was just way too nasty. :)

Heh, I have messed with a bunch of colors on that also, I have found keeping it at blue matches the lit buttons on the rest of the radio.. which is pretty cool.. However I did initially try to match the tach/speedo as well.. can't tell which I like more...

ahhh such HARD DECISIONS we poor bastards must make in life!
 

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Don't forget to tweak the button text colors. There you can only change the amounts of red and green. I went all red, but I suppose some shade of green might match the fuel display.

No cure for the bright blue buttons that match nothing.
 
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