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Discussion Starter #1
Hello Everyone,

I'm new here, Ohio USA.



By occupation I'm currently a tire engineer. I've worked for a couple different tire companies I used to be a professional performance driving instructor on the side. I build computers and play a lot of ****ing videogames. I do a lot of gardening too. I'm trying to make my own hot sauce. I'm big into astronomy.

I'm into all forms of racing except street racing. I do an order of magnitude more AutoX than anything else.

Here's some pics of each one of my current cars.



2004 Subaru STi:
Had it since new back in 04. The first racing-oriented car I ever had. Its self tuned, stage 2-ish. Lots of suspension modification to combat slow steering response and understeer. Wide tires because AutoX. This is my daily driver and my ASP class AutoX car.




2003 Mitsubishi Evo.
I traded a WRX for it a couple years ago and did extensive modifications to it for the intent of road racing. Brick stiff, low, E85, 530awhp. Next modification is a replacement ECU and a true flexfuel tune (not just E85...E100 to 93 octane pump gas (E10)). Neutral oversteers. Fun and fast but a lot of time under the knife in the garage. Competitive in RTA streed awd class. Thats what its built for. AutoX it sometimes in Street Mod. Way too big of a turbo for AutoX



This is my wife's daily driver. A 2010 Volvo C30 R-design. A rare car around here. Bone stock. We picked it up on Gothenburg Sweden and drove it across Sweden twice and a little bit in Germany before Volvo shipped it stateside for us. She also AutoX's it in G-stock class.


and my dogs.





The reason I'm on this forum is because I'm heavily considering selling the first two cars, the Subaru and the Evo, to focus solely on getting something more competitive in ASP class at AutoX or maybe even some other class.

I'm looking for a car that won't require as much modification as the Subaru does to be competitive in that class. You get to pick 2 between fast, cheap, and reliable and I'll choose fast and reliable.

I've got so many questions for you guys I don't even know where to start. Particularly about a Lotus Exige.

Is it good choice vs Corvette Z06s, Nissan GTR's, Porsche GT3's for ASP AutoX? Why? Why not?

Is maintenance a nightmare? Is it expensive to fix?

At 6'1" am I going to fit?

I'm looking in the used market. What should I watch out for when inspecting used Exiges?

What wheel/tire combination are people running in ASP?

Is there some car out there that does everything the Exige does but better?



Here's my logic of how the Exige fell out as a car I'd be interested in.

ASP:

Corvette Z06 - Unfortunately has that "I'm a douchebag" stigma attached to it. Seems overly massive for AutoX. Expensive tire budget

Porsche 911 GT3 - high up front cost, high cost if anything breaks, seems more suited for road racing than autoX, probably pretty expensive tire budget, probably hard to find a used on in my price range.

Nissan GTR - look, I've done the Japanese AWD turbo thing before and I'm just not interested. expensive tire budget. overly complicated

Exige - powerful enough it wont feel like a downgrade from my subaru. cheap tire budget, affordable in the used market. No nonsense, not much included that I dont need for AutoX. I love the look of them. Tired of driving 4 door econoboxes with turbos.

Other cars in other classes -

Subiyota FRS/BRZ - I've seen this thing move at AutoX and its impressive. Its still on my short list. My concerns are that its just not going to be powerful enough to make me feel happy. And its still none ideal. Front suspension geometry sucks even though it does produce great results

Hyundai Genesis 3.8 R - Seems to fit the bill pretty good, not much to say about it plus or minus

Nissan 370Z - I've heard they aren't as competitive at AutoX as the 350Z, that they handle worse for some reason. Love the 350Zs. Still on my list but...meh.

Mustang Boss 302 - Apparently the best handling mustang ever made. I smell an expensive tire budget though. Not the lightest car. Would represent a lot of uncertainty. I don't know much about how they'd do at AutoX as I've never driven one.
 

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Do as many people have done, download the SCCA 2012 rulebook. There is a section which shows national racing results from the past decade. Examine what cars have won national championships (and in what class). It is not a bad place to start. Then once you have it narrowed down to 3 cars, you can focus on operational and maintenance costs.
Also, consider the brand new SSP class for a lightly modified Exige, I suspect it will do very well in that class (with the 300hp reflash of the ECU).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Do as many people have done, download the SCCA 2012 rulebook. There is a section which shows national racing results from the past decade. Examine what cars have won national championships (and in what class). It is not a bad place to start. Then once you have it narrowed down to 3 cars, you can focus on operational and maintenance costs.
Also, consider the brand new SSP class for a lightly modified Exige, I suspect it will do very well in that class (with the 300hp reflash of the ECU).
Yeah I did that. Thats how I came up with the ASP shortlist. I whittled it down to those 4 cars: z06, exige, gtr, 911 gt3.

Definitely considering an Exige SSP build as well.
 

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You will fit in the car.

I bought my car from a guy whose 6' 3" tall. If you're on nasioc, he and I are both there too.

I've had my Elise since last August. Things you will want to look out for are in the uberthread. You'll likely want to change the oil cooler lines so you don't get spontaneous bursts and toasted motor. The radiator can also spontaneously break (plastic end caps, just like Subaru), so that's a good winter project. The engine and tranny are Toyota reliable.

Read a bunch of stuff in the uberthread and then random maint sections. Engine cooling and Engine lubrication are good ones to browse.

Although you'll fit, getting in/out of any elise/exige is not easy or graceful. You have to be prepared to look like Jeremy Clarkson did on Top gear. A total dork. (I think it's worth it, myself)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for those 'what to look for, what to fix' suggestions jack.

And yeah I'm on Nasioc. I joined back in 04 when i found out the site existed, back when i had a 2001 2.5RS. About a month before I got the STi.

Its funny you mention that plastic end cap issue. That just happened a week ago on my friend's Saabaru.
 

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Is it good choice vs Corvette Z06s, Nissan GTR's, Porsche GT3's for ASP AutoX? Why? Why not?

Is maintenance a nightmare? Is it expensive to fix?

what year exige are you looking at? anything after 06 was supercharged from the factory, so if you are looking at an 06 for affordability you mise well just get an 05 Elise & throw the track pack suspension on it

At 6'1" am I going to fit?

no problem... im 6 foot & have plenty of room to spare, however you may need to remove the top pending on how you sit in the seat & how close your helmet is to the top itself

I'm looking in the used market. What should I watch out for when inspecting used Exiges?

you should be able to find a quality 05-06 Elise for mid-high 20's however many sellers still try & get 30+... for an Exige you probably will tack on 5-10k more than an Elise pending on year


What wheel/tire combination are people running in ASP?

this would depend on how wide of rim you are running... 205 front/245 rear at minimum i would think, if your rim width can accommodate

Is there some car out there that does everything the Exige does but better?

at that point it probably depends on how good the other drivers are in there respective cars/class... but an Exige will compete well enough to keep you competitive
i highlighted my responses in red

do some searching on the forums & i think you could find much better info than what i could give you

threads like this one are just the beginning

http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f99/scca-asp-class-prep-95641/
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Thanks for all the useful answers. I am definitely trolling (troll like you would when fishing, not like making the whole internet mad) this forum right now.

I thought of another question. The ECU, how tunable is it?

Can you do E85? What hardware modifications are necessary?

Can you map switch between pump gas and E85 via a toggle switch with certain tunes or do you need to reflash it to switch or go with an aftermarket ecu?

Additionally, regarding the 'depending on the wheel' comment for tire size. Thats part of the question. In ASP you can run whatever wheel/tire size you want. So I wonder what people are running on Exige's in this class. What size/brand wheel and what size/brand tire?

ANOTHER QUESTION:

Differential situation....What do Exiges have? open? LSD? torsen? what model years have what?

Thanks. I'm hunting these answers down myself but I'm just hoping someone can chime in and answer them faster than I can search.
 

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SSP you mean?

I think an exige is a fantastic candidate for the SSP national contender, and probably the most economical front runner. Maybe a z5z06 is cheaper to prepare? Tires are way more of course.

The transmission is a little fragile for max ssp power, espescially with a super agressive LSD, or so I have heard. They are relatively cheap to replace though as they came stock in a bunch of toyotas.

Eliges love to dodge cones.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
SSP you mean?

I think an exige is a fantastic candidate for the SSP national contender, and probably the most economical front runner. Maybe a z5z06 is cheaper to prepare? Tires are way more of course.

The transmission is a little fragile for max ssp power, espescially with a super agressive LSD, or so I have heard. They are relatively cheap to replace though as they came stock in a bunch of toyotas.

Eliges love to dodge cones.
I'm looking at the nationals results from 2011 and seeing an 07 Exige S in ASP.

Was there a class change and its in SSP now?
 

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I'm looking at the nationals results from 2011 and seeing an 07 Exige S in ASP.

Was there a class change and its in SSP now?
Yes.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
ahhh. ok then. SSP it is.


I think it'd be fun to see what can be done with an Exige for an SSP build.

E85, stock pulley, maybe 800cc injectors and a new fuel pump...and thats just go GO parts.
 

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you could probably make 260 whp or so in ssp trim....you biggest struggle is going to be what to do with the wheels and tires. You are going to need to do some cutting to get some real meat under the car. You might be able to fit 225/255 under the stock fenders. I suspect something like 245/275 would be minimum for national competitiveness. Do you have the emotional strength to cut a 6000$ piece of fiberglass with a sawzall?

Fred at blackwatch racing is really the expert on this. He can sell you a set of wheels and an OS Gieken diff optimized for AX. Check out the blackwatch site.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
you could probably make 260 whp or so in ssp trim....you biggest struggle is going to be what to do with the wheels and tires. You are going to need to do some cutting to get some real meat under the car. You might be able to fit 225/255 under the stock fenders. I suspect something like 245/275 would be minimum for national competitiveness. Do you have the emotional strength to cut a 6000$ piece of fiberglass with a sawzall?

Fred at blackwatch racing is really the expert on this. He can sell you a set of wheels and an OS Gieken diff optimized for AX. Check out the blackwatch site.
I just might....I figured the wheel wells would be the choke point on this car. They often are on smaller cars.

Corvette have infinity wheel wells...but they need them, because heavy.
 

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I am running 7 inch wheels with 205 hoosier A6 front, 8 inch wheels with 245 hoosier A6 rear, lotsa grip, no cutting of anything. My wheels are in my signature. I am still trying to resolve the loose nut behind the wheel problem (too fast in the slow parts, too slow in the fast parts issue). The car is constantly proving me wrong when I think "oh God! I entered the corner way too fast, no way it can be made without spinning".
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I am running 7 inch wheels with 205 hoosier A6 front, 8 inch wheels with 245 hoosier A6 rear, lotsa grip, no cutting of anything. My wheels are in my signature. I am still trying to resolve the loose nut behind the wheel problem (too fast in the slow parts, too slow in the fast parts issue). The car is constantly proving me wrong when I think "oh God! I entered the corner way too fast, no way it can be made without spinning".
The transition from Front-AWD to Mid-RWD will be something for me to overcome.

Closest thing I've driven in a competitive environment was a 1985 MR2. My subaru has just been an understeer war. I'm finally starting to win but I'm tired of the fight. The Evo is just so stinking fast. It really is a great road racing car. The only reason I'm selling it is because I want to focus on AutoX. And I want my AutoX car to not be an Evo or STi.
 

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SSP Exige

Hi Robert (I'm guessing),
I was at the same AX as you and your wife, Laps for Tina, 2 weekends ago.

I was driving a blue Elise and my friend Roel had a ST Elise. We run in SSP this year. Been in ASP and SSM, but the classes keep changing.

An Exige or Elise would be a great car to run in SSP. Mine is modified with a SC, suspension upgrades, splitter, etc. These cars are a lot of fun in AX, with all the tight corners and change of direction.

I'd be glad to share any info about the cars. The Elises are pretty bullet-proof, been AXing mine for 3 years now, without any damage or breakage.

Here are some pics of my car from the last AX to jog your memory.

Regards,
Wayne
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Hey Wayne. I remember you guys.

I should be there again on the 7th trying to go fast and get someone interested in buying my Subaru. I might drive the Evo, not sure.

The main reason I'm looking at an Exige over an Elise is laziness. I'm going to want the power an Exige has but I'm not going to want to supercharge it myself. Also I want the improved aero (or so I've heard) and the intercooler. I'm willing to pay more for it.

My philosophy with the Subaru and the Evo were that where ever they were deficient, I would invest my time and money into improvements. Well here I am 8 years on and I'm still not happy with the Subaru. I'm looking at the Exige thinking that it will be different, require less modification to get it where I want it. Maybe just fuel pump, injectors, E85 tune, stiffer springs (coilvers I guess), maybe a sway bar and as wide of wheels and tires as I can fit.

So picking the Exige over the Elise is a decision that goes along with that change of strategy.

I've got used to really fast straight line cars. My Evo is the slow dog in the straight line amongst my other friends with Evos. I've worked with Evos up to 800whp.

Now I know that an approx 250-290whp E85 tuned Exige won't be as fast in a straight line as my Evo, but it'll definitely be faster than my Subaru. And I can definitely live with and be happy with that.
 

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First, I really like Lotus (see signature) and am more road racer than AutoXer but have lots of experience at both. The absolute fastest and cheapest way to go AutoX is with a Formula Ford in CM class. You do have to have a way to tow it, but otherwise the cost of the car is low as is the cost of maintenance and consumables. They are great fun but just not enough of them running in most areas. One other non-Lotus alternative, the FI Pontiac Solstus is intriguing to me. Room for excessive tires, lots of power, etc.

As for Elise/Exige in the top stock and Street Prepared classes, they are competitive but not overdogs. You also have to remember that SCCA has a long history of giving GM and Porsche great leeway on factory/dealer-installed options whenever they claim other makes like Lotus are getting too competitive. To me, it appears that an Elise in stock is a cheaper/easier way to go than an Exige in street prepared, but that is just my opinion. I'll continue to do track days with my Exige and when the mood/need strikes for AutoX, I'll co-drive a Formula Ford in CM.

All the best in whatever choice you make!
 

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It is worth noting that a car must be carfully upgraded to for leagal supercharging. For example Waynes blue elise wouldent technically be legal for SSP with a BWR supercharger. It needs to use a factory system, except the IC which is free. It takes some work and expense to legally up/bd to a sp legal SC system.
 
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