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Rented a Boxster S from Turo for 3 days to enjoy while on business out in Arizona. And no, the Boxster didn't spoil me, it just made it very aparent how spoiled I've become.
I used to really think these cars were special, better even than the 911 in some ways. I really liked them and thought the S model would be decently quick.
When I first got in the car, ohh man the seat was heaven. The seat is so comfortable, I was honestly jealous. After getting off a 6 hour flight it actually fixed my back. CLutch takeup was super progressive and easy to drive.

Start the car and pull it out of the parking space, second impression... Ohh my god who fitted this thing with a steering wheel from a city bus, its MASSIVE.

Entered a tunnel coming out of the airport, decided to give it my usual rev... ehh boring no sound.

Ok so I punch it and the motor doesn't produce much torque, while also not revving particualrly well either. Gears are too long, nothing is really sporting about this. It's not slow, but it's not even quick either. This car is likely no quicker than a newer style nissan maxima.

This car is not telling me to push it, it's not begging me to run, it's dare I say a cruiser. If it were a bike it would be a sport cruiser, something like the bmw sport touring bikes.
Handling is wallowy, part of this is due to crap tires and what seems like a poor alignment, steering rack is too slow for fun roads, had to shuffle on switchbacks. it all just feels a bit too mushy to say it's really engaging.

I'm a bit confused now at this point, has the car changed or have I changed that much since buying the Elise. I think it's me, it's got to be me, the Elise has spoiled me. All other cars seem like clumsy land yachts.

The good news is it was a fantastic cruiser, so much so, that I ended up doing a 300 mile road trip today around the Superstition mountain range. Some pretty amazing scenery, elevation changes, and I even got a tan while out there.

They've got some grat scenery out there. Some photos from the trip:











 

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Less is Better
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I loved my Boxster S but you absolutely get used to the agility and size of the Elise and anything else that's supposed to be sporty is much less so. Although if it feels anything close to wallowy, there's something wrong with the car. Also, I always felt the 3.2L was a really sweet engine, loved to rev, sounded great, and was pretty torquey.

My comparison from 6 years ago, when I bought my Elise:

https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/1790841-post1.html
 

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Less is Better
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Pics of the old 2000S. It had Porsche's sport suspension which lowered the car 1/2 - 3/4 of an inch but more importantly, stiffened the springs and sway bars. I haven't looked at these pictures in years. I kind of miss that car.
 

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It's true. I owned a 996 911 C4S prior to the exige - I'd turned it into a total track car, stripped interior, caged & everything. Muffler bypass so it was very loud. I thought it was so much more raw than the stock 996. Then I flew down to california, bought the exige and drove it up and I jumped back in the 911 to back it out of the garage and make room for the lotus....I felt like I was swimming underwater. It just felt so freaking massive, something I'd never noticed before. In fact it took me a long time to get used to driving the exige in traffic, I felt very insecure at being so much lower and smaller than everything else. That passed though...I really can't see myself going to "standard" sports cars anymore, for a lot of reasons, but driver engagement & overall fun/raw factor being prime among them. Ariel atom & caterham 7 are pretty much the only things I'd ever consider as replacements, but let's face it, I'm not ever selling the Exige. It's far too special :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It's true. I owned a 996 911 C4S prior to the exige - I'd turned it into a total track car, stripped interior, caged & everything. Muffler bypass so it was very loud. I thought it was so much more raw than the stock 996. Then I flew down to california, bought the exige and drove it up and I jumped back in the 911 to back it out of the garage and make room for the lotus....I felt like I was swimming underwater. It just felt so freaking massive, something I'd never noticed before. In fact it took me a long time to get used to driving the exige in traffic, I felt very insecure at being so much lower and smaller than everything else. That passed though...I really can't see myself going to "standard" sports cars anymore, for a lot of reasons, but driver engagement & overall fun/raw factor being prime among them. Ariel atom & caterham 7 are pretty much the only things I'd ever consider as replacements, but let's face it, I'm not ever selling the Exige. It's far too special :)
I'm going to texas next and have a hance to rent a 911 C4, C7 vette, or a Focus RS all manual. I'm trying to decide what to rent. The focus is half the money of the vette and porsche.
I think I'm ruined for life, time to go even more extreme. I think if I can make the lotus nice after this restoration is done, I'm going to end up picking up an Ariel Atom at some point, which will take some track work off the Lotus.
 

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I have a 2013 Porsche 911 4S which I purchased new. Until I got my Elise SC, I thought I would never buy anything but a Porsche. Now, as Varun916 said, the Porsche feels like a school bus to me. The Porsche didn't spoil me, but the Elise did. I put 50,000 miles of canyon carving on my Porshe in 5 years. Since I got the Elise I probably put less than 500 miles on the Porsche. It has creature comforts and it's the only one of my sports cars that my wife will ride in, but it has lost it's attraction to me. Sure I love the look of the car, it has plenty of HP and torque, lots of electronic nannies that keep me from running off the road, high-quality workmanship, leather stitched dashboard, heated and ventilated seats, and on and on. But when it comes to fun, it doesn't hold a candle to the Elise.

With regard to what you should rent next, I think the answer is clear. Don't rent anything. Drive your Elise or take an Uber and let somebody else drive the boring car.
 

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MY every day car is a Focus RS 2016, supposed to be a radical car... bla-bla-bla... a big mushy thing...

A lotus is by far more radical, and mine with Nitron 550/700 suspension and 395 whp... just worst.

The Elise/Exige are something weird for the actual market.
 
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