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I thought this was a cool review of the Ronin Lotus, from Seloc -


The Mental Ronin Elise - notes from the passenger seat


Having been on here for 2, 2.5 years now I have seen some of the back and forth on various aspects of the Elise our Ronin (Frank) has been working on. Some of the threads have been a good read, the UK vs USA element adding a bit of spice to the mix.

I've been more then a little curious to see what the car was really like, and since I am in Los Angeles on business, and here over the weekend of necessity I got in touch and Frank volunteered (I don't think it took a lot of persuading...) to let me see what the car was like, and go for a little Canyon cruise.

Now and, while its still fresh in my mind, after a few hours in the little monster I thought I might write up a few impressions for my fellow SELOC'ers. Before we get to the car I think a couple of scene setting notes might be in order. This is a no b/s write up, or I aim it to be. Been driving since the mid 70's, had the chance to drive quite a bit on interesting roads Europe and the USA and been lucky enough to have driven, and been driven in, some fast cars over the years. Ridden the odd mid size and big bike, and pillioned on them - recently had the pleasure of being very smoothly and very quickly round Goodwood in a 2/11, and was given a quick taster of a Honda'ed S1 a while back, impressive it was too. SELOC being SELOC though loads of you will have done more than me - so that is my flameproofing out of the way...

About the Canyon roads and cameras - you know how F1 tracks look flat on screen? Well the same applies to some of the in car footage that has been posted up - and hopefully will get posted up - of the Canyon roads. They are are GREAT deal tighter than they look, and a LOT steeper, the surface is not great in places, the constraints of other traffic, blind corners, sheer drops, rock walls, rock falls, and folks on their road bikes all come into the mix too - if you can get through some of the tight ones without a bit of a shuffle, well you have a faster rack on your Lotus...some of the corners are just fecking tight and very "Alpine" - no quibbling.

Oh, not mentioned the car yet. Anything that has been written up on here with its Dyno sheets at 460hp plus at the wheels is going to feel quick - yes?
A while back CAR did a reappraisal of the F40 and the McLaren F1 - they described the F1 as being rather like a nuclear powered Elise. Not been in either of those sadly, but after today I really not quite so sad as I was about that (open to offers though)

Actually nothing quite prepares you for the sheer violence of the thing. The power and torque make it feel fast and effortless, then you realise someone has just been warming his tyres up, the boost really kicks and the whole car just rockets away with that fantastic turbo self energising feel. Its surreally fast, trees blur, small black holes form... Anyone remember that bit whenTiff Needell puts his foot down in the F1 and the camera is looking at him - all the scenery blurs. THATS how it feels, mentally, stupidly, litre bike fast.

Now oddly, at the time, and on reflection the power is not the most impressive thing. I am sure there are lots of turbo'ed motors with this kind of power out there - its the ability to get it down and use it that seemed the best bit to me. This is not a rocket motor in search of a chassis. This feels like a very properly sorted bit of kit. Round more than a few of the bends it felt like the limit was not far off, those nice little yelps from the tyres on the side road line markings, lovely. He really is not hanging about in there our Frank... The ride is very smooth, and very controlled, no crashing though potholes, no floating at speed. Again no claims to expertise, but it feels like "factory" car not a modified one or a race car converted for the road.

Having spent some time belting around in the morning, the poor wee thing was then subjected to a lovely bit of highway traffic jam en route to the next set of twisty bits, no hunting at idle, no temper tantrums in 80/90 deg of highway heat, very normal in fact. Few extra vibes - I believe the engine mounts are different with the MR2 Turbo box being in place, bit more noise, but so what? - can't see anyone who owns an Elise minding (not someone with an old std-ish S1 for sure)

In case you had not worked it out I was more than a little impressed, as a whole it seems like a great combination of power and the ability to use it to me; fair play to Frank, Charlie, Mike Stafford and Chris Randell for coming up with the devils own toy of a car. If you get the chance to have a ride in this take it, if not enjoy the videos that will no doubt get posted, if nothing else you can laugh at me bobbing about like a nodding dog, going fark its quick, and whooping in a rather non Brit fashion. If you'd been there you might have too. Epic stuff - cheers Frank

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60ZbGIBEaWs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cA8ip95pJZE
 

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Some more great Video of Ronin's Beastie Carving the Canyons with Duncan from Seloc!




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David Meets Goliath :evil:
 

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Whoa...that's an elise? That's so cool. I think it looks a little better with the turn signals, but that's a ridiculously cool car. :D
 

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It's acually an Elxige!
 

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dayum
 
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