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Discussion Starter #1
I currently have an 03.5 E46 M3. Thinking of going to an Elise. The only thing is that I currently drive my M3 all year round and put a set of snows and my winter wheels on. Handles amazing in the snow believe it or not.

So, I would have to get a winter/possible daily if I got an Elise, which would probably be a C5 Audi A6 -- cheap and comfy.

Do many drive theirs daily in the warmer months? My M3 is currently modded with suspension and 19" HRE's and almost all NA mods done to it. So its loud and stiff, can't imagine a stock Elise being much worse? Plus I'm 6 feet and about 195, shouldn't see a problem fitting at all.

I hope to learn a little about ownership before jumping ship -- any tips or tricks please chime in!

Thanks in advance!
 

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I'm not sure where you live, but you almost certainly want another car if it snows where you live. A stock Elise is likely stiffer than your modded M3, although loudness is more a personal choice than a necessity. I'd keep the winter M3 wheels and put them on a used 330XI or some other suitable vehicle for daily driving/snow. (I have a '01 330XI with winter and summer wheels and an Elise).

John
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'm in the Twin Cities as well!

I would of course need a winter/daily, but wondering more on the daily preference. Maybe keep the M3 as my winter/daily :)

Do you drive yours daily -- too and from work etc?

I am going to go drive one of the Exige's up at Minneapolis Jaguar to see how it feels this week.
 

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I've been looking at gettnig an M3 E46 as my daily.
 

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I'm in the Twin Cities as well!

I would of course need a winter/daily, but wondering more on the daily preference. Maybe keep the M3 as my winter/daily :)

Do you drive yours daily -- too and from work etc?

I am going to go drive one of the Exige's up at Minneapolis Jaguar to see how it feels this week.
I don't drive the Elise as a daily driver - it's just a little too inconvenient even to make it my "regular" car for driving to work during the summer. Plus, the Elise doesn't really feel like a powerful car until you're over 6000 rpm, so even my 330xi feels like it has more low-end torque for daily driving. You really need a test drive or two to understand if it's right for you...

John
 

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I'll chime in here a bit coming from an M3, albeit an E36. I had a well modded E36 same stuff, all the bolt-ons, wheels,suspension etc.

First, definitely get yourself a winter car considering your location. I'm in Boston and always found that at least for the winter months having something to drive and keep the fun car safe is a much better option. Even if you get something not all that spectacular, I picked up a 99 Nissan Frontier for winter use and occasional summer hauling. That being said during the nice months I use the Elise most of the time for my short work commute and weekend fun stuff.

The Lotus is a bit of a change on many levels, but honestly all are really for the better. The handling is superb, the mid-engine setup is great fun, and as an all around driving experience I'd say it's a hard car to beat. The only thing is some guys miss the torque delivery of the Germans. There are cures for that whether it be the S/C Elise from the factory or calling up a tuner for a pretty cheap S/C add-on. It doesn't always feel as fast as the M3, but it gives the right feedback and makes the right noises. Speedwise the car is definitely no slouch. You'll learn to love the Lotus inadequacies (i.e. quirks) and be pleasantly surprised by the amount of stuff you can actually fit in the boot and places you can comfortably take the car. I'm not going to lie about it, after owning another car nothing beats the M3 as the everyday sports car. It's fun, fits 4 (maybe 5), all their luggage and can still do 120mph down the highway. That really says something. But when it comes to a raw, viseral driving experience the Lotus takes the cake and brings way more in terms of smiles. At least in my experience.

So far I have no regrets leaving the BMW family and joining the British clan. Every mile has been a great experience. One final note be prepared for the attention the Lotus brings...much more than the M3. It looks the exotic part so people tend to react both positively and sometimes negatively. Although it will make your morning when some little kid shouts out "nice Lotus!", because you'll remember one day a long time ago that was probably you. :nanner:
 

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I have an m3 csl with kw3 as well as a 2-11, the 2-11 is softer on the road...agree that the m3 with snow tires is great on snow, personnally would keep the m3 as daily, althought it will feel like a truck when you drive it after the lotus ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks guys!

I am now maybe thinking Exige... tough to say.

But without a doubt I will get another cheaper unfun daily/winter car. My commute is fairly long and I doubt I will want to be in a Lotus in stop and go for 45 minutes.
 

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I had a E46 M3 ZCP and then bought an Exige S. If I were you, I would go with the Exige S. More torque. More power. You will like it more. This is especially true on the track. There aren't that many cars that can out pace an Exige S on the track.

It will be no where near as comfortable as the M3. I missed the comfort and sound system of the M3 a lot. But the Exige S's handling and lap times made up for it.

I eventually ended up getting a C6 Z06. And I think that is the best car I've ever owned thus far. It's really comfy. It has a lot of space. It has torque out the wazoo. The power is amazing. And the handling is awesome. It may not be as precise or pure as the Exige, but it gets the job done. It also has the fastest lap times out of all three cars.

If you are going to drive competitively, you will be very happy with the Exige S. Consumables on the car are extremely low. And they are pretty easy to drive at the limit.

If you are looking for strictly a commuter car, it will not be as nice as either the M3 or Z06. It's very hard to beat the M3 as a daily driver/sports sedan.

If you want to pick up chicks, get a Lotus. :up: Be prepared for an enormous amount of attention with a Lotus.
 

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I drive my Elise daily to work. 35 miles each way. Can't get enough of it. I don't mind the stiff suspension. When I get back into my VW Golf it feels like I'm in a mini-van. It doesn't snow in Southern California so I know my opinion doesn't really count, but just wanted to comment on the stiffness.
 

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I would get the Exige, and then buy yourself a Range as your dd. Best of both worlds.
 

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Just sold my Elise, I went with an S2000....its just the right compromise between the Lotus, and a comfort rotfl
 

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Just sold my Elise, I went with an S2000....its just the right compromise between the Lotus, and a comfort rotfl
True, S2000 is 80% of the fun but way more practical. I daily drive my S2000 and weekend drive my Elise.
 

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Look up "OriginalBlackCi" and his posts..... daily driven even in Chicago winters for YEARS! :D
 

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I drive my Elise daily to work. 35 miles each way. Can't get enough of it. I don't mind the stiff suspension. When I get back into my VW Golf it feels like I'm in a mini-van.
++

...as does my turbobeetle...fortunately i'm very fond of minivans and don't plan to let it go anytime soon; it complements the elise's deficiencies quite nicely...

...my biggest problem is driving the turbobeetle frequently enough to avoid neglect!..
 

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Get the car you want first. Worry about the second/daily/beater/whatever second.

Still, you really need to test drive one to know. All the postulating in the world does not beat the feeling of sitting behind the wheel for the first time. Is test driving cars an uncommon thing these days?
 

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speaking of testing driving for the first time, It will leave u with a big SMILE on your face compared to the m3 espically if you test drive an exige.
 

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have an 02 e46 m3 and just got a 05 supercharged lotus elise.
very different cars...
lotus elise is much more fun to drive...
life is short.. you only live once.. i think most people spend about 10-20% of their waking day in a car... so drive what you enjoy!!!
 
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