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It's probably a biased comparison. That's a 7 forum.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
You should read the comments, many on the Lotus 7 forum like the Elise and even prefer it. Most say the Elise is a much more practicle car than the 7, and depending on the situation an equal in handling. The power to wieght is noted as the area most lacking in the Elise, but that is based on most having driven a Rover engined Elise.
 

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Having owned a Caterham for a couple years, to my knowledge their's no other car out there that gives the sheer visceral pleasure of driving a seven does.

The elise is the ONLY practical driving car that comes close to the fun of a seven, it DOES compromise in earthly comforts. Hell next to a seven, an S1 elise is like a fully decked out luxury car in comparison.

Chris
 

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I'm a member of both forums and the 7 board seems more obective than this one (most of the time).

But don't forget the 7 is almost half the weight of the coming Fed Elise! The Super7 I am looking to buy is 1070lbs compared to 1900+lbs for the Elise.

The 7 is much more "raw" than an Elise. It doesn't make the Elise a bad car or a luxury boulevard cruiser. It 's just that the Super7 is the absolute minimalist car. How many Elise owners could live without a radio? I even saw people on this very board getting mad the fed Elise wasn't coming with fog lights!!! Who needs that anyway?

Believe me, a car can be more minimalist than an Elise. Don't forget that electric windows, A/C and radio are "luxury items" not found on any Seven. Some Caterhams even come without windshield and doors!!!

It can't be much more minimalist than a 7 and still be street legal and/or still be called a car. Think about it as a 4 wheels bike.
 

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I'm curious as to which model seven comes in at that weight? That's with engine. My Cat HPC weighed about 1500 but I did have a dedion rear which is a bit heavier.

Chris
 

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Discussion Starter #7
In the USA the Caterham Super Light R weighs in at susposidly 1050 pounds. I know My SV weighs in at, I have done the corner weights so I know, 1267 pounds with the light weight wheels and tires and no spare. The SLR is susposed to be about 200 pounds lighter than the SV.
 

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The 7 blows... If I wanted a dune buggy I'd get a a dune buggy. If I wanted a riceburner I'd get a riceburner [I actually have one, an RC51 to be exact].

My deal is this; nothing will come close to the riding pleasure, connection with the road and balls out performance of a motorcycle. All save one... The Elise [probably as close as a car can come]. It's quick, handles like a teenager, and has the benefit of a passenger seat.

Plus you can drive it wearing board-shorts and flip-flops! Ah, got to love Socal...

Got the call from Valenti today and man to I feel great! This is the only way I can seem to compare it?...
http://turnpikefilms.com/spots/nutrigrain.html
 

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A few weekends ago I spent some time in an Ultralight at the track. No, not the personal aircraft. This was a heavily interpreted 7 replica with 5" wider track and an S2000 motor. Claimed under 1500 lbs with 240bhp, which is more than a little cool. It even had sticky Hoosiers on it.

Holy schmolly it was fast. Stupid fast. Just insane accelleration, cornering, braking and noise. Riding in it felt like being in the center of an explosion in a mosh pit. I really liked it. But yeah, definitely raw. It made my fully prepped race car feel luxurious, quiet and slow! Despite the 5 point harness and racing bucket, I ended up with bruises all down my left side.

Colin Chapman was cool.
 

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zvezdah1 said:
I'm curious as to which model seven comes in at that weight? That's with engine. My Cat HPC weighed about 1500 but I did have a dedion rear which is a bit heavier.

Chris
The model is an SV but with a motorcycle engine (Hayabusa). It is much lighter than a regular car engine (the transmission especially). Weighs in at 1070 with 185hp. This exact model has been tested to do the 0-60 in 3.2sec!
 

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Only downside I encountered was due to the aerodynamics about 120 or so was all I could reasonably get out of it on the back straight at Road Atlanta (had the vauxhall 2 liter). I did have the clamshell fenders which act just like wings, better to go with brooklands windscreen and cycle fenders.

Sevens are wonderful cars but will wear you out after about 150 miles.

Chris
 

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Only downside I encountered was due to the aerodynamics about 120 or so was all I could reasonably get out of it on the back straight at Road Atlanta (had the vauxhall 2 liter). I did have the clamshell fenders which act just like wings, better to go with brooklands windscreen and cycle fenders.

Sevens are wonderful cars but will wear you out after about 150 miles.

Chris
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Your right Chris the aerodynamics of a brick! I have heard that the clam shells will actuall produce lift above a certain speed, did you notice the front end getting light on the back straight?
It's interesting, you can certainly tell who had driven a 7, or at least knows what they are talking about, and who is a bench racer in this thread!
 

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JIm,
Can definately vouch for the clams lifting the front end on the back straight at RA. Definately reduce the handling of the car. I had bought the car already built with the clams, to have converted to cycle fenders would've created all kinds of hassles. The other trick I learned is to turn your headlight sideways (I drove to/from the track) hence my experience of driving a 7 on interstate 85 for about 150 miles one way, ouch!! Did have the dedion, rigid axle would be pure hell I think!!
Chris
 

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James A said:
Your right Chris the aerodynamics of a brick!
I have read somewhere that the cx for a seven is ,62!! Don't know if it was with clamshell fenders or not. But this is twice as much as a modern car. Of course, wind tunnels weren't popular in the 50s.

Aerodynamics is the sole reason why the Seven isn't faster. Some people remove the lights and windscreen for track days.
 

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Cat 7 looks like a blast. Here is C & D's take on one:

http://www.caranddriver.com/article.asp?section_id=4&article_id=7714

btw.. does the factory install the motor if you choose, or do you have to find an outside mechanic? Whats involved with getting them licensed? I'm guessing they aren't street legal, so what happens when one has the misfortune of getting pulled over? On a similiar note, what are the potential fines for getting busted with a track only Exige on the street?
 

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I'm not sure what the rules are in the US. You can start by checking here: http://www.uscaterham.com/home.html

I know there are some Seven clones using Miata or S2000 engine and drivetrain.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Any of the 6 or 7 distributors in the USA will completely build the car for you if requested. My recommendation is to build it yourself, it's a lot of fun. As to the aerodynamics, the Super Light R comes with a wind deflector rather than a wind screen and it helps a lot in terms of top speed. I am tempted to try removing the wind sceen and lights in an upcoming track day just to see how much it helps, it's an easy job.
I still haven't found a car as fun to drive at the limits as the Seven, although I think the Elise will be close. But compared to the Seven the Elise is a luxuary car and is 60% heavier!
 
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