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Discussion Starter #1
I have driven and I am familar with the MR2 Spyder. Wonder if anyone who has driven both cars could compare and contrast.

Both are light mid-engine and have Toyota engines. I imagine the Lotus being about 200 to 300 lb lighter and with a more sophisticated chassis should have a higher performance envelope but I wonder about the fun to drive factor.

Is the Elise a level above? It is almost $20000 more. The MR2 may be a more refined car but also is probably more tame. I thought the MR2 was very fun to drive and hope the Elise is more so.
 

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I have driven and raced the Spyder a lot. I have only test drove the Elise.

The Spyder is a competent handling car. A little too much body roll. Peppy engine, but not neck snapping acceleration. Needs an LSD. Nice balance.

The Elise is a lot lower, stiffer, faster.

And I am not sold on the Spyder engine as far as reliability. IMHO.

Yes, the Elise a major step up in performance.
 

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Welcome aboard. There are quite a few posters here who are/were MR2 owners. Check the prior threads in this BBS for that, otherwise, do lots of reading, and check the other boards (there are lots from the UK because that's where most of the Elises have been going up till now).

You'll see that the Elise is quite unique (literally in a class by itself). It may or may not be what you're looking for, but either way the journey will be worth your while.
 

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Randy Chase said:
... A little too much body roll...

...And I am not sold on the Spyder engine as far as reliability. IMHO.
The sportivo fixes the body roll. As for the engine, can anyone say CAT? 2 people are putting the same celica engine in now. Seems liek the swap will not be too expensive. Still the Elise is lighter.
 

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Yes. You can lower the Spyder and change some suspension bits and replace the engine with the Celica powerplant. That would make it a lot closer to the Elise.
 

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I still think the sportivo should have been standard on the spyder and the celica engine should have been an option if it fits. Does anyone know if the Celica people have any of the cat failures that the spyders do? Since it is that same engine and that is 1 reason why I am gettign an elise
 

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Randy Chase said:
Yes. You can lower the Spyder and change some suspension bits and replace the engine with the Celica powerplant. That would make it a lot closer to the Elise.
But why stop there? You could have some Ferrari engineers come in and work their magic. That would get it closer still. Any car can be as good or better than any car out there.

Most problems can be fixed provided you throw enough money at them. Believe me, if Bill Gates wanted his Lazy-Boy recliner to be faster and better handling than the Liz he could get it done.

Which is why I always compare stock to stock. Any other comparison will perpetuate an endless amount of, "well if you add whatever to the car it will be better" replies.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Original question

I had hoped someone on this board had driven both cars and could compare and contrast as stock and say if they thought the Elise is worth the extra money in being fun to drive and overall performance.
 

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The Elise is in a different league to the MR2. You have to accept though that the more you spend on a car, its all diminishing returns. Having said that, it probably has more storage space than an MR2, definitely has better handling and performance. Probably not as reliable though and likely more expensive to repair if you stack it.

Only you can decide if a) the trade offs make sense for you b) you can afford it.

Given the road and track review you guys may end up in the enviable situation we had in the UK when the Elise launched in that you could keep the car for 6 months and still sell it on at over list. Don't bank on this though as it may not happen, so you need to want the car anyway, however there are uk Elise owners on the forums who went through 3 cars at the launch selling them all on for a profit.
 

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Randy, has driven the MkIII quite a bit as well as raced it. None of us here (in the States) have had much seat time in the Elise, more so the Fed version. Wroth the money... well that's something you'll have to decide for yourself. Dan, the MkIII doesn't have a trunk so the Liz wins there.

Have taken the MkIII and Euro Elise out for a test drive... fun to drive hands down the Elise.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Sorry if this is a dumb question but is the MkIII the MR2? I assume so.

I thought the MR2 was very fun to drive although not fast enough.

Judging by the response, I think I would like the Elise a lot!
 

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Yeah but the MR2 has some silly bins behind the seat. Not looked too carefully but been told they are tiny :)

Like I said though, the cars are in different leagues. Which is fortunate given the price differential! If you wanted to compare to Jap metal, I'd say the S2000 is a better comparison.
 

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Sorry, I've got a MkII MR2-turbo, the Spyder is sometime called a MkIII or 3rd generation. For the Elise it's S1, S2.

I'm sure you'd be happy with it. Have own my MR2 for almost 13yrs, done a fair amount of mods getting just where I want it. Before the Elise there wasn't anything for me to replace it with. Now I couldn't be happier... well maybe if the car was already sitting in the garage. :D
 

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I have driven the MKIII MR-2 Spyder a lot. Thousands of miles, many in a red mist. :) I can tell you what it's good points are, and what it's bad points are. I think I am quite familiar with the car.

However, I have only test driven an Elise. I can only tell you based on my research and that one test drive of the 156hp Elise, what I think.

I would not buy a new Spyder when for $15k more, I can get an Elise. They are world's apart in performance. Even though the Spyder is a fun car that performs well, it's not in the same class. It was designed as a good handling, economical roadster to compete with the Miata, which it does.

Right now, I am thinking quality is going to be about the same in both cars, which unfortunately, does not say a lot about the Spyder. Sorry. I know these cars too well. They have some issues.
 

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Derek said:
if Bill Gates wanted his Lazy-Boy recliner to be faster and better handling than the Liz he could get it done.
I agree to a point, but the platform you start with really does matter a great deal. Realisticaly no amount of money will make a car outhandle the Elise that wasn't originally designed with some premise on cornering ability. Ex a 3200 pound front engine front wheel driver.
 

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DanH said:
Yeah but the MR2 has some silly bins behind the seat. Not looked too carefully but been told they are tiny :)

Like I said though, the cars are in different leagues. Which is fortunate given the price differential! If you wanted to compare to Jap metal, I'd say the S2000 is a better comparison.
HA! the S2K weighs 500lbs more than the MR2 and is front engine, not to mention Honda powered. Don't forget the S3 will have a Toyota engine. Plus I have seen the storage on both cars and the MR2 is not far behind the Elise, after the spare is thrown out. The Elise doesn't have a spare as there is no provision. I do agree that the cars are in different leagues though, and to get back on topic Randy has more experience on this one as I have not driven the Elise, but having had the MR2 for almost two years I think it's very reliable and efficient, not to mention a blast to drive even if it's acceleration is behind the S2k and other sportscars, the fact is until the Elise gets here it's the lightest car you can drive. Lightness is the key to feeling incredibly nimble and fast. This is the reason I want the Elise+ the fact that it comes with a reliable Toyota unit, it's mid engine, for god's sake it's a Lotus for under 40K! I may hang on to the MR2 though, but the two cars may prove unnecesary. The latest issue of EVO has a fastfleet article comparing the two cars as the author drives both and the MR2 is spoken of very highly. After reading it, both cars sound different enough to warrent owning each one. So my verdict buy both, but if you can have only one then Elise is worth the extra$ in the long run. I wonder if Randy will keep driving the MR2?
 

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I wonder if Randy will keep driving the MR2?
No. That decision was made.

I will be racing the shifter kart and the Elise. My street car will be the Elise or the Mercedes.
 
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