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Discussion Starter #1
well after going to the LA Auto Show the other night i've been thinking more and more about my Elise that will probably arrive around august. I just can't decide if i want to spend 40k on this car. I currently have an S2000 and just bought the Daytona Cobra coupe that i posted on here before. Anyway, assuming i have another 40 grand to throw on a performance/track car i've been doing some thinking...

With the C6 corvettes due to arrive soon, the C5 cars are experiencing even more depreciation than they already have. By august i would guess a nice low milage Z06 could be picked up in the mid to low 30s. Say you could grab one for 33, with 7k of mods it would simply crush the Elise in almost every way.

I don't know why you guys are buying the car but for me it is sheer performance, value for money, and fun factor. I couldn't care less what badge is on my car as long as it is well made and fast. Have any of you thought of how you're going to justify the $40k Elise to yourself when C5 Z06 prices are going to be so low?

-Steve
 

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I own a C4 Corvette. Yes it's not a C5 Z06, but it's paid for...freeee. Think what I could do with it and $20k worth of mods ? I don't want to. I want the different driving experience of a 2000 lb car vs a 3300 lb car. I want the different experience that is Lotus vs Chevy. After I've had that difference for awhile I may choose to go back who knows. A used Z06 is one option if the Elise thing doesn't work out for me.

Frankly buying anything more than a Civic is just an excess in my opinion. Splitting hairs on which is the best bargain excess ? Pick your poisen and enjoy. Chevy or Lotus I think I'll move towards the more exotic for my next car choice.


Steve
 

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Have you driven the car?
I really don't think there is anything like it on the market today. it just feels so lightweight and nimble with a well-connected, mechanical feel.
Also, remember, there is more to a car than numbers. I swapped an '86 911 targa for an audi TT. The TT (in 225 hp version) has perfomance that is almost the same as the porsche. I hated the Audi because it wasn't a driver's car at all. It felt heavy and had dead steering and I hated driving it. I dumped it after 6 months and got behind the wheel of a pre-1989 porsche 911 again.
I love those old porsches with unassisted steering that wiggles around in your hands. I jokingly tell people I can drive over a dime and read the date. The elise is like an old 911, but even more so, if that makes any sense.
I haven't driven a Z06, but I have a feeling it is one of those "all grip, no handling" types of cars in the corners.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Joetz, you should drive the Z06. It is most definitely "not your father's vette". It handles as well as anything on the market, although obviously with a different feel than the Elise.

Anyway, point well taken. I am aware of what the Elise offers over the vette, however i'm not sure how many of us realized that Z06's would be SOOO cheap by the time our Elises actually showed up.

EDIT: and yes i have driven the Elise, as well as most everything else on the market.


-Steve
 

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I've driven a Z06 when I was trying to decide between my (former) 2003 Mustang Cobra and the Z06. The Mustang Cobra offered more "bang for the buck" so I bought that instead. Unfortunately the build quality and Ford's commitment to customer satisfaction is incredibly sub-par so I sold it with 640 miles on the clock.

As for the Z06, it was a nice driving car, but it feels a bit ponderous (as does the Cobra.) It has good cornering grip, but it doesn't have that "surgical precision" on turn-in that I prefer in sports cars. The Corvette (and the Z06 IMHO) are more "GT performers" than true sports cars.

The Elise I drove had me sold immediately. Why? Well, the power was good but not overwhelming. But the handling precision is superior. It's easy to place the wheels exactly where you want it. Need to change a lane? It does so without any superfluous motion. In the same way, my former Ferrari 308 GTSi was the same way. It offered excellent handling dynamics (though overall cornering grip is only average now-a-days.) If you had to make a violent, emergency lane change on the freeway at 60 mph, the Ferrari wouldn't lose composure and would accomplish the task with aplomb. I suspect the Elise will be the same way (except, with its lighter weight, will be more surgically precise.)

My $0.02 of course...

Bob K.
 

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If the only thing you care about is performance, go buy an Evo or a WRX. They are cheap and fast. For all you hp and 0-60 freaks, go buy your mustangs and your vettes.

When you want the best handling car in the world which has cutting edge styling all to its own - put your downpayment on your lotus.

I cannot even comprehend comparing a lotus elise with a c6 corvette - or any other car that costs nearly twice the price for that matter. In fact, I was disgusted on new years when a party-goer with whom I was talking cars with asked my why I was considering a Lotus when I could go and get the new "lexus sports car" (which I might add costs a mere 15-20 grand more than the elise).

Some people just dont get it. So don't whine to me when you feel jelous as I pull up beside you in your C6's and Z06's in my Elise and at that moment you realize that your in just another americanized over horsepowered car. Sure you might enjoy those 2 seconds of brief victory as you pull ahead on the straight, but I will be the one smiling because my car will give me the bigger thrill of simply driving all together. And to me, that is very much more important than some crunched horsepower numbers.

-Whit
 

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On ths subject of driving impressions, I've driven a new Z06 and S2K recently.

I currently own a '97 Supra that I've modified for track use, while still maintaining daily driveability. I has alot of power, not the low end of the Z06, but better top end. It weighs 3300 lbs. It's a heavy car for Solo2 autoxing, but surprisingly fast on the road course. I like the looks of my car, and they're pretty rare. Reliability has been great.

I like the new S2K better than the previous years - better front roll stiffness, more low end and more solid feeling in the rear under hard cornering on street tires. I still doesn't have enough power to make me want to buy one.

The new Z06 was impressive, but wasn't a complete package IMO. The immediate power at any RPM is sensational. I thought the brakes were way overboosted, the seats weren't great, and the interior was pretty average. It feels like a big car when it's on the road, yet it obviously performs very well on the track.

I've never driven the Elise, but have a couple seasons in sprint racing shifter karts. When I read R&T's article on the best handling cars, I was thinking the Elise was for me when it was described as a Formula car with fenders. I see the Elise as completely unique in the US market - a very light driver's car that hasn't been bloated by the desire to "have it all" in an attempt to appeal to the masses.

I don't mind fastening my shoulder harnesses every time I drive my car. I don't mind getting an abdominal workout every time I enter and exit my car. I don't mind parking off in the horizon to keep away from flying shopping carts.

I want a car that delivers the finest driving experience possible, without being a trailered race car. I live in the foothills, with 2 lane twisties right out my door. They are waiting for me every day. I can hear them calling for the Lotus.......

Jeff
 

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IMHO - the Elise is a car that you want or you don't want. If you don't really want it - don't buy it.

The Z06 will beat an Elise around almost any track given a good driver. They are much faster in almost all aspects of track driving.
 

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From a pure performance perspective, I don't see any way one can justify on paper the Elise over a current Z06, particularly at the prices they can now be had. The choice to go with the Elise seemingly can only be justified by other characteristics besides laptimes and raw performance data: Lotus-cache, exclusivity, styling, and, most importantly, driving dynamics.

As Sowman already said above, comparing the Elise with its contemporaries is already an exercise in comparing excess against excess. Once you are past looking at a car for basic, appliance like transportation, it becomes a matter of taste. In this context, one is obligated to buy the car that incites passion and obsession.

I'm not sure if the Elise is 'my car', but I just got in line for one. We'll see when the demo arrives if it instills the kind of passion that justifies draining my bank account by $45,000. That's a mighty big check to write.
 

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This is a classic conundrum with no right answer. Some people go for big and powerful; others light and lithesome. My current car is an M3 and I know I want to go lighter, not heavier.

Environment has a lot to do with it. I live in New England and we have a lot of tight curvy roads through the woods and CA has a lot of mountain roads. English secondary roads are very tight and curvy, the Elise was designed with these types or roads in mind. Maybe if I lived in an area with open sweeping roads I would go for a different type of car. No philosophy is
"correct", but the Lotus philosophy definitely appeals to a smaller group :D
 

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My current car is an E36 M3. The Z06 is lighter than it, as well as considerably lighter than the E46 M3. :)

In any event, the Z06 doesn't drive as light as it is, and certainly not sprightly like an Elise (though I'm just gleaning from what I've read on the Elise, as I've never driven one, no less seen one in the flesh).
 

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The Z06 is an awsome car, whether you track it or autocross it, in the hands of a good driver it is the equal of anything out there comparing stock to stock cars. It's all what you want, if you are simply looking at performance the Z06 is hard to beat. I prefer the light weight route, can you tell by the Caterham 7, and have a blast out running big bore cars, but the fact is a good driver in a Z06 can equal or beat me at the track or autocross if the course is fast.
Given your indecision, go cheap, if Z06s are down in price get one and enjoy it! Besides I suspect a lot of Elise owners are going to selling their cars early on, you will be able to pick one up at a good price when the supply catches up with demand, heck the local BMW dealer is discounting M3s now!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
zcar222 said:
If the only thing you care about is performance, go buy an Evo or a WRX. They are cheap and fast. For all you hp and 0-60 freaks, go buy your mustangs and your vettes.

When you want the best handling car in the world which has cutting edge styling all to its own - put your downpayment on your lotus.

I cannot even comprehend comparing a lotus elise with a c6 corvette - or any other car that costs nearly twice the price for that matter. In fact, I was disgusted on new years when a party-goer with whom I was talking cars with asked my why I was considering a Lotus when I could go and get the new "lexus sports car" (which I might add costs a mere 15-20 grand more than the elise).

Some people just dont get it. So don't whine to me when you feel jelous as I pull up beside you in your C6's and Z06's in my Elise and at that moment you realize that your in just another americanized over horsepowered car. Sure you might enjoy those 2 seconds of brief victory as you pull ahead on the straight, but I will be the one smiling because my car will give me the bigger thrill of simply driving all together. And to me, that is very much more important than some crunched horsepower numbers.

-Whit
nice speech but unfortunately you are grossly uninformed. First of all, i have been racing cars and karts all my life. One of us doesn't "get it" but it's not me. If you think the Z06 is only about crunched horsepower numbers then you are just an idiot. There is a reason why they are simply crushing the competition in any competitive driving they are doing, especially autocrosses which as you should know are almost totally handling dependent.

Then you bring up the price issue. Well the whole point of my post is that by the time the Elises come here, the Z06s will be considerably cheaper, so what are you talking about???

Bringing up the EVO and STi is also idiotic as they are both AWD ralley cars, not even remotely in the same class.

Please inform yourself before making posts so that you can share worthwhile information instead of going off on rants that are at best unrelated and at worst idiotic.

-Steve
 

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I guess I'm missing something? Isn't the Z06 a hard top car? Maybe you should be comparing to one of the other Vettes.

Anyway I think you're all missing a very important fact about the Elise. Because it gives so much feedback and is so precise it helps to make YOU a better driver. This is perhaps the main reason I want the Elise:)
 

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I hear what you're saying. It's tough when you have already decided to spend $45,000 on a car (but can't get it yet), and then you start looking at what else is out there for that price... especially if consider the used market.

Something else for you to think about... the Viper GTS's and even some ACR's are now down to about $40k, most of them with ~14,000 miles. And I'm talking the 97 and newer GTS's with ABS here.

In the end it's always going to come down to what gets your blood pumping. You're going to be able to justify either decision.

I think a problem that us guys have is that we always feel the need to justify our decisions with logic. Buy the car that's going to give YOU a bigger smile everytime you drive it/see it/think about it and you will have made an excellent decision. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
MacMan said:


I think a problem that us guys have is that we always feel the need to justify our decisions with logic. Buy the car that's going to give YOU a bigger smile everytime you drive it/see it/think about it and you will have made an excellent decision. :)
by far the best point so far :cool:
 

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Derek said:
I guess I'm missing something? Isn't the Z06 a hard top car? Maybe you should be comparing to one of the other Vettes.
/B]


Another valid point. I wanted to buy a convertible next as I've never owned one. Here is finally a convertible that keeps up with and beats most all hardtops in the low body flex and great handling departments. Hard to enjoy the breeze and sun in that Z06.


Steve
 

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I am loving this thread.

I am forced with a similar decision.

I get the worlds biggest SMILE when I am racing a Z06 and yes, they handle. They turn like a car that weighs half as much.

I am looking a an ELISE to campaign in SCCA Solo 2. It will most likely end up against the Z06. (Without a limited slip it will be hampered out of the corners.)

I am counting on the fact that I can run the ELISE faster through the same corner because if I can not the vette will eat it alive. The Z06s ability to go from 20 - 60 mph is second to none. Porsche calls it flexibility Flexiblity wins autocrosses.

I am torn. The Z06 ( a borrowed Z06) carried me to a national title this season in Kansas and the smile factor is HUGE..

I have driven the European 156HP Elise and was not impressed with the acceleration. When you buried the motor low in the RPM it took forever to come back. ( I am hoping the Toyota power will fix that).

I was also able to make the European car spin the inside wheel on the street.... Yep, on the street without race rubber.

Having said that. The car has more feel than ANYTHING I have ever driven. As a chief instructor for a driving school I have driven EVERYTHING...even a paddle shifted Ferrarri.

I think the ELISE will put a huge smile on my face but I am worried that it will not be the car for the class. With the NEW Z06 coming next summer promising 500 hp and ever better handling than the first Z06....

The decision is going to be tough....and I am very early on the list...

I truely need help in my decision...
 

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James A said:
Given your indecision, go cheap, if Z06s are down in price get one and enjoy it! Besides I suspect a lot of Elise owners are going to selling their cars early on, you will be able to pick one up at a good price when the supply catches up with demand, heck the local BMW dealer is discounting M3s now! [/B]
There is a saying "fools rush in where angels fear to tread." I am not buying an Elise until after TWO full years have passed. By that time many things would have happened:

1. The gouging that will happen will MOST likely not exist. All the hype would have died down and there is more room to buy the car w/o being gouged.

2. The glitchs in the Fed Elise would have been worked out. There will be glitchs and I do not want to be part of that. So I will wait.

3. A lot of people who bought the Elise as a primary mod of transport MIGHT regret it and they will sell the car. The resale value of Lotus is poor and so I might be able to pick one cheaper 10K in two year's time.

I am not in a hurry at all. I love to wait things out. It is sad that we live in a culture of instant gratification. But I always believed that good things happen to those who wait, even when it comes to buying cars :D
 

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nj1266 said:
There is a saying "fools rush in where angels fear to tread." I am not buying an Elise until after TWO full years have passed. By that time many things would have happened:

1. The gouging that will happen will MOST likely not exist. All the hype would have died down and there is more room to buy the car w/o being gouged.

2. The glitchs in the Fed Elise would have been worked out. There will be glitchs and I do not want to be part of that. So I will wait.

3. A lot of people who bought the Elise as a primary mod of transport MIGHT regret it and they will sell the car. The resale value of Lotus is poor and so I might be able to pick one cheaper 10K in two year's time.

I am not in a hurry at all. I love to wait things out. It is sad that we live in a culture of instant gratification. But I always believed that good things happen to those who wait, even when it comes to buying cars :D
Pretty much took the words out of my mouth. As much as I love the Elise design and concept, I will wait. I'll let the dealer hold my deposit for the time being so I can get my order in at will.

BTW, I have already seen 04 Z06s advertised new for $46K. I was so close to buying one a yr ago. The dealer jerked me around and I stormed out of the dealership telling him not to call me. Two months later I got my viper GTS. No regrets.
 
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