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From Ads at SELOC:

Had a chance to test drive the new 111R this morning...

Well, it's a bloody good car. I wasn't allowed to push it too hard as it's still being run in but was allowed 7k rpm with 3/4 throttle. The VVTI point is at 6.2k rpm and quite honestly it feels weird. The car is as at least as rapid as a 111S up to this point (probably slightly quicker) but then you hear a little woosh/clank and then it really seems like you've been hit by the car behind as the car basically launches from that point on. Other than that, the Toyota engine is very smooth and good to drive, although I think it needs a decent exhaust/induction system to get the noise right.
The toyota installation is very neat and tidy with a nice aluminimum cam cover that looks so much better than the nasty plastic one fitted to the K series. Interestingly, the boot floor looks about 1-2 inches higher - probable to accomodate the redeveloped exhaust system.

The exhaust reminds me of the standard S1 system with two pipes centrally mounted below the diffuser. It really doesn't look good at all - i much prefered the spy shots taken with the single exige type exhaust as this would fit in better with the design.

The gearbox is considerably more refined than the rover one with each gear engaging with a solid feel, however, I think it does suffer from greater gearstick travel - a quickshift/short throw system is aching to be put in. There is a selector ring on the gearstick to allow reverse to be engaged and I found this to be a little too big and got in the way of normal driving.

So far so good... Then we come to the brakes... Oh my god... what have they done?!? The brake pedal feel can only be described as "non existent". Ok, to be fair I'd really like to have a go on track and see how different everything feels but on the road it is difficult to control the deceleration of the car. There is at least 1 inch of pedal movement before you notice anything happening. Past this point then the car will start slowing down before your foot registers any resistance on the pedal. Push a little bit harder then you have a textbook emegency stop. i'm sure most of it is down to me the driver - I'd just got out of my S2 Sport 190 where the brake pedal is best described as "immovable" but the 111R was really hard work to drive smoothly. I never had a chance to test the ABS out but I was told that it kicks in very very late so it still allows alot of driver interaction before the car control aids take over.
The raised bonnet (housing the brake servo and ABS) does not look too bad when you first see it, but after seeing an S1, S2 and a 111R lined up, it does take some of the "magic" out of the cars' lines. To give some idea of the change, the front clam, bonnet vents and access panels are now virtually in line so there is no longer any "dip" where the radiator sits.

The car drives very much like the S2 111S with the additional weight hardly making itself known. The only exception is the steering feels slightly heavier but I found this made the car less nevous at speed and generally feel slightly more planted to the road. Of course, on track this might be different...
One point - There currently is no option available to have LSS, OZ's and 048's fitted to the 111R. This suspension pack is seen as one of the key differentiating factors between the 111R and the new S2 Exige.

Overall, I think it's a great car - it is the car Lotus had to build in order to gain some financial stability. The toyota engine coupled with the MY04 spec (leccy windows, central locking, a/c, sound proofing) makes the car incredibly refined to drive. I never once heard a clank, bang, pop or even much road noise. This is a car that will be a serious threat Porsche Boxster sales - the 111R Elise is now a complete all rounder that has supurb performance (sub 5 sec 0-60) is fun to drive but is refined enough to open the marque up from just enthusiasts but also to every day "normal" drivers. The only area it loses out to the Boxster that I can think of is the lack of bootspace limiting the car as a GT.
Purists and enthusiasts will exclaim that Lotus are losing the plot and the car is no longer what the Elise concept was all about. I'd agree that the Elise has evolved into something else but I don't doubt that this car will give Lotus the freedom and cash to build the niche cars (Exige, 340r) that we all love to see.

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looks like they weighed it, too:

Just before I leave the garage : we got the new 111r on the scales. Almost empty fuel tank, softtop on, airco,..

862 kilos, front 323 kilos, rear 539 kg.

Nice weekend everyone
right around 1900 lbs.

No airbags on theirs; are there any other differences we're aware of?
 

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Another interesting post in that thread. The car sounds fantastic. I drive a A4 1.8T now so I will love having that VVTi kick. =)

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Originally posted by NoHair
which feals themore rapid on the road of the two 190 cars, yours verses the toyota???
Tough call - Esp. as I wan't allowed to use full throttle or over 7k rpm.

My VHPD K is lumpy at low revs and only really gets going above 4k rpm but then is smooth all the way to the limiter.
The Toyota is considerably better at low revs (tickover at about 700 ish) and feels "quick" to 6.2k rpm without feeling rampant... but the changover I thought was very harsh - you can hear it and feel it - and then things happen with a much greater urgency.

If you were say overtaking then I think you'd suffer more by letting the toyota fall out of its powerband than the K.

As a road car, I think the toyota engine is far better - but would be interested to see how it performs on track with. I think the extra 150-200kg's will really show then.


Did you find the VVTi kick more violent @ 6.2k than the kick of your car from 5k? From your comments it has to be pretty harsh then as they have the same bhp, but yours is 200kg lighter.

Definately more violent. I never noticed it when driving a celica but the lightness of the elise makes it quite apparent - and this was only at 3/4 throttle. It's the closest thing I've seen to turbo lag without a turbo. I'm definately gonna have another go once the car has been run in.
Oh, it's worth stressing that the gear ratios (had a play with them) look as if you'll have no problem keeping the engine in the happy VVTi-L band on track. I remember the honda s2000 needing almost full redline other wise you'd bog a little on change up. This means that with a little less weight and proper suspension the 111R wouldn't have a problem dicing with Sport 190's and Exiges (and also wouldn't leave you deaf by the journey home!)

Have you test driven the VXT? Just curious as to which of the two will feel faster.
Yep - driven the VXT. Another great car for the money (but I'm a rabid badge snob so not for me thanks!). Personally (turbo lag and VVTi timing issues aside) the VXT felt much quicker but the 111R doesn't drive like it's the same weight but a much lighter car. The refinement in the 111R is miles ahead of the VXT too.

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offroadr35 said:
could you post the text please
The text....

New 111R Test Drive

Had a chance to test drive the new 111R this morning...

Well, it's a bloody good car. I wasn't allowed to push it too hard as it's still being run in but was allowed 7k rpm with 3/4 throttle. The VVTI point is at 6.2k rpm and quite honestly it feels weird. The car is as at least as rapid as a 111S up to this point (probably slightly quicker) but then you hear a little woosh/clank and then it really seems like you've been hit by the car behind as the car basically launches from that point on. Other than that, the Toyota engine is very smooth and good to drive, although I think it needs a decent exhaust/induction system to get the noise right.
The toyota installation is very neat and tidy with a nice aluminimum cam cover that looks so much better than the nasty plastic one fitted to the K series. Interestingly, the boot floor looks about 1-2 inches higher - probable to accomodate the redeveloped exhaust system.

The exhaust reminds me of the standard S1 system with two pipes centrally mounted below the diffuser. It really doesn't look good at all - i much prefered the spy shots taken with the single exige type exhaust as this would fit in better with the design.

The gearbox is considerably more refined than the rover one with each gear engaging with a solid feel, however, I think it does suffer from greater gearstick travel - a quickshift/short throw system is aching to be put in. There is a selector ring on the gearstick to allow reverse to be engaged and I found this to be a little too big and got in the way of normal driving.

So far so good... Then we come to the brakes... Oh my god... what have they done?!? The brake pedal feel can only be described as "non existent". Ok, to be fair I'd really like to have a go on track and see how different everything feels but on the road it is difficult to control the deceleration of the car. There is at least 1 inch of pedal movement before you notice anything happening. Past this point then the car will start slowing down before your foot registers any resistance on the pedal. Push a little bit harder then you have a textbook emegency stop. i'm sure most of it is down to me the driver - I'd just got out of my S2 Sport 190 where the brake pedal is best described as "immovable" but the 111R was really hard work to drive smoothly. I never had a chance to test the ABS out but I was told that it kicks in very very late so it still allows alot of driver interaction before the car control aids take over.
The raised bonnet (housing the brake servo and ABS) does not look too bad when you first see it, but after seeing an S1, S2 and a 111R lined up, it does take some of the "magic" out of the cars' lines. To give some idea of the change, the front clam, bonnet vents and access panels are now virtually in line so there is no longer any "dip" where the radiator sits.

The car drives very much like the S2 111S with the additional weight hardly making itself known. The only exception is the steering feels slightly heavier but I found this made the car less nevous at speed and generally feel slightly more planted to the road. Of course, on track this might be different...
One point - There currently is no option available to have LSS, OZ's and 048's fitted to the 111R. This suspension pack is seen as one of the key differentiating factors between the 111R and the new S2 Exige.

Overall, I think it's a great car - it is the car Lotus had to build in order to gain some financial stability. The toyota engine coupled with the MY04 spec (leccy windows, central locking, a/c, sound proofing) makes the car incredibly refined to drive. I never once heard a clank, bang, pop or even much road noise. This is a car that will be a serious threat Porsche Boxster sales - the 111R Elise is now a complete all rounder that has supurb performance (sub 5 sec 0-60) is fun to drive but is refined enough to open the marque up from just enthusiasts but also to every day "normal" drivers. The only area it loses out to the Boxster that I can think of is the lack of bootspace limiting the car as a GT.
Purists and enthusiasts will exclaim that Lotus are losing the plot and the car is no longer what the Elise concept was all about. I'd agree that the Elise has evolved into something else but I don't doubt that this car will give Lotus the freedom and cash to build the niche cars (Exige, 340r) that we all love to see.
 

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offroadr35 said:
oh, that has already been posted. thanks anyway
I guess I missed it, what was the thread title ?
 

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>The brake pedal feel can only be described as "non existent".

Ugh. That was the best part about the Elise: the brake feel.

:(

Thomas
 

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Well if vague brakes are the only complaint, off they go, out goes the boost, out goes the ABS and on goes the AP four pot brakes!
 

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James A said:
Well if vague brakes are the only complaint, off they go, out goes the boost, out goes the ABS and on goes the AP four pot brakes!
Slow down there... Why did Lotus release the car first in the UK?

Answer: So that they could iron out the bugs and tweak the car. For all we know this issue may be resolved long before first car gets here.
 

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Definately more violent. I never noticed it when driving a celica but the lightness of the elise makes it quite apparent - and this was only at 3/4 throttle. It's the closest thing I've seen to turbo lag without a turbo. [/B]


Sound exciting!
and is only at 3/4 throttle, what about at full throttle?! :)
 

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another review:

111R

I just went out for a quick drive in B&C's 111R. The engine is much smoother than any K-series I've driven, even though it only had 140 miles on the clock. It pulls nicely from throughout the range, but once you get above 6000rpm it just goes mad! The car seems much quicker than any other Elise I've driven. It was clear that although I wasn't actually going faster than I would normally drive the engine had plenty of performance left. It even sounds quite good! The gearbox has a much better feel to it than the Rover unit, and the ratios seems to suite the car well.

As the brakes now have servos, I can imagine that stepping into the 111R from a normal Elise would feel a bit odd. Fortunately (or unfortunately) I've been driving my Pug for the last week so I was used to the extra travel the servos give. I'm no expert but to my mind for an ABS system the brakes felt great, not unlike a 996’s (well at least from what I remember), plus they certainly stop the car well.

As for the ride and handling, it felt much like any other S2 to me. The ride is harder than my S1 but the ride quality is much improved from what I'm used to. I've not really had enough experience in S2's to tell whether much has changed from them. I couldn’t notice the extra weight (the demo car has air-con and electric windows), though I guess a longer drive would be needed for any differences to be obvious.

Most of the time my S1 sounds like its shaking itself apart... The 111R was actually put together well... there were no rattles creaks, not like a real lotus at all! The boot floor is a bit higher than an S2, but I reckon it’s probably still bigger than an S1's.

The only things I didn't like were the look of the exhaust and the front access panels. The exhaust just looks wrong... they should really move it back to where it belongs. Hopefully some helpful aftermarket chaps will fix that at some point. The new front isn’t as obvious as I thought it would be, but I still prefer the old lines, its nothing I couldn't live with though. Oh, and they really should stop putting the nose badges on the back... the ‘L O T U S’ letters were much better looking (GJOB I know…).

Overall I walked away seriously impressed, to the point I came home to check my bank balance in case it had changed overnight. Unfortunately it hadn't
 

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"i drove one at the weekend and was dissapointed. Felt like a blunt s1 to me, which is a shame, because i went there with a deposit. Gear throw was huge, steering lacked feel, brakes had little feel. Engine was great, low down, top end, everywhere - didnt sound so bad either. Ride quality was good, nvh much improved, interior much more comfy. I drove it in the wet, and found it understeered a lot, (greasy roundabouts) which was a surprise for me, having only ever driven the s1 elise.

Its a much better road car than the elise s1, but thats not why i bought an elise. If you want a fast road car, you can do a lot better with 28k imho."


That part about the Gear Throw is disturbing. Althouth the brakes may get better with use (what if they don't?), the gearbox is here to stay. I can't imagine the gearbox being worse than the Euro Test Car I drove in October. That thing was like a butter churn. Awful. I guess we can always add a short-shift kit, but how many changes are we to make on our brand new $47k purchase? When is enough enough?
 
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