The Lotus Cars Community banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
445 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I hope this isn't a repost. Great article on the SC. I have a couple in stock if anyone is in the market. :)

SORINNE ARDELEANU
Sales Specialist
Bentley, Lamborghini, & Lotus San Francisco
British Motor Car Distributors, LTD
999 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94109
DIRECT: 415-351-5104
[email protected]


http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/convertibles/112_0804_2008_lotus_elise_supercharged_first_drive

The Anti-Godzilla: A sportster that's everything Nissan's mighty GTR is not


By Frank Markus



This year's high-performance headlines are all about Nissan's gigantus GTR, a two-ton nuke lobbed at Newton's laws of physics. Meanwhile, way below the fold in mouse type we read that Lotus has quietly strengthened its longstanding alliance with fellow Brit, Sir Isaac, by introducing an Elise with Exige S power and 63 fewer pounds worth of "resistance to motion."

Granted, a lightened Lotus is no newsflash, but there's quite a bit more to this one than appears at first blush. For one thing, the engine is quite different from the Exige S's. Both start off as Toyota 2ZZ-GE 1.8-liters, but you'll note right off that there's no intercooler and air scoop blocking the rear window of this one. Instead, an entirely new intake manifold by Magnuson incorporates an Eaton M45 Roots-type supercharger that blows a slight boost directly into the intake runners with no detour through a heat-exchanger. This setup shaves 17.6 pounds off the engine's weight, at a cost of just two horsepower and 12 pound-feet from the Exige S motor's output (leaving 218 and 153).



Elise Supercharged model gets a more demure rear spoiler than that of the Exige S, but it's still functional, reducing lift considerably near the car's claimed top speed of 150 mph.Supercharged Elises get new wheels, a unique spoiler, and a single central exhaust pipe. Inside, the gauge graphics are swapped to white-on-black, soft-touch paint dresses up the dash (it's lighter than foam or leather), and featherweight ProBax seats are designed to rotate the pelvis slightly, better distributing the occupant's weight and dramatically improving blood flow to the legs for greater comfort and less fatigue during long stints in the saddle. (Lotus is first to market with these new-age seats.) Ordering is simplified with two major packages, Touring (niceties like leather or faux-suede seat upholstery, carpeting, sound insulation, an iPod connector, and an artful extruded-aluminum cupholder for $1600) and Sport (Bilstein dampers, ultralight forged wheels, sport seats, traction control, and twin oil coolers for $2600). A limited-slip diff is offered ($1790), but dealers are counseled to steer owners away from this option unless they plan to autocross extensively, because on normal twisty roads it actually detracts somewhat from the handling behavior.

And that would be a travesty. From the moment you slip into that form-fitting seat (a task roughly akin to wriggling into a scuba-diving dry suit without the baby powder), it's obvious this platform is optimized for handling, and this configuration is particularly sweet. Its Yokohama Advan Neova AD07 tires offer less extreme levels of grip than the Exige S's Advan A048s. You can probe the limits of this car's grip on a mountain road at sane speeds, which is simply a whole lot more fun than wheeling through the same corner at the same speed nowhere near the limit. With just over 800 pounds of car and driver pressing down on the front wheels, the steering is incredibly light and accurate-the rival of any Porsche's. When attacking a set of switchbacks like the ones scaling California's Mount Palomar, one starts out with an instinctive death-grip on the rim but soon realizes this squelches some of wiggles and twitches the steering rack is sending to describe the nuances of grip and surface texture. Light finger pressure on the tiny (foot-diameter) wheel and about thee-quarters of a turn in either direction are all that's needed to negotiate most switchbacks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
445 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
How about your own review? :p
A customer of mine traded in his 07 on an 08. He's just broken it in and we're supposed to go for a drive soon. I'll bug him to post since he's already put on 1100 miles in 3 weeks. I know he doesn't regret it one bit as the difference is night and day for him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
76 Posts
SC???

Why not just go with the '07 and an aftermarket SC? The BWR and Katana are certinaly well respected mod's and give more power then the Lotus SC used on the Elise SC.. Other then the obvious lack of warranty I guess...

It seams to me that there's a significant amount more horses that come with the BWR or Katana (~250 HP vs the 220'ish in the Elise SC). Not to mention CharlieX's new intercooled SC in the works (reportedly around 85 BHP additional to the wheels - WOW!!!).

Asking to get an answer from someone who deals every day with the new Elise SC and I am sure has seen a TON of BWR and/or Katana SC's as well...

I test drove the Elise SC at my local dealer in Hopewell, NJ (What a bunch of GREAT guys!!!) as well as the Exige 240. The extra power in the 240 was easily noticeable and desireable... Although I did like the slightly softer ride of the non-sports package equiped Elise SC more. BOTH WHERE AWESOME !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ehem...

I am pretty sure I am going to go with a regular Elise and add the aftermarket SC. I just need to decide if I want to go pre-owned or new (I guess it depends on the kind of deal they will give me on a new one)...

Thanks!

-Matt :rolleyes:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,301 Posts
I test drove the Elise SC at my local dealer in Hopewell, NJ (What a bunch of GREAT guys!!!) as well as the Exige 240. The extra power in the 240 was easily noticeable and desireable...
Remember it is not just the extra 20 hp, but also lighter wheels and stickier tires that you felt....the last 2 can be easily remedied, narrowing the difference between the two cars....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,288 Posts
Remember it is not just the extra 20 hp, but also lighter wheels and stickier tires that you felt....the last 2 can be easily remedied, narrowing the difference between the two cars....
do you really think you can feel the difference between stock wheels and lss with ad07s?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,117 Posts
Why not just go with the '07 and an aftermarket SC? The BWR and Katana are certinaly well respected mod's and give more power then the Lotus SC used on the Elise SC.. Other then the obvious lack of warranty I guess...

It seams to me that there's a significant amount more horses that come with the BWR or Katana (~250 HP vs the 220'ish in the Elise SC). Not to mention CharlieX's new intercooled SC in the works (reportedly around 85 BHP additional to the wheels - WOW!!!).

Asking to get an answer from someone who deals every day with the new Elise SC and I am sure has seen a TON of BWR and/or Katana SC's as well...

I test drove the Elise SC at my local dealer in Hopewell, NJ (What a bunch of GREAT guys!!!) as well as the Exige 240. The extra power in the 240 was easily noticeable and desireable... Although I did like the slightly softer ride of the non-sports package equiped Elise SC more. BOTH WHERE AWESOME !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ehem...

I am pretty sure I am going to go with a regular Elise and add the aftermarket SC. I just need to decide if I want to go pre-owned or new (I guess it depends on the kind of deal they will give me on a new one)...

Thanks!

-Matt :rolleyes:
Not an option in California...until someone passes CARB.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,301 Posts
do you really think you can feel the difference between stock wheels and lss with ad07s?
as much as you can feel 20 hp...why were the 0-60 times different for the elise with LSS?

what I am saying is it is all those factors together that makes the difference.....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,221 Posts
In the same vein as SuperVixen (and hopefully not a repost either:)), here's a first drive article from Car and Driver:
2008 Lotus Elise Supercharged / SC 220 - First Drive Review/Sports Car Central/High Performance/Hot Lists/Reviews/Car and Driver - Car And Driver

2008 Lotus Elise Supercharged / SC 220 - First Drive Review
Sun Flower: Fun springs eternal with Lotus’s latest lusty Lilliputian.

BY STEVE SILER
April 2008



Sight. Smell. Hearing. Touch. Taste.

These are the only senses that the Lotus Elise Supercharged (Lotus also calls it the Elise SC 220) stimulates. Even taste: at various points during our spirited drive of the spunky supercharged two-seater along the asphalt ribbons of North San Diego County, we found ourselves picking sand out of our hair, shirts, and, yes, teeth. And if there was a sixth sense, the Elise SC 220 would likely tickle that, too.

Lotuses are a rare but fragrant flower: magical but miniscule little sportsters limited in their appeal—even among the people who can afford them—by their sheer intensity and lack of everyday practicality. With only two seats and virtually no in-cabin storage, a relative lack of sound insulation, and nominal stereo and HVAC controls, Lotus’s Elise targa and its Exige S hardtop sibling represent good third or fourth cars. But for those that have one in their garage, they are scintillating sources of joy.

Unique Supercharger Design, Road-Car Tuning

For 2007, the Exige became the Exige S, which added an intercooled supercharger that gobbled air from above the roof in order to boost output for the mid-mounted, Toyota-sourced 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine. The result was a featherweight, high-revving, 220-hp, 165-lb-ft rocket that was a track junkie’s dream.

Lotus saw similar potential for a second Elise model, but decided to tune the upgraded car to be “a supremely fast road car rather than an extreme track machine.” The transformation dictated the need for a different type of supercharger than the snorkel-fed, intercooled unit that completely blocks the rearward visibility in the Exige S. Lotus thus employed a clever new Eaton-style supercharger integrated with the intake plenum as part of a single casting. Although it does without the intercooler and its vision-blocking air intake (and some 18 pounds of engine weight), the Elise SC 220’s supercharger nonetheless yields nearly the same power bump as that in the Exige S: the SC 220 makes 218 horsepower at 7800 rpm and 153 lb-ft of torque at 5500 rpm, a kick of 28 horsepower and 20 lb-ft over the standard Elise. Compression ratio is astounding at 11.5:1, and the redline remains an eye-watering 8500 rpm.

Lotus tuned the throttle for more progressive actuation compared with the Exige S, in keeping with its street-car purpose. But that is not to say that Lotus slowed it down, claiming that 0–60 mph happens in just 4.4 seconds and 100 mph arrives in just 10.7. Top speed is a claimed 150 mph.

It is the quickest and fastest factory Elise ever. And as we exit the driveway of the Pala Resort and Casino in Pala, California, and dive headlong into what turned into a four-hour, 10/10ths charge along twisting, glorious mountain two-laners, the SC 220’s extra pull is immediately apparent. The engine note and subtle supercharger whine are sublime. This will be a fun day.

A More Perfect Chassis

The vivid scents of the forest swirl into the cabin from above and beside as we drive in a follow-the-very-fast-leader style through the mountains between Pala and Julian, verifying Lotus’s none-too-confident claim that the Elise—every Elise—has a “perfect” chassis setup. As with every Lotus, the steering is divinely inspired. On-center feel is stellar, and the buildup of effort as the wheel turns engages the driver’s entire upper body. Response is immediate. It’s been said that steering is the window to the soul of any car, and the Elise SC 220 bares its soul like no other.

For SC 220 duty, Lotus increased the width of the cast 17-inch rear wheels from 7.5 inches to 8.0 inches in order to maximize the grip of the 225/45-series Yokohama tires, which were co-developed with Lotus specifically for the Elise/Exige S. Interestingly, SC 220s equipped with the Sport Pack (not that any Elise needs it to be “sporty”) feature seven-spoke, 6.0-inch front and 7.5-inch rear forged wheels that Lotus claims are the lightest OEM wheels in the world. Also part of the Sport Pack is a limited-slip differential, traction control, Bilstein shocks, and razor-thin, but somehow superbly comfortable, ProBax seats.

We drove cars equipped with the Sport Pack and those without, and the difference is subtle; the Sport Pack-equipped cars are sharper, but not by much. We would recommend it only for those that really wish their Exige S had a removable top.

All SC 220s toss their 2000 pounds around with nimble dexterity of a cheetah, and, yes, each is deliciously fast. Keeping revs high increases the ability to drift in corners, though one must work to catch the drift—so to speak—quickly, lest the rotation accelerate into a spin, which is very easy to do with mid-engined cars with a 38/62 percent front-to-rear weight distribution. That said, the limits of grip are very high, and the driver’s grin grows in proportion, particularly so on roads like these.

Fancy Footwork, Race-Style Shift Indicators

The view out the front is delightful, with the Elise’s two tall fenders converging to point the way. It’s sunny inside, as the windshield itself is relatively low and far away from the noggin, which explains why sand being kicked up by the tires of the other Lotuses in front of us keeps making it into our hair. But we’re loath to stop and pick it out. Our hosts are in the lead car, setting a crazy pace that requires some fancy footwork to maintain. This is easy in the Elise, as the pedals are optimally placed for heel-toeing, and the clutch is light. The metal-topped shift lever is short and stubby with short throws and is precise enough, except for the occasional hard-to-nail third-to-second downshift.

Behind the eensy MOMO steering wheel is a new white-on-black instrument cluster with three capsule-shaped, progressive shift warning lights that illuminate as redline is approached. Cool detail: the light sequence begins not at a set rpm but rather as a factor of the speed with which the needle climbs; in first gear under full throttle, they will begin earlier; in a higher gear with a slower rev climb, they illuminate closer to the redline.

Low Frills, High Thrills

Eventually one gets around to sniffing out the interior. Compared with something like a Porsche Boxster, this Lotus—well, every Lotus—is relatively low on amenities. But the SC 220, being one of Lotus’s “road cars,” is hardly stripped down. Its $55,425 base price ($8230 more than a naturally aspirated Elise) includes standard air conditioning, carpeted floor mats, and a four-speaker Alpine stereo (clearly an aftermarket bit with a head unit that is both confusing to operate and hard to see in its tucked-away location). A $1600 Touring Pack adds more sound insulation, iPod connectivity, full carpeting, leather trim, a nifty aluminum cupholder, and a trinket storage cubby.

Speaking of storage, there is otherwise precious little of it—just a little shelf in front of the passenger, and perhaps enough room for a small purse behind the passenger footrest, against the front bulkhead. There is a trunk behind the engine in back, for what it’s worth, a space that is wide but neither long nor deep.

Lotus, Make A Deal

For some prospective buyers, the lack of practicality is bound to be a deal-killer. But so desirable is the SC 220 at the end of a thrilling drive such that one starts making all sorts of compromises with their lifestyle in order to accommodate it. “We don’t really need more than four cubic feet of trunk space for a weekend trip.” “Gosh it’s hard getting out of this car—gotta get back to the gym.” Then there are the innately more pragmatic marital concerns: “If she doesn’t like the stiff ride, she can drive her own car.” Or, “If she thinks we don’t need it, do I really need her?”

“She” is really going to have to be something in order to compete with this hot little trick named Elise.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
2007 Elise vs. 2008 Elise SC

As Sorinne mentioned, earlier this month I traded in my 2007 Elise for a 2008 Elise SC that I had ordered awhile ago. The 2007 was a pretty standard build: Storm Titanium, Touring Pack, Hardtop, Starshield and the lighter weight wheels. The SC is also S Ti, Touring Pack, Hardtop, Sharshield, but has the standard SC wheels, Biscuit interior, LSD and Traction Control.

When I traded in the 2007 I had put about 4600 miles on it. In the last few weeks, I have clocked up 1300 miles on the SC. Why not just put a supercharger on the 2007 car? Basically for the reasons already mentioned: warranty and future potential CARB/smog issues.

When I saw the photos of the SC car I wasn't a big fan of either the wheels or the rear wing. In the flesh I actually like the wheels. From looking at the photos I thought that they were silver versions of those on the special type 72 edition Elise (which I had seen a number of times and didn't like -- like the car, but not the wheels), but they are not. The wing is just sort of whatever, but I certainly like it more than I thought I would. The only other obvious change from the outside is the exhaust tip which has the new single oval as opposed to the two round tips. The oval is also tucked away a bit more than the old tips.

On the inside, the car feels subtly more refined due to the change of plastics, the additional leather and new gauge cluster. Before seeing the car in person, I was worried that Lotus had put some sort of slightly "rubberized" coating over the interior plastic to give it the new finish and that on the door sills this would in time rub off (anyone who has used an older IBM Thinkpad for a long period of time will know what I mean). Not so. The texture change is in the plastic itself. The gearshift lever on the SC right out of the box is as loose as it was on the 2007 car with 4600 miles. It's not yet as smooth gear-to-gear as the old car was with miles on it, but it's not nearly as stiff feeling as the previous car was brand new. I'm not sure what Lotus has done there, but it's an improvement. FWIW, the new key fob is definitely an improvement over the old two piece deal. The remote locking has a better range too.

One more sort of superficial thing is the exhaust note. I am not sure how it sounds from outside the car, but from the inside, it's a bit more muted than the 2007 was. One the other hand, when the blower is really working, it sounds like you are in some sort of Star Wars fighter. Really nice.

I was really surprised at how different the SC car felt to drive vs. the 2007. I have never driven an Exige (or any other Elise aside from an S1 many years ago), so I didn't have any other reference point. The handling is the same, but the power delivery is totally different. I sort of expected it to just have a bit more oomph, but it's much more than that. There is real torque. I used to routinely wind the old car up to 8k before shifting when I really wanted it to move. If you do that in this car, you had better have a lot of room because things happen a lot more quickly. First gear is really just a "get it going" gear, but in second it just takes off. The engine is much more flexible than on the old car. Around town, you can be lazy if you want because the car works fine at low RPM (one side note: the rev counter no longer has a "logarithmic" sort of scale where 0-3k is all collapsed into nothing -- it's linear because you can actually use the engine at the lower revs). When the cam switch happens you can still feel it which is nice. I have felt it happen as low as ~5k. The three stage shift light is also a nice little addition.

The ride is also unexpectedly a bit more compliant than the 2007 car used to be. I don't believe that the suspension is any different, so I am chalking this up to different tires. It feels great to drive, but on rougher roads it's a bit less "harsh." I've not yet taken the car to the track, so I can't comment on how it feels at the limit.

Overall, I really like this car. I liked the 2007 car a lot, but I like this one even more. I see nothing but improvements all around (ok, the wing is take it or leave it).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
205 Posts
So, atspeed, would it be safe to conclude that you feel the SC has been worth the extra $8k or so? I would imagine so, otherwise you would have not made the purchase.


Would you say that the exhaust on the SC sounds more similar to the 2007 than different?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,610 Posts
Thanks for the write up! :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
So, atspeed, would it be safe to conclude that you feel the SC has been worth the extra $8k or so? I would imagine so, otherwise you would have not made the purchase.


Would you say that the exhaust on the SC sounds more similar to the 2007 than different?
Yes, for me the extra cost was well worth it. As far as the exhaust note, they are quite similar, the SC is just a bit more muted. I imagine that Lotus toned it down a touch because of the additional noise of the blower.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,301 Posts
thanks for the writeup...my car should be in very soon, so it was great to read your :up: on it....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
76 Posts
thanks for the comments

Thanks Atspeed,

Good points and a great comparison. Very useful to many of us.

I live in NJ, so other then the warranty issue, CARB is not a problem here. I still think I'd rather go with an aftermarket SC to get the extra HP the Katana or BWR SC offer over the stock Elise SC. And once CharlieX's SC comes out, that sounds like it will just be sick!

I would probably get a new base Elise and SC it after driving it for 6 months or so. Otherwise I wouldn't be able to appreciate the change.

COngrat's on a beautiful car. Enjoy! :wave:

-Matt
 

·
Modern Day Hippie
Joined
·
3,839 Posts
I finally got some decent seat time in today. Did some freeway, twisties, and city driving. The car definitely feels different and more powerful. It pulls you forward more when you want to move and seems a lot smoother and refined. Still sporty and still exotic, just better all around. Hugging turns was a blast. It was great using the iPod connector with my iPhone. The mirrors seemed different. :up::up::up:
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top