I am contacting you about cross linking. I am interested in elisetalk.com because it looks like it's relevant to a site for which I am seeking links. The site is about the Lemon Law for consumers of defective cars.
Actually, you might want to direct them to Audiworld. Sadly, the 2004 Audi S4 owners are experiencing significant problems.
I'm so glad I bought my Murano instead of the S4! (I needed something with a larger back seat and was a "jack-of-all-trades" type of vehicle.) That decision also gave me the flexibility to buy the Elise!
Are the S4 owners having major problems, or just small things that could also happen in the A4? Could you list a few of the major ones? I drive a competitors car and I'm curious as to how thing stack up.
1) Faulty transmission shifter bushings (manual transmissions) that locks them out of reverse and sometimes all gears
2) Engine seals that are improperly seated or damaged (front and rear crank seals, etc)
3) Failing clutches
4) Engines sucking valves
5) 1 instance of a tiptronic transmission failure
I love Audis and I've had several of them, but it always seems that the first year of any new model for them has their fair share of problems. For instance, in 2002 (when Audi switched the A4 from the B5 body style to the B6 body style), the 1.8 Turbo engines suffered from blown coil packs.
Admittedly, the one thing that has me sold on the Elise (instead of buying a used Ferrari 348ts) is the Toyota motor. The Ferrari requires expensive maintenance and the solid lifters means that a service every 5,000 miles is necessary to check on the valve shims' condition. With the Toyota motor, I think Lotus has combined reliability with an exotic. It makes the Elise almost a "practical sports car" IMHO.
Too bad about the Audi troubles. Still, not too bad. I'm trying to dumb down my sense of realibility for the Elise. So far my worst problems have been electronic related.
My father mentioned to me that when he visited the Ferrari dealership, they told him that a 355/360 would cost a little bit more than a dollar per mile to keep operating. I think real life operation must cost even more than that, because a friend of mine with a 550 says it has cost him closer to $2/mile. He uses it as a daily driver. What a guy.
The Elise is very special no doubt, but I don't think it can be called an exotic. I suppose we're talking semantics now.
To me, an Exotic is a vehicle that is seldomly seen and fulfills a certain niche with no pretense to be an everyday vehicle. The Elise certainly doesn't compromise by making ingress/egress easy, nor does it carry copious amounts of sound deadening or offer large amounts of trunk/boot space for briefcases or groceries. The Elise is about performance and handling and all else really comes second. So that make it qualify as an "exotic" to me.
The fact that it will come with Toyota running gear makes it more reliable (hopefully!) And the fuel mileage makes it very easy to justify it as a weekend vehicle (as it will be for me.)
As for Ferrari cost-of-ownership, I can tell you that I spent $15K in one year on my '82 308 GTSi because the previous owner had deferred some maintenance. (I put 5K miles on that car before I sold it.) But on average, the 308 GT4 and 308 GTSi/GTB vehicles will require about $1 to $1.5 per mile to operate. The 348 (because it requires the engine to be removed from the car for maintenance) is closer to $3 per mile. I suspect the 456, 550 and 575 will be somewhere in-between $2 to $3 per mile to operate. (BTW, those numbers don't include insurance.) Don't get me wrong... the Ferrari is a beautiful car and has amazing balance when driving through twisties, and the sound from the engine is pure music (especially with a Tubi exhaust), but maintenance of these vehicle isn't for the faint-of-heart.