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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

So I'm hours away from making an offer to a dealer on a 2008 Lotus. I know all the magazine specs of the car and such, and figured it would be a great weekend car (Auto-x track or cruisin the countryside).

It's a slightly used (1,000 miles) 2008 Elise California.

One of my main reasons for going Lotus is I figure there isn't much to them to go wrong. light, nimble, normally aspirated Toyota engine...

no crazy computers, turbos, etc.. just simple... and awesomely so.

Then I read articles here about folks with blown engines!!!???
In cars that are only 3 years old? Seriously?
My expectations are getting altered quickly here.

Can I get some feedback on reliability and total cost of ownership?
Maybe I'm not as well informed as I think I am....
 

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Well the first question for you is what is your intended use of the car? Track, autocross, just cruising around, or a mixture? The blown engines are usually caused by fuel starvation at the track while running slicks and producing high G's.

They are very reliable and very fun. If you are going to be tracking it there are solutions to the fuel problem you can install.
 

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Let me be the first to say that you are overreacting. Sure stuff goes wrong on any car. But from the intended use you describe, your car choice is excellent. It should suit you well and be probably the best car experience you have ever had. And don't forget the new car warranty that still remains to cover the small stuff. Sure the car is not perfect, and you will certainly have a few mechanical or electrical gremlins but most cars do. Many of the comments on this board are from Lotus devotees who are really engaged with the ownership experience and help share that experience with others to make a great community.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
ok, so far so good...
I'm feeling alittle better...
I won't be tracking it much... if at all..
I may get into shifter karts next summer so there is a good chance the lotus will just be summertime fair weather toy.

I'm a pretty decent hobbiest mechanic... so I don't shy away from little issues... mostly I was just concerned there was a known issue with the modifications that Lotus did to the Toyota motor that made it unreliable. Having had several friends get engines replaced 5,6,7 times out of pocket due to the 2.7L sludge factory problem that dodge wouldn't cover... I was getting nervous that this might be something simular. The high G fuel thing makes perfect sense though
 

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Don't even think twice. Most of the blown engines are because people downshifted two gears at high RPM and revved the engine over 10,000 or modded the engine incorrectly. It's the use, not the engine. Just have them download the data for you. (though they can erase it first)
 

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dont do it. if you have any hesitation, that car will be back for sale in 18 months.
 

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Takes some doing to blow a lump on the Buzzbomb amigo!

So I'm hours away from making an offer to a dealer on a 2008 Lotus.

Then I read articles here about folks with blown engines!!!???
In cars that are only 3 years old? Seriously?
My expectations are getting altered quickly here.

Can I get some feedback on reliability and total cost of ownership?
Maybe I'm not as well informed as I think I am....
Sounds like you need to do some more due diligence. Most engines on the Buzzer have cut lose because of oil starvation on the track. You truly need to consider an extended warranty too boot.

You do realize you ARE paying a premium for that California Edition correct?

Good luck son.



:D
 

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Believe the benchmark "off-load" time frame here on Dogpatch is lower hombre!

dont do it. if you have any hesitation, that car will be back for sale in 18 months.
Around 11 months if I recall correctly. :rolleyes:




:eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks Josh,

I was alittle concerned about the mileage... you know "why would someone get rid of a car after 1,000 miles unless they new it had issues"

But the dealer said the guy just got fed up with trying to get in and out of it.

I decent story I guess?
 

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You had best wait Fuzz!

Thanks Josh,

I was alittle concerned about the mileage... you know "why would someone get rid of a car after 1,000 miles unless they new it had issues"

But the dealer said the guy just got fed up with trying to get in and out of it.

I decent story I guess?
Some very basic questions are still not answered in that noggin of yours.

Wait.


:up:
 

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...it's okay, really...

One of my main reasons for going Lotus is I figure there isn't much to them to go wrong. light, nimble, normally aspirated Toyota engine...

no crazy computers, turbos, etc.. just simple... and awesomely so.

Then I read articles here about folks with blown engines!!!???
In cars that are only 3 years old? Seriously?
My expectations are getting altered quickly here.
...your original expectations are spot-on and you won't be disappointed...

...the cars with blown engines are driven hard in track enviroments and subjected to two very specific weaknesses of the stock set-up: oil starvation and fuel starvation during sustained high-G turns, the latter of which is only a serious problem for forced-induction cars...

...no matter how hard you think you might be driving on the street, you won't come anywhere close to the the forces these cars have been subjected to, and it's highly unlikely even in autocross events...during track days, it's a legitimate concern only for very skilled drivers running timed laps; most recreational HPDEs don't push vehicles that hard, but it never hurts to add aftermarket oil/fuel starvation solutions...

...essentially, the vast majority of drivers won't experience either weakness in the stock setup, and are happily driving their cars without incident...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
18 months??, 11 months??... what are you referring too exactly?

Is that the average time Lotus owners hold on to them?
 

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18 months??, 11 months??... what are you referring too exactly? Is that the average time Lotus owners hold on to them?
...most people either adore these cars and keep them forever or realise within a year that the raw driving experience isn't really a good match for their expectations...it's a very decisive and polarising reaction, that's all...

...the car's exactly what you describe your initial expectations to be; i wager you'll love it and never look back...
 

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Have you not read many of the posts here on Dogpatch amigo?

18 months??, 11 months??... what are you referring too exactly?

Is that the average time Lotus owners hold on to them?
There was a huge "dump" of Buzzbombs not very long after they were introduced to America. So many thought they were getting an ersatz Ferrari for a third of the entrance fee. :rolleyes:

One year sounds about right before many owners turn the car.

You are not ready at all to buy one now. Step back and wait.


:up:


How much does this dealer want for the California Edition?
 

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For what it's worth; I bought my Elise back in February this year and my enthusiasm for the car has grown from amused to enthralled. Every day I look forward to the visceral and unfiltered pure driving experience. It sounds like you know what you're getting into, so there shouldn't be any surprises. The Elise is a significant change in lifestyle and headspace compared to the average Accord, but for those that "get it" [and that sounds like you], you will love it dearly.

The blown engine thing is like everyone else said, unfortunate people doing dumb or under-engineered things. If you don't want to worry about the car being reliable, keep the engine stock and you'll see how amazingly reliable that Toyota lump is.

Cheers,
Ryan
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
So the cars are as solid as I originally imagined them to be for normal driving, which means I'm ready. I've already checked the CarFax (clean), decided on a price I think is fair (maybe they won't accept it, but its what I'm willing to pay.)

I've owned 26 cars so far and I have a pretty good idea of what I like, what I'm getting into, etc.. I'm also a good driver with good heal/toe skills, a few first place in class SCCA trophies, and LOVE targa roof cars.

I plan to leave it stock, especially if I get into shifter karts next summer...

I still need to check insurance, but I think it will be reasonable... as Lotus' usually are.

Any advice on specific things I should look at on teh vehicle before I sign?
 

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Do you really need the California edition? Compare with other 2008 Lotus... maybe even 07 Exige S?
 
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