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Discussion Starter #1
Clyde brought a Federal Elise prototype to a Peachtree Miata Club driving event yesterday. It was fresh off the boat and headed to California for testing.

It was the Federal Elise, except for the interior. The interior was still the Euro spec 111S interior, but with seats from the new S2 Exige.

I asked Clyde a bunch of questions (all of which he answered) and he even took me for a short ride. Here's what I can remember.

The front clam shell is updated and the radiator vents on the hood aren't as deep as the original S2 ones, to make that ugly bump disappear. Just like the ones seen on the Euro S2 Exige photos. The two outer air intakes on the sides of the main front air intake are now functional, feeding air to the twin oil coolers.

On the back, Lotus has added twin round chrome exhaust tips to the exhaust hanging out of the bottom of the rear diffuser. I personally think it looks great. Clyde prefered it without them.

On a side note, many of the Peachtree people took a ton of photos of the car, which was Bordeaux Red with black interior BTW, so when these get posted to the Internet, I'll let you know the link.

The ride Clyde gave me was only about 5 minutes, but I could tell the acceleration was very healthy indeed! He said that out of three possible gear ratio sets from Toyota, Lotus picked the one with the shortest gearing to make sure that the engine was easy to keep in it's power band. The ride is not harsh at all, although on a long trip I guess it could get tiring.

The redesigned soft top is indeed a wonderful work of engineering. I watched Clyde put it on and take it off in about 30 seconds and it looks great.

Other news: there will be no fog lights on the Federal model. They're too low to the ground for California regulations, so they're being scrapped. We're also getting a standard tire pressure warning system and a starter button. A four speaker stereo is also standard. No alcantara for the US either. It can't hold up to are harsh sun. Lotus still hasn't decided whether the power windows, carpets and extra sound insulation will be standard or part of an option package. Other possible options include a Lotus designed induction kit which Clyde warned was pretty damn loud and possibly a titanium exhaust system.

A side note about the exhaust system: Clyde stated that the system that Lotus designed for the Federal Elise is so good and helps the Toyota 1.8 have such healthier torque, that he doubts that any aftermarket exhaust can improve on it. That's good news.

Clyde is a super nice guy, very willing to talk cars and Elises and a true enthusiast. It was very nice to finally meet him.
 

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Wow, great post and great news ! (except I still wish that alcantara was a go, but oh well all in all, sounds tremendous).

BTW, you mentioned the exhaust system - how did it sound ???

Thanks, Mike
 

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mopalak said:
We're also getting a standard tire pressure warning system
Why? That's the kind of redundant feature I expect on cars made for people who don't pay attention to their cars. It seems like a waste of money and weight to me, especially considering that Elise owners will almost certainly be some of the most attendant car owners and check their tire pressure regularly with or without the system. Maybe I just don't understand it.
:confused:
 

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FederalElise said:
like a forced induction?
No, not in the sense you are thinking.
 

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Re: Re: Got a ride in the Federal Elise yesterday!

ya hachu said:
Why? tire pressure:confused:
I believe it is a federal regulation now. I too feel it is unnecessary for the people that will be driving an Elise but NHTSA can't stereotype cars and their likely drivers.
 

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Nice report. Glad to hear that the exhaust tips in the center work ok. Curious to see a good photo of Bordeaux red.
 

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Sounds like the tire pressure warning system is to fend off liability issues. I never checked - I assume the Elise does not have a spare of any kind, correct?

Assuming this is correct, I'm sure Lotus is trying to keep the few fools that would have a blowout due to under-inflated tires from blaming them.
 

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Goose said:
Sounds like the tire pressure warning system is to fend off liability issues. I never checked - I assume the Elise does not have a spare of any kind, correct?

Assuming this is correct, I'm sure Lotus is trying to keep the few fools that would have a blowout due to under-inflated tires from blaming them.

I think the law is more emmisions oriented than it is for liability issues, but you have to think the Ford/Bridgestone fiasco had something to do with it. And no the Elise will not have a spare tire just a can of fix-a-flat.
 

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OOPS, I forgot to congratulate Mick.

Thanks for posting your experience, you lucky [email protected]$tard. It's safe to say we are all jealous!!

p.s. If you could find out some more info of when the truck is heading over to Cali with the car I'm sure a few of us would like to see/hijack it:D
 

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Discussion Starter #13
mikester said:
Wow, great post and great news ! (except I still wish that alcantara was a go, but oh well all in all, sounds tremendous).

BTW, you mentioned the exhaust system - how did it sound ???

Thanks, Mike
The exhaust sounded really good. Not too loud from inside the cockpit. Throaty without being too raspy. Not deep like a V8, but not as buzzy as my Miata either.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
FederalElise said:
like a forced induction?

Please tell more!!
Not forced induction. Just an upgraded intake tract/filter in place of the standard factory one. Probably allows for a little more engine breathing at the price of increased noise. A lot of people in the Miata community get rid of their airboxes to leave just an exposed air filter. Doesn't really help performance but sounds a lot more exciting.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Re: Re: Got a ride in the Federal Elise yesterday!

ya hachu said:
Why? That's the kind of redundant feature I expect on cars made for people who don't pay attention to their cars. It seems like a waste of money and weight to me, especially considering that Elise owners will almost certainly be some of the most attendant car owners and check their tire pressure regularly with or without the system. Maybe I just don't understand it.
:confused:
Clyde said that it was soon going to be required on all cars so it was included. He suggested that Lotus may make optional the intelligent tire pressure system from the Esprit that shows actual tire pressure and temperature on a dash display. Pretty cool for track days!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Goose said:
Sounds like the tire pressure warning system is to fend off liability issues. I never checked - I assume the Elise does not have a spare of any kind, correct?
Right. No spare. I guess we're getting a free can of FixItFlat with each Elise.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
L8BRAKR said:
OOPS, I forgot to congratulate Mick.

Thanks for posting your experience, you lucky [email protected]$tard. It's safe to say we are all jealous!!

p.s. If you could find out some more info of when the truck is heading over to Cali with the car I'm sure a few of us would like to see/hijack it:D
The new interior should be pretty neat also. It's just like the one pictured in Road&Track. The four round air vents at the base of the windshield will be replaced with more normal looking flush vents. To the left of the steering wheel will be the light switches, starter button and tire pressure display. To the right of the steering wheel will be the HVAC controls below the stereo. Above that will be two round air vents.
 

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Re: Re: Re: Got a ride in the Federal Elise yesterday!

L8BRAKR said:
I believe it is a federal regulation now. I too feel it is unnecessary for the people that will be driving an Elise but NHTSA can't stereotype cars and their likely drivers.
Thanks, I looked it up on Google and apparently regulation is imminent. Laws like this really are pathetic. Whatever happened to personal responsibility?
 

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mopalak said:
Not forced induction. Just an upgraded intake tract/filter in place of the standard factory one. Probably allows for a little more engine breathing at the price of increased noise. A lot of people in the Miata community get rid of their airboxes to leave just an exposed air filter. Doesn't really help performance but sounds a lot more exciting.
I thought so, I'll probably want an aftermarket one anyways. Another benefit of using Celica engine.

mopalak said:
Right. No spare. I guess we're getting a free can of FixItFlat with each Elise.
doubt it, federal regulation might dictate we could choke children when it's fed in their mouth. Or our own.

In all seriousnous, I doubt the Elise will flip over when it has a flat.
 

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Sounds exciting, alas, sad to see the fog lights go, the way the lights were arranged in a 30 degree line in decreasing size and increasing curvature fit nicely.
 
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