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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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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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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
OneFastMiata said:
Im curious what you mean about the center exhaust "hanging down"? You said clyde prefers it without it? Im fuzzy on what you mean? Do you mean he prefers it without chrome?
The Federal Elise has twin pipes exiting throught the center of the rear diffuser, as see in the Road&Track article. The newest prototype I saw had chrome round tips added to the pipes, that's all. Clyde prefered them without the tips. You'll see what I mean when some pictures are posted.

OneFastMiata said:
The vents are shallower? Does the car still look distinctive up front? How shallow are they? Do they still look about the same to the untrained eye?
The car looks about the same from the front to the untrained eye. Before, the dip in the hood where the radiator exited was about 4 - 5 inches deep. Now it's about 2 - 3 inches deep. To get an exact idea, look at the S2 Exige front clam that's in the Evo magazine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
MotorCade said:
Nice. I love the color. The centered exhaust looks good, too. Not fond of the change to the front panels, but it's not too noticeable, so not much of a big deal.

Cade
One other change to the front that Clyde mentioned was that the old S2 had three hex-head fasteners holding down each front access panel. The Fed Elise has only one fastener per side. The rest of the panel is held in place with a tongue-and-grove fastener.
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
Arno said:
Looks like the tires are Yokohama Advan Neova AD07's

Did anyone examine the front size by chance? They seem a little 'fat' for 175/55R16 like the original Bridgestone RE040's on the european versions.

Bye, Arno.
Yep, they were the new Yokohamas. The fronts were still 175s.
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
It's some little badge signifying some 'Queen's Award for Design Excellence' or something like that. Some award the Elise received in England. It won't be on the Federal Elise could have just been a one-off or on a short run of Elises.

Clyde also brought a bunch of UK Elise marketing brochures for us to sample. These brochures also had this little emblem on them on the back.

Just Lotus tooting it's horn.
 

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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
Clyde also said that Lotus has not yet decided what interior colors will be offered in the US, but probably not as many choices as Europe gets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
I definitely like the exhaust tips. They look great in person. I can't decide on the fog lights. They will probably help visability at night, but then another part of me says they're sorta unnecessary and add complexity and weight to the car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #55 ·

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Discussion Starter · #57 ·
khamai said:
Okay... I love all these pixs!!! But... where's a photo of the engine!??!??!?!?

Kiyoshi
We all got to stare and drool and listen to the engine all we wanted, but Clyde requested that no pictures be taken inside the engine compartment. Not sure why, nothing special to see. Toyota engine, luggage compartment, small tool set and the battery under a cover.:rolleyes: It looked just like the picture of the engine compartment from Road&Track.
 

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Discussion Starter · #59 ·
MotorCade said:
How did it sound? Just curious.

Cade
Really good. Not the hyper whine of a Ferrari V12 or a deep as a V8, but somewhere in the middle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #62 ·
Actually, it did sound quite a bit like that. That's suprising considering that the Elise has an entirely new intake and exhaust system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #63 ·
Two more details have leaked out of my memory regarding my ride in the Federal Elise.

Clyde said that the fuel filler cap, as seen in the Bordeaux Red pictures, will be different in the production model. He wouldn't say how it was different but suggested that it would have a chrome or brushed aluminium finish look to it.

Also, the Federal car has two tiny little sun visors. They aren't even noticable in the pictures, but they're there. They're mostly useless. They're black with a felt-like material on them. They're about a foot wide and only 2" - 3" deep. Clyde said that they're required by the Federal government, so Lotus added them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #66 ·
Oh yeah, one more thing.

Clyde said that the engine has a 8300 rpm redline, but the ECU will allow it to go up to 8500 under certain conditions.
 
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