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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Got a drive in an LSS / Touring car. I only drove it for about 10 minutes, but it was over 600 miles, so I got into the cams as often as I could. What a blast to drive!

I also got in and out several times with top on and off. Ingress/egress is definitely going to be an issue. It's a tight, tight squeeze. Once in, though, it fits like a glove.

Will post more later.... gotta run.
 

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Remember to put the seat all the way back when getting in and out. It really helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Ok, here's more...
  • COLOR: I got to compare saffron to proton yellow again... this time up close... and again, I was disappointed at the subtle, but noticeable difference. I'm pretty dead-set on Chrome Orange at this point. I'm glad I didn't put in my order for SY!!
  • DRIVING COMFORT: I drove the LSS car, and from what everyone's been posting, I expected it to be like a go-kart. Rough, loud, twitchy, super-quick, etc. etc. I'll tell ya, though. Compared to my rally-prepped SUV (current daily driver), the Elise is a luxury car. Even with LSS.
  • DRIVING ENJOYMENT:The Elise is insanely fun to drive, but I was a little underwhelmed, and I'll tell you why. I really expected it to accelerate better. It really felt no different than my Honda S2000 was on acceleration. Granted, the Elise sits you significantly lower and handles the twisties with a lot more composure, but you don't really get the acceleration kick that I was hoping for. In fact, it didn't feel significantly better than the Euro-spec 111 I drove a year ago up until the cam change. I have to admit I got out of it with a HUGE grin on my face, and called all my car buddies to tell them about the experience. It's something I'd like to do again.... SOON!!! :D I don't think I could ever tire of the Elise's handling. The acceleration is another story. I think I'd be dead-set on forced-induction from day one.
  • INGRESS/EGRESS: With the top off, no problem. But I'm not gonna have the top off much. I think the car looks 100% better with the hardtop. So with the top on.... MAJOR pain in the arse. I managed after a few tries to tackle the ingress relatively elegantly, using gravity, upper body strength, and a little flexibility to slither my way into the seat. Getting out was not so simple, though. Even after about a dozen attempts, I couldn't manage to do it in any way that didn't make me feel a little awkward. Basically having to kiss my knee, push and squat myself up. If I could have used the windsheld to pull myself out, that would have eased things, but alas....
  • INTERIOR: I got a touring package car, and I found the interior to be seriously lacking. I don't mind the use of lightweight components, but I think it was laid out poorly and has a very cheap, plasticky feel to it. I would have to do some serious modification to the interior to be happy with it, including new treatment for the sills and the entire dash. I'd probably add a lot of exterior color accents inside as others have done. The seats are nice. Snug fit. I would like to see the base interior car before making a judgement there.
  • EXTERIOR: Overall, the exterior looks great. There are little details that bug me, though. The little rubber stopper on the doors awkwardly placed in the middle as though it were a mistake being smudged out. The little decorative grilles on the front rotating to different angles. Actually, all the grilles.. they look like something taken from a kid's toy. Compare this to the polished stainless steel accents of a Spyker. I think you get my point.

Overall, the Elise is a great drive. It's a 20 foot exotic. Get close-up, though, and it's a go-kart with an "exotic" shell. Made for pure driving enjoyment and first impressions, it's not a detail-conscious individual's car.

For me... I wish I could have a car that handles like the elise, but has exotic details, too, and more power. I guess to get something like that, though, I'd have to spend big money... I guess I'll have to be patient. :(

PS - The seat is ALWAYS all the way back for me. :)
 

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transio said:
INGRESS/EGRESS: With the top off, no problem. But I'm not gonna have the top off much. I think the car looks 100% better with the hardtop. So with the top on.... MAJOR pain in the arse. I managed after a few tries to tackle the ingress relatively elegantly, using gravity, upper body strength, and a little flexibility to slither my way into the seat. Getting out was not so simple, though. Even after about a dozen attempts, I couldn't manage to do it in any way that didn't make me feel a little awkward. Basically having to kiss my knee, push and squat myself up. If I could have used the windsheld to pull myself out, that would have eased things, but alas....

Transio, I can relate, but figuring out what works wasn't simply a desire but a necessity for me. This was because of my neck (cervical vertebrae 5/6) problem coupled with my large torso.

I egress by first pushing up from each side of the seat and, while lifting, duck my head out the door from under the hardtop, then plopping my butt on the sill. From there I reverse the ingress portion of my ingress procedure.

But the key for me was just using the two sides of the seat to lift up my butt to start the egress procedure. Try that next time and report back on your success or failure.
 

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transio said:
Ok, here's more...For me... I wish I could have a car that handles like the elise, but has exotic details, too, and more power. I guess to get something like that, though, I'd have to spend big money... I guess I'll have to be patient. :(

PS - The seat is ALWAYS all the way back for me. :)
I agree with most everything you said...but the last thought about getting an exotic...let me tell you...

I've had Porsches, a Ferrari...and those cars are fast and handle well, and do have more quality, BUT...they are just not as much fun to drive as the Elise. Plain and simple. They weigh a lot more, and the intensity just isn't as great.

Good luck!
Ron
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ancient Wedgie said:
But the key for me was just using the two sides of the seat to lift up my butt to start the egress procedure. Try that next time and report back on your success or failure.
A/W, that's exactly how i did it. Left leg out over the sill, push up on the seat with both hands, hit my head on the roof (doh! not again!), duck down and kiss my knee that's already dangling out the door, push the mass of my torso out the door with my right leg, then do a one-legged sqat to stand myself up. It's not pretty!
 

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transio said:
A/W, that's exactly how i did it. Left leg out over the sill, push up on the seat with both hands....
Your left leg out the door before setting your butt is where you went wrong.

Keep both feet inside until your head is out the door and your butt is on the sill. Once you're on the sill you can lift again and only then move your left leg out of the car.

Re the second lift -- I don't right now recall what sequence of lifting and moving my left leg I did, but once you've got your butt on the sill, your options increase.
 

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transio said:
...I found the interior to be seriously lacking. I don't mind the use of lightweight components, but I think it was laid out poorly and has a very cheap, plasticky feel to it...

...Actually, all the grilles.. they look like something taken from a kid's toy. Compare this to the polished stainless steel accents of a Spyker.
Sure the Spyker has much more sophisticated materials, but then again it weighs almost a thousand pounds more than the Elise. And where the Spyker has lightweight materials that look nicer than the cheaper feeling plastic parts in the Elise, well that's what you'd expect for spending $210K more.

Figure that your choices are; lightweight, luxurious, inexpensive. Now pick two. I would argue that the designers at Spyker and Lotus have clearly defined their targets and to expect one car to compare to the other is an exercise in frustration.

Personally, I like the fiction that I am buying just about as close to a street-legal race car as I can get. What's always excited me about race cars is that they're all about purpose and function and form necessarily follows behind.
 

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transio said:
I guess to get something like that, though, I'd have to spend big money... I guess I'll have to be patient. :(
There it is right there Steve. Let's see if you are willing to leave with these shortcomings. Believe me when I say the car is full of compromises, so just be forewarned. Be sure you really want this, or else you may be selling soon into ownership. We won't judge you either way.

The fun factor may just sway you.

- J

PS: Enroll in yoga.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
It's not just the materials used, but the way they're applied.

I think with a little creativity, the dash could have been made into a magnificent sculpture of bare & painted plastic and lightweight aluminum. Instead, it's plastic with more plastic snap-in pieces that move around when you nudge them. Imagine the gauge pods cast in aluminum, with black faces, floating in a dash painted to match the exterior (just the center part of the dash... the semi-circular portion that contains the guages and console).

Regarding the sills, they don't even need other materials. They could have been molded a lot more cleverly. Personally, I'd go for a patterned plastic mold with an aluminum insert to accent the new dash and the other aluminum parts inside.

Just these minor changes would accent the exposed aluminum frame inside and really tie the whole thing together, rather than making it look like a remote control car (my opinion, of course). Of course, these are things I could do myself.... things that would individualize my Elise and make it fit my tastes.....

Ok, I'm looking up yoga classes now :p
 
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