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Discussion Starter #1
I test drove an Exige S last weekend and haven't stopped thinking about it since. I just loved the pure sports car experience I had from it and think it's drop-dead gorgeous as well. The problem is that I don't think I could use it as a DD - I probably could get away with it, but I think the car would just draw too much attention at malls, etc. and, could be a magnet for vandalism. The lack of rear visibility could be an issue as well. So I think I'd need some kind of a beater in addition, which would increase the effective cost of the Exige. The other car on my short list is the Porsche Cayman S. It doesn't get my pulse racing like the Lotus, but blends into the landscape a bit better and I think I could use it as a DD (for some reason, I just don't think I'd worry as much about the Cayman S, as it just wouldn't draw the attention of the Lotus). To top it off, my local Porsche dealer is offering 9K off on all new in-stock Cayman S (I guess I could get a similar deal on a NOS Exige S, assuming I could find one with the color/options I want). So, any advice for a confused Lotus wannabe? Cayman S or Exige S (or possibly Elise SC, although I much prefer the look of the Exige)? Am I being too pessimistic about using the Exige as a DD? What to do?? :crazyeyes
 

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I went through the same dilemma last year, except I was comparing the Cayman to the Elise. It all comes down to what you are after. If, as you say, it is important that the car "blends into the landscape," has more creature comforts, and can double as a daily driver, then there is no contest here: the Cayman is the car for you.

But, as you also noted, it just doesn't get the pulse racing like a Lotus. The Cayman is actually a bit TOO refined for my taste. I want the raw, unadulterated feel of the road that a Lotus feeds back to you. You just don't get as much of that from the Cayman and the Boxster.

And, even though it is a very sexy car, the Cayman is just plain ordinary next to an Elise, and especially next to an Exige. I can't even tell you how many Caymans and Boxsters I drove leading up to my decision. Nobody even gave me a look. (Of course, I live in an area with a TON of Porsches). But as soon as you come around the corner in a Lotus, the whole world stops. Everybody stares. And when you park the car, people of all ages just gather round and just gawk.

So, if you don't want that, go with the Cayman and just blend in. They are great cars-- even though I still think they are over-priced and not nearly the value the Lotus is. Like Bavarian Motorist said above, you could even buy a slightly used Lotus for thousands (actually 10s of thousands) less than a new Cayman, and then you can tinker with Lotus to make it a screamer.

It seems like a no-brainer to me, but to each his own.

[But I will admit that the new Porsche Cayman S "Design Edition" is a real thing of beauty. Just love those stripes.]
 

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Discussion Starter #7
But, as you also noted, it just doesn't get the pulse racing like a Lotus. The Cayman is actually a bit TOO refined for my taste. I want the raw, unadulterated feel of the road that a Lotus feeds back to you. You just don't get as much of that from the Cayman and the Boxster.
I'm with you on this, and I've also used the term 'raw' to describe the Lotus, and I mean the term in the best way possible. Porsches are definitely geared to a different sort of sports car enthusiast, one who wants performance but a lot of features and creature comforts. The other thing that drives me nuts about Porsche is the plethora of options available for it. Trying to decide what to get is dizzying, and the price just keeps ticking on up every time you add the smallest thing. The nice thing about the Lotus is there is barely anything you can get for it from the factory, so choosing options is a 5-minute task :D

I've considered buying used, but (believe it or not), I've never bought a used car and would be concerned there would be some hidden 'gotcha' that a Lotus newbie like myself would overlook. But perhaps that's the best option.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I have a feeling your Lotus would be another used Lotus in a year. Its not a daily driver.
Not sure I agree with you on that one. I think once I had it I'd hang on to it for a long time, it's just getting over that mental hump that I'm having a bit of trouble with.
 

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I've considered buying used, but (believe it or not), I've never bought a used car and would be concerned there would be some hidden 'gotcha' that a Lotus newbie like myself would overlook. But perhaps that's the best option.
I'm pretty sure Rob Dietsch (DietschWerks in Santa Clara) offers a thorough check out service for used cars--If he gives a car a "pass" it should be good to go.
 

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Here's my feedback:

The Elise/Exige are the ultimate in motoring pleasure. Period. Nothing comes close IMO as far as a pure driver's car. The sensations when driving these cars are absolutely orgasmic.

I love my Elise, but decided to sell it for a few reasons. I already have separation anxiety, but the fact of the matter is I only get to drive it once, maybe twice a week.

I had this illusion that I'd drive it to work 1-2 times a week in addition to weekends. The reality is I never drive it to work, even though my commute is twisty. Is it because the car is uncomfortable? No. Aside from ingress/egress, I find the car pretty comfortable, except for on very hot days.

The problem is these beautiful twisty roads I drive to work are more crowded in the morning. I get stuck behind pokey cars that just aren't there on the weekend and I just can't enjoy the car for what it is. I also worry about half-awake SUV drivers not paying attention. There are cars that are more comfortable, more safe and more practical to commute in that can be fun on weekends too.

That's why my next car is going to be a Cayman S. It's maybe 70% the fun factor of the Elise, but I can use it 110% more. I might even get rid of the GTI and get a cheaper winter car, like a Saab 92X Linear. We'll see.

If I had more money, it'd be different. There would be an Exige S240 in my stable. But I don't, so I'm going to compromise.

That said, you sound like a better candidate for the Cayman S, quite honestly.
 

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to the OP.

You probably should buy a Cayman S and stick with your Porsche marque. This is the 2nd time in 2 weeks that you are undecided after driving Loti and Porsches, albeit perhaps different models than you would eventually purchase.

but it i remember correctly, last week's post was about getting a Lotus Elise SC versus dumping whatever Porsche/BMW..


Stating the obvious: bottom line is, you have to live with it (or not).

Best of luck in your mentally anguished decision. I guess for me , I was lucky:

Drove Porsche Cayman S...OK, quite nice, didn't wag my tail.

Drove normally aspirated Elise, it blew my skirt up!, had to have! :nanner:
 

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In my humble opinion... if you're on the fence about this car then it's not for you.

It'll drive you NUTS as a daily driver unless you're seriously dedicated to it and enjoy a little pain and frustration.

Porsche makes a great car, and if I could only have a single car it would have their emblem on it... But since I have the luxury of an extra garage space there is no other car I'd rather choose then the Lotus :D
 
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