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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, all.

I'm going to be buying a sports car next spring, and I'm trying 'em out now to decide which is my favorite. The list right now is:

- Boxster
- Miata
- Vette
- Elise

So far I've tested the Boxster and the Miata. The Boxster left me a little cold, but I'm going to go again to make sure there's really no spark there. The Miata left me smiling long after I got out.

It's going to be a drive-to-work-on-nice-days and weekend car, so I think there's a good chance the Elise will fit into my life.

Anyone have any experience with the dealer in Waltham?

I'm looking forward to checking it out. My current DD is a WRX. I love the Miata agility, so I'm probably going to love the Elise.
 

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Welcome. Amne ( lotus of Waltham) has been a great dealership to work with, and has only improved when Steve came on.

If you're looking to buy through them, talk to Matt. He has a sti

Where in ma are you?
 

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Hey man welcome. I got my Elise from AMNE dealership and i know them pretty well over there. Elise was a great choice for me and still love driving it (7yrs). Also, have a Subaru Impreza too ;) Do you have an account on NASIOC?
 

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I own a Miata and an Elise. In short, the Elise has more go, whoa and cornering ability. The Miata is more predictable, and can be driven closer to the edge by a novice driver. An Elise will reward a skilled driver with an awesome driving experience, and punish a novice driver who takes it past the edge. There are always handling differences between a front engine, rear drive vehicle and a rear engine, rear wheel drive vehicle. Each has their strengths. (Note: more racing cars are made with the engine is rear of the driver, and rear wheel drive).
 

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I own a Miata and an Elise. In short, the Elise has more go, whoa and cornering ability. The Miata is more predictable, and can be driven closer to the edge by a novice driver. An Elise will reward a skilled driver with an awesome driving experience, and punish a novice driver who takes it past the edge. There are always handling differences between a front engine, rear drive vehicle and a rear engine, rear wheel drive vehicle. Each has their strengths. (Note: more racing cars are made with the engine is rear of the driver, and rear wheel drive).
+1. Have owned various miata over the past 14 years (naturally aspirated 1.6- supercharged 1.8) as well as an Elise. The miata is very easy to drive at the limits. I've done a dozen plus track days in a Miata. Very progressive when the tail starts to step out. Will be doing my second track day with the Elise in a couple of weeks. First track day, I was very cautious (had lift throttle oversteer, crash into concrete wall on my mind the whole time) and the rear end stayed planted. Feels a lot more like a race car than my track prepped miata. You should consider doing a high performance driver education day at NHMS, or LimeRock. SCDA runs a great program. scda1.com Good luck and remember to post pictures of your new wheels.



Sent from my Autoguide iPhone app
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Good advice, thanks!

I will definitely say when it came to the fun of the Miata vs the Boxster, I think it boiled down to the saying that it's more fun to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow. It's possible that the Miata is perfect for me.

I also really loved the light weight handling feel on the Miata compared to the Boxster, and I think the best quote I remember vs the Elise is that it makes the Miata feel like a Buick.

I haven't done any real life tracking (and I don't plan on tracking the car) but I do have a lot of experience with front and rear engine cars in simulation - I've got a decent motion rig and broadcast my races live
for example.

So while I'm sure there's a lot to driving in real life that you don't get in the sim, I guess I mean that I'm pretty familiar with the basic concepts of performance driving. Without the risk of crashing, of course. :)

I've also seen
demonstrating how the back end can kick out on the Elise at unexpected times... So I'm approaching the car with a lot of caution. I know it's a hardcore car, but I figure if I'm ever going to own one, now is the time.
 

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I will definitely say when it came to the fun of the Miata vs the Boxster, I think it boiled down to the saying that it's more fun to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow.

It's like you read this guys profile.

http://www.scda1.com/noah-ertel/


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Supagoat,

Your list has very different cars on it.

If you are on NASIOC, pm snowphun. I bought my Elise from him and he went to a Miata "project car". I've known him for many years and he'll give you an honest A to B comparison.

I'll give you my subjective opinions:

Boxter: Used, they are a bargain since their value drops like a rock. Good handling, solid feel, vert. Parts and service are expensive. Reliability of a German car. (I'll let you decide if that's good or bad). Expect 3 times a day for people to ask if you bought it because you couldn't afford a 911. Easy to get into and out of. You'll see 25 of them everyday.

Miata: Reliable vert with aftermarket and racing support like no other car in existance. More of them race on weekends than any other car. I raced with COM since before the Miata existed. Used to be Corvettes of Mass. We now kiddingly call it Club of Miatas. Easy to get into and out of. Cheap parts. People will ask you if you borrowed your girl friend's car. (sorry....) You'll see 195 of them everyday.

Vette: Huge power and torque. Very big car compared to the others. Bang for the performance buck leader. Cheaper finishing than the others. Reliable as a Chevy. (I'll let you decide what that means). You'll see 55 of them every day. 50 of which will be automatics driven by Ex Wives. (again....sorry)

Elise: Rattle your fillings out. You have to take a bag of groceries and ask them to divide them into 3 bags to fit them into the trunk. You will need a lift just to change your oil. (I have a lift). It better be a 4 post lift or your car will fall off it. Lotus engineered in special systems designed to let any liquid in the car escape. That makes the car lighter and who needs anti-freeze or oil anyways. It's impossible to get into and out of. There is no trunk or compartment of any kind in the front, you know. The engine is from a Celica. Changing the air filter takes 6 hours. If someone backs into you, where a vette would have $250 in dammage, your car will be totaled.

Ok.... Girls ALL smile at you. More people hang out of SUVs videoing your car than a Shelby Cobra (note my last car was a shelby cobra replica...for 11 years). Everyone likes the car, and don't assume that you're a vette or porsche driver who needs their car keyed. It sounds like a little Ferrari in tunnels. It's as fast as an STi, but nobody knows that. Or a vette, but nobody knows that. It corners almost as fast as an Ariel Atom (on top Gear's track, only racecars cornered better). You can get 29mpg on the highway (I measured it). It feels like a racecar inside. You can take a magnet in an Elise and it won't stick to anything. (exagerating only a little......you know the chassis is aluminum, right?) Lotus-Talk.......every workaround for the Lotus design errors are found here. Need to fix the oil line problem? (I did). There are at least 3 solutions that range from $13 to $400+. Your choice and people are glad to help when you need advice and pictures. Most everyone who has an Elise knows everyone in the state who has an Elise (maybe not good if you're in the witness protection program). Lotus people are all nice. We all own Subarus too......well maybe not all....but most.

Visit Matt at Lotus of New England. They close at 2 on Saturday, fyi. If you want to drive mine, I live in Hopkinton and you're welcome to try it. I think Sam (Lotussg2057) lives in/near Waltham.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Lots of great info, thanks Jack!

The list does have very different cars on them - these are the cars I figured I could be interested in, and I'm trying each one to see how I actually like them. Each has pluses and minus, as you mentioned, and I don't have my heart completely set on any one of them (yet!). One I drive them all I expect I'll have one solid choice with no regrets in mind. I've done a decent amount of research on each of the cars to put them on the list, and now it's time to find out what my heart tells me.

I'm definitely looking for the driving experience in my car. Prestige and exclusivity is a minor point for me.

Starting out my head said I'd love the Boxster, and I watched those video reviews of the 981 and they made it sound mighty nice. I'll say if I lived in CA I could see myself buying it and using it as my primary car.

As for the Miata, I can live with the image it'll give me if I've got a car that's as fun as it is to drive. As you pointed out, the modding opportunities are pretty awesome, too. I've already got some ideas.

I'm expecting the Vette to feel too big to me. Without driving it, I don't like how wide it is. But it's a car I could really live with and do a lot with, especially if I got a coupe version since it has tons of space under the back window. The big thing of it is its power, and I'd like to try it out, but I'm not really a straight line kind of driver, so I think it'll be fun on the test drive, but the acceleration alone won't win me over.

Then the Elise. It comes with a lot of compromises, but since it'll be a toy car, most of them don't bother me. If I need to go shopping, I'll take the Subie. The whole fragileness to people bumping into it does make me a little nervous, but I only very rarely park where that'd be an issue. I'll need to try it to see if it's too bumpy for me to enjoy it. Is it so harsh that I'd never want to drive it again after the trip to Lime Rock?

I dropped the ANME folks a note on their website - I may just go and give them a call. A ride in yours would be awesome, thanks!

Dan
 

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Another thumbs up for AMNE-Lotus.
 

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Is it so harsh that I'd never want to drive it again after the trip to Lime Rock?
Dan, that's subjective. Heck.....my dad thought my 90 M3's ride was way too harsh. My son and I went from Hopkinton to the Historics at Lime Rock in the Elise last year and plan to again go this year. Although the seats don't recline (heck, the pass seat doesn't even move at all), we both find it to be fine for about 3 hours. We do tend to stop for gas on the way, so that's split somewhere south of Stockbridge. There is an aluminum foot rest on the passenger side. My 16 year old son likes to stretch his legs and that got in the way. No problem....it's held on with velcro. Out it came.

Overall, the car works very well for me. I won't put up with a car that's unreliable or needs to go to the shop often. I don't mind working on it myself given good resources (Lotus-Talk). I don't mind "correcting" the Lotus issues if I can wait till winter or do it in a few hours. It's relatively cheap to get into used and the depreciation curve after 3 years is really very flat, so if I have to get out of it, I won't take the kind of hit that I would with a new Porsche or Audi or M3.

I drove it to work today and out to lunch at D'Angelo's (yah....I'm a big spender).
 

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ride comfort is completely subjective. I've driven the Elise on a 3-day rally with the stock 05 seats and was completely comfortable the whole time. Dad and I drive it to and from track days too.

Tillet seats are the way to go though, absolutely amazing seats.
 
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