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Hi, everyone. Konnichiwa. This would be my very first post on lotustalk (lot-u-stalk:no:). A brief introduction about me: I am a college student who recently bought a brand-new 2009 Honda Civic Si coupe. I would love to get a lotus but to be honest, the car is a bit out of my price range at the moment. But not for long! As soon as I graduate and land a well-paying job, Lotus Elise will be the very first thing I buy (assuming I can get a job in this economy).

I've been reading lot of posts here to learn about this awesome car as much as I can but there are some questions yet to be answered. If a few of you Lotus gurus can answer my questions and give me deeper insight into Lotus history & culture, it'd be much appreciated. So anyway, here are my questions pertaining to Elise:

1. Why did Lotus choose to go with Toyota engine instead of more reliable Honda motors? Any chance (however slight) that future Lotus Elise will be equipped with Honda's K20 motors?

2. I am a fan of NA motors. But my attachment to NA engines is primarily due to the notion that boosted engines come at the cost of shortened lifespan. Have any of you Elise S or Exige owners experienced problems inherent to boosted motors?

3. I've visited Sector111 for a full carbon-fiber body kit for Elise but I did not see such offer. I don't mind the $30k price tag if it means shaving over 215 lbs from the stock weight of 1985 lbs. Where can I get the full CF body kit for Elise?

4. Many more questions will be forthcoming but for now, time for me to hit those books!

That's it for now. Just don't chew me out if I throw some clueless questions from time to time.
 

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Hi.....and welcome!!! :wave:
 

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I can partially answer #1. Lotus & Toyota have a had a long relationship together. That relationship means a lot. It is not so easy to find an engine & transmission package that will work in a car. Buying engines and transmission in bulk is tricky business. Toyota is underwriting the warranty costs for Lotus.
 

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civic Si's aren't bad... You should at least post some pics of it... Any mods on the civic yet? (wheels, etc...)
 

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3. I've visited Sector111 for a full carbon-fiber body kit for Elise but I did not see such offer. I don't mind the $30k price tag if it means shaving over 215 lbs from the stock weight of 1985 lbs. Where can I get the full CF body kit for Elise?
This has been discussed before. The problem with this equation is that the bodywork doesn't weigh 215 pounds in the first place. So it's not like replacement bodywork would save anywhere near the figure you quoted. The GRP bodywork is very thin and light already.
 

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3. I've visited Sector111 for a full carbon-fiber body kit for Elise but I did not see such offer. I don't mind the $30k price tag if it means shaving over 215 lbs from the stock weight of 1985 lbs. Where can I get the full CF body kit for Elise?.
Even if someone did make a full CF body kit, there are a bunch of cheaper ways to take weight out of the car. Kevlar fuel tank, a/c delete, lighter exhaust/rear panel delete, dash removal, etc. There are a few people here that have gutted a bunch of poundage out of these cars.
 

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I would love to get a lotus but to be honest, the car is a bit out of my price range at the moment...

...a full carbon-fiber body kit for Elise... I don't mind the $30k price tag if it means shaving over 215 lbs from the stock weight of 1985 lbs.
:huh:

The Elise is out of your price range but you wouldn't mind paying $30K more for a carbon-fiber body?

What am I missing?

And, welcome.
 

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:huh:

The Elise is out of your price range but you wouldn't mind paying $30K more for a carbon-fiber body?

What am I missing?
Exactly...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you for the link, RacyTracy.



Even if someone did make a full CF body kit, there are a bunch of cheaper ways to take weight out of the car. Kevlar fuel tank, a/c delete, lighter exhaust/rear panel delete, dash removal, etc. There are a few people here that have gutted a bunch of poundage out of these cars.
Yes, I thought about that too. But I think I will want A/C in the Elise. June/July/August here in NYS can be quite humid & hot. Going topless (the car) just won't cut it when it's in the upper 90's with high humidity content. So A/C is out of the question. I could switch to a Braille battery, swap out the seats with a set of Recaros. I'd be a happy camper if I can lower the curb weight of an Elise down to 1750 lbs or less. And to achieve this, I will have to do more than just swap out the seats and the battery.


:huh:

The Elise is out of your price range but you wouldn't mind paying $30K more for a carbon-fiber body?

What am I missing?

And, welcome.
I probably could have afforded an Elise with a bit of loan if I hadn't bought the Si coupe. My school is paying me well and taking out a loan isn't much of a problem especially with my credit score. But now that I already have a car, Elise will be a bit out of my reach until about three more years. Hopefully, Lotus will introduce an updated/improved Elise by then.
 

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My school is paying me well and taking out a loan isn't much of a problem especially with my credit score.

Your school pays YOU?? Good deal!! :clap:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Perry's down to what, just few over 1500? Neil was at 1665, IIRC. It will take some work to get 1750 and you may not have an Elise anymore.
I don't know much about engines and stuff so the chances are that I will probably keep engine mods to a minimum. So I hope to reduce bulk of the weight from a full CF body kit. The only problem is that I don't know where to get it. I tried sector111 but they don't carry the full kit.

I thought lighter the car, better the handling, provided that the weight reduction maintains the front/rear weight ratio of the stock car. Despite the moderate weight reduction, Elise will still be an Elise, no?
 

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carbon body reduced weight 75 to 90 lbs, IIRC.
 

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Couple of practical things to keep in mind:

While a newer Lotus is not an unreliable car, it can take some time to obtain spares or repair services in the event of trouble. It could be down for a few weeks waiting on parts. Be aware of the proximity and reputation of the closest Lotus dealer. AutoZone doesn't stock Lotus parts, except those you can cross index with Toyota. Also, it's not a vehicle that you will want to park just anywhere. They draw a lot of attention, both good and bad. If you're budgeting an Elise, budget a beater Civic or Corolla as well. You'll sleep easier.

The chassis is an order of magnitude more sophisticated than a production Honda or Toyota, and the scarcity of it means not much in the way of bolt on upgrades. You won't need them. Just my opinion, but the best modification you can make to a Lotus is to upgrade the driver skills. Even straight from the faqctory, they have scary limits, and the penalty for error is severe.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Type of Oil Sump?

What kind of oil sump comes equipped in a stock Elise? Wet or dry? I tried the forum search function but the features are lousy. So I tried googling but it didn't help. If stocks are equipped with wet sump, then how much would an upgrade to dry sump cost?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
This has been discussed before. The problem with this equation is that the bodywork doesn't weigh 215 pounds in the first place. So it's not like replacement bodywork would save anywhere near the figure you quoted. The GRP bodywork is very thin and light already.
Yes, this has been discussed before. Right here and right here. If you scroll down to where it says Benetec Full CF Body, weight savings is 224 lbs. If I recall correctly, the stock weight of a 2009 model Elise is 1985 lbs. If I choose the Sports Pack, the 20 lbs savings will lower the curb weight to 1965 lbs. The 224 lbs weight savings of a full CF body kit will lower it further to 1741 lbs, just below the threshold that will make me really happy. Yes, the price is outrageous. But 12.3% weight reduction will have a very significant improvement in performance!
 

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Yes, this has been discussed before. Right here and right here. If you scroll down to where it says Benetec Full CF Body, weight savings is 224 lbs. If I recall correctly, the stock weight of a 2009 model Elise is 1985 lbs. If I choose the Sports Pack, the 20 lbs savings will lower the curb weight to 1965 lbs. The 224 lbs weight savings of a full CF body kit will lower it further to 1741 lbs, just below the threshold that will make me really happy. Yes, the price is outrageous. But 12.3% weight reduction will have a very significant improvement in performance!
It's your money (when you get it that is :rolleyes:). Do with it what you want. Enjoy your car.

:wallbang:
 

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I would personally get a Honda engine because Toyota engines just suck.

I would put a Honda Fit engine in my Lotus and then put a magnaflow supercharger on it which would push about 258HP reliably... Plus I could get 49MPG, even though the Elice is so heavy.
 
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