The Lotus Cars Community banner

1 - 20 of 65 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
560 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone, my name is Jason and I've just joined your community.

I have many questions but first I'd like to explain my situation.

Currently I own an absolutely mint 1998 C5 corvette loaded with all options and some extras such as ram air induction, Magnaflow exhaust and a few other add ons. The car has 55k miles on it and has been garage kept and covered throughout my ownership. It's a cherry.

Recently, while at work, I was passed by an absolutely beautiful sports car and I thought to myself, man someones got some money. I thought the car was a $180,000.00 car and mistook it for a Ferarri only to find out later it was a Lotus Elise.
Since then I have been researching the Lotus and find myself wanting one more and more every day.

Am I making a mistake?
What will I sacrafice leaving my Corvette for a Lotus?
My Corvette will run 13.0 second quarter mile time but I'm well aware that owning a Lotus is not about straight line speed. But really and truly I prefer a car that will at least be comparable with my current car in the 1/4 mile.
Am I expecting too much?

I feel the Lotus is a better looking car than a Corvette, more exotic , if you will and I'm willing to give up some of the comforts that I never use offered by the Corvette.

The Lotus Elise has sorta become my dream car but how is the ride quality versus a Corvette? Interior noise and such?
I'm way down south in Louisiana and it gets very hot here in the summer months and a good air conditioning is an absolute necessity....so the Lotus MUST at least have that.

Can you guys please help me here. I'd be ever so greatful.

thank you in advance.
Jason.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,571 Posts
Hello everyone, my name is Jason and I've just joined your community.

I have many questions but first I'd like to explain my situation.

Currently I own an absolutely mint 1998 C5 corvette loaded with all options and some extras such as ram air induction, Magnaflow exhaust and a few other add ons. The car has 55k miles on it and has been garage kept and covered throughout my ownership. It's a cherry.

Recently, while at work, I was passed by an absolutely beautiful sports car and I thought to myself, man someones got some money. I thought the car was a $180,000.00 car and mistook it for a Ferarri only to find out later it was a Lotus Elise.
Since then I have been researching the Lotus and find myself wanting one more and more every day.

Am I making a mistake?
What will I sacrafice leaving my Corvette for a Lotus?
My Corvette will run 13.0 second quarter mile time but I'm well aware that owning a Lotus is not about straight line speed. But really and truly I prefer a car that will at least be comparable with my current car in the 1/4 mile.
Am I expecting too much?

I feel the Lotus is a better looking car than a Corvette, more exotic , if you will and I'm willing to give up some of the comforts that I never use offered by the Corvette.

The Lotus Elise has sorta become my dream car but how is the ride quality versus a Corvette? Interior noise and such?
I'm way down south in Louisiana and it gets very hot here in the summer months and a good air conditioning is an absolute necessity....so the Lotus MUST at least have that.

Can you guys please help me here. I'd be ever so greatful.

thank you in advance.
Jason.
The Lotus and Corvette are hardly comparable. The Lotus rides way rougher, is louder, has fewer creature comforts, won't carry a golf bag, your girlfriend/wife probably won't want to ride in it, it's more fragile, more expensive to fix.

As far as speed, the standard Elise is slower than your car as you describe it, by a good bit. To get the published 0-60 and quarter mile times for the Lotus, you have to pretty much abuse it with high rev clutch dumps that you'd hardly ever do to your car.

If you want comparable accelaration, you're going to have to go with the Elise SC, the Exige S, or the S240 Exige, all more $$$. What's the old adage: "How fast do you want to go? How much do you want to spend?"

Oh, the air conditioning, especially in the earlier models, pretty much sucks. The later models are better from what I've heard, but again, are you able/willing to pay for the later model Exige S/SC Elise/S240?

Research and search.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
560 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Oh, the air conditioning, especially in the earlier models, pretty much sucks. The later models are better from what I've heard, but again, are you able/willing to pay for the later model Exige S/SC Elise/S240?
Research and search.
Well, my Corvette is paid in full. Title in hand. It should bring top dollar for the year model considering it's clean as a whistle carfax and the manner in which I've kept it up.

My Corvette is not a daily driver as you can tell by the milage. I use a Lexus es300 as my daily grocery getter.
An 07 Elise with a few thousand miles would be very affordable for me, I would think.

I really prefer the look of the Elise over the Exige, but I'm not really familiar with the Elise s240 but am under the assumption that it's a supercharged version.

Exactly what are the standard Elise times in the 1/4 mile WITHOUT abusing the car.
I'm really not into car abuse and ran my Vette only once at the track through the 1/4 mile.
If I want real speed I hop on my rf900r racbike.
For me it's about the prestige of owning a really nice sports car but then again I do put my foot into them from time to time and fully enjoy acceleration. However, most of the time I just kinda putt putt around driving sensibly knowing I have something that most people will never sit behind the wheel of.

Sort of hard to believe that the Elise rides harder than a Corvette, but I've never owned one so I take you at your word.
Is the interior noise bad also?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,571 Posts
Well, my Corvette is paid in full. Title in hand. It should bring top dollar for the year model considering it's clean as a whistle carfax and the manner in which I've kept it up.

My Corvette is not a daily driver as you can tell by the milage. I use a Lexus es300 as my daily grocery getter.
An 07 Elise with a few thousand miles would be very affordable for me, I would think.

I really prefer the look of the Elise over the Exige, but I'm not really familiar with the Elise s240 but am under the assumption that it's a supercharged version.

Exactly what are the standard Elise times in the 1/4 mile WITHOUT abusing the car.
I'm really not into car abuse and ran my Vette only once at the track through the 1/4 mile.
If I want real speed I hop on my rf900r racbike.
For me it's about the prestige of owning a really nice sports car but then again I do put my foot into them from time to time and fully enjoy acceleration. However, most of the time I just kinda putt putt around driving sensibly knowing I have something that most people will never sit behind the wheel of.

Sort of hard to believe that the Elise rides harder than a Corvette, but I've never owned one so I take you at your word.
Is the interior noise bad also?
No Elise S240, only Exige S240. Elise SC has 220 hp, Exige S has 220 hp, and up to 08 had intercooler. 08's and later don't have intercoolers. S240 has 240 hp, with intercooler, and bigger brakes, and harnass bar standard, etc.

If you're looking at a used 07 Elise, it will have to be naturally aspirated. The SC Elise's came online for the 08 model year.

A normally aspirated Elise not slammed is realistically probably a mid/high 5 second to 60 car, high 13's/low to mid 14's quarter mile car. Some folks may do a bit better, but this is not a stop light or drag racer by any means.

Where it's really weak is on rolling starts, 5 to 60. Lots of cars will outrun it ('it' being the normally aspirated cars) in a straight line, including some pretty low priced cars.

But acceleration is NOT what this car is about. It's about sticking to the road.

Yes, this car rides rougher than just about anything else on the road, especially with any suspension option upgrades.

You need to drive the car, and the various versions. It's no longer 'A Lotus.' There are various degrees of the Elise/Exige platform available now, and they can be very different in nature.

What is not different is the crappy sound system, crappy air conditioning, sparse interiors (except the Elise California, which is an acquired taste), lots of engine/road noise with other odd sounds popping up often.

Not trying to talk you out of it, but it is a very, very different car than your Vette. You need to go look/drive/research.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,482 Posts
what is not different is the crappy sound system, crappy air conditioning
The default 05 sound system I hear is crappy. The default system that came in the 72D, which I presume is the one you get from the 07 premium pack is reasonably decent (Alpine 4-Speaker Stereo with In-Dash CD Player, ipod connector). I'm pretty happy with it, I crank the tunes as I drive with it plugged into my iphone.

The air conditioning is "good enough" for the weather I get in the northwest (Seattle area), but the climate here is pretty moderate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
804 Posts
Welcome IXLR8. Everyone likes different things, so take this for whatever it is worth.......just one opinion.

I have a '05 Lotus Elise, and I just recently sold a C6 Z06. I also am lucky to own a number of other cars, but I decided to dispose of some of my toy stable for practicality reasons. I loved both the C6 Z06 and the Elise, but I kept the latter.

Why? Because nothing I've ever driven delivers more enjoyment in "carving corners" than the Lotus. The C6 Z06 was blindingly fast, almost too much so, and handled well on the track. The Z06 was also considerably faster around the track than the Elise. However, the amazing handling of the Lotus chassis, and how it communicates the road to the driver was what tipped the balance for me. I also enjoy it on the street.

The Elise is underpowered compared to many of cars I've enjoyed, but nothing I've ever driven (and I've owned 50 or so cars) gives me more joy than an outing in the Elise.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
560 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
So....what I gather is if I want more speed that I will be limited to the exige?

Although I'm assuming with the 08 Elise I will get a few more ponies.......but I should also get better gas milage than my current Corvette?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
560 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Welcome IXLR8. Everyone likes different things, so take this for whatever it is worth.......just one opinion.

I have a '05 Lotus Elise, and I just recently sold a C6 Z06. I also am lucky to own a number of other cars, but I decided to dispose of some of my toy stable for practicality reasons. I loved both the C6 Z06 and the Elise, but I kept the latter.

Why? Because nothing I've ever driven delivers more enjoyment in "carving corners" than the Lotus. The C6 Z06 was blindingly fast, almost too much so, and handled well on the track. The Z06 was also considerably faster around the track than the Elise. However, the amazing handling of the Lotus chassis, and how it communicates the road to the driver was what tipped the balance for me. I also enjoy it on the street.

The Elise is underpowered compared to many of cars I've enjoyed, but nothing I've ever driven (and I've owned 50 or so cars) gives me more joy than an outing in the Elise.

I understand completely. I've owned many cars also.
For me it's the look of the Elise. There's just something about it.
It reminds me so much of a Ferarri....even better looking in some ways.
I may have to sacrafice some straight line speed for something very unique.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,571 Posts
So....what I gather is if I want more speed that I will be limited to the exige?

Although I'm assuming with the 08 Elise I will get a few more ponies.......but I should also get better gas milage than my current Corvette?
Only if you get the 08 Elise SC, which is more $$$. You can still get an 08 normally aspirated Elise, but I don't think they're selling too many of those.

Better gas mileage. That's a good question. I've heard C5's and C6's get pretty good mileage.

The recent Road and Track, looking at higher performance/more fuel efficient cars has the C6 Z51 Vette rated at 16 city/26 highway/21 average, and the Elise SC at 20 city/26 highway/23 average.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,731 Posts
...2005 c6 and federal elise, here...

...they're completely different cars, honestly - the corvette's a posh luxury sedan and the lotus a ballet prodigy by comparison...you'll find the elise to be hot, cramped, loud, fussy, and absolutely not care once you drive it in its element, conversely, when it's not in its element, long-distance cruising hot summer days and such, you'll find yourself pining for the corvette...

...taken in isolation or in traffic, the elise's acceleration is absolutely impressive up to about one hundred thirty or so, but if straight-line drag races are important, you'll still find yourself losing in the lotus, especially at triple-digit speeds...similarly, the corvette's handling is absolutely competent, but it still feels ungainly and a touch nautical after driving the elise...

...personally, i prefer the purity of the lotus and how directly it lays bare everything that it is for you to experience intimately, but in so many ways it's a throwback to how cars felt fourty years ago that if you're accustomed to modern levels of automotive refinement you might be left feeling that it's nothing more than an overblown go-kart...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
560 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Only if you get the 08 Elise SC, which is more $$$. You can still get an 08 normally aspirated Elise, but I don't think they're selling too many of those.

Better gas mileage. That's a good question. I've heard C5's and C6's get pretty good mileage.

The recent Road and Track, looking at higher performance/more fuel efficient cars has the C6 Z51 Vette rated at 16 city/26 highway/21 average, and the Elise SC at 20 city/26 highway/23 average.

Yes my car gets pretty good Milage for a muscle car v8.
According to the onboard computer......some 31 mpg at times.
I do not know how accurate this may be, however.

I just can't get the exotic look of the Elise out of my head.
Also, you see very very few of these on the road compared to Corvettes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
804 Posts
...2005 c6 and federal elise, here...

...they're completely different cars, honestly - the corvette's a posh luxury sedan and the lotus a ballet prodigy by comparison...you'll find the elise to be hot, cramped, loud, fussy, and absolutely not care once you drive it in its element, conversely, when it's not in its element, long-distance touring, hot summer days, and such, you'll find yourself pining for the corvette...

...the elise's acceleration is absolutely impressive up to about one hundred thirty or so, but if straight-line drag races are important, you'll still find yourself losing in the lotus, especially at triple-digit speeds...similarly, the corvette's handling is absolutely competent, but it still feels ungainly and a touch nautical after driving the elise...

...personally, i prefer the purity of the lotus and how directly it lays bare everything that it is for you to experience intimately, but in so many ways it's a throwback to how cars felt fourty years ago that if you're accustomed to modern levels of automotive refinement you might be left feeling that it's nothing more than an overblown go-kart...
M,

Not a bad description, and I generally agree. However, with regard to a "throwback to forty years" ago I would tend to agree in terms of comfort, but in terms of handling, no street car back in that day handled like a modern Elise/Exige.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,731 Posts
However, with regard to a "throwback to forty years" ago I would tend to agree in terms of comfort, but in terms of handling, no street car back in that day handled like a modern Elise/Exige.
...oh, you're absolutely correct regarding performance and even reliability, and i misspoke if i gave a different impression - i meant build quality, rattles-squeaks-bare-knuckled finish, that sort...the lotus is a glorius thing to drive, but a raw sort of glory as opposed to the more common contemporary pampered experience...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
648 Posts
If you want more power get a SC kit for an elise. I've built multiple C5 race cars and when built they are amazing. However, the things you give up when going to a Lotus become not a huge deal. Just think your driving a semi street legal race car on the street. The Lotus is a great fundamentals car. There is nothing to hide your mistakes such as raw power etc...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
560 Posts
Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Firstly I want to thank you guys for your input.

Secondly I'd like you to grab this scenario.

Some time back I owned a cherry mint 1998 mitsubishi Normally Aspirated 3000GT.
I marveled at its acceleration.
It was a very nice car and I liked it just as much as I like my Corvette.

In comparison.....how would the Elise hold up against the 3000gt?
In my opinion the Elise looks far better than most of the sports cars Ive ever seen, so it's a given that in my eyes the Elise blows the 3000gt away.
Performance wise would the Elise be close?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,108 Posts
If you have to ask it's not for you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
575 Posts
If looks are really your only reason for wanting an Elise then I would suggest not getting one or atleast test drive one before even considering one.

Its a very unusual niche car, and that's why it gets so much attention, but its also why so many people buy them for looks and sell them a few months later.

There's nothing wrong with liking a car purely for looks, but there's so many compromises with the Elise its often not a car that will grow on you over time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
575 Posts
I used to own a 3000GT VR-4 and IMO they accelerate 0 to 60 pretty similar, so I assume an Elise will accel faster than a 3000GT SL. However, like the 3000GT it may accel pretty quick, but while rolling they aren't that fast.

When it comes to handling the Elise vs. 3000GT there's no comparison. The 3000GT is a boat. The Elise is like a go kart.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
560 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
If looks are really your only reason for wanting an Elise then I would suggest not getting one or atleast test drive one before even considering one.

Its a very unusual niche car, and that's why it gets so much attention, but its also why so many people buy them for looks and sell them a few months later.

There's nothing wrong with liking a car purely for looks, but there's so many compromises with the Elise its often not a car that will grow on you over time.

I understand what you mean, By the way your car is stunning. I'm assuming the avatar is your car.
Ok compromises.
I also had, at one time, a twin turbo nissan 300zx.
Terrible gas milage. Fairly quick car. It had what they called at the time Hikas sterring.....all 4 wheels steered the car.
I ended up hating that car because tires had to be replaced around every 10k miles.
I honestly think I could live with the Elise.
 
1 - 20 of 65 Posts
Top