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Yesterday I went to the NY Auto Show. They had a red Elise behind ropes which looked really nice.

After going there, I went down the street to Manhattan Motorcars where they had a silver, plain looking Elise (yes..the silver with black interior definately looked very plain compared to the red with red interior) that I was able to look at much more closely.

I was able to sit in it and see all the details of the car. I have to say that getting into and getting out of this car is definately a chore. After doing that I realized there is no way this could be my every-day car. I can't even imagine picking up a date in this car. What if she was wearing a skirt or something. :eek:

Also, what if it was raining. I would get all wet or muddy since you have to slide over the high door-sill in order to get into the car properly.

I would at least have to have a second car on the side for those rainy days or for other occasions.

I will admit that once in the car, it is very comfortable.

I remember someone posting something about the posibility of Lotus dropping that door sill a bit for the new model. Does anyone know the specifics of that? Is it just a rumor?
 

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The getting in and out thing is nothing to get worried about. Having run our car now for over 6 years I can tell you that after the first couple of days (during which you find what suits you best) you never even notice the sill - and dont forget the sill on the S1 is a LOT higher than the S2. Its all a matter of technique. With the roof/hardtop on it is a tad more of a challenge but still nothing major. As for rain conditions - if you have learnt to get in sensibly then no mud or water should get on the sill.
Female passengers in skirts/dresses should be able to manage OK as my wife has never found a problem even when wearing something long for an evening occasion.

My technique for getting in and out of an S1 with the roof on is as follows:
1. Open door (always helps :)
2. Put left foot into footwell (remember our car is RHD so reverse thes LH/RH for US spec cars)
3. Grab hold of the steering wheel with you left hand
4. Place your right hand on the sill of the door
5 . Now wupported on your right hand and stabilised with your left on the wheel and balanced by your foot in the footwell, lift your right leg into the footwell and at the same time gently slip into the seat.
6. Head is the last bit of you to enter,

Remember that I am 55 and not as flexible as these youngsters who just drop their backside over the sil and then fold their legs in (favoured method for passenger entry as bringing both legs on board removes the need to have the skirt up round your waist)

Exit is the reverse as they say ie.
1. Head out (after opening door)
2. Right hand on sill Left hand on wheel
3. Lift weight on right hand and push out with left until you are mostly out of the door.
4. Left foot out followed by right foot.

Perhaps I should send a video clip of this!

Tony C
 

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Great Job, Tony. Thanks for bothering to put that together. I feel much better seeing it done myself. It doesn't look that bad at all.
 

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Much thanks to you, Tony. Now, my question is to you is 'how tall are you?'

I know that at 6'4" (shade over 1.9m) I should fit, just want a little something else to base it on. I already know that next time my back is acting up, I won't be getting in our out. :)
 

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Max,

At the Atlanta auto show we were given the opportunity to get in and out of the red elise with hardtop. My fiancee is 6'3 and he didnt slip right in, but he got in without any major hassle. Once inside he had plenty of headroom.

We drove an S1 at LCUSA shortly( an hour) before attending the autoshow so it was still fresh in my head and I have to say that neither the S1 or S2 sill bothers me much. As the fella above said, Im sure its one of those things where you develope a technic and it becomes second nature.

I need to lay off the hamburgers and pizza anyway so the Elise will give me incentive. :p
 

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Thanks, OneFastMiata.

It's comforting to hear a first hand experience. My concern was more with head/knee room (you've helped belay that worry) than with getting in/out. I'm young by some standards, thin, and still in mostly good shape, so I have no gripes about the mild contortions for entry and exit.

I keep hoping I get to sit in one before purchase day finally comes.

Thanks again.
 

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Its not so much a matter of pure height. Its the backside to top of head dimension and the back to sole of foot dimension.
I'm only 5ft 10 butwhen I sit down next to a friend who is 6ft 3 I look taller hence you may deduce I have a long torso and v short little legs.
I have no problem with headroom and my 6'3" friend fits in fine too hoever I met guy from the States at Donnington about 4 years ago and I believe he was 6'4" but his height was all in his legs so even with the seat full back his knees were still up by his hands.
You will just have to try it and see!
TC
 

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The problem George had was that his thigh hit the shifter, and his feet were a little big for the pedals. He did however have on hiking shoes which had small lugs on the soles.
 

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At least my feet aren't huge for my height. If there's as much room as a Boxster, I'll be okay. In that car, my hands bang my knees when I turn the steering wheel.

I did *not* fit comfortably in an Esprit when I was last down at the dealer.
 

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I'll add this...of course, YMMV.

I'm almost 6'3. Got a chance to sit in an S2 at the LA auto show a couple years back. Great car but it had one problem for me. My knee jams between the shifter and the steering wheel in first gear. Other gears are fine, but it's obvious that I won't be able to drive the car as is.

I asked if it would void the warranty to take a tubing bender to the shifter shaft. "in your case, I'd doubt it." :)

-la
 

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There are after market "short shift" levers available which are not only a shorter gear stick but can be adjusted to crank not only straight back as standard bit alsotoward or away from the driver.
TC
 

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Tony C said:
The getting in and out thing is nothing to get worried about. Having run our car now for over 6 years I can tell you that after the first couple of days (during which you find what suits you best) you never even notice the sill - and dont forget the sill on the S1 is a LOT higher than the S2. Its all a matter of technique. With the roof/hardtop on it is a tad more of a challenge but still nothing major. As for rain conditions - if you have learnt to get in sensibly then no mud or water should get on the sill.
Female passengers in skirts/dresses should be able to manage OK as my wife has never found a problem even when wearing something long for an evening occasion.

My technique for getting in and out of an S1 with the roof on is as follows:
1. Open door (always helps :)
2. Put left foot into footwell (remember our car is RHD so reverse thes LH/RH for US spec cars)
3. Grab hold of the steering wheel with you left hand
4. Place your right hand on the sill of the door
5 . Now wupported on your right hand and stabilised with your left on the wheel and balanced by your foot in the footwell, lift your right leg into the footwell and at the same time gently slip into the seat.
6. Head is the last bit of you to enter,

Remember that I am 55 and not as flexible as these youngsters who just drop their backside over the sil and then fold their legs in (favoured method for passenger entry as bringing both legs on board removes the need to have the skirt up round your waist)

Exit is the reverse as they say ie.
1. Head out (after opening door)
2. Right hand on sill Left hand on wheel
3. Lift weight on right hand and push out with left until you are mostly out of the door.
4. Left foot out followed by right foot.

Perhaps I should send a video clip of this!

Tony C
You put your left foot in, you put your left foot out, you put your left foot in and shake it all about... :p sounds like the hokeypokie..

I have no trouble getting in/out of my MR2 MKII although my tall friends need your instruction list for my car..
Maybe they could have a disc tray kind of thingie you could coast in on.. :) j/k

Well, it would have to be pretty bad to discourage me and I am tall.

Where that Video now??

zOOmz
 

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As one who believes that a little suffering is good for you, I say "the higher the door-sill, the better !";) But seriously, the high door sill means that the chassis is deep, which means that it's very stiff. If Lotus lowers it too much for ease of ingress/egress, I would not like it because they'd be sacrificing some degree of stiffness. Also, when I test-drove the Elise, I absolutely loved the feeling that I was sitting "inside" the tub (chassis), not on top of it. It really made me feel much more secure, and contributed to the feeling that I was in a race car that happens to be street-legal. This is directly related to how high that sill is, I'm afraid. So, bring it on !
 

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I've been able to mount/dismount an Elise w/o too much trouble, so I don't mind either way. Relative to a normal car, it does take at least twice as long with at least twice the effort, but even that's not much more than a few seconds (although I am in my 20's). I'm sure with time I'd learn to slide in quickly Dukes of Hazzard style ;).

If the sills were changed, it would probably help Lotus sell a few more cars. Not a bad thing, considering that I want Lotus to be able to stick around and keep producing fun cars like the Elise, which doesn't have any true direct competition here. (I'll believe the VW rumor when an actual production-ready car is created, but I wouldn't mind another company championing the lightweight car cause.)

Tony, that video clip is excellent, by the way.

--
Dan
still helplessly waiting for my Elise
 

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FYI, The 111 Project (later named "Elise") was originally planned to have no doors AT ALL ! Doors were added later in the development of the car, for legal and practical considerations. Talk about high door sills !
 

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holy cow the video makes it look like your sneaking out of the house
 

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More like posting yourself feet first through a mailbox!
 
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