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Discussion Starter #1
How much extra will the touring package weigh? Does anyone know the answer to this question? I think the carpeting won't add anything since the power windows are canceling out the weight (they are supposed to be lighter) they add, but what about the extra sound insulation?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I understand the seats will also be leather. I wonder how much heavier a seat upolstered in leather is? Sounds nitpicky, doesn't it? Every pound counts, though.
 

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Here is some speculation Randy posted in another thread. I don't really have a better guess than this:

Randy Chase said:
Good question.

I think there are certain items that add zero to almost no weight.

Leather trim (instead of cloth).
Electric windows (removes weight).
Upgraded radio (can't weigh a lot more)
Stowage net (my socks weigh more than that)

And items that are marginal in considering-

Full carpet sets. It is still very little carpeting bits. Dresses it up, but you are not carpeting a living room here. I would venture under a pound or two.

Thermal insulated soft top. This is foam. It can't be very heavy. Maybe a pound or two?

So all in all, we are probably under 5 pounds. What is left? Sound deadening. What is a layer of undercoating weigh? A few pounds? Maybe 4 or 5?

I would be surprised if the entire Touring Package added more than 10 pounds. And I would be even more surprised if for most of us, that is noticeable. I know I could just quit eating so much and make up that difference.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I somehow missed that in my searches. I didn't know the "extra sound deadening" is simply a layer of undercoating. Still, I think it's totally worth it to get the touring package. Everytime you sell a car, the first thing the buyer asks on the phone is "does it have leather?" It usually is hard to sell a car that doesn't have it and I'm sure the elise is no diferent.
 

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Joetz said:
Everytime you sell a car, the first thing the buyer asks on the phone is "does it have leather?" It usually is hard to sell a car that doesn't have it and I'm sure the elise is no diferent.
Maybe in a Lexus or BMW.

The mission of the Elise (pre-US) has always been performance AT THE EXPENSE of luxury.

As far as I can tell, a "true buyer" would not really care.

But then again, a "true buyer" is someone who forks over the cash for the car, not someone who necessarily knows what he's buying. So if it holds true that US consumers in their complete idiocy bastardize this car and make it a Lexus Elise, then I agree with you 100%
 

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So if it holds true that US consumers in their complete idiocy bastardize this car and make it a Lexus Elise, then I agree with you 100%
I disagree with you on what this statement implies.

Why can't a "true" sports car be continually refined as such to include features that improve the car as a package?

If I were to take the sentiments of some drivers, then we should all only be driving around in stripped out vehicles with 1 seat, lexan windows, a small fire extingusher, a roll-bar, and nothing but bare metal everywhere.

Is it required to be a painful experience when driving a "true" sports car? I don't think so, that's where refinement comes into play, and defines "true" sports cars.

Also..I believe that this statement:

Everytime you sell a car, the first thing the buyer asks on the phone is "does it have leather?" It usually is hard to sell a car that doesn't have it and I'm sure the elise is no diferent.
... is off the mark for this vehicle, as I would say that there are many buyers that would want cloth seats as there are buyers that would want leather. Believe it or not, there are people out there that would rather have cloth for reasons other than weight/racing reasons. i.e. heat & care.

my 2.
 

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An Insider at Lotus told me it was going to add 175lbs to the car.

































ok, I lied.






Just go on Atkins, you'll be ok!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I think if I can have some (just a little) luxury with no impact on performance, then why not? It's a win-win situation in my opinion.
 

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Genjuro said:
Why can't a "true" sports car be continually refined as such to include features that improve the car as a package?
Refinement in and of itself does not pose a threat to the car's status as a "true" sports car. It is only when said refinement decreases performance that the above becomes true. In the case of the Elise, a refinement level has been set. It is very low. Air conditioning, stereo, leather, carpets, and sound deadening are standard or optional refinements added to the Federal Elise that decrease the performance standards set by the Euro Elise. Granted, the engine more than makes up for them on paper, but the fact remains that the Fed Elise is already changed from the standard that has been set. Further changes only take the Elise further from the standard, thus the use of the word "bastardize".

If I were to take the sentiments of some drivers, then we should all only be driving around in stripped out vehicles with 1 seat, lexan windows, a small fire extingusher, a roll-bar, and nothing but bare metal everywhere.
That would present an ideal car built for the sole intention of performance. "Real" cars are somewhere between that ideal and the ideal of comfort and refinement. The Lotus Elise has traditionally leaned more towards the ideal performance car end. I am not suggesting that all cars should be stripped like the Euro Elise, but the Elise should be stripped. That is what it is. If you want a little more refinement and a little less performance, there are other cars with that balance already... the S2000, for instance. Now I'm not suggesting that if one's individual tastes and preferences are for an Elise with 20" rims and plush interior that said individual is necessarily "wrong". I'm only stating that such is not the original intention of the vehicle.

Is it required to be a painful experience when driving a "true" sports car? I don't think so, that's where refinement comes into play, and defines "true" sports cars.
Actually, a painful experience IS required for optimal performance. It is a fact that the things required for comfort: A/C, soft shocks with lots of travel, thick padded leather seats, pedals with more room in between, big surround sound stereo system, lots of insulation, and lots of room make for a poor performing car.

Of course it's possible to make up for the lost performance here by increasing horsepower, widening stance, widening treads, and adding things like actuated suspension, but these also add something else... COST. So yes, you can get a car that performs like an Elise but feels like a Lexus (not even, but better than an Elise, anyway), but it's going to cost you... in the sums of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
 

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Joetz said:
I think if I can have some (just a little) luxury with no impact on performance, then why not? It's a win-win situation in my opinion.
You also have to account for indirect impact on performance. Leather seats and comfy pedals don't directly impact the figures, but they make you slip around and decrease footwork efficiency, so they are not optimal configurations for a race car driver (if that's what you want to be).
 

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My feelings are that sound deadening and other "comfort" features numb the driver's awareness to what's going on outside the car. Anything that numbs the driver's senses is a bad thing in any car, and even worse in a performance car, IMO.
 

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transio said:
Refinement in and of itself does not pose a threat to the car's status as a "true" sports car. It is only when said refinement decreases performance that the above becomes true. In the case of the Elise, a refinement level has been set. It is very low. Air conditioning, stereo, leather, carpets, and sound deadening are standard or optional refinements added to the Federal Elise that decrease the performance standards set by the Euro Elise. Granted, the engine more than makes up for them on paper, but the fact remains that the Fed Elise is already changed from the standard that has been set. Further changes only take the Elise further from the standard, thus the use of the word "bastardize".

That would present an ideal car built for the sole intention of performance. "Real" cars are somewhere between that ideal and the ideal of comfort and refinement. The Lotus Elise has traditionally leaned more towards the ideal performance car end. I am not suggesting that all cars should be stripped like the Euro Elise, but the Elise should be stripped. That is what it is. If you want a little more refinement and a little less performance, there are other cars with that balance already... the S2000, for instance. Now I'm not suggesting that if one's individual tastes and preferences are for an Elise with 20" rims and plush interior that said individual is necessarily "wrong". I'm only stating that such is not the original intention of the vehicle.

Actually, a painful experience IS required for optimal performance. It is a fact that the things required for comfort: A/C, soft shocks with lots of travel, thick padded leather seats, pedals with more room in between, big surround sound stereo system, lots of insulation, and lots of room make for a poor performing car.

Of course it's possible to make up for the lost performance here by increasing horsepower, widening stance, widening treads, and adding things like actuated suspension, but these also add something else... COST. So yes, you can get a car that performs like an Elise but feels like a Lexus (not even, but better than an Elise, anyway), but it's going to cost you... in the sums of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
While what you are saying makes sense of first glance. If you look closer, it strengthens my point. The original intention of the US spec Elise is to keep Lotus alive as company. Nothing more nothing less. The FUN comes while producing such a great vehicle, it matters not to the banks or business units that finance Lotus how the car performs. The bottom line, that's all that matters for a company like Lotus/Proton.

Perhaps you guys remember Atari or Amiga. Remember how advanced they were and how much their products rocked?! I mean Amiga had thousands of colors when PCs were still at 8 and 16 colors! Where is Atari and Amiga now? Dead, gone, history. The Atari you see now is nothing more than the revived logo of a dead company, used by bigger publishers to spark the interest of 16-30 year olds.

If we all want to be the 'purists' that I seem to find all over the Elise boards, then we all need to be driving REAL race cars that were designed for nothing other than the track, and are SUPER low in production, like the dp1. (Shameless plug for my BUDDY, dp)

I'm very glad that Lotus leans towards the performance side; however, without the 'few' creature comforts, the car would fail in the US and then Lotus would run out of cat lives and be a thing of the past.

Also, I don't want an S2000, I don't like the way they look. *grin*

I LOVE the way the Elise rolls down the tarmac.

transio, don't get me wrong, I'm not attacking you. I think your posts have been balanced and I love your avatar. Discussion on the topic is EXACTLY what I want. I know that my words are my own, and nothing more.

I just want to see a little less of what I call Elisism and a bit more open minded thankfulness that Lotus has been able to achieve what might be one the turning point for the entire line!

:)
 

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I also want to add that a comfortable driver is usually a faster driver. Most drivers pick up a substantial amount of time with a well fitted seat and comfortable driving position.

Cade
 

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Good post. Now for my (inevitable) retorts: :p
Genjuro said:
While what you are saying makes sense of first glance. If you look closer, it strengthens my point. The original intention of the US spec Elise is to keep Lotus alive as company. Nothing more nothing less. The FUN comes while producing such a great vehicle, it matters not to the banks or business units that finance Lotus how the car performs. The bottom line, that's all that matters for a company like Lotus/Proton.
I disagree. The original intention of the US spec Elise was to make the Elise conform to federal emission and safety standards. The intention thereof was to be able to sell the car here. While Lotus/Proton would obviously like to sell their cars here, they're doing remarkably well in Eurasia already. They want the USA because it will guarantee significantly greater sales figures than they're doing already and allow expansion to become an even bigger manufacturer than they are today. I think the changes for the Federal model are 50/50 between feredal requirements and market requirements, though. So in that I'll give your statement credence.

Perhaps you guys remember Atari or Amiga. Remember how advanced they were and how much their products rocked?! I mean Amiga had thousands of colors when PCs were still at 8 and 16 colors! Where is Atari and Amiga now? Dead, gone, history. The Atari you see now is nothing more than the revived logo of a dead company, used by bigger publishers to spark the interest of 16-30 year olds.
Computer technology is not bound by physics. At the same time as the Atari, Cray supercomputers were setting gigaflop records that a modern PC still can't duplicate. The computers were massive, though, consisting of hundreds of individual processors to achieve the performance. Unfortunately, such weight increases have a negative impact on automobile performance. If, however, you mean by your statement that Lotus should find a way to make the Elise weigh 1600 pounds WITH creature comforts, then you're asking for R&D that Lotus can't afford to fund. Also, assuming that said 1600 lb Elise were possible, Lotus would probably choose to strip it a little more and have a 1400 pound Elise without creature comforts.

If we all want to be the 'purists' that I seem to find all over the Elise boards, then we all need to be driving REAL race cars that were designed for nothing other than the track, and are SUPER low in production, like the dp1. (Shameless plug for my dp)
It's a matter of standards. Lotus' performance-to-refinement standard is relatively well defined. Your dp1 has a higher performance-to-refinement ratio. The key is to find a car that falls pretty much in the middle of your personal desired P-R level.

I'm very glad that Lotus leans towards the performance side; however, without the 'few' creature comforts, the car would fail in the US and then Lotus would run out of cat lives and be a thing of the past.
That's a presumption that no one is really qualified to make. Because a car as raw as the Euro Elise has never seen our shores in these quantities, the success or failure of such a car would be an unknown. Lotus obviously "played it safe" by adding the few creature comforts that they thought would be the biggest detractors for the car if not present. However, I can safely say from the feedback I've gathered (and my own opinion) that the Elise would have sold at least a good number of cars even bare.

Also, I don't want an S2000, I don't like the way they look. *grin*

I LOVE the way the Elise rolls down the tarmac.
Ain't it purdy, though? :D

transio, don't get me wrong, I'm not attacking you. I think your posts have been balanced and I love your avatar. Discussion on the topic is EXACTLY what I want. I know that my words are my own, and nothing more.
I am not offended in any way. Thank you for the discussion!

I just want to see a little less of what I call Elisism and a bit more open minded thankfulness that Lotus has been able to achieve what might be one the turning point for the entire line!

:)
Great word: "Elisism". :D

As an ancillary point of view, I think you're right that the Elise could go the mass-market route for the US and become a more refined and comfortable ride at the expense of either some performance or some cost. I think this would be a viable option for Lotus if they introduce the Exige as the "raw" Elise. That way, they can cover all of their bases and dominate much of the sports car market in the US. I don't really believe, though, despite the fact that they are a business, that they have planned out the Elise release in such a manner. I believe that they're taking things as they come to them and trying to build the best sports car they can for the dollar for the market they're targeting.
 

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Joetz said:
How much extra will the touring package weigh?
Doh! I asked Clyde that question, but forget his exact response. I think total weight with touring package was 1984 lbs.
 

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I was able to chat with Nick Adams, in charge of development, for quite some time. He strongly recommends the touring package if you plan to use the car as a daily driver. The added insulation not only reduces noise inside the cabin by a significant amount, it insulates the car from heat developed by the engine and absorbed by the chassis.

I asked Nick about rumors that the Elise had been softened for the US market. He emphatically stated that this is by far the best Elise that Lotus has ever built and that any concerns about the weight gain are misplaced. He would not allow any features that would compromise the feel or performance of the car.

I did not get a figure for the actual weight added by the touring package, but Nick indicated that it was insignificant. Certainly does not affect performance.

I sat in all five cars at the show, with both leather and standard seats. I don't think you will be sliding around on leather, the seats grab you and hold you really well and the leather does not seem slippery (but then I'm not a racer). Nick did not view this as a problem. Both seats look good, but I prefer the look of the leather.

No details, but Nick mentioned that Lotus plans to use the money generated by Elise sales in the US to allow development of another car, so they have a lot riding on the success of their launch here.
 

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Wow, that's the most useful thing I've heard about the touring package yet. It's making me reconsider my position of not ordering the touring package. I personally like the idea of having a car without carpet. Carpets always start to look really worn in less than a year, at least on the driver's side. I like the idea of insulation, because it will insulate you from everything, so I'll still be able to hear the engine just as easily. It will just be quieter, for when I want to hear some music, or just the wind going by. And as far as leather, I was a little concerned about the slipping, but for me it will be my daily driver(/ with a little autoX), and not a track car. So, the tiny amount that is allowed will not be noticed. And, leather usually looks a lot nicer. And it's the only way to get it in any other color than black.

Anyway, jml, thanks for the post. If you talk to Nick again, let him know we really appreciate his work, and comments. :D
 

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Usofrob, the only carpets that the touring package adds are very short extensions part way up the side sills. All models have carpet on the bottom surfaces.
 

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Gotapex - great info! That seals the config for me. I'll get both the LSS and the Touring Sissy Pack. The weight difference is roughly equivalent to 2.5 gallons of gasoline. I'm nowhere near good enough for that to matter in lap times. Without sound deadening the clattering noises rocks make against the undercarriage are not pleasant. I'd rather hear the engine. Plus, I have issues with a $40k street car without power windows.

In similar vein, I think that cars like the Elise represent a brilliant strategy on Lotus's part. They don't have the resources to complete with high volume cars like the S2000 or C5. Likewise they would have to play catch up to the luxury GTs from Porsche and Ferrari. Lotus created (or recreated) a whole new niche when they generated a lightweight exotic at a reasonable price. For my desires, they did an excellent job of keeping weight down while maintaining much higher comfort levels than a true racer. Brilliant.
 
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