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Discussion Starter #1
I have been researching both the Eilse and the Noble and have read many reviews on the Noble where most state that it has absolutely zero understeer. From those who have their Elises, can you let me know how much the car understeers???
I am looking forward to test driving the noble M12 GTO-3. From all the videos I have seen the Noble does not understeer. I really don't like understeer. I am hoping the Elise with the sport pack will address this problem.
cheers
 

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Sopabox time: If you don't have any significant car control or track experience, then you will want that propensity for understear. Don't let videos or magazine articles lead you to believe that understeer is some kind of fun-destroying boogeyman. It's not. Understeer can indeed be a "problem," but I encourage you to consider that the tipping point between understeer and oversteer (neutrality) can be almost infitessimal, and very fleeting once reached, and when that tipping point IS reached, the results can turn violent and ugly quickly.

Most RWD cars (even "understeerers") will rotate if driven properly, and while I haven't driven the Elise at the limits, I know people who have, and they say the car rotates unlike any other street car. (Though, granted, I don't think my test-driver friends have driven the Noble.)

Personally, I sort of see understeer as a final, final warning signal: "You are at the limit of adhesion -- approach this corner differently next time, or pay the consequences."

In other words, when I'm driving at the limit on 360 degree freeway entrances, and even driving on a track, I'd rather hear my front tires squeal than the rears. Of course, if you autocross (and I don't), it's a whole different story. The risk just comes down to scuff marks.
 

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Jon already talked about this to some degree: It depends a lot on how you plan to use the car. The magazines make it sound much too simple if they state that a car understeers. For example, a car typically understeers more at slow speeds, and less at high speeds. So it's perfectly normal that it would push in a tight corner, and be tail happy in quick transitions. Or it can understeer on one surface, and be perfectly neutral on a different surface.

That's not even considering driving style. A car can be turning perfectly fine for one driver, and push like a pig for another. It all depends on how you drive it.

Of course your typical family sedan will understeer under almost all conditions. I haven't driven an Elise at the limit either, but I'm sure that this won't be the case here.
 

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There is no such thing as zero understeer or oversteer. All cars end up at one or the other at the limit. And to some extent this depends on the radius of the corner. Generally speaking the larger the radius the more the oversteer or at least reduced understeer. This leads to excess understeer in very tight corners.

If you were to drive a National level prepared autocross car on the open high speed track it would be a white knuckle experience. Spin-city. The car would be operating in an environment to which it has not been prepared. Conversely a well set up track car will understeer a great deal in 12 MPH hair pin turns.

When you drive a car with high limits and are driving fast but still below the limit the car just steers. It will seem like it has no oversteer or understeer steady state in a corner. I'm not talking about flooring it on a loose surface but cornering under control.

The Elise has such high limits that you can't approach them legally on the street. So it feels like it just steers with no over or understeer. Also, you can adjust the tire pressures, alignment, and other things to change the feel and balance of the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
thanks guys, makes more sence to me now

I don't think at this point I can afford a Noble, but if my business idea works well then I will for sure get one. I don't think all those magazine reviews can be wrong about the Noble.
From your experience in the Elise, are you having any mechanical problems with your cars? I read that the a/c does not always work and was wondering if there is any other universal problems?
Cheers
 

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i'd say the noble is $80K and two elises are $80K...i'd rather have two baseline elises. a red one and a yellow one.
 

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It's safe to say that the Elise is much more of a real, supported, warrantied, (easily) registerable and insurable and lienable car with a dealer network and so forth. That may not matter to some and it may to others. The Noble is also more fragile in some ways in the event of an accident than the Elise.
 

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I have driven the Noble M12, Elise with Sports Suspension and a standard suspension Elise. The Elise with Sports suspension seems to be much more poised and responsive then the non-sport equipped car. The Noble M12 on the other hand is a totally different story. From what I could tell there wasn't even a hint of understeer and you really had to do something drastic to get the rear out, which i did on my testdrive :D . Finally, I would say that the Noble M12 is by FAR the best car I have driven. And I have driven quite a few cars. Just for comparison these are some of the cars I have driven recently: All 3 Gen M3's, M5, Vette Z06, Porsche 996 C4S, 996, Boxster, EVO, STi, Qvale Mangusta, Lotus Esprit, Sport and Non-sport suspension Elise, Maserati Coupe, and too many other cars too list. After driving the Noble M12 I had NO doubt in my mind that it was the BEST performing/handling car that i've driven.
 

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Re: thanks guys, makes more sence to me now

Maverick1 said:

From your experience in the Elise, are you having any mechanical problems with your cars? I read that the a/c does not always work and was wondering if there is any other universal problems?
Cheers
My AC works great and I have not had any problems with my Elise:clap:
 

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Take Jon's advice, unless you are a national class driver in autocross or have a lot of track experience, you WANT understeer!
 

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I developed a national level autocross car. One of the major steps was to increase the understeer so that the car could whip through fast transitions at speed. And it did.

Of course it sucked a little at a slow 15mph turn.... but my take is you don't gain a lot of time in that turn anyway. If I had to go 20mph in that 15mph turn... I lost a little time. But if I could take a long straight and slalom at an average of 10mph, that slow turn is nothing.

Having said all that... most times, as an instructor... when I see people complain about understeer, it's a situation that was created by the driver (certain cars not included!).
 

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One other observation, having driven Deals Gap yesterday I believe the car is very well balanced. I for one do not want any less understeer or put another way I certainly don't want any more oversteer!
 

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If a car has 0 understeer then it is set up very badly.

I have never driven one but I have heard a fair bit about them as follows:

Nobles are money pits and even the British people stay clear of them unless they have plenty of money to throw at them. They are generally for the enthusiasts with a healthy bank balance.

They have a 1 year warranty, virtually no dealer network and hardly any aftersales service. At one point Noble was getting other dealerships to sell their cars for them.

If you plan to use on track you need to do a bit of work to the engine due to oil starvation.

They are great fun to drive but Noble is a brand new name and is still effectivly a kit car.

All in, it might be cheaper to get a 360 or a Gallardo.
 

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From your experience in the Elise, are you having any mechanical problems with your cars? I read that the a/c does not always work and was wondering if there is any other universal problems?
I had the oil cooler blow but Lotus has found and fixed that problem. The car's handling is absolutely incredible. Since you brought up handling issues I would recommend you get LSS. You will not be disappointed!!!
 

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Gedi said:
If a car has 0 understeer then it is set up very badly.

I have never driven one but I have heard a fair bit about them as follows:

Nobles are money pits and even the British people stay clear of them unless they have plenty of money to throw at them. They are generally for the enthusiasts with a healthy bank balance.

They have a 1 year warranty, virtually no dealer network and hardly any aftersales service. At one point Noble was getting other dealerships to sell their cars for them.

If you plan to use on track you need to do a bit of work to the engine due to oil starvation.

They are great fun to drive but Noble is a brand new name and is still effectivly a kit car.

All in, it might be cheaper to get a 360 or a Gallardo.

I'll agree with most of your points, but I don't consider the Noble to be a Kitcar as it is not available as a kit in Europe and is only sold minus drive train to get by some federal regulations. I wish they could do this with TVR.

Secondly the money pit thing needs clarification. It is certain the Noble will be MUCH more costly to run day to day than the Liz. As for tracking the Noble, that will be far far more costly. They are not as bad as TVRs as far as maintenance but far worst than the Liz. You have to remember that the Noble is, like the Liz a hand-made exotic, but is made by an even smaller company so expect even more niggles. Compared to Noble Lotus is a giant.

Maverick1, you should not dismiss the Liz so quickly. When the Lee Noble recently raced his fully race prepped M400 he ended up losing to a couple of Elise's. DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE ELISE!
 

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Re: thanks guys, makes more sence to me now

Maverick1 said:
I don't think at this point I can afford a Noble, but if my business idea works well then I will for sure get one. I don't think all those magazine reviews can be wrong about the Noble.
From your experience in the Elise, are you having any mechanical problems with your cars? I read that the a/c does not always work and was wondering if there is any other universal problems?
Cheers
Why should you believe the car comic hacks?
You are not that individual.
you may or may not drive the vehicle the way they do when pushing on.

Car mag testers by nature make sweeping, offhand frequently irresponsible statements and descriptions that they can get away with without fear of litigation... the car manufacturers cannot make suggestions that involve human behaviour for fear of being sued if something tragic happens.

The nut behind the wheel ultimately determines the default behaviour of a vehicle and there can only be one nut behind the wheel at any instant.

So...You determine the dynamic properties of the vehicle...let the magazine hack's assessment provide you with entertainment only.

m
 

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OT, but if you're looking for a "Super Elise", another alternative is the Ascari KZ-1. It features beautiful craftsmanship and if the company does well, we may see future models in the US. You may be able to get your hands on one for track only use now. It's 360 Modena money, but you get a design drawn up by ex-Lotus guy Dave Minter and something truly rare.




http://www.ascari.net/
 

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_JD_ said:
OT, but if you're looking for a "Super Elise", another alternative is the Ascari KZ-1. It features beautiful craftsmanship and if the company does well, we may see future models in the US. You may be able to get your hands on one for track only use now. It's 360 Modena money, but you get a design drawn up by ex-Lotus guy Dave Minter and something truly rare.




http://www.ascari.net/
For track use only I would get a Radical... I guess I just don't like to lose!

PS: They also have a small light weight V8 that they are working on, they claim it will put out 350 bhp.
 

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Or an Ultima Canam :D

I'll agree with most of your points, but I don't consider the Noble to be a Kitcar as it is not available as a kit in Europe
I don't actually mean it's available as a kit car, I meant in terms of niggles and the fact that your pretty much no your own it's similar to the kit car experience.



A few guys from seloc and similar have traded in their Lizies so that might be a good place to ask.
 
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