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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
There's stories that less than half of the Vipers sold make it from the dealer to their new home without smacking something.

I'd like to think that every new Elise will make it home without an undue trip to the bodyshop. What words of warning or what should the newbie be careful to avoid?

I'll start it off... the steering has little play on center and is quick. It's nearly telepathic. This means 2 things;

a) you'll likely put in too much steering lock at the first few corners. Watch those right turns near curbs. You'll turn more than you expected and smack the curb and put some serious curb rash on your alloys;

b) careful when making a lane change and you turn your head to look over your shoulder. If you lift your opposite shoulder even the slightest amount your hands will follow and you'll be making the lane change before you intended or will go 2 lanes over.

You'll learn about "slow hands" the more you drive your Elise.

Okay, any more suggestions??
 

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khamai said:

a) you'll likely put in too much steering lock at the first few corners. Watch those right turns near curbs. You'll turn more than you expected and smack the curb and put some serious curb rash on your alloys;
Plus you will find that rear is slightly wider, lending to even more tendency to hit something with the rear wheel.

C) The brakes will stop the car rapidly, specially with the Elise's overall low weight. That does not mean you should though. The 2 ton SUV behind you does not stop as quickly.

D) Try not to get carried away and dart too much in traffic. That only works when all the other cars never mess up or do something unexpected. Save the darting around for times alone or track/autocross.

E) Be aware of other vehicle's blind spots. Do not camp out there they can't see you.


Do not stay to the side of a vehicle like this. Specially on the passenger side. They can't see you.

F) Be aware of midengine car dynamics. If you feel the back end get loose, don't panic and jump on the brakes or even jump off the throttle. That will make the back end lighter.
 

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* look at least one turn ahead; as if on the track.
* your tires aren't broken in; respect that.
* don't full around with unfamiliar cockpit controls (as if there are any!)
* dont read owner's material while you drive.
* don't call wife/GF with giddy driving reports.
* get familiar with car's footprint (already stated, but so important).

I think Viper owners get bitten because of the mad torque on demand and "yestertech" propensity for oversteer. Between break-in constraints and torque curve realities, we should be better off.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Another...

G) You'll get LOTS of stares and people giving you thumbs up. You'll be the distraction, and drivers around you will be looking at the Elise instead of the road ahead. When driving my X180R (race version of the Esprit) I had other drivers around me -
i) drift into my lane as they stared at the car
ii) Nearly hit the car in front of them
iii) Nearly side swipe parked cars
iv) Keep going straight into an intersection as you slowed for a red!
v) kids on bikes & skateboards ride off the curb in to traffic or once a kid smacked into a pole
All because they were looking at the car instead of paying attention to the road in front of them.

Might be different today, because in areas like Silicon Valley and LA there's a LOT of high dollar cars running around. I see at least 2-3 Ferrari a day! People hardly notice a Viper.

more???
 

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The break-in period means taking it easy. Use that time to get familiar with the car. If your not use to a small car, situational awareness is very importation. You’ve got a bit of a blind spot off the b-pillars, adjust your outside rear view mirror a bit wide to help cover it. Keep a eye out for the other guy, because they may not see you.

Once it’s broken in, take your time getting a feel for what it can do. Local back roads that your familiar with would be great. Better yet, track time, with a instructor more if your new to mid-engine cars would be a great way to push the limits and learn the edges. Everything I’ve heard to date about the Elise paints the car as a near direct connection to the driver and fairly forgiving. Better to dial it down a notch or two and save it for another day, then to blindly push it
 

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Fingers crossed, a couple weeks or so and some of us may be able to add first hand experiences.

I printed the breakin info posted before on the 111R that way I can have it with me whenever I finally get my car!!
Chris
 

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Call me loony, but I've been going through various routes from the dealer to my house. I really have to get a life/learn to relax...

Things such as traffic, road surface conditions, etc are all magnified (at least to me) when driving an unfamiliar car -- especially one as special as an Elise! I'll probably have a fellow car-nut friend drive me to the dealer in his NSX. Driving back in tandem with his car might distract others from staring at mine.
 

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Remember that your eyes and hands are connected when driving. This is important for two reasons:

1, people following /admiring your car while they are driving will tend to "hang" in your blind spot. So while their eyes are glued to the waspish contours of the Elise, their hands and therefore steering wheel will also be attracted to your car. So watch the blind spots, and don't allow other vehicles to occupy them in case you forget they are there.

2, same thing applies to the Elise pilot checking out the chick who's checking the car out.

Pilots of se7en clones have all BTDT.

m.
ps, i almost forgot.:) The cops will have their radar trigger fingers frozen for the first couple of encounters, but after a couple of weeks ....you'll feel like you're in a microwave oven.
 

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The point about staying out of blind spots is a big one! Assume you are invisible to others.
In your excitment don't get on the cell phone and start calling others !
Watch out for people in adjacent lanes drifting into you while looking the car over.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I think we'll find there will be an unusual number of folks who are going to want to "race" or beat you through a corner. It's easy to get sucked into these situations.

I recall returning from Santa Cruz to the Silicon Valley in the Esprit one summer. I had crested the hill and was headed down through a series of sweepers. Big hard concrete barriers line this stretch, but for the Esprit the corners were a piece of cake to take at 80-85 (65 is push in anything else).

I passed a Mustang packed with teenagers and continued on my way down the hill. Next thing I knew the driver of the Mustang was accelerating to stay with me (or pass). I kinda of ignored the situation and kept up my constant pace.

I turned into the next corner, a big right hander, no brakes, just feathered the throttle and rounded the corner. As I got to the exit I glanced in mirrors only to see the Mustang sliding from the right to left lane for what looked like serious contact with the median barrier. I lost sight of the car just about then, but dialed 911 anyway.

So, while you may be driving within the limits of the Elise, you may find yourself attracting the wrong kind of attention. Other drivers, especially drivers who want to showoff, or prove their manhood will try goad you into racing. Unfortunately they will be putting themselves into a potential fatal situation.

After the above incident I'm a lot more attentive about passing teenagers and refused to "race" with them. I just don't want the thought that I had anything to do with killing themselves.
 

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khamai, you are so right, it seems every time I drive my Seven on the streets, every kid with a coffee can exhaust on his car wants to play stop light Grand Prix! When they rev. their engine at lights I just laugh and ignore them, you can't get sucked into this stuff.
The point you make is a good one!
 

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This was just posted on miata.net

When pulling behind a larger vehicle, do not pull up right behind it and centered. They can't see you if they decide to reverse towards you. That specially is true on a hill and the person might roll a little.

Try pulling up behind them off center, where they can see you in the side mirrors.

And consider upgrading your horns. :)
 

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Randy Chase said:
This was just posted on miata.net

When pulling behind a larger vehicle, do not pull up right behind it and centered. They can't see you if they decide to reverse towards you. That specially is true on a hill and the person might roll a little.

Try pulling up behind them off center, where they can see you in the side mirrors.

And consider upgrading your horns. :)
A few trucks here have signs on the back that say "If you can't see my mirrors, I can't see you".

Of course, I rarely spend much time behind trucks.

Useful in roadworks though.

Craigy
 

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Hey guys, another thing to be aware of. Maybe just my imagination, but I swear the magnification (you know objects may appear.....) seems to make the vehicles look much further away than other cars, I've pulled into another lane at what I thought was a safe distance, and it wasnt'.
Chris
 

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zvezdah1 said:
Hey guys, another thing to be aware of. Maybe just my imagination, but I swear the magnification (you know objects may appear.....) seems to make the vehicles look much further away than other cars, I've pulled into another lane at what I thought was a safe distance, and it wasnt'.
Chris
I get round that whole "mirrors" thing by driving faster than everyone else.:p

HTH


Craigy
 

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There has been a study (probably done by the military) about colors being most visible. I believe it was for when they were first developing night vision. Lime Green is the "most visable" color in night OR day time. The solution is simple and it is what I will be doing.

Check the options box for "Krypton Green" when picking color.

Just kidding. But my girlfriend wants that color, so that's what I'll be getting (hopefully).
 

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Craigy said:
Dude, are you saving typing by posting the same message to two different threads?

:)

Craigy
How do you know it was not typed again? :)
 
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