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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I was there at HRM also, and while Mitch was doing diligent work with photographs, I was listening to Nick Adams and taking notes. I asked questions which were important to me, and I think that the responses will clear up some things:

1. The tach will have the STACK layout (ie. Stacked)!

2. They are working on a U.S. drivers training course with the Elise. Place to be announced.

3.Doc Bundy, one of the pro Porsche hotshoes at Barber was on the phone trying to get a race team together as soon as he got out of the car. He was that impressed.

4. I asked if LSD would be helpful. Nick stated that of all the race courses that he has been on, LSD would not be helpful. But the he added that if the car was on an autocross circuit with slow tight turns, then LSD would definitely help.

5. Breaking in: Be respectful but not too respectful. For the first 1000 miles, shift using just 2 fingers. That way one would avoid jamming things into gears until it loosens up a bit. Very important! Here is where he surprised me. I asked about the rev limit and checking on it at the first 1000 mile service. He said do not think of it as big brother. He said let the car warm up, then rev it to 8500 briefly. How else are you going to get to the hot cam. Just don't hold it there. They will be looking at revs but they are more concerned with gathering data about how we Americans drive. He gave an example of someone reving a cold car to over 6000 as being a bad thing. Don't beat on it, but run it occassionally to the max. Let things loosen up before pushing it too hard.

6.He stated that he was the guy who decided where the money was to be spent. His emphasis was on handling and performance. He cared less about squeaks and rattles and more about cornering. He thought that a roof that leaked a little was less important than a good motor. So that is where he put the money to work.

7. The pedals are moved as far apart as the footwell would permit. I noticed a lot more room for my feet versus the 111S that I drove.

8. The engine is the stock Toyota engine without internal changes. The ECU was remapped so that the secondary cam kick-in was at an RPM where the HP and torque curves cross. He gave an example of a Celica mid corner accelerating when the second cam came in. The added power would not unsettle a front wheel drive car, but the Elise would not tolerate that well. The change in cam is more stable if done as above

9. Lotus is considering doing a "build book". You could pay for photographs of your car being built and a special book to put them in. I personally think that is a great idea.

10. Both LSS and standard suspension cars sport rubber that is specific to the Elise and it is labeled so on the tires. The choice to go with Yokos was because they could not use BFGs in the U.S. because of some legal issue. BFGs have a less stiff sidewall so the euro elise has stiffer springs in the rear. I believe that he said the springs were the same in the front. The LSS is not offered in Europe, yet. Since the tires are Lotus exclusives, an agreement has been made with Yoko USA to be able to get a Lotus tire to anywhere in the U.S. in 24 hours. He stated that non-LSS cars and Euro cars are essentially the same feel in the suspension.

11. He stated that they have acheived a suspension in which the suspension roll center and the mass roll center are in the same spot, and that is great for handling. Change springs, shocks, or tires and that dynamic will be altered significantly.

12. Suspension settings are virtually unalterable. But he said why would you want to. The car is perfect the way that it is.

13. If you change the ride height for the LSS cars, you will need to do an alignment. And not just any alignment. The car needs to have its chassis sitting on blocks of specified height while adjustments are made. I take this to be nearly full squat achieved by adding weights to the car. Procedures will be in the dealer's service manual. The car ride height will be adjustable -5mm, +10 mm.

14. They had to crash test 24 cars for U.S. approval. He said that made him sad.

15. Seats can be tilted back by adding washers to the front mounts and getting longer bolts.

16. He drives an Elise and states that he would not have the car without the touring pack. Sound insulation and thermal insulation were the main reasons for this. He also stated that he would not have the car with LSS. Significantly harsher ride.

17. Finally, he stated that the design of the car was to be fun. You need to feel special when you drop into the seat. Someone mentioned Lexus and need for American luxury. He stated that Lotus has tried to go the opposite way. The Lexus makes you feel like you are doing 50 when you are doing 100. Lotus wants you to feel like you are doing 100 when you are doing 50.

These thoughts are rather disjointed, but I tried to remember from the cues that I wrote. Nick is a racer and you can really see his experience show when you talk to him. He is a real sport for taking all of our questions. I'll try to recall more later.
 

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yokos anywhere in teh US in 24 ours. i am betting that is going to be some expensive rubber. thanks for all the recollections!
 

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Cale said:
I 14. They had to crash test 24 cars for U.S. approval. He said that made him sad.
A moment of silence please :(

Wow, I wonder why so many? I thought they only had to test maybe 6 or so at most. Do you think Porsche crashed near that many C-GTs?
 

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I will concur on pedal spacing: I sat in a Federal car today, and the spacing was liberal, generous, no problemo whatsoever. I found the space between brake and accelerator to be wider than that of my E36 M3.

Great notes Cale!
 

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Great Job on the Notes

Cale,

Great job! I tend to turn into incoherent mush around an Elise and stand around with a dumb grin on my face. Sort of like being in the presence of a really beautiful woman that you are going to actually get to date... I guess. Hopefully my Elise won't expect me to be to coherent ...

I tried to practice in my mind the question(s) I wanted to ask on the way there as when I was in LA and meet Tony Shute (project manager for the S1) I just stood there grinning ...

So nice work ...
 

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same here - I had brought a list of questions with me but just couldn't stop looking at the car so only got to ask a few before my daughter dragged me away kicking and screaming (I was the one kicking and screaming):D

Glad you were able to get and remember all this info from Nick....
 

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zvezdah1 said:
Yeah,
but what about us early guys? Our cars will already be built!:(
Chris
BooHoo. I will galdly trade a spot in line with anyone who would want to wait for this offer.
 

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Cale said:
6.He stated that he was the guy who decided where the money was to be spent. His emphasis was on handling and performance. He cared less about squeaks and rattles and more about cornering. He thought that a roof that leaked a little was less important than a good motor. So that is where he put the money to work.

17. Finally, he stated that the design of the car was to be fun. You need to feel special when you drop into the seat. Someone mentioned Lexus and need for American luxury. He stated that Lotus has tried to go the opposite way. The Lexus makes you feel like you are doing 50 when you are doing 100. Lotus mants you to feel like you are doing 100 when you are doing 50.
Music to my ears. This is what having a Lotus is supposed to be about. :)
 

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I will concur on pedal spacing: I sat in a Federal car today, and the spacing was liberal, generous, no problemo whatsoever. I found the space between brake and accelerator to be wider than that of my E36 M3.
Too wide for 'heel-toe' -- ???
 

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grudkin said:
Too wide for 'heel-toe' -- ???
Huh. That's funny. Three months ago many of us were worried that the spacing would be too close for big feet! Now the opposite concern?

No, the spacing was quite perfect for heel-toe. I was wearing my widest shoes; a tad over 4.5 inches at the widest part. I don't do the pivot move when I heal-toe. Instead I prefer to straddle both pedals at the same time. And in the wide shoes I was wearing, the spacing was just fine. Obviously, if you pivot, you'll find the spacing fine as well, as pivoting can cover a greater distance between brake and accelerator.

Of course, the heal-toe situation is made easier by the fact that the accelerator is just a sliver of a pedal. That allows for a larger gap.

I did find clutch travel to be relatively long. I was not driving the car, so I couldn't comment on where the clutch engages, but the pedal itself feels rather recessed in the footwell relative to the brake and gas pedals.

As for the shift throws; they were longer than what I have with my UUC short-shift kit, but nothing alarming. I just think that no one should expect truly short throws.
 

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Great Job Cale.

On the pedal spacing I checked the heel and toe and found it quite good. I was wearing Merril's (size 9.5) and the only thing I did note was that it was difficult to get my foot by the clutch pedal onto the dead pedal. A slight rotation solved the problem, but it could be a bigger issue for very wide feet.

I found the shift throw reasonable also. I have a UUC short shift on my M3, so it is not as tight as that, but it felt more positive than the 111S I drove.

I will reemphasize that Nick is definitely focused on the core Lotus values. I think I already stated in a different post what his view on the next Elise should be. He said he would like a 1100 cc car with 0-60 in the 4 sec range, top speed 150 mph and 50 mpg.

One thing that made me happier was I feel like I am copping out by buying the stock suspension (never bought a car w/o the most sporting suspension) and the touring pack. But Nick is very performance focused and this is the way he recommends the car for most people.

Another comment he had on LSS:
1) Buy the car with the stock suspension
2) Learn to drive the car really well
3) When you wear out the tires, upgrade as it is very easy to do. I suspect LSS suspenion components (maybe not the wheels) will be available from people who are either further enhancing the track performance or decide they really want a stock suspension.
 

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Cale, thank you for a very nice post.
I do have a question thought people, educate me...what's a build book?
 
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