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Last night LA was getting deluged as I drove home on the freeway. I could feel my little Civic lose adhesion one wheel at a time on the really wet road at only 55 MPH. I was just imagining
how the very light Elise will hydroplane very easily with its light weight, and inability during storm to move fast enough to create
any aerodynamic downforce.

I think we'll all be in the slow lane getting passed by truckers
when the weather turns rotten.

Steve
 

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Far more than anything else, I expect the Elise's problem in the wet will be the stock tires. I expect they sacrifice hydroplaning resistance for dry grip.
 

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The L.A. rains made the new here in Phoenix too!

My concern with driving the Elise in the rain is the mist that's kicked up by other cars.

It rained here to the other day and while driving in the rain, my thoughts were it would be very hard to see the Elise, since it's about the same level as the mist.

In regads to wet handling, I'm hoping the non-powersteering feedback will communicate with the drive so he/she knows when traction may be a problem.
 

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Biggest problem in any low traction condition (rain or ice/snow) is the midengine design and how careful you need to be on turns to not unweight the rear end. The problem is not so much the freeways, as it is the on and off ramps.
 

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I agree with Randy. My X1/9 weighs 1900lbs, and I dont have a problem with planing. However, I didnt have any problem turning corners with too much gas. Then again, my previous little motor didn't provide enough torque to kick the back end out easily either :( Although, that will all change in a few months with my new motor (mooo haaa haaaahaaaaaaa)
 

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Allan Gibbs said:

My concern with driving the Elise in the rain is the mist that's kicked up by other cars.
RainX dude, works like a charm.
 

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I never had a problem with a 1600 lb Lotus Europa in the rain, I got stuck in a downpour in my Seven (that is the first and only time I have ever used the top) it weighs 1250 lbs and it was not problem. Oh I was on "R" compound tires in the Seven, ones without a lot of tread, I didn't have a problem.
I think the key is drive like you know what you are doing and pay attention to the conditions. No big deal!
 

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Hmmm... surprisingly enough, the narrow tires on my X1/9 made it actually pretty proficient in the snow. But if it was slushy snow or ice... forget it. (And yes, I was young and stupid for taking my X1/9 up to the snow with the targa top off, heater on high and skis sticking up from the passenger seat.)

I suspect that the Elise may be a little low and that the mist that cars in front kick-up will be a problem to look over or through. But I find that I just fall back to avoid the rooster-tail or I change lanes. Of course, all this rain talk is moot since I use my A4 Quattro in wet weather and it's a hoot to drive! :D

Bob
 

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The Elise is fine in the wet, and even in heavy rain. The spray from other cars actually goes over the top of the Elise. This is why when you drive an SUV you notice your windscreen collects absolutely EVERYTHING...

The one problem the Elise does have in the wet is the brakes. But as the Fed Elise has servos and ABS everything should be fine.

The funniest thing though is when the radiator is wet, and then gets hot and starts chucking out loads of steam. Your entire windscreen mists up in under a second. It's impossible to stop it from happening. You notice it most after you've washed the car and go for a drive to dry it off. After a few minutes you need to put the wiper (only one wiper) on to clear the screen for about 5 mins.
 

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As I see it the biggest problem with driving the elise in the rain is it will get dirty:)
 

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One issue that may be overlooked here is that, in dry regions like LA and AZ, road oil, grease, and other gunk builds up a lot more on the roads.

The infrequent rains then loosen this up, and can make roads extra slick. That could make any car, not just a Civic or Elise, a handful when raining. (even a moderate rain.)

Here, in the rainy NW, the regular rains limit the build up (at least in the winter) and thus it is only scary when there is a very, very heavy rainfall.




DLY
 

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Allan Gibbs said:

It rained here to the other day and while driving in the rain, my thoughts were it would be very hard to see the Elise, since it's about the same level as the mist.
Another strong reason to get a very bright color like CO, Saffron, etc.

Plus turn on your headlights all the time. Motorcycles are required to run headlights all the time. Studies have shown they are much more visible with lights on - day or night.
 

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personally, ill drive it a few times in the rain to see how it feels, but i'll likely be putting on some tires better suited to the rain when november rolls around. and the hardtop.
 

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I heard that when driving the Elise in rain it will form a "water wall" behind the car due to its areodynamic design. The water will splash out high from the diffuser.

Tony, is that true? I really would like to see how it looks like.
 

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A very useful suggestion from a drivers school I once attended. In the rain (or any slippery condition); accelerate, brake, and steer is all that there is to do with a race car, however when it is slick do only one thing at a time. For example, do not steer and brake at the same time. Get your braking done before you enter a corner, then steer through. Obviuosly this is impractical for a lot of situations when your momentum will not carry you all of the way through a turn, but I always try to get as much done as I can before I enter a turn. then feather the throttle slowly. The least that you do to unsettle the car at any one time, the more likely the contact patch will stay in contact with the road. Slick driving with my rear engined MR2 Turbo requires paying close attention to the seat of my pants to feel what the car is doing. I also do an exercise no matter what I am driving: I pay attention to which tires are loaded, especially when cornering. Outside front when cornering, rears load when accelerating, fronts when braking. Look for uneven surfaces under your loaded tire. The one time I oversteered the MR2 into a spin was in the wet, with a manhole cover in the middle of a 90 degree L-hander. Loaded R-front must have missed the slick manhole. Loaded R-rear got onto its surface and lost adhesion resulting in a lazy spin with my rear pointing down the road. Fortunately no one else on the road.
 

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I think everyone is forgetting this is a car with it's roots in English weather... It is no more difficult to drive than any other car in the wet as long as you're not pushing hard. Strong crosswinds can upset the tracking but nothing to write home about.

What will catch people out is roundabouts, a heavy right foot and wet weather mixed together. Probably responsible for the biggest percentage of totaled Elises.
 

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I have to say I was pleasantly surprised at how good it was in the rain. The huge amount of feedback means you can drive it hard with confidence, even in the rain. I never fealt the front end wash out. The back end stepped out pretty good once when I put one wheel in the mud, but it was easy to catch. Even in a good downpour, visibility is fine and the single wiper is more than up to the task.
 

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iwilson said:


What will catch people out is roundabouts, a heavy right foot and wet weather mixed together. Probably responsible for the biggest percentage of totaled Elises.
That is what I said! Well, except here it is onramps and offramps.
 
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