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Discussion Starter #1
After reading all of the threads on the LSS suspension and the A048 tires it got me pondering. How hard core do you have to be to really justify getting the LSS package? I ordered the sport package with a couple of things in mind. One, top performance you can get out of this car from factory. Two, I like the wheels better than the standard ones. (although I like those too) Three, with the car's natural characteristics of rough ride it didn't make any sense to me not to have the best for what will probably end up being a minimal difference in comfort.

With all of that being said I plan to auto-x the car. BUT my track time has been sparse lately and I'm not too sure I'll get to see any more track time even with the Elise. So is it really worth it for me to get the LSS? I'm sure many others out there are thinking the same thing. To be honest to myself, I'd have to say the ride comfort will have to be significantly better for me to go without. I'd hate to not get it and regret the choice later when I have to spend twice as much to have it done. I also plan on mtn. drives, drag strip, and just plain old spirited driving on open roads. I'm not a hardcore track junky but I do make use of my cars when I can.

What have others been thinking about this option? I know there are some that are on the bubble about the two. I originally planned on just touring. But too much thinking definitely changes one's mind.
 

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ordered it. complete no brainer for me. I would have bought lightweight wheels and R-spec tires anyway. I still may end up going with some aftermarket adjustable shocks at some point but we'll see.
 

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I've thought about this as well, and I think that if the car is a second car/track vehicle, it's reasonable to get LSS. As a daily driver, it makes little sense. Also consider that the AO48s are supposed to be nasty in the wet.

I'm sure very few will be able to extract the extra performance from the LSS, and even then only on a track. If track times are important to you and you are willing to sacrifice some comfort, go for it. If you just want to have fun, why bother?

I'm kind of surprised that so many people want it. But I guess it's the same with all kinds of purchases. For most people, they're getting it because it's 'better,' even though they don't need it, and probably won't 'use' it. Not talking about you specifically here, because obviously I don't know your situation, but I think this is true as a general observation about our culture.

I think it's likely that the LSS 'delay' is due to Lotus underestimating the American demand for LSS, in comparison to what they might have expected in Europe. It's been said that buyers in Europe ask themselves, 'what will I typically use/need;' whereas Americans ask themselves 'what's the most I could ever imagine needing' when making a purchase. Not a value judgement, just an observation.
 

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For me, it was mostly a cost issue. $2500, plus tax & lic is quite a bit to tack onto a $40k car. Annual registration will also be higher, since it's priced into the car.

At my own skill level, $2500 in rubber, brake pads, and track fees will go a LOT further to improve my driving than that last bit of suspension improvement. I'm sure there are some here who will love the LSS setup. I won't miss it. The Elise is already such a huge step in handling up from any street car I've driven.

My Elise will see a lot more mountain drives and coastal trips than cones and flags. The touring kit was a nod to those drives, although I would probably strike it if I could.. again, for cost. The bare metal and crank windows look better each day.

I plan to get a second set of (non-LSS) wheels and tires, so that I have ready spares. Cuz downtime is the suxor. I expect to get wheels and tires that look as good as the LSS rims for less than LSS.
 

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Nope, didn't get it. I'll never track the car anyway, standard suspension is sufficient for me. I figure I'd rather spend the money on the Alastair Mcqueen driving experience anyway>
Chris
 

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I have yet to drive the LSS car (sob) but I can talk with some confidence about the ability of the standard car, and I can tell you what the engineer guys at Lotus have told me.

The standard car is great and does not have significant understeer. It handled like my race prepped car, so I would think for 98% of the people that buy this car, it is enough. For a very high percentage, they will never get beyond the performance envelope that the non-LSS car enjoys.

I don't know if I can't stress this enough. The non-LSS car freaking rocks and will be more than enough for most anyone.

Lotus said that they expected that the LSS car should only be bought by people who knew how to handle midengined oversteer, and I can agree to some extent with that. Or my recommendation is to take it easy, be careful, and get some autocross experience. Lotus UK thought that LSS was for people that bought the car as a track car, not a daily driver. And not for someone that just occasionally tracks the car. So they planned on 300 cars per year would have LSS.

As I said a year ago, more people will order it because of the mindset that a premium option means it's better. Even if it's not. It's different.

Lotus said that they were also concerned that the LSS ride would be too rough and people would not be happy and dealers were strongly encouraged to not get LSS cars for demos. Well, buyers and dealers ignored that. :) I think for me, I don't agree with Lotus on this. I think they worry too much about the perception that Americans are very used to soft cars when they sell off that Buick and buy the Lotus, they won't be happy. But maybe some people will feel that way. Some people think the Miata is too stiff.

For occasional track days, meets, canyon runs, etc... the standard car is much more than enough. If you are a serious autocrosser, you might consider LSS to be worth it, but then there is also the possibility that you can make your own LSS version (stock legal) with different rims and shocks. And if your plan was to replace the shocks with Moutons or Penskes or whatever, then it also might make more sense to not get LSS.

I would have considered that route, but my plan is not run the car stock at first, other than trying to get stickier tires on it.
 

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Yep,
I was thinking it would have been better of dealers to order non-lss suspension car as a demo. Might scare off some buyers.
Chris
 

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Mine will be my daily driver with an occasional visit to track day. Standard suspension for me and my kidneys!
 

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When I bought my Caterham two years ago it had standard suspension. Standard suspension on a Caterham would be for too rough, stiffly sprung, for most people. After my first autocross I increased the spring rates approximately 40% and I love it. I do drive it on the streets occasionaly not a lot. But for track and autocross the car is fantastic! And in two years I only have 2600 miles on the car, again it is a toy for autocross and track. The Elise is going to be an autocross and track car also with some street driving, so the LSS is right for me. I just wonder how long it will be before I up the spring and sway bar rates on the Elise!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I agree with what everyone has said. I'm such a sucker for vanity though and bragging rights. :p As much as I love to race and I love to have the very best of everything in the real world it would probably make more sense for me to just get the standard Elise. Since I got married I see way less track time. I'm considering changing up my order if I can to just Touring. BUT I love those LSS rims. I think they look awesome. And I'm sure to get them afterwards will be significantly more. I may have to go a full year with it as a daily driver before I get something more suitable for that purpose. Living in San Diego doesn't make it unpractical for this so I'm fortunate in that respect. But the LSS everyday may take it's toll as many have stated. *sigh* decisions, decisions.
 

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Because you got married and see less track time is why you need LSS. You have to make every bit of track time count. :)

I have two kids, a stressed wife from the two kids, and work a demanding job. Track time is my outlet, and the Elise will be all mine.

FFFeeeeeewwwwwwuppppp! Ahhhh. Here, just take a hard pull off the pipe and the answer will be clear.
 

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Randy Chase said:

As I said a year ago, more people will order it because of the mindset that a premium option means it's better. Even if it's not. It's different.
This is a point that many people just don’t seem to get. The LSS suspension is not necessarily better. LSS is tuned for use on a smooth racetrack; a LSS equipped car would likely be at a disadvantage on most normal bumpy and uneven US roads.
It’s best to think of the two suspension setups by how they were intended to be used; LSS “Track Tuned” and Standard “Street Tuned”. Both are great, but they are setup for different applications.
 

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amcmahon said:
I agree with what everyone has said. I'm such a sucker for vanity though and bragging rights. :p As much as I love to race and I love to have the very best of everything
See what I mean? You have to ask yourself where will LSS be best and where will the standard setup be best.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
frayed said:
Because you got married and see less track time is why you need LSS. You have to make every bit of track time count. :)

I have two kids, a stressed wife from the two kids, and work a demanding job. Track time is my outlet, and the Elise will be all mine.

FFFeeeeeewwwwwwuppppp! Ahhhh. Here, just take a hard pull off the pipe and the answer will be clear.
rotfl yes, PLEASE pass me the pipe! That's a great way of looking at it. Lotus could solve all of these questions by just giving us more info. Like how much these options would cost after production. I'm sure a ton of people would love to have the LSS wheels with the Touring ride. The fact that I don't foresee this as my daily driver in the near future is probably reason alone for keeping LSS.

Derek, would you only recommend LSS for prep'd tracks then? That would seriously limit it's useability I would think. While I'm still speculating I still can't imagine the ride being that much harsher with the LSS than standard. But I can't say really since I haven't driven both. It really sucks having to order so soon without a test drive in each.
 

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Randy Chase said:
Lotus said that they were also concerned that the LSS ride would be too rough and people would not be happy and dealers were strongly encouraged to not get LSS cars for demos. Well, buyers and dealers ignored that. :) I think for me, I don't agree with Lotus on this. I think they worry too much about the perception that Americans are very used to soft cars when they sell off that Buick and buy the Lotus, they won't be happy.
Interesting that so many of us softy/cushy Americans are buying the LSS, which isn't even available in ROW. Either they're more hardcore US drivers than is generally thought, or we're a bunch of silly buggers who will go running back to our sofa-cars as soon as the new wears off. :)

I wonder if the current trend of buying LSS will continue after the earliest (read - the wackiest of us who dropped deposits long before we even knew what engine we'd get) deposit holders get their cars. :confused:

Either way, my only regret about ordering LSS is that I wish I'd ordered it earlier....
 

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JeffersonRaley said:
I wonder if the current trend of buying LSS will continue after the earliest (read - the wackiest of us who dropped deposits long before we even knew what engine we'd get) deposit holders get their cars. :confused:
Good question. I think the problem is the perception that if it costs $2500 more, it must be better. And if you an afford a $45k car, what's another $2.5k? I don't see that changing. What adds to that is the constant reminder that the 0-60 car is .2 seconds faster. Which is totally meaningless since nobody here is going do do daily 8500rmp clutch dumps, and it also mainly reflects stickier tires.

You can put stickier tires on the non-LSS car.

Plus most people like the idea of a car that is a little lower, and little "better." As Derek said, it's not better, it's a different car for a different purpose.

Anyway, this is why I posted last year that Lotus was wrong when it was thinking that only 300 people would want LSS, and why I was worried that with only 300 sets being scheduled for production OVER ONE YEAR, it may end up being a problem.

Well... guess what happened? argh....

*serenity now*
 

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amcmahon said:

Derek, would you only recommend LSS for prep'd tracks then? That would seriously limit it's useability I would think. While I'm still speculating I still can't imagine the ride being that much harsher with the LSS than standard. But I can't say really since I haven't driven both. It really sucks having to order so soon without a test drive in each.
I'm actually going by what was stated by a person at Lotus. They said words to the affect of, LSS should be for cars that will be used 90% of the time on the track and recommended against it for street use.

My dealer also talked me out of LSS (I'm glad he did). He gave the following reasons:

1. LSS tires wear much quicker than standard tires.
2. Lighter wheels than the LSS wheels would soon be available via the aftermarket.
3. LSS tires will handle much worst in the wet.
4. LSS suspension will have a very harsh ride.
5. LSS suspension is only height adjustable (using shims). No adjustment for dampening.

In light of all this and the LSS delay I am relieved I opted to forgo LSS. It's the only option I chose not to get.
 

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amcmahon said:
rotfl yes, PLEASE pass me the pipe! That's a great way of looking at it. Lotus could solve all of these questions by just giving us more info. Like how much these options would cost after production. I'm sure a ton of people would love to have the LSS wheels with the Touring ride. The fact that I don't foresee this as my daily driver in the near future is probably reason alone for keeping LSS.
Lotus told me that they will NOT be offering the LSS rims for sale to someone who has a non-LSS car because in their opinion, it was a very bad idea.

Doesn't mean you can't buy four "replacement" rims... or that Lotus Motorsport would not sell them to you, or that they would not change their minds.
 

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Derek said:


1. LSS tires wear much quicker than standard tires.
2. Lighter wheels than the LSS wheels would soon be available via the aftermarket.
3. LSS tires will handle much worst in the wet.
4. LSS suspension will have a very harsh ride.
5. LSS suspension is only height adjustable (using shims). No adjustment for dampening.
Agreed mostly...

1. Very much so. They are close to R rated racing tires. I have been using R tires for street on my MR2 and now on my Alltrac, and I would be happy to get 4-6000 miles out of them.

3. Very much agree also. If you plan on driving this in the rain, you should consider either driving very slowly, or getting deeper tread tires. The problem is mainly the tread depth and these tires wear down, the problem gets worse.

4. Not sure I think it's that harsh... but it is subjective for sure. It will be harsher. Lower also so more problems with bumps, dips, potholes, and parking lot cement thingies.

5. All Elises have adjustable ride height using clips that can be repositioned very 5mm. The LSS car is 5mm below the non-LSS. You can move it another notch down if you want to experiment. :)
 
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