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Is Touring Option worth it?

7237 Views 105 Replies 46 Participants Last post by  mslpilot
We're all unhappy with the fact that the price of the Elise went up (from $38,500 to $39,985), and at the same time, it went from "loaded" to "base price." So I'm sitting here, looking at the order form that I need to send in this week, and am thinking "Is the Touring Option worth it?"

Personally, here are the advantages:
1. Electric windows (convenient, and it sounds like the rollups have some problems)
2., durable, luxurious
3. Sound deadening...comfort factor
4. Better sound system
5. Insulated top

Now, devil's advocate time...
1. The top is a joke anyway in terms of noise, moisture, security security, so I'll want to buy a nice hardtop that alleviates all of these problems.
2. The car is noisy, so an upgraded sound system won't help much. I'm not an MP3 user, and if I were a a stereophile, I'd just upgrade the stock system to a high-end aftermarket system.
3. Stowage net?!!! Oxymoron.
4. Uprated carpeting...I like the aluminum look better, and it's easier to clean.
5. I can buy a lot of sound deadening material for $1350.
6. Like many others in another thread, I like Alcantara. Maybe just spiffy up the stock seats with some Alcantara? I assume this won't change my SCCA rating regarding stock seats...Randy?
6. Yes, electric windows are great...but there is still the issue of closing the passenger side from the drivers side (did we ever figure this out?), and we all know about British electrical systems?

Just trying to make the car more affordable after finding out that my color of choice (Graphite Gray) is going to cost an additional $1200. Ouch! Why?

Any opinions are greatly appreciated. Max, Richmond, VA
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I'm going to order the touring package. Mainly for the electric windows, I guess I'm lazy. Will all the other minor upgrades really make a difference or make it more comfortable? Who knows, I'm getting it anyway.
i have a personal rule that i don't order any options on sports cars that do not enhance performance. the only reason i could see someone ordering the touring pack is if they really wanted one of the off color interiors. Otherwise i don't see how anyone could justify it.
In short, the touring package is MUCH nicer looking. Especially if you get a colored leather other than black. (my own opinion there - also depends on the color of the car of course) The net will be more useful than you think; there is no glove box. I also could care less about the mp3 head unit. I have my own audio upgrades to put in the car. Basically, if you dont want the nicer looking interior, then dont get the touring pack. Its mainly aesthetical if you ask me. I will be getting it.

I for one am thrilled that despite a huge devaluation of the dollar Lotus kept the base under $40,000!
I prefer the hand crank windows and I am with you, the aluminum looks better than the carpet. The only music I want comes from the engine. And besides if it doesn't make the car go faster or handle better I say scratch it off the list! Touring package, in a Lotus, not for me!


To each his own.
As for #6, operating the passenger window is an easy reach from the driver's seat, whether it's the electric switch (easier) or the window crank. I specifically tested that out on the LA show cars.

No. And I will replace the MP3 player even though I will order the touring package.
Sounds to me like you answered your own question. Your arguments against are all pretty good, I think.

For what it's worth, I didn't get it.

non-touring gets plenty of carpet too, really.

Since we are both in Richmond, I think you should NOT order the touring package. :D

Honestly, I agree with what MotorCade said. I think you have already made up your mind. ;) With your choice of color being GG, your money is better spent on that.

I went with the Touring because I wanted the black/red interior with ST. I also purchased the hard top, and a good MP3 deck is around $400. NOTE: The Blaupunkt is $472 alone. I really enjoy having one cd with 10-20 albums on it.

So take that $472 plus installation and the touring package is only about $800.

Either way, I'll meet you in Richmond when you get your car.
For me, it's the sum total of all the touring options, all grouped together for a relatively low price. I know that the stowage net will come in handy; not a must have, but handy. I know it will be used. The MP3 player? I have one in my M3, and while I rarely ever listen to anything but the sound of my car, simply having the Mp3 option will be nice. Also, I think the colored leather seats might really accent the car nicely, depending on the right exterior color (I only wish they were colored cloth instead of colored leather). As for the electric windows -- definitely worth having, especially since they have no grave effect on weight.

If the touring pack cost $2,000 and came with a fewer items, I'd probably eschew it. But I think it's priced very reasonably, all things being equal. It's the liftestyle color and hard top prices that I find unreasonable.
I look at it this way...

If you're getting Saffron, Chrome Orange, or any other "Bright" color, you can do fine without the touring pack. Reds, Racing Green, and Nightfall Blue just wouldn't look right to me without biscuit leather. Thus the need to upgrade to touring. Grays could go either way. Black... would look nice with biscuit, but could go with black on black, too.

It's all a matter of what color combos you're willing to live with. If you're planning on a custom interior, though, the touring pack is pointless.
First kudos on ordering GG- I think it will be great looking. I was torn on the touring also but I got it for the following reasons:

1. Many of the Brits are retro-fitting the insulated soft top b/c it works well for insulation and air noise reduction.

2. I really liked how the red leather looked and the leather portions of the standard seats are made of a lower grade leather.

3. Did'nt really care about the radio, but since it comes with one either way, at least it's a better one.

4. When considering going w/o touring I tried to imagine if I would ever install the chassis sound insulation and decided to not kid myself into thinking I would ever retro-fit it if I deemed it necessary. Plus I thought it would be a headache to install it properly later.

5. My track time will be spent in non-competitive situations in track days and schools, so the weight issue was a non- factor.

6. I really liked the red leather.

Good luck.
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Okay, 13 replies to my post in about a half hour; how about each of you just give me $100, I'll throw in $50, and I'll get the damn touring package!

Well, I must say that you guys talked me into it. And if I'm spending $40k, what's another $1350. I also just did some research on this great forum, and learned that the gullwing hardtop that I want is over $3000. I'll wait (probably forever) for that one. Plus, after looking at some more pics, I'm thinking Graphite Grey with Red interior...?

Changing the seats will not affect your SCCA stock classing, unless maybe you went to Velcro.

My reason for going with touring was that it was only 12 pounds and I get some things I liked.

I have yet to see the final standard seats (the LA show cars were not final), but the ones I saw I did not like. That was a large part of my decision.
No touring for me, mostly for similar reasons as you listed:

1. I don't want power windows. We don't have road tolls here, so there's no need to roll down the windows all the time. I hope to own this car for a long time, and I believe that manual windows are much less likely to develop problems. And I like the simplicity of manual windows, it will be just like the old times when cars didn't have all these gadgets.

2. I don't like leather. It's more slippery than other materials, and I don't want to slide around in the seat. Also, I don't want the feel of a luxury car.

3. One thing that attracts me to this car is that it's stripped down to the essentials (at least compared to other cars...). Bare metal in the interiour really expresses that, I don't want it covered with carpet.

4. This will be strictly a nice weather toy for me. So I don't expect to use any kind of top much.

5. Sound deadening: Hard to tell without hearing first hand how loud the car is. I don't expect it to be too loud for my taste, I like to hear what the engine is doing.

6. If I want a good sound system (which I doubt), I'll go aftermarket anyway. I have never heard a stock system that actually sounded good, no matter if it's standard or optional.

7. The stowage net should be easy enough to buy and add separately if I want it.

I think it's kind of interesting how many people were concerned that Lotus would "dumb down" the car for the US market. And now that they offer some of the luxury features as an option, about 75% (?) of the people buy it.
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ConeFusion said:

2. I don't like leather. It's more slippery than other materials, and I don't want to slide around in the seat. Also, I don't want the feel of a luxury car.

3. One thing that attracts me to this car is that it's stripped down to the essentials (at least compared to other cars...). Bare metal in the interiour really expresses that, I don't want it covered with carpet.
non-touring won't help you much in this regard---you'll still slide on the half-leather

also, the non-touring is NOT all metal inside! you WILL get half carpet with the non-touring

I think you fundamentally would need to make a decision as to whether your car is to be optimized for the track or not. If so, every pound matters, and creature comforts are a distant second. If not, for perceived performance on the street, a few pounds will make no difference, but depending on your biases, the Touring pack can make the car a lot more livable.

For me, the red leather combo in the Arctic Silver was so choice at the LAAS, it spoke for itself. Especially given that Alcantra is not an option.

I plan on configuring a cradle and using my iPod, and possibly XM, so the aux-in facilitates that greatly. Of course, upgrades are always a later possibility. MP3 capability is nice, but the iPod still has that beat by 1-2 orders of magnitude (10,000 songs!), not to mention one stop shopping, which is huge in my book. A deal maker? No, but beats the hell out of a cassette adapter or FM modulator. Like the Lotus philosophy - cleaner, simpler.

Sound deadening also is not a clincher, but we all probably underestimate the fatigue factor on long drives with high ambient noise levels. Only a bonus for me. I've no concern for still being able to appreciate the Toyota on high cam inches behind my head!

Stowage net is trivial. You want to haul stuff? Time for a truck.

I have to card swipe in to park in my lot at work. Hitting the down button while driving is much less of a PITA for something I do most everyday than interminable cranking. YMMV.

For those of us in the sunbelt with a black softtop in the summer on A/C, the added thermal insulation may help to keep the interior from approximating that of the sun. I forewent the hardtop since it is not quickly stowable in the 'boot'. THAT was a deal breaker.

My $0.02, Mike
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I ordered the Touring Pack but could easily have gone the other way. The clincher for me was I like the look of the perforated leather and I did not like the use of the fabric with the leather. If it was fabric seats with leather bolsters I would have not orderd the Touring pack to have the fabric seats. The Mp3 player and other niceties were added bonus. I felt like I was going against the ethos of the Elise by ordering the Touring, but in actuality it add practically no weight so I can rationalize it :)
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