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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm currently in the market for an Elise or Exige to function as an 80% track car 20% street car. Basically, mostly driving to the track, doing trackdays, and driving home, with the occasional weekend cruise here or there. I'd prefer to keep modifications at a minimum, aside from safety stuff (seat, harness), and suspension.

Researching these cars, I'm reading a bunch of stuff about the supercharged variants having issues with heat soak and not really being faster than the NA cars. I'm definitely not at the level where I'm maximizing performance out of anything, and I don't care about having the fastest car, but just something I can rip around at 8/10ths without having to have something like this in the back of my mind.

Given that a primary use of this would be doing 20-30 minute sessions at tracks where the ambient temps can be around 100ºF, is this something that I'm likely to run into? How much does that detract from the experience? Should I look specifically for NA cars for this use case or does it not matter?
 

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My advise would be, buy a stock Elise and get the Boe Torque 200 tune and upgrade the stock coil overs to something better, i.e. Penske, then go out there and have fun. When you get to the stage where you want more power, and you will, upgrade to Rev 300 or 400.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Unfortunately, living in California, I don't think an aftermarket supercharger is realistic for me. Are the heat issues with the factory-supercharged cars as bad as people make it out to be? Or is it something that I can just ignore if I'm ok with being down on power on hot days, but otherwise is a non-issue for the car?
 

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Unfortunately, living in California, I don't think an aftermarket supercharger is realistic for me. Are the heat issues with the factory-supercharged cars as bad as people make it out to be? Or is it something that I can just ignore if I'm ok with being down on power on hot days, but otherwise is a non-issue for the car?
I'm in SoCal and I don't have issues with heatsoak at all. I don't track my Exige S, but do drive aggressively in the canyons. I also have the RLS intercooler, BSK-style rear hatch, heat shield etc. A tune is also a good idea as the stock A/F ratio is fairly lean IMHO. If you were closer I'd take you for a spin.

San
 

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My advise would be, buy a stock Elise and get the Boe Torque 200 tune and upgrade the stock coil overs to something better, i.e. Penske, then go out there and have fun. When you get to the stage where you want more power, and you will, upgrade to Rev 300 or 400.
I second keeping it NA at the beginning, there is nothing more rewarding that catching up high HP cars in the twisties :)
You'll also quickly need to upgrade the toe-links, and install a baffled oil pan to prevent oil starvation (possibly a surge tank)
Depending how often and aggressively you track it, it may be worth looking for a NA with decent track preparation, which will probably be around the same price as stock.
 

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Definitely get a car already modded, you'll save a bundle. Face it, you're going to mod it, you just will doing 80% track days. Even if you are not into HP upgrades think about aero, safety, data logging, and reliability upgrades (toe links, radiator upgrades as the stock one is a POS known to leak)

Also, just my opinion here, get a supercharged car. Then you can hang with them in the straight and leave them looking at your tail lights after the turn.
 
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I’ve experienced consistent lap times over 30+ minutes with an Elise, BWR supercharger. No intercooler. Surprised me.

Maybe I’m just consistently slow 😉
 

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I definitely get heat soak with my Exige S260. Its really pretty much impossible to tell from seat of the pants but lap times don't lie. I am a pretty consistent driver and often get better in the afternoon. Except on very hot days, when I'm getting slower - due to heat soak. The timing is retarded so you just don't get the full bhp at wide open throttle. That being said, having had a stock Elise, then supercharged it aftermarket, then stock S260, I'd say going with the most you can afford is the "way to go". There are plenty of cars to chose from. I like you, am 80% track and I also drive my car (don't trailer) to the track. Its still fun and my lap times are only off by a few seconds out of 2:20 lap, I degraded perhaps to 2:22 or 23. Its hot in CA and hot in TX in the summer so you can always do more days in fall/winter/spring. The other alternative is a better intercooler (I'm trying that as we speak) or a water/air intercooler which others have tried as well.

Penske shocks are amazing and I have them and love them but if you don't have the budget there are other single or double adjustables to go with.

Budget for a set of tires per year and set of brakes every other year (fronts go first on brakes, last on tires).

Good luck!
 

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Here's how I think........because the rad system is pressurized, 212 fahrenheit is simply a mark on the dial......the car can take more.
......quick aside........Isn't Water Wetter marvelous?
Indeed past a certain temp you would lose power but then why are you talking 8/10ths and pushing it to too hot in the same thought?
You'll find a way to cool it.......fabricated ducting, larger coolers, removing underpanels, large oil coolers, running lines through insulated canisters of ice and you replace the ice between session.
.......remember > It's about a thousand dollars a second, now how fast do you want to go?
 

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Here's how I think........because the rad system is pressurized, 212 fahrenheit is simply a mark on the dial......the car can take more.
......quick aside........Isn't Water Wetter marvelous?
Indeed past a certain temp you would lose power but then why are you talking 8/10ths and pushing it to too hot in the same thought?
You'll find a way to cool it.......fabricated ducting, larger coolers, removing underpanels, large oil coolers, running lines through insulated canisters of ice and you replace the ice between session.
.......remember > It's about a thousand dollars a second, now how fast do you want to go?
Forced Induction heat soak is what the OP is referring to, it can not be controlled by modifying engine coolant system.
 

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I would for sure follow the advice of buying a NA elise, putting penske DA on it, then putting a water cooled supercharger or turbo on it when the time comes.
 

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If you’re tracking, only an inter cooled super
I’ve experienced consistent lap times over 30+ minutes with an Elise, BWR supercharger. No intercooler. Surprised me.

Maybe I’m just consistently slow 😉
"No intercooler" is the key to you being consistently slow ;)

But really, the intercooler is what heatsoaks most significantly. Without one, you're simply always heatsoak-ed. Your IATs will be the nearly the same crazy high temp on hotlap 1 and lap 100, assuming the engine temp and all that is the same between those laps. With an intercooler, it starts off nice and cool, but then the cooling device itself heats up and loses its ability to work effectively after several laps, so that's where the inconsistency comes in.
 

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heat soak is a real thing. On a 100* day you won't notice it because it will be heat soaked from the start ;-) No big deal though, if you're not chasing laptimes just drive it.
 
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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for all the feedback, everyone! I suppose asking directly nets the basically the same conclusion as the research I've done.
1. yes, it will heatsoak
2. doesn't matter, still fun

Are there reliability concerns with running the supercharged cars always in that state, or does the retarded timing make it safe to thrash around all day? I think that's where most of my reservations are.
Is the tradeoff basically SC cars are more streetable but a tiny bit slower on hot days at the track due to the parasitic drag of the supercharger but otherwise basically the same? I feel like variability in my own abilities is already greater than the difference here.

I think I'm leaning towards finding something NA for the more 'pure' experience and I guess faster lap times, but would consider something supercharged if the right one came along.
Now if only I could find one of those elusive NA Exiges..
 

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It's not a tiny bit, and it's not just on hot days. I was getting passed like I wasnt moving at cota by an elise with a passenger in a stock S220 recently on the straights.
 

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For straight track duty in HOT weather without headaches the best bet is all motor, naturally aspirated. Get an NA Elise with some miles on it and spend the money you saved by not buying a SC'd car on stuff that matters for the track:

Safety
Suspension
Brakes
Aero
Seat time

The essentials for a track car are:

Upgraded radiator
Toe link upgrade
Brake pads
Oil line recall or upgrade to a rear single oil cooler
 

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Thanks for all the feedback, everyone! I suppose asking directly nets the basically the same conclusion as the research I've done.
1. yes, it will heatsoak
2. doesn't matter, still fun

Are there reliability concerns with running the supercharged cars always in that state, or does the retarded timing make it safe to thrash around all day? I think that's where most of my reservations are.
Is the tradeoff basically SC cars are more streetable but a tiny bit slower on hot days at the track due to the parasitic drag of the supercharger but otherwise basically the same? I feel like variability in my own abilities is already greater than the difference here.

I think I'm leaning towards finding something NA for the more 'pure' experience and I guess faster lap times, but would consider something supercharged if the right one came along.
Now if only I could find one of those elusive NA Exiges..

The heat soak problem is mainly with the FACTORY Supercharged setup. If you go with lets say a Boe Rev 300 or 400 with a HEX style intercooler, the problem is completely elleviated. 😁
 

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The heat soak problem is mainly with the FACTORY Supercharged setup. If you go with lets say a Boe Rev 300 or 400 with a HEX intercooler, the problem is completely elliviated. 😁
You're not wrong! It DOES add complexity and weight.... but the power is pretty great! However, I do feel that most everyone can have a BOATLOAD of fun on track without any power/complexity adders!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Anything is going to feel faster than my little NA Miata right now :) and I rarely feel like I wish it had more power (except when I can basically watch the speedo fall as I go up the hill to the corkscrew at laguna seca) , and I'm a big fan of lower complexity.
 
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