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1,742 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I think this question will be of interest to Lotus as well as the rest of us. A few cars were on my maybe list:

1. Boxster S
2. BMW M3
3. BMW Z4
4. Corvette C5 Conversable (Yes I know, Z06 Rocks)

That's all that comes to mind at the moment.
The BMW M3 disqualified itself by looking too much like the regular 3 series. If I’m paying $30k more, it not only should drive that much better but also look that much better.

Z4, Well... Its looks are questionable. Sometime I see it and think, that's cool, and other times I think, hey I'm glad I didn't get one of those.

Corvette, just too common. Plus I think there's an image that goes with Vettes, and it's an image I don't want. You can agree or not, but it's a fact that those in the know understand.

Porsche Boxster S, I'm sorry Boxster, blame Liz, erh... and blame Porsche. Who knows, if the Boxster had 350 bhp it would likely be sitting in my garage as we speak. I know like the Liz the Boxster is not about straight line speed, but come on now, 0-60 in what... 5.7 seconds. This kind of performance from a $60k sports car. It was fun to drive, compared to most cars and did handle well. But my girl Liz is in a whole different class.

So there's my list. What about you? What other cars did you (are you) considering? What made you decide on the car (hopefully a Lotus if your at this site) that you’re getting?

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4,979 Posts

Im perfectly happy with my miatas. I wasnt in the market for a new car until I saw the Lotus and decided I had to have one.

If not for the Lotus, I'd be happy where I am right now.

I did however always want a vintage mini cooper with race motor for autocross...and I do like M3 Coupe's.

· Premium Member
27,787 Posts
1. Midengined
2. Small and light
3. Not very common

Toyota MR2
Porsche Boxster

I concluded the best fit for me was an Elise and the real car I was seriously considering before I found out that Lotus was considering bringing a legal Elise import, was a Sun International Motorsports Elise or Exige.

I think now if I was not getting a Lotus, I would get an NSX.

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327 Posts
The only other roadsters in which I have any genuine interest are the Honda S2000 and the Porsche Boxster S. If those were priced the same, it would be a tough call between the two. I think the S2000 is the more involving to drive, and at such a savings over the Boxster S, it's pretty clear I'd be looking at getting the Honda. Of course, I do like the engine BEHIND my seat and I'd prefer the Porsche crest over the "H" badge any day.

The Elise is not as useable as either one of those cars. If my intention was to get a roadster for daily / frequent use, I'd totally be going with the Honda.

But, for a "toy" that will only get use under ideal conditions and only when I'm in the mood for a raw, no-frills drive, the Elise can't be beat. For that purpose though -- and for $40k+tax and options, I can't help think about what else might be out there in the used car market. Maybe a 308 would be better in the long term....or even a "driver" 246 Dino. Repair costs and maintenance keep me from going that route (although classic car insurance rates may save enough over whatever the premiums will be for a new Elise).

I personally think the Elise resembles a cross between the 246 Dino and the Lamborghini Muira. Just smaller. That's a good thing.

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3,523 Posts
Sport cars, none- happy with my MR2 turbo. Did have a order in for a G35C 6m/t before backing out for the Elise. Had been looking at the entry level luxury cars. If I wasn’t buying the Lotus it would be back to that or the next generation Subaru Legacy (due in the spring). The Elise is just too compelling to let pass.

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219 Posts
1) S2000
2) Mini Cooper S (w/ John Cooper Works package)

Both cars are lauded as being "driver's cars". When I heard the "best handling sports car, period" was coming to the United States at a somewhat competitive price, it was kind of a no-brainer.

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442 Posts
I think it is always instructive to consider what your other choice are. I've seriously considered the following as "third cars" recently:

(1) Z06 - but definitely not the C5 convertable
(2) Boxter S - perferably with the RUF mods
(***these two switch first and second place depending upon my mood)
(3) S2000 - not particularly interesting, but reasonably satisfying
(4) MR2 MkII - totally rebuilt ('93 or later rear suspension mods, updated taillights, Turbonetics turbo and rebuilt bottom and top ends) -- hmm, still seems awfully attractive . . .
(5) (very) used Esprit TT

Others that didn't quite make the cut:
Z4 - I owned a Z3(2.8), and have driven the MRoadster and the current E46 M3 - neither of those cars captures the driving experience I'm after. Despite all I've heard about the Z4, I don't expect much of BMW - the E30 M3 (their last driver's car) was a long time ago for these folks.
308-328 - Overall performance and maintenance issues are the death-knell here.
S4/STi - I might keep the S4 as daily driver, but the AWD/turbo platforms are far too numb to really compete in the driver's satisfaction category.
Monster/Flyin' Miata - I like the SM for what it is (and as $10K track/race car it can't be beat, really) but I can't stomach another Miata.
MRSpyder - this is really disappointing - I owned and loved both previous versions, but to me, the current generation has no soul, is terribly underpowered and ill-balanced (Randy and others may disagree)
RX7(3rd Gen)/SupraTT/Skyline - harkening back to the days of my youth, each of these goes about getting fast laps in the wrong way, I'm looking for elemental structure, balanced power and light weight - not the strong suit of these Jap tuners.
Caterham/Cobra replicas (and Lotus Elan/Europa)- couldn't convince the wife that these were sufficiently "car-like". Otherwise, a hoot.

Viper/993/348(and newer) - as a third car the wifey would rather I not spend so much. (Otherwise these would be much further up the list.)

Damn, I've given this too much thought.

I want midengined (the kind with the motor behind the cockpit - not new-fangled marketing-speak front/mid-engined), light weight, and favoring fast-laps through lateral Gs rather than brute force.

Once I saw the gaggle of Elise at the Nurburgring I was done.

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492 Posts
1997 993 C4S. Last of the air cooled. I've almost taken my deposit back 3 times in the past year to grab one.

It's amazing how well their price has held up in the market. You can find one with 20K miles for about $65K or you could get a used 2001 911 for about the same price.

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3,576 Posts
I tried to buy a 2000 S4 black on black w/a 6-spd. and 15,000 miles (Really!) but it got sold out from under me. Tragic, as it looked like it had come off the showroom floor that afternoon.

I was thinking about an RX-8. I kind of liked the way it drove though I'd have liked a bit more go.

I looked at the G35C and liked it, but considered it a compromise . Also, it seemed that the the six-speed model was forged out of pure unobtanium. They talked to me about 6-8 month waits unless I was willing to settle for tiptronic, which I wasn't. I wasn't willing to compromise (Nice car but not fast enough) AND wait.

A friend was selling his C5 Corvette targa. Cool custom exhaust. I didn't like the shifter or the fact that the car was HUGE. I also didn't like getting challenged to a race by every Bronco and old Camaro I happened next to at a light. But the price was very, very right. I would have felt bad for cheating him for all of my time in that car...

I looked at the 350Z, but they were unobtainable in a convertible and every dealer I tried to talk to acted like I was just some kid looking to score a test drive in a fast car. Even when I showed up in the C5 Corvette they gave me hassles about a test drive. By the time they told me I could drive one I had already decided that they'd lost my business and I left. I didn't like the styling at all anyway. Especially the interior styling. Someday I'd like to see what they're like to drive...

I considered a very used Boxster S as well. It's probably what I really wanted before the Elise came along, though I hadn't worked that all out.

The S2000 never really did it for me. Great cars, I just couldn't fall in love with it.

I sold my '02 Miata LS a month ago in lieu of storing it knowing that my Elise is coming. Now I wait.

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768 Posts

Turbo Miata driver here, and here's the short list of cars I'm currently looking at to add to the stable (but can only get one):

-Lotus Exige (if it EVER comes to the US, that's "THE ONE")
-Lotus Elise
-Detomaso Pantera ('71-'74)
-Viper GTS

I'm REALLY happy with the Miata, though.

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751 Posts
Well right now I drive a 00 Montero Sport. I am 21 and in college - its a good haul-people-around car.

I am scheduled to get a car in about a year, so I was keeping my options open. I loved the 350z when it came out, and I thought for sure that would be the car I was going to get. Well it turns out, my parents who live 10 minutes away from me loved the Z too. And now they own one. And I tend to trade cars with them.. alot. So the Z is out b/c I have access to it regularly.

I test drove an RX-8 and loved it to death. It was so much more fun to drive than the Z, and stylish on the interior too. So I had my sights set on the RX-8.

I was considering holding out for a new supra or RX-7, but those might not ever exist. Plus there is no telling what they will look like or how they will perform.

Then a few months ago, while browsing for future cars such as the supra and rx-7, I happened across a web site showing this new elise that would come to the states. I didnt know much about Lotus when I saw the car, but I knew the exige was pretty expensive. I figured the elise would set me back about 70 G's, but when I discovered it was under 40, I literally freaked out.

The styling of the elise is anything and everything I have always loved and dreamed of in a car. And seeing as how the lotus performs like a supercar.. there is no way that the car won't be mine. It is a little different in size from the cars I was considering... but I am 22.. and you only live once. Its time for my impractical car.


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495 Posts
If the Elise wasn't on its way....

Caterham and a BMW M-something for a daily


Bite the bullet and get the GT3

Yes, they're all different, but they're all good at what they do

(and of course I want the F-car, but can't rationalize dropping that kind of cash -- if I ever become manic, it'll happen in a flash)

Regardless, I don't think there is really much to compare the Elise to at this point


'99 M-coupe
'03 Ducati 620 sport
'00 Aprilia SR50

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12,183 Posts
Currently driving an S2000.

Other second "cars" or replacements I had been considering prior to my deposit, in chronological order:

2005 BMW Z5
2000 Isuzu VehiCross
2004 Infiniti G35 Coupe
2002 BMW M Coupe (I had a 2000)
2005 Dodge Ram SRT-10
2005 Dodge Magnum SRT-8 Hemi
1990 Buick Reatta (don't ask)

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1,931 Posts
- M Coupe
- Porsche 993 coupe
- Lancer Evo

(current car in an E36 M3)

- The M Coupe for its rawness, for everything that makes it such a favorite among BMW diehards, and for its odd shape -- but I just don't like the idea of an inevitable sameness to my M3. I'd rather explore different DNA.

- The 993 because it's arguably the best 911 ever built, and I really love all the sensations (tactile, aural) of the engine behind my head.

- Have never driven an Evo, but the reviews have piqued my interest. Plus, it is practical and affordable.

I am not an open-top fan by nature, but the Elise's reputation as a driver is just too alluring. Plus, it's such a great-looking car. And my intuition tells me that maintenance bills-wise, owning a new Elise might be cheaper than owning a used 911.

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2,148 Posts
My Miata is 14 years old and now has 333,000+ miles on it, so I've been thinking about its replacement for the past few years.

Thought long and hard about getting a Cobra replica, but the price was a little beyond my target budget and it's not really suitable as a daily driver.

Thought even longer and harder about getting a replica of a 1955 Porsche Spyder (inspiration for the Boxster and car that James Dean was killed in). Beautiful styling, very light, very fast, but very rough around the edges and again not really suitable as a daily driver (no functional top). Price was right though (mid 20's).

Toyed with the idea of getting a refurbished 1958 Corvette. Great styling, it's a real car, but safety and other factors involved with driving a 40+ year old car seemed to be drawbacks.

Finally decided in 2003 to choose between the Honda S2000 and the BMW Z4. Wasn't really happy about compromising and getting either one, but seemed like the best solution. Then I saw the Elise, found out that it fit into my price range, and was hooked. Immediately forgot about Hondas and BMWs, so I never had to choose between them.

The wife would really like to get a Viper, but doesn't want to drive a stick! But she loves the way the Elise looks and is happy that I'm getting one (after she tries to get in and out the first time, we'll see how she feels).
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