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In another thread about the Sport Compact Car review that calls the Elise "ultimate MR2" there was some argument started about badge appeal and heritage and cult status. A couple years ago I looked at an Elan m100, but didn't buy for a couple reasons. One to be honest was the fact that the valve cover says Isuzu on it. The owner that was selling told me he hated to part with it because he had really enjoyed the snobbery thing with Lotus gear. He had a Lotus badge key fob, a Lotus hat, a Lotus jacket, Lotus valve stem covers on each tire, a Lotus car cover.

Assume this car was exactly the same in every regard, but said Hyundai on the badge, would you still buy at $40K ?

Are you secretly planning to get all the Lotus apparal ?

Will you join a Lotus owners club ?


I'll go first...

No I woulndn't want a Hyundai Elise.

Yes I'll probably buy at least a hat, and jacket

I will investigate a club, although I currently own a Vette and never joined a Vette club.


Steve
 

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Assume this car was exactly the same in every regard, but said Hyundai on the badge, would you still buy at $40K ?

Possibly, but I'll admit that there's a certain allure to the Lotus name.

Are you secretly planning to get all the Lotus apparel ?

No secret. I tend to buy a few polo shirts, button down shirts and sweatshirts of marques that I drive.

Will you join a Lotus owners club ?

Yes. There's value to be had in being a member of a club including technical advice, knowing which dealers offer the best service, commraderie, etc.

Bob K.
 

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It's not wrong to want a car that’s badge has a little more prestige associated with it. Many Vette owner will tell you one of the best engine every in the car was the last one that Lotus tuned. I need not confess to this being part of the reason I want the Elise, because I have never denied it.

Many of the same people adamantly professing that name status means nothing to them are kicking back in their designer cloths with some fancy designer watch on their wrist reading this.

A good name is something that is important, because a good name means you must have a good reputation. Who here thinks a good reputation is worthless?

Most people will pay a premium for a product with a good name behind it. The name itself adds value. This is why so many car companies enter racing; so that they can acquire a reputations for winning. So they can add value to their brand name.

If you're one of the people buying a designer product (such as a Lotus) and then saying the badge means nothing to you, IMO you're not being honest with yourself.

PS: NO, YES (but no secret here) and YES!
 

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Assume this car was exactly the same in every regard, but said Hyundai on the badge, would you still buy at $40K ?
Yes. I have owned several Porsche. Primarily for the consistency of performance and feedback to the driver. The Boxster that I have now has shown me that I want a lightweight mid-engine car to "improve" on that car. There ar e people that are band oriented, but I just want a vehicle that makes me grin every time I drive it. After 4 years the Boxster STILL does that for me, but I KNOW the Elise will be an even greater thrill.

Are you secretly planning to get all the Lotus apparel ?
I will probably get some. I am not interested in having Lotus or Elise stamped on everything I own. I know Porsche owners like that. I will wear Porsche shirts (given to me) at events, but not as casual wear. There are too many people that build impressions of you solely on things like this.

Will you join a Lotus owners club ?

Absolutely! This and message boards are the ONLY way to obtain useful information. As a matter of fact I have already joined several :)
 

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i have had a hat with the lotus logo on it for 5 or 6 years. i might even get more lotus stuff. more important is getting the car! "best handling car in the world" is a pretty enticing review statement. i looked at an esprit some years ago but it just wasn't for me. i like the elise tons and i like the idea of supporting lotus in general..despite off shore ownership
 

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Assume this car was exactly the same in every regard, but said Hyundai on the badge, would you still buy at $40K ?

I might. I did spend over 35k on a Honda. Of course the fact that it is a Lotus appeals to me though.

Are you secretly planning to get all the Lotus apparel ?

I don't plan to "purchase" any.

Will you join a Lotus owners club ?

Yes. It is a great way to meet new people and learn about cars.

-Eric
 

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I would buy a Saturn, Hyundai or whatever if the price was right and it had what the Elise offers. However, I am enough of an elitist to be happy that the Lotus marque will add to the ownership experience.

I want a T-shirt and perhaps some other goodies. No valve covers, those seem too pretentious.

I will probably join a club, although I'm not that sociable. I've never been to a race track or car meet, so it could be interesting to hang around car savvy folks (since I'm not). Haven't decided if being around you young whippersnappers will make me feel young again or just reinforce how old I am. I'll reserve judgement until I see how the LA Auto Show breakfast meet goes.
 

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"Assume this car was exactly the same in every regard, but said Hyundai on the badge, would you still buy at $40K ?"

That would give me pause, only because I would expect Hyundai to do it for less money (economies of scale). But badges are becoming much less relevant these days, aren't they? I mean, what with Mitsubishi and Subaru building the cars that they do, I'm becoming much, much less badge-concerned. There's a new honor in running a fantastic sports car made by a plebian company.

"Are you secretly planning to get all the Lotus apparal ?"
Hah! That's the divinding line! I will surely get at least a Lotus tshirt or fleece (I have Ferrari garb, but don't own a Ferrari). But, yeah, I would never wear a Honda or Hyundai shirt.

"Will you join a Lotus owners club ? "
Of course. For track days and all the obvious benefits.
 

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Yes, I would buy the same car if it was a Hyundai. That would actually have benefits, because it would probably be cheaper! ;)

I would wear a Lotus cap or t-shirt for a car event (like an autocross). Not to work.

Yes, I'll probably join a club. Mainly to exchange knowledge, get access to interesting events, and meet people. Not because I want to be a member of an elite club or something.
 

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ConeFusion said:
Yes, I would buy the same car if it was a Hyundai. That would actually have benefits, because it would probably be cheaper! ;)
The original question said, "if it were the same price".
 

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Sownman said:
Assume this car was exactly the same in every regard, but said Hyundai on the badge, would you still buy at $40K ?

[...]

No I woulndn't want a Hyundai Elise.
So, lets say that you got to test drive this car w/o knowing who made it, and you knew that the press praised it as the best handling car in the world or the purest sports car in the world or whatever, you would actually care what brand it was?

If anything, a Hyundai badge would make it funny/dramatic/disheartening when you tell someone that your Hyundai is faster than their Boxster S. If it was tuned like it was a Lotus (even that is possible: remember the "handling by Lotus" badges?), who cares who made it?

Not that the Lotus brand doesn't mean anything, but I dislike it when people put too much emphasis on brand names. I don't wear branded clothes (whether it be Lotus or Polo) unless it is given to me, and I would never have bought a Mazda Miata if I were a brand snob.

In the early 1990's, Hyundai actually made a concept car that might have been worth buying, but never produced it. The HCD-I was the first concept by their California design studio:

 

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Would I buy it? Yes, if I could handle (no pun intended;) ) driving a front wheel drive car I would consider having one of their new Tiburons (for some reason I like them) or most likely an RSX.


Lotus garb? Yeah, I already bought a T-shirt from my dealer. It is one of the charicature (is that spelled right?) drawings of a yellow Elise on back and says "Scottsdale Lotus" across the top with there web address along the bottom. I will probably be wearing it at the LA show.

Joining a club is still under review, I would like the access to info and tracks but I'm not really a "team player" when it comes to stuff like that.


BTW that Hyundai concept looks quite a bit like an Elise, doesn't it?
 

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I'll definitely join a club, the comraderee and banter over beer alone is worth it. I've been a PCA member for a long time and it's been well worth it.
As to apparel, hat for sure, it's cool to walk around on race day and give/get nods to/from fellow car enthusiasts who appreciate the same quircks and oddities about a certain marque.
 

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Sownman said:
Assume this car was exactly the same in every regard, but said Hyundai on the badge, would you still buy at $40K ?
**** YES !!!

Sownman said:
Are you secretly planning to get all the Lotus apparal ?
Nope. I only wear a car while I'm driving it.

Sownman said:
Will you join a Lotus owners club ?
Nope. I would like to organize a United States Lotus Owners Club, though (I recently got http://www.USLOC.com). Mostly just for official scheduling of events and such, though. Not for prestige.
 

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As I stated in the other thread, I would buy the car regardless of badge. I like that it says Lotus, it's kinda cool. But that is not the reason I am buying the car. I am buying performance.

And no, I do not buy designer label clothes nor do I have a designer watch on. :) I guess the names don't mean that much to me.

Buying attire that states you own the car is different than buying into the entire Lotus thing. I own a lot of TRD apparel. Why? Well, I have cashed checks from TRD for winning races. I don't have to love Toyota corporate. And I didn't buy the Toyotas I owned for the name. :) So yes I would buy Elise swag because it's fun. I would join Elise clubs because it's a sense of community. But it's more to do with the Elise and a lot less to do with Lotus.

If the exact same car came out as a Honda Elise or a Toyota Elise, there is absolutely nothing different I would have done. Well, maybe one thing... I would have waited because they would have gouged you with dealer premiums.
 

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Re: Re: Lotus the cult car

Nope. I would like to organize a United States Lotus Owners Club, though (I recently got http://www.USLOC.com). Mostly just for official scheduling of events and such, though. Not for prestige. [/B]
You mean like cocktail socials and ski trips? Is there an official Lotus martini somewhere?
 

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Randy Chase said:
As I stated in the other thread, I would buy the car regardless of badge.
To me the argument is "moot" b/c it IS a Lotus, and trying to separate myself from reality has never been one of my strong points:p . If this were an Alfa or a Fiat, I would'nt think twice about buying it. If it were a Hyundai, I would give the buy some pause b/c while they have shown that they can put together a respectable season in WRC, their expertise up to this point has been with front drive shiznit economy cars (please no Tiburon arguments), and the likelyhood of them creating something nearly as covetable (?) as the Elise is a stretch in the first place.

While their all wheel drive bespoke rally cars have fared respectably, the company is too young to garner the respect that Lotus has earned through years of inovative designs. While I don't pretend to be a Lotus historian, I have always followed Lotus along with other makers that create highly desireable automobiles and to say that the history has not impacted my descison would be less than accurate.

History is important to me and past work means alot to me. Pedigree, while snooty in execution is impresive to me. So sue me.
 

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Looking past the badge, the name is important if it refers to quality and design ability. Again, if this car was the exact car, then the only issue was quality. Would I be more worried about the quality if it was a Toyota? Not really. I would think twice about the Trabant Elise...but I was only looking at this in regards to cachet of the name. Names like Lotus, Lamborgini, Ferrari carry a certain style about them. It's kinda cool, but not a big thing for me.


I DO like being a part of history when buying a Lotus. You are buying that too.

I DO like that Lotus is treating it's customers well, much better than I am accustomed to.

I DO like having a more unique car, that appeals to me. That does not appeal to a lot of people.
 

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You could cut and paste Randy comments, they match my viewpoints. As JD noted being a Hyundia would give me pause. Being a Lotus did as well, took a two week crash course digging up info on the Lotus/Elise, before pulling out on the car I had on order and putting money down on Lotus.

(edit) My concern with Lotus was quality and reliability.
 
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