The Lotus Cars Community banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Less is Better
Joined
·
2,679 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm an excited new member of the Elise club and thought I'd start out with some first impressions and comparisons for fun.

I just bought this pristine 2005 magnetic blue from DigitalElise. It's like buying a brand new car! I hope to keep it for many, many years to come.

http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f94...ack-interior-fully-loaded-4-200-miles-119534/

I'm a true believer in the pure sports car. I knew when the S1 was introduced in Europe that this is the car for me. It was a long wait.

The Elise is joining a 2002 WRX, and two Japanese classics with fairly heavy modifications, 1982 Rx-7 and 1991 MR2. The Rx-7 has a 200hp N/A ported rotary from a later model year car and the MR2 has a 3.0L V6. Both have a lot of suspension work as well.

At the beginning of the summer, I sold my 2000 Boxster S. I had the factory European (RoW M030) sport suspension and some chassis bracing on the car. The car was great fun, but I think I got bored with it after 6 years. I bought the MR2 with the intention of it being a dedicated track car but then decided I liked using it more than the Porsche, it wasn’t as refined or powerful and the limits are lower, but it’s more fun just tooling around and I could drive it anywhere without worrying about where I parked it. So I sold the Porsche knowing that eventually it would be replace with something more rudimentary.

Porsches have grown in sophistication and refinement to the point where they are very capable GTs. That’s all well and good, but I like a car to take up into the mountains for a couple of hours or drive to work every now and then and still enjoy the handling traits when not pushing the car to the outer limits. The Porsche has incredible limits, and behaves beautifully at those limits, but under 80%, it’s just not as engaging as I’d like.

ENTER THE LOTUS…

It’s almost not realistic to directly compare the Elise to the Boxster. Even though they are both called sports cars and sell at about the same price, they are completely different animals. The Boxster is like an Elise wrapped in a foot of foam insulation. The Elise is louder, stiffer, smaller, more maneuverable, and vastly more communicative. Interestingly, the Elise chassis is also noticeably more stiff, and the Boxster is already excellent in that regard. The steering is intricate and direct. It’s road braille! I’ve driven quite a few sports cars, classic and modern, and nothing matches the Lotus. The Porsche is good for a power steering rack, but just can’t match up. The chassis response to inputs between the Porsche and Lotus are pretty similar. Immediate motion when the steering wheel is turned with almost no body roll. No transient motion to wait for and no wondering what the car is going to do with your input. They are both excellent chassis in that regard. But just as with the steering, the Elise communicates exactly what the is going on under you through the chassis just a little more clearly than the Porsche.

Both cars are reasonably low wind when driving on the highway with the top off. Put up the windows in either car and it’s a nice place to be. The Porsche is more quiet though. The radio is still somewhat discernable where it's pretty much just wasting electricity in the Elise at 70mph.

The brake pedal in the Porsche doen’t have the mushy spot that the Elise does, but both cars give great feel through the brake pedal. My Boxster, with a shift lever from a 997, is shorter and a bit more fun to row through, but the Elise has a nice, mechanical feel. The throws are just a bit longer.

The 3.2L engine in the Boxster is a truly great engine. It’s smooth through the entire rev range and has reasonable low end torque and a really nice, flat torque curve up to red line. It is hard to get caught in the wrong gear with that car. So far I’m impressed with the 1.8L in the Elise. In the lower speed cam, there’s still plenty of anger and noise. The thrust really is pretty good. On the hot cam this thing is a kick in the butt! It would be nice to have a more smooth transition between cams, though. Overall, the Boxster’s engine fells much more relaxed and less frenzied than the Lotus. Porsche has a lot of design issues with that engine, though, so you have to stay on top of maintenance and make sure you are minding the known issues. Even then that fear of a $20k replacement engine is always in the back of every M96 Porsche owner’s mind.

The Elise is also more delicate, more simply assembled and more draining and tiring after driving for a while. I could drive the Boxster for hours on end without feeling like I needed a break. After my hour drive on the Seattle area’s poor highways in the Elise, I was ready for a breather. For errands and trips, the Porsche is superior. It has two trunks that amount to a surprisingly large amount of storage space. The seats are comfy for hours. The radio isn’t great, but you can actually listen to it at highway speeds, the top is thickly lined so the cabin is relatively quiet at cruising. The Elise is pretty much the opposite of all of those things 

The quality of materials in the 986 Boxster really aren’t great. The seats and carpets are of high quality, but the dashboard and doors are covered in vinyl that is decent but not impressive. The hard plastics have a rubberized coating on them with feels nice to the touch, but is easily scratched and looks old after a few scratches. The Elise doesn’t even try to impress with plastics, it is what it is. Love it or leave it.

For a car to take out for a couple of hours on a Sunday morning through some twisty roads, the Elise would be my choice every time. It’s an honest, no compromise sports car. The purest of the modern breed. If you want to really understand what a car can feel like, with no filters and no fluff, this is the right car. I’m excited that I switched and can’t wait to get back into the car!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
471 Posts
Nice, thought out write up and comparrison! Thanks!
 

·
Older but getting faster
Joined
·
524 Posts
The brake pedal in the Porsche doen’t have the mushy spot that the Elise does, but both cars give great feel through the brake pedal.
Your brakes shouldn't have a "mushy spot". Search the threads on this forum on bleeding your brake and clutch system. My brake pedal is hard as a rock with immediate response.
 

·
Less is Better
Joined
·
2,679 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Your brakes shouldn't have a "mushy spot". Search the threads on this forum on bleeding your brake and clutch system. My brake pedal is hard as a rock with immediate response.
They actually were just bled by the dealer. They felt the same before and after. Lotus fixed the dead spot in 06 so yours would feel different.
 

·
Less is Better
Joined
·
2,679 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Welcome and congradulations! Very nice write up. These are amazing machines that no other car can compare to in my book.
Simple, light, pure, just how Colin wanted it. I've already found that I can't drive my MR2 after the Elise. It feels mushy by comparison. And the MR2 has an all urethane suspension with very high rate springs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
146 Posts
I really looked at this ad for the car a lot. I'm getting closer every day, and will be on the hunt for a Mag Blue elise. Glad it went to someone on the forum so we can oogle that color more. So you have to post more pics. But one you thing you forgot to mention is how great it looks, especially in magnetic blue! Awesome write up.
 

·
Less is Better
Joined
·
2,679 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
I really looked at this ad for the car a lot. I'm getting closer every day, and will be on the hunt for a Mag Blue elise. Glad it went to someone on the forum so we can oogle that color more. So you have to post more pics. But one you thing you forgot to mention is how great it looks, especially in magnetic blue! Awesome write up.
The seller was great to work with. Although it was hard for him to let it go.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,842 Posts
Congratulations, sir.

"Immediate motion when the steering wheel is turned with almost no body roll."

It is pretty amazing how Lotus has engineered the car. It doesn't "feel" like there is much body roll, but have someone take a picture of you at a track day. Much more body roll than what it feels like.
ImageUploadedByAutoguide1348027472.874589.jpg




Sent from my Autoguide iPhone app
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
846 Posts
Concrats, and hope to see you at one of our fine local tracks some time!
 

·
Less is Better
Joined
·
2,679 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Congratulations, sir.

"Immediate motion when the steering wheel is turned with almost no body roll."

It is pretty amazing how Lotus has engineered the car. It doesn't "feel" like there is much body roll, but have someone take a picture of you at a track day. Much more body roll than what it feels like.

Sent from my Autoguide iPhone app
The car looks pretty flat to me.
 

·
Less is Better
Joined
·
2,679 Posts
Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Concrats, and hope to see you at one of our fine local tracks some time!
I like Pacific, but I LOVE Ridge. I'm still on the fence with tracking the Elise though. It's what I built the MR2 for. I am curious to see how the two would compare though. The 600 pound weight reduction and double wishbone suspension have got to be a couple levels over what the MR2 can do.

The main reason I bought the MR2 for the track is to have a steel roof over my head. Let's just say that I was in an accident once that would have been very ugly in a convertible, even with a roll bar.
 

·
www.theapexinn.com
Joined
·
11,688 Posts
Thanks..... I'll think about getting one !
 

·
Older but getting faster
Joined
·
524 Posts
They actually were just bled by the dealer. They felt the same before and after. Lotus fixed the dead spot in 06 so yours would feel different.
I didn't know that. Sorry for spouting off like a pompous ass. :eek:
 

·
Less is Better
Joined
·
2,679 Posts
Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
I didn't know that. Sorry for spouting off like a pompous ass. :eek:
No Worries :)

From edmonds.com on the 2006 Elise:

"New stuff for 2006
If the 2005 Elise was an astounding debut, the follow-up effort is even better. Technical revisions include new Lotus engine management and an electronic throttle for improved engine response, a redesigned pedal set for easier heel-and-toe shifting and a 30-percent reduction in braking effort. Traction control and limited-slip differential options are also being offered for the first time. Daytime running lights and LED taillamps are also new, as are redesigned instruments for greater clarity, and ergonomically improved padding for the two sport seats.

To broaden its appeal, Lotus is also presenting a wider array of performance and comfort option packages, and eight new colors join the list of 20 available hues for the composite body panels, including British Racing Green. Better yet, when not in use, the little Lotus now folds up neatly and fits in your pocket. "
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top