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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey Everybody,

I know there are other threads very similar to this one, but I wasn't able to fully answer my questions through research. If anyone could take the time to help me fill in some of the blanks, I'd appreciate it.

I am considering buying a Lotus Elise, but before I get my hopes up too much, I'd like to verify that it will be suitable for me so I have a few questions.

1. Is the feeling of torque and speed very noticeable in this car? Or is it one of those cars that always feels like you are going slower then you really are? - I test drove an M3 and it felt slower then my G35 coupe, even though the G35 is much slower. I figure this was due to the M3's increased stability, as well as its gradual power increase stemming from it's high red line to torque ratio.

2. What type of Lotus specific maintenance is there? Is there anything that is required to be done at a dealership? I read a post in which member mentioned that certain bolts need to be re-torqued on a regular basis, is there anything else like this I should know about?

3. What sort of long term reliability can I expect? From what I could gather, these seem reliable due to their Toyota drive trains and lack of parts. Aside from the brittle body and paint job, my only real concern would be the long term reliability of the lotus parts. I have heard of the leaks, gauge issues etc but I haven't heard of anything in regards to how often these occur, or how much it costs to ward off these issues.


Thanks,
Canehdian Guy
 

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Very reliable, easy to work on, seems fast all the time.

Maybe too fast, depends on your courage. She will be brave!
 

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First month behind the wheel, the car will be capable of much more than you will ask of it. The only exception might be if you are the sort that panics mid-turn and stabs the brakes. Under that scenario, you will find the limits quickly. Mid-engine cars do not like having the brakes stabbed while in a tight turn, your best bet is apply more throttle and ride it out.
 

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First month! I'm still in first year !
 

Puff Daddy
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First month! I'm still in first year !
I'm in my 7th year of Lotus ownership and still am not able to use all of it's capabilities :eek:

How fast it "feels" is very subjective. I think an NA Elise feels slow for a sports car since you have to wring it's neck to produce what little torque it has. I've looked down and been surprised at how fast I was going more than once in the first few months I had my Elise.

I'm happier with my SC Exige since it has much more usable torque. It's very easy and relatively inexpensive to supercharge an NA Elise so if it does feel too slow you have lots of options :)
 

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Change brake and clutch fluid yearly, change tranny fluid yearly, tires and Brakes wear out quickly. Oil lines, radiators, and ac relays are the common recall faults. The driving and handling experience is awesome and hard to match! Once you drive one you will be consumed until you have your own. They are incredible machines!
 

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When racing around on back roads in my friends GTR or anything like that one can easily run 120 while yawning and talking about the trees.

Do the same in my Elise, with its direct feel due to no power steering, lite weight and stiff chassis, doing the same section at 80 feels like your hair is on fire and you feel very very alive.

I always say after driving both that I am having much more fun. Especially with the top off.

And I still say this after 5 years of ownership
 

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Its Raw. And that's what I like. I've driven other cars, the raw feeling makes me feel so much more in control.

"Its that smell, that gasoline smell, smells like.......Victory!"
 

Gamera The Atomic Turtle
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if you read this group, a bit each day - you will be more comfortable with your decision. My view is that even if you buy, and discover you are in over your head, you can re-sell. Probably get all your money back due to the increasing rarity and demand for the Elige. In the meanwhile... i would give it a shot.
 

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Torque is very linear and relatively weak, but it is a light car. Ever ride in a bus or subway train? You feel gobs of torque, but they don't go very fast. What you definitely will feel and hear is a beautiful roar at around 6200rpm when it switches to the high cams. The Elise is a jeckyll and Hyde of a car. Its tame and fuel efficient if you want it to be, but its eager to show its monster side. You will not be disappointed.
 

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Find a supercharged car and it will put you back in the seat pretty darn well with very linear power and a lot of flow down the road. There are few better ways to feel connected to the road and in touch with the speed.

I may be selling my 2005 Elise as I have another project in mind. It's got the BWR blower and is wonderful on back roads as well as in town. Too much fun to leave parked.

dave
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks everyone! Overall that's pretty good news! I love hearing about how raw the experience is. I have grown tired of hearing about cars with dual clutch transmissions, electric steering and AWD LSD systems that pretty much remove the driver from the equation.

The only thing that concerns me about the Elise is the torque. I prefer to feel the smack in the behind, as opposed to stable and gradual acceleration. With the SC model is the torque considerably more noticeable, or would it still gradually build?
 

Gamera The Atomic Turtle
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grab a REV 400 torque generator and the torque 400 fastworks tune, moves you up to 300 hp to the wheels, 'nuff said. 200 ft lbs of torque - not quite double (stock torque = 115 ft. lbs +/-) It will give you the ability to pass anyone, at any time (practically speaking) They are not inexpensive, but they are great gear. :) Don't ask me how I know.
 

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I'm in Canada and I love my 2009 Elise. The ride is very bumpy and you always feel like you are doing 90 km/hr when you are only doing 60 km/hr.

Mine is naturally aspirated. The acceleration is good but not the "smack" sort of accleration. I guess you should look for a supercharged model or buy a base model and add a supercharger.

Be aware that perhaps only 500 Canadian Elises were ever sold. The market for used ones is probably meager. US Elises cannot be imported legally.
 

Gamera The Atomic Turtle
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^ i did not know that - what are the differences/restrictions that keep them out of Canada?
 

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I would say that if you are looking for that sudden 'thump' of power like you get in a vette or muscle car....that feeling of a lot of mass accelerating in a big way.....that the feeling the Elise gives might not be your cup of tea.

My car is supercharged and it pulls pretty darn hard and will out pull most Vettes and the like but it doesn't have that same feeling that only a heavy car with a stonking V8 gives. I don't know why two cars that will do 0-60 in the same time will feel so different but to me they do.

My car feels very linear and the power really builds as the RPM's rise........but it doesn't smack you in the back like a large displacement car can right off idle.

I'd say that even with supercharged power the experience is still dominated by the feeling of moving quickly and not having the slow for turns and then have the thump pull you out of the turn. The Elise to me is about flow and carrying speed and not about pure acceleration. The 4.3ish second 0-60 time my car (and so many just like it) does is very quick any way you cut it but that's that what the car is made to do.

I hope that makes sense.

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #19
grab a REV 400 torque generator and the torque 400 fastworks tune, moves you up to 300 hp to the wheels, 'nuff said. 200 ft lbs of torque - not quite double (stock torque = 115 ft. lbs +/-) It will give you the ability to pass anyone, at any time (practically speaking) They are not inexpensive, but they are great gear. :) Don't ask me how I know.
Thanks. Financially and reliability wise, would it make more sense to buy an na Elise and supercharger it or purchase one charged from the factory?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I'm in Canada and I love my 2009 Elise. The ride is very bumpy and you always feel like you are doing 90 km/hr when you are only doing 60 km/hr.

Mine is naturally aspirated. The acceleration is good but not the "smack" sort of accleration. I guess you should look for a supercharged model or buy a base model and add a supercharger.

Be aware that perhaps only 500 Canadian Elises were ever sold. The market for used ones is probably meager. US Elises cannot be imported legally.
Are they still selling Elise's in Canada? I hope so because it's not too impossible to buy a used one as of right now.
 
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