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Discussion Starter #1
Guys and Gals. I'm scheduled to recieve my Elise in late Nov/Dec and lately have been questioning the power.

I little history: I drive a 99 M Coupe right now that lights up the rear tires on demand in 1st and 2nd. It is a twitchy little car and I have become quite fond of the power on demand. I visit tracks regularly, auto-x and instruct for BMW CCA so I do appreciate the handling prowess of the Elise immensly.

What does concern me is the fact that the power comes on at 6200 rpm's. I get the feeling the Elise is a very fun track and canyon car, but on everyday drives needs to be downshifted to get some umph out of.

Your opinions are well respected and comparisons of current Elise owners to previous cars would be most helpful. I've spoken to dp (owned both cars) and he confirms my suspisions, but I would like to get a few more opinions... especially b/c dp owned a euro-spec rover powered elise.

Thank you in advance.

BTW... drove the celica w/ the same motor. Very disappointing. Drove the Elise, couldn't rev beyond 4K.
 

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patav,
Yep, don't think you'll like the elise, if your used to lighting up the rears, just don't think you'll get that on a practical basis with the elise. Stick with the m coupe, save the $$ and heartache
Chris
 

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The Elise does not have the sort of muscle-car feel that the M-coupe can provide off idle at low revs. It's not just engine output...it's a 62% rear weight bias thing too. The Elise has no major need for a limited slip diff but on BMWs driven hard it's a must-have thing. The old 60's muscle cars with their ~40% rear weight bias and hard tires could also spin 'em any time ya wanted. Sometimes that is fun.

If you test drive an S2000 with the 2 liter motor then you can get a sense of the Elise experience: you can get a sense of what the car's nature is like in terms of revs and shifting. The above 6000 situation is similar, and the urgency and engine note both become more intense at that point. Or try out an Integra Type R. Both the Elise and S2000 also have high achievable speeds in each gear...the Elise can do mid 40s MPH in 1st and nearly 70 in 2nd as you accelerate. It does not have the sort of dramatic wheelspin / twitchy handling the M-coupes are known for exhibiting as they keep their drivers busy and smiling.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys. I'm starting to think the Elise is not the car the media hypes it to be. After spending 6k in suspension work on the M Coupe I have become accustom to a car that can drive superbly on the track and twisties and is still be fun on the road (albyit in a childish manor).

But I haven't given up yet... I think meeting with Randy this weekend will be the determinative factor.

Patrick Avakian
 

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Pat,

I'm a long time M coupe owner that went under a different name on roadfly......... S52.

I know EXACTLY where you are coming from. Not sure if you have your deposit still, but at this point...keep it. Just move down the list. I should get my car in the next 30 days. If you want to send me a PM, I'll let you know my A-B comparison. Also, my buddy still has my S52, and my other friend has his S54.

I should be able to give you a pretty fair comparison.

Good to see you again.
 

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BTW around here some M-Coupe fans prefer the original 240 HP version over the final 315 HP variation. Because the more powerful, higher revving motored car feels a bit softer down low in the revs than the punchier low revving shoe-car. I'm very familiar with the rear suspension on the M-coupes as I have (and race) an E30 M3.
 

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M ROADERSTER (98)

Loved my m. If you meet Randy and drive a 111R, that M is history. I sold my m in dec. 03 and got a 2003 S2000. Between the M roaderster, S2000, 111R, right now there's only 1 car I would want today more then owning the lotus.



P.S. The M ROASTER, vs S2000 ?





No comparision the M ROADSTER
 

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I had an M Roadster and know what you mean about the on-demand torque. My least favorite attribute of the Elise is the "on-off" switch at 6200 - and I say this because I know it isn't necessary in a variable cam design. I had an '02 NSX that was almost seamless as it hit the VTEC, and my '04 M3 is similar, as was the M Roadster. Sure, they pull harder at high rpm, but the transition is handled better. For myself, I would give up a bit of the over 6,200 power to gain it at 4,500. The Elise is also geared rather deeply, which is a strange choice when you need revs to make power. The M Roadster tops out at 35 in first and 60 in second. The Elise figures are 43 and 66. (figures from Car and Driver). To hit the high lobes in a 1-2 shift in the Elise you must be at the temporary 8,500 redline, anything less and you have a brief lull until it hits 6,200 in 2nd; very reminiscent of turbo lag. My ideal mod to this car would be a small, low boost blower that would fatten up the midrange without much boost above, say,
6,500. This would keep the high rpm load close to stock to keep the engine happy without new rods or low compression pistons, etc. while giving the car a broad power band. Having said all this, the car is still an absolute blast to drive, and it isn't as if it is doggy at lower rpms, it just isn't spectacular like it is waaaay up there.

Richard Fogg
 

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patavakian said:
Thanks guys. I'm starting to think the Elise is not the car the media hypes it to be.
I gotta give the car mag guys credit here. I think they've been very clear about what the Elise is and isn't. I'd dig up some relevant quotes but I'm at work and can only pretend to be busy for so long. I don't think anybody has claimed that the Elise is a tire-smoking, quarter-mile bruiser. That's certainly not what I've been expecting.
 

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Good point on the magazines - for the most part I think they have nailed the Elise.

I think if the Elise had about 1 or 2 mm more "normal" intake cam lift (but ~ the same duration) the 4-6000 range would perk up. And leave the big lobes alone. Our low cams have only 7 mm intake and exhaust duration while the Lift cams have 11.2 and 10 mm of lift. This might affect things like emissions but you can note that when you want to get some output the motor wants a bit more on the intake side.

BTW on the subject of torquey muscle cars...MOST of the 60s average muscle cars could barely crack a 14.5 -15 second 1/4 mile. But they felt very strong from the first crack of the throttle and the low traction could get the wheels spinning quite readily.
 

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Patavakian, based on what you said, I think you'd be happier getting a C6 'Vette instead.
 

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I had a supercharged monster miata, 400lb feet of torque at 1500rpm. It wasnt as much fun to drive as the elise.
 

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Funny, I was just telling everyone at the annual Lotus BBQ yesteraday in Maryland that it's very torquey.

I've had a 928, a 97 M3 and a S4- all with lots of torque. My Elise doesn't *quite* have the same feel, but definitely seems just as fast as these other cars.

I think it's easier to get the wheels spinning on an M3 because it's heavier.
 

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If you're trying to bruise the back of your head on the headrest, then the Elise isn't the car for you.

As for wheelspin, you can get it off the line if you want.

For my tastes the Fed Elise doesn't leave wanting for power like the Rover K-engine did. Sure, I'll take more power if someone were to give it to me, but power the Fed Elise makes even under 6200 is plenty.

Like said in many threads about power, the Elise isn't about tire melting torque. If that's what you want, then you'd better find an alternative.
 

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I think that you might not be totally satisfied with the Elise of jerky power is you goal. I know the throttle response on the 3.2 liter mill is amazing. Remember, there is something like 267 lb-ft of torque in the M3. although I think there is a little less in the Coupe. The power delivery is very linear. Coming from a turbo chargerd car which I loved (I still miss the boost :)) the acceleration builds according to the rpm. It pulls like hell from 7000 to 8500, and you shoot through the gears if you keep the pedal buried. However, The new GTO will have the new LS2 motor. The upcoming charger will also have the 5.7 liter hemi. Even the new SRT-8 will go for less than 50 thousand and have 425 hp.

It has been said before that the Elise is a car that wants to be driven smoothly. I would say that when driving it, it feels fast when you are going slow, and slow when you are going fast. I have not dropped the clutch on it adn really don't want to. But there really seems to be no everyday circumtance that you can smoke the tires on it without being extrememly hard on the car. Now, If there was a supercharger in the works, then things could be different!
 

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Patavakian: FWIW, I have a 2003 Mustang Mach 1 that I just love. I'm tortured because I love the instant torque and the ability to smoke the tires if I wanted to.

The Elise is a different beast. Even driving the European version of the Elise (the only Elise I've driven so far) it was sprightly and had excellent throttle response. It won't spin the tires outside of the first gear I suspect, but it was pretty quick and did so without a lot of fanfare. (i.e. The Mach 1 makes lots of noise when accelerating.)

Best bet (IMHO) is to keep your deposit, find an Elise to test drive (or wait for your Elise to arrive), and do a direct comparision to see which car you like better. As for me, I am actively looking for ways to keep my Mach 1 and still buy the Elise.
 

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A lot of good comments have already been made. The most important thing you can do is drive an Elise and decide for yourself. I have a M3 that I will be keeping as my daily driver. The torque difference is definitely noticeable and one thing I thought I would miss in the Elise. But I think the Elise is more fun to drive (of course I have like 25 Elise driving miles and 50K M3 driving miles). You will have to decide for yourself, but I agree with keeping yourself on the list until you come to a final decision.
 

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Don't take this the wrong way anyone but some of the posts here remind me of a 50s Sci-Fi story called "The Marching Morons". It's a famous story which has won awards and is considered a classic.

In the story a few normal people are left and the rest of humanity are pretty much functional morons. (Or maybe they just live in certain parts of the coutry Jer!) The Morons all want cars that go 200 MPH... so the normals just provide grossly inaccurate speedos that read say 200 when you are doing 30 MPH. That way they don't really have to make 200 MPH cars for them, and folks won't constantly be killed. Along with that the cars had sound effects such as screeching tire sounds that kick in even when traction has not been lost but when the driver thinks he is *gunning it*. Wow, I'm spinning my tires - what power! They even added roaring wind sounds for those "triple digit" speeds. The Morons loved it!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I thank you all for your responces and now feel I am more confused than ever.

In the beginning I knew the Elise was for me, and the idea of owning 2 sub-2000lb cars sent shivers down my spine.

I figured the lack of power would be made up by the spartan weight and incredible handling, and I have not yet given up on that idea. But the daunting fact remains that the power comes on at 6200 rpm.

Let me repeat that... 6200 rpm.

I know its unfair to compare but I drove the celica gt-s today (extra 400lbs) and it seemed like i was waiting... and waiting for the car to reach 6200 rpms.

I guess I should consider shorter gearing. I mean we do have a 6 speed and it's not like we will see speeds above 150.

PA
 

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Moogs, would you buy it for a quarter?


i have a vague memory of that story. i have gone too fast and had my senses dulled by too much brake and burning rubber-associated noise to recall
 
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