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thought I would share this..interesting article on Elise in the publication of Lotus Ltd. (largest Lotus club)...loads of interesting details:

Hope this is not a duplicate post but in the November edition of the Lotus Ltd.(car club) Lotus reMarque publication there appears an article Elise Watch The Federal Elise: The First US Test Drive by Andrew Barron.

Some interesting comments and observations of which I am citing a few:

-The shape of the Mk2 Elise is generally more flattered by dark colors which is in contrast to the Mk1 Elise whose shape looked best in bright, light colors (his comment here is based on two Fed Elises he had access to...one was metallic black and bronze)

-One [change of Fed Elise over Euro Elise] is a slight bulge on the bonnet about the radiator outlet grill to allow for the power assisted brakes and ABS systems.

-In referencing the new exhaust layout (twin tips in the middle)... While I am sure that some owners will attempt to change the muffler they will be dismayed to learn that any change will result is a decrease in power output. A decrease? Yes, that's right, Lotus engineers have designed the exhaust system to be optimum for the engine and ECU. Any changes will result in a power loss of estimated at 10 bhp.

-The front of the car incorporates a small integrated mounting plinth for the number [license] plate. This is a welcome addition that follows the dictum of the M100 and Esprit designer Peter Stevens that a car should be designed to look good on the street and not just in the show room where no number plates are used.

-The new canvas top is lined with a soft material that provides insulation as well as sound deadning. This is a welcome addition...

-....the Toyota engine has only "Lotus Performance" and an ACBC badge gracing the cam covers.

-As one may not expect for a sports car, the interior of the Fed Elise is rather roomy even for this 6'1" scribe...in fact the Elise is the only car that I have found I actually slide the seat forward...

-Closing the door of the Fed Elise...doors make an almost Porsche like clunk.

-One negative of the Mk2 Elise as compared to the Mk1 Elise is the adoption of very small button/switches for the lights etc....despite these small quibbles all the knobs are within easy reach [of the driver] and the radio/CD/MP3 unit can be operated by the driver [the radio in the Mk1 Elise was out of reach of the driver]

-Positioned under the windscreen surround are two sun visors. Required by Federal law these are specifically for the US market.

-Turning the ignition on and pressing the large button to the left of the steering column results in the engine burbling to life. Unlike the rather soft effeminate sound the street legal K series cars produce, the Toyota engine exhibits a rather pleasant deep rumble.

-Engaging gears for the Toyota sourced close ratio 6 speed geabox is not as smooth as some cars due to the long linkages inherent in mid engined car.

-The clutch has a long travel, but is progressive and easy to get used to. Peddle is firm...

-The brakes are awesome when stopping the car at high speed...

-Possibly a surprise to some will be that the off-the-line acceleration for the Fed Elise is not as fast as the Mk1 and 2. This is in part due to the lower weight of the original car...however once the revs rise [Fed Elise] the Toyota powered car will easily out accerlerate its Rover powered brethern...I think the Federal car is much more drivable.

-So how does the Fed Elise handle? The answer is simple-wonderfully...Whereas the Mk1 was prone to snap oversteer at the limit, the Fed Elise has completely neutral handling. The proverbial "feels like it's on rails" for once actually applies. Simply stated, Lotus has performed a miracle- they have improved the handling of the best handling car ever built.

-To all of those (including factually challenged Autoweek) who believed that the Fed Elise was going to be 'soft', eat your words...the ride is very firm but not uncomfortable. Given the feel of the standard suspension I would stongly caution readers about purchasing the track package option.

I only noted what I felt were comments that address some of the continued discussions on the Lotus forums...hope you find this post enlightning and interesting

Michael
 

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Thanks for posting. I guess I'll receive my issue in a coupla days (since I'm on the west coast).

michaelTT said:
...the ride is very firm but not uncomfortable. Given the feel of the standard suspension I would <b>stongly caution </b>readers about purchasing the track package option.
This is going to be the cause of some sleepless nights for me. I'm going to have to order my car before I get to drive the Track suspension. My car will be used for both road and track. More road use than track. It won't be a daily driver so I'm tempted to go with the 'track' option....

Which one shall I choose? :confused:
 

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In any car, you don't need a racecar suspension to enjoy driving on a track and to learn from that experience. For non competitive track use, I think it's best to get the standard suspension.
 

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I agree. You will not need the sports suspension to have a great handling car that you can enjoy on the track. And a car that for most people, the limiting factor will NOT be the standard suspension.
 

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MattG said:
In any car, you don't need a racecar suspension to enjoy driving on a track and to learn from that experience. For non competitive track use, I think it's best to get the standard suspension.
That's actually a great point. I had gotten into this mindset of wanting a stiffer suspension etc so I could eat guys in 911's and 'scream' at Ferraries to get out of my way on corners (ala that list floating around for top reasons to own an Elise.) However, I doubt I'll ever be that good to take full advantage of the track suspension or it'll take me long enough that I could get it on my Elise S5 or 6! My personal fear is that the extremes of making it a track car might make it difficult to drive on a mountain road having fun or daily use. Maybe I'm wrong, but I'm thinking of passing on the Sport option....Argh.
 

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This is a tough call for me as well. Have own a mid-engine car for close to 13yrs. and have done a fair amount of mods to it. I'm not nearly the aggressive driver I was the first 6-7 years. Don't plan on competing with the Elise. The demo car ride was great. Having a overly stiff suspension, which I've used on the MR2 can make it harder to live with it on the street. Really wouldn't consider the LSS a track setup, more of a extreme street setting. Long term would want LSS but the trade off if it's a bit too stiff... not knowing makes it hard to decide.
 

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Thanks for the info, Michael. Sounds pretty good to me.

Interesting opinion that he has about the colors - I thought that the opposite was true (i.e., that lighter colors look better than the darker ones). Probably a matter of individual taste.

Hope that front plinth looks good without a plate on it, as I don't plan to desecrate my new car with a front license plate unless enforcement of the Calif law becomes more aggressive than it's been so far.
 

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I'm going for the Track Suspension for two simple reasons:
1) I want the wider front tires to get rid of any understeer
2) I think the car looks better lowered that extra inch.

I can live with the firmer suspension.
 

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If I went with the std setup going from 175 to 185 front tires seems to get rid of understeer for the Euro cars. For the streets having too stiff a suspension can hurt the handling over rough stuff. Tend to think that's not the case with LSS & most likely I'll get it. It's going to be a weekend toy, anyway. Plan on keeping the '2 for a while which I've got setup for a nice balance of ride & handling. Being lowered can make it expensive if we're catching the front end.
 

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FWIW, there is some discussion (from what I hear) at Lotus of offering the wider LSS front rims as an option to the standard suspension car. I think it's a good idea.
 

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Randy Chase said:
FWIW, there is some discussion (from what I hear) at Lotus of offering the wider LSS front rims as an option to the standard suspension car. I think it's a good idea.
Yeah, sounds like the hot ticket for me anyway, since I probably don't really need an all-out sports suspension but don't want the understeer either.
 

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The other thing to consider with LSS, the Yoko A048 would do poorly in the wet stuff. Throw in the mid-engine setup & you'd better be very, very careful unless the roads are nice and dry.
 

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I agree with the general thinking here. I certainly don't need the car any lower than it currently is. There are more and more speed bumps these days and I also need to get the car into my driveway. The wider wheels and stickier tire (tyres) would be nice to get.

I sometimes find that I drive LESS aggressively on public roads with a firm suspension. Hitting a pothole or expansion joint hard enough to create that loud BANG - CRASH really makes me whince. I tend to go slower to avoid that smash effect.

Besides, with a car prone to rattles and other possible quality issues, I think the less jarring the ride, the longer the car will last. Years ago I had a Porsche 914 ... and when I hit a bump hard enough, the sun visor would fall into my lap. That's a little distracting! I also had the rear view mirror fall off on a couple of occasions.

For these reasons, I'd opt for the standard suspension ... unless the wheels are THAT MUCH BETTER with the sports suspension and there is no other way to get them. I hardly think the standard suspension will be floaty or soft.
 

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LarryB said:
For the streets having too stiff a suspension can hurt the handling over rough stuff.
That's very true.

I had plenty of fun with my M3 and 993 on tracks with their std suspensions. Though, my 325i worked Brainerd Intl much better with the Dinan goodies...

Randy's comment is pretty cool. Wider, lightweight/forged rims as an option would be great. Though I suspect Lotus is not gonna want to add so many different options.

Clyde,

Have ya driven a LSS equipped 'Croft'? If so, what's your opinion on street comfort/viability? Inquiring minds want to know. :)
 

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Even if Lotus doesn't offer wider front wheels, I'm sure that TireRack does.:D
 

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I'm all for the LSS, but really don't want this car to be any lower. If it is I will likely just buy a Ford GT-40.

Ok... I'm kidding about the GT-40 thing:D But I would likely skip the LSS if it's too low. I live in Pittsburgh and we have road that were built during the Stone Age complete with many bumps and potholes. New Front Clam - $3000 Plus, not having to waste most of the summer waiting to get it replaced - Priceless!
 

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Derek said:
New Front Clam - $3000 Plus, not having to waste most of the summer waiting to get it replaced - Priceless!
Duct tape dude! Was it Arno who had a bike drop on his Elise?
 

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Randy, from what you've heard, are they talking about the std front wheels being offered in the width of the front LSS wheel? Or is it the LSS wheels and tire package, wouldn't think that's the case. If they did more likely then not Lotus would want to retune the suspension to better match the tires. BTW I think the std tires are going to be pretty darn good, dial out the understeer with more front rubber... it's just a question of how extreme you'd want to go, stock or LSS.

Have the feeling duct tape & cell phones ( or AAA memberships) will be need for mishapes or flat tires.
 

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I think they can offer the wider front rims and the non-LSS tires. But I am not sure. All I heard is that they are thinking of offering the wider rims as an optional item.
 
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