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Discussion Starter #21
Again thanks. taking all of this information into consideration, i think the best advise given has been just take a hard look at the condition of the car if I find an 06 or an 05 in great shape then go for it, if it has the options that im looking for. Of course i would prefer newer, but doesnt seem like these small model year improvements are deal breakers.

thanks again guys!
 

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Gamera The Atomic Turtle
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+1. Like others have said, unless you're deciding between NA vs. supercharged cars, just weigh the cars you look at on their merits (such as condition). I would rather have my clean, relatively stock 11k mile 2005 than some hacked-up abused 2006.
Exactly! And now that I am lucky enough to actually have a Lotus again, I'm going to take my 11k mile , clean as a whistle, stock 2005 and just get the important stuff taken care of. The oil lines....gotta deal with that, it's keeping me up nights....be a silly reason to lose an engine, no excuse really considering how prevalent these occurences are. I figure 100-200 cars have or will go thru this. Maybe alot more. With my luck, I'm one of them. I don't really feel like I can count on Lotus to get this done for me in a timely manner, so I'm dealing with it in April when she comes outy of hibernation. Then I can sleep again.
 

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My 2005 Elise has the earlier (non-probax) seats and I have no problems at all with them.
The longest non-stop journey I've done in the car is about 3 hours.
My car has the leather seats option though, I did try an Elise with the ordinary seats and they seemed harder (less padding)

I find the lumbar support adjustment really useful, but my wife prefers it on the minimum setting.
 

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06 has a wider color choice. There is maybe one or two white 2005 models and there are many more white 2006 - like mine.
 

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Gamera The Atomic Turtle
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06 has a wider color choice. There is maybe one or two white 2005 models and there are many more white 2006 - like mine.
this is true..but 2005 has exclusive colors that can only be had by purchassing a 2005. Like mine :)
 

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The oil lines....gotta deal with that, it's keeping me up nights....
I had the same thoughts and went with the RLS oil lines AND installed a new Wizard Cooling radiator while the clam was off. Also installed the updated A/C thermostat and checked operation of heater blower motor (okay, as I don't drive in the rain, so no corrosion).
 

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My 2005 Elise has the earlier (non-probax) seats and I have no problems at all with them.
The longest non-stop journey I've done in the car is about 3 hours.
My car has the leather seats option though, I did try an Elise with the ordinary seats and they seemed harder (less padding)

I find the lumbar support adjustment really useful, but my wife prefers it on the minimum setting.
Drove 660 miles in ten hours one day in the leather seat in my 2005 Sport Pack. No trouble at all. Probably stopped for fuel and fluids exchanges about every two hours. Fiddled with the lumbar pump now and again.
 

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My car has the leather seats option though, I did try an Elise with the ordinary seats and they seemed harder (less padding.
Same padding, just leather seat inserts .vs. Cloth insert. Even the cloth seats have leather on the sides of both the seat back and seat bottom, just cloth in the middle.
 

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Gamera The Atomic Turtle
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There's no such thing as touring seats, wheels, or suspension.... :)
 

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I've owned a 2005 Federal Elise, 2008 Cup 260 and currently a 2007 Federal Exige.

One overall point is the later the build, the better Lotus was at putting it together, hey they're a small company, the cars are getting more complex (for them), get it?

2005 was the 1st full year of the Federal Elise (ie they were still learning!)..many items were new for Lotus even though it was an evolution of the Rover powered S2 Elise & aspects they'd learnt (ie GM had paid for) from building the VX220 / Opel Speedster.

I dont know if my 2005 was just a bit rough (it was low miles, but had been stored for 2 years without use) but in many areas it was worse than the later cars : A/C, gear change, rattles / NVH, headlight sealing...even little things like they way the door close. Of course the LED lights are really nice to have from 2006 & the revised dash / key / bus wiring from 2008... see what I mean? every year got a bit better.

By far the worst aspect on the 2005 were the brake pedal feel. The combination of alloy pedal box + servo (new for the Federal Elise development) meant there was an initial void before anything happened. No amount of adjustment or bleeding I did resolved this & was ultimately why I sold the car, it just pissed me off. Sports cars should feel 'instant'. This only got resolved in 2006 with the DBW pedal box, then all was fine. The brake feel in my Cup with AP 4 pots etc was at another level again...amazing brakes!

The above cycle is happening with the Evora all over again. 2010 is the 1st full year of production, the car were critised in various areas (more so than the 2005 Elise 'cause the Evora's price & target sector, it no longer a 3rd car toy) various running changes were made, but by 2012 significant changes were made to gearchange, driveline, trim, door sealing, suspension settings, ICE, exhaust etc ...

like I say, they're a small company, they 'develop' car over a 2 year cycle, compared to the 4/5 at larger rivals take, meaning the remaining 2 years of development happen in the field with customers .

With my experience I think Lotus didnt really get the Elise / Exige development right till MY 2006/7... I would NEVER buy a 2005 car no matter what the deal.

Cheers
 

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i have an '05 and i woudn't trade it for a 2006, 2011 or an Evora, but that's just me. I like having one of the first cars built for the USA. I also like a throttle cable instead of drive by wire, but that is just the traditionalist in me.
+1

Honestly, when I was car shopping, I would have settled for any year in my price range. Ultimately, I am glad that I ended up with an '05. I have driven an '08 and it just didn't feel the same. Idk, it's hard to explain.


Many Elise owners can't seem to leave the car alone. It is likely you will adjust and upgrade whatever you purchase to your tastes and uses.
+1

Most guys want to put their own personal spin on their car... subsequently, alot of stuff gets updated, upgraded, or modified to suit their needs/wants with very little effort. It kinda makes the model differences essentially unnoticeable.
 

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There's no such thing as touring seats, wheels, or suspension.... :)
Actually...

The Touring Package included the leather seats. The Basic Package (car?) came with the "cloth seats".

The Touring package had nothing to do with suspension, wheels, or tires. It was simply an interior package "upgrade" - leather seats and door panels, a different radio, carpeting up the sides of the foot well and under the seats instead of the bare aluminum, and power windows (later standard on all Elises), and padding on the inside of the soft top.

2005 was the 1st full year of the Federal Elise (ie they were still learning!)..many items were new for Lotus ...
Maybe it had something to do with where in the model years it was built. My car had absolutely no problems. It is a very early '05 (the first on off the truck at the local dealer). The demand was much larger than they expected and the factory had to even add a second shift to meet the demand - maybe that affected the later '05 cars... :shrug:

Of course the LED lights are really nice to have from 2006 & the revised dash / key / bus wiring from 2008... see what I mean? every year got a bit better.
Many of us don't find any problem with the LEDs nor do we find them to be an advantage. They are more fragile, and much more expensive to repair if you have any problems. :shrug:

By far the worst aspect on the 2005 were the brake pedal feel. The combination of alloy pedal box + servo (new for the Federal Elise development) meant there was an initial void before anything happened. No amount of adjustment or bleeding I did resolved this & was ultimately why I sold the car, it just pissed me off. Sports cars should feel 'instant'. This only got resolved in 2006 with the DBW pedal box, then all was fine.
Again, this is not a real problem. The '05 cars had the beautiful extruded aluminum pedals. The brake master cylinder was connected between the pedal and the actuator mechanism by a rubber bushing. Most people found that if you got under the dash and tightened the bold/washers/ that passed through the bushing, it would remove the slop and the brakes were perfect. Me, I'm not so good at getting under there anymore, but I've never had a complaint with my brakes.

Again, many of use prefer the cable operated and Adjustable throttle cable as opposed to the fixed, non-adjustable DBW setup of the '06 and newer cars.

The later cars with the steel pedals and linkages eliminated the rubber bushing, and eliminated the need for the adjustment.
 

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Again, this is not a real problem. The '05 cars had the beautiful extruded aluminum pedals. The brake master cylinder was connected between the pedal and the actuator mechanism by a rubber bushing. Most people found that if you got under the dash and tightened the bold/washers/ that passed through the bushing, it would remove the slop and the brakes were perfect. Me, I'm not so good at getting under there anymore, but I've never had a complaint with my brakes.
I'll have to check that out, as I'm still slim enough to take a look. I wonder if adding SS braided brake lines helps as well?
 
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