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Discussion Starter #1
I have spent most of my track time in a Volvo S60 R and am still getting used to the connected feel of the Lotus. One thing that is taking a while to get used to is the mechanical steering. The feedback is amazing but it is also a little unnerving at high speed to feel every little vibration and jerk of the wheel. With the Volvo I drove by feel of the overall car and now I drive a lot more by feel of the wheel. There is also no longer the safety net of AWD and traction control. When you reach the limits of the Lotus (in my case more from bad driving than the limit of the car) the results are a lot more unpredictable. Don’t get me wrong I am not complaining in the least. The experience is night and day and I would not trade my Lotus for anything. It is just taking me longer than I thought to get comfortable and back up to the speeds that I was running in my Volvo.

What are other people’s experiences with going from a street car to the more purpose built Lotus?
 

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I had a RX-8 which I used to track regularly. That car was incredibly forgiving. While I thought it was a great car, it certainly did not have the level of feel the Lotus does. It also took me a few track days to get comfortable with my Lotus just to get back up to some of the speeds I was running in the 8. It certainly is a confidence level with the car and the amount of sensations and feedback you are receiving. I was dissapointed at my performance at the track the first time out, but it really does make you a better driver. :)
 

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I had a RX-8 which I used to track regularly. That car was incredibly forgiving. While I thought it was a great car, it certainly did not have the level of feel the Lotus does. It also took me a few track days to get comfortable with my Lotus just to get back up to some of the speeds I was running in the 8. It certainly is a confidence level with the car and the amount of sensations and feedback you are receiving. I was dissapointed at my performance at the track the first time out, but it really does make you a better driver. :)
+1

The steering feel on the Lotus is a bit strange compared to the RX-8 and S2000. The thing that I'm still getting used to is the increased steering input needed for a harder turn. On a power steering car you just turn the wheel more when you need to turn more, not more AND harder. I personally prefer a linear steering effort and wouldn't mind if this car had a lightly assisted rack.
 

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+1

The steering feel on the Lotus is a bit strange compared to the RX-8 and S2000. The thing that I'm still getting used to is the increased steering input needed for a harder turn. On a power steering car you just turn the wheel more when you need to turn more, not more AND harder. I personally prefer a linear steering effort and wouldn't mind if this car had a lightly assisted rack.
...And If it had a lightly assisted rack, you'd have people saying they wish the steering wasn't assisted.
 

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I had no problem adjusting. I had an Audi TT, so I was used to power steering, AWD, and all of the safety nets. Honestly, I loved the transition. I was almost immediately comfortable with it. The only issue was learning to trust myself since with the TT I knew I had those safety nets if I messed up and with the Lotus there was no such luxury.

If anything, I've had a harder time going from the Lotus to my 335i. I've been used to a car that feels like it has been shrink-wrapped around me like a cocoon, that communicated every little nuance, and that was immediate in its responses. I almost feel like I'm sitting 'on' the 335i, rather than in it. By comparison, the steering feels numb and overboosted - and BMW's no slouch in that department if that says anything. At least the AC works, I guess! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #6
...And If it had a lightly assisted rack, you'd have people saying they wish the steering wasn't assisted.
I personally like "lightly assisted racks"...
 

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It is amazing how people's experiences and opinions differ. I came from an '83 RX-7 ITA race car. I was and still am disappointed in the Lotus steering (and brakes for that matter). The RX-7 had more feel, much better centering, more linear torque buildup. I recently cranked the caster as far as it would go. It helped, but not enough.

The more I drive other cars, the more I realize how good the first gen RX-7 was. Amazing that a car can be built in 1979 and still have a hard time being equaled 30 years later.

For all you coming from big cars.....just get more experience. It takes time to get used to the "little car feel".
 

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I like the "man power" steering and it doesn't bother me at high speeds. Low speed parking is the only time it can get irritating and that is only on certain surfaces.
 

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Pretty interesting. I hope the Lotus steering is not that bad. I, too, had an '83 RX7 and it has a recirculating ball steering setup, rather than the typical rack and pinion. The feel of the RX7 was decent but there was much more play than a rack and pinion setup once the steering box was worn.
 

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It is amazing how people's experiences and opinions differ. I came from an '83 RX-7 ITA race car. I was and still am disappointed in the Lotus steering (and brakes for that matter). The RX-7 had more feel, much better centering, more linear torque buildup. I recently cranked the caster as far as it would go. It helped, but not enough.

The more I drive other cars, the more I realize how good the first gen RX-7 was. Amazing that a car can be built in 1979 and still have a hard time being equaled 30 years later.

For all you coming from big cars.....just get more experience. It takes time to get used to the "little car feel".
I don't know what ITA stands for? But if you are saying it was a race car, and it's from the early 80s it must be very light. So it's hard to compare that to a road car from 2005+. You can only compare it to cars from it's generation and class. i.e. Cayman/S, Boxster/S, MZ4, SLK55 AMG, maybe an S2000.

I think that front end needs Clear Bra so as not to clash with the body color.
hahahahahahaha....
 

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Part of the "strangeness" people have with the Elise steering is two-fold: 1) The entire car is extremely light which means any road imperfections will move the tires around easily; 2) The lightness factor is multiplied by the effect of having rear weight bias, which most people are not used to in any case.

In response to ITA66, I think the non-linear torque build up can at least be partially attributed to the car's F/R balance. I find the Elise similar to any rear-engine placed car I've driven in that regard.

Also, the steering wheel diameter is smaller than most other cars as well, which will equate to more leverage against you by the steering rack.
 

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I don't know what ITA stands for? But if you are saying it was a race car, and it's from the early 80s it must be very light. So it's hard to compare that to a road car from 2005+. You can only compare it to cars from it's generation and class. i.e. Cayman/S, Boxster/S, MZ4, SLK55 AMG, maybe an S2000.


hahahahahahaha....
I think ITA is an SCCA classification.
 

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Amazing that a car can be built in 1979 and still have a hard time being equaled 30 years later.
Not amazing to me. Ever driven an early Elan? Their steering is great.

But, I know what you mean..
 

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i absolutely loooove the mechanical steering compared to power. In honesty i think that in itself has made me a better driver over time. i don't really drive the car to its limits (yet), so outside of that i cant' comment on its "unpredictability" after the limits have been exceeded.
 

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I personally like "lightly assisted racks"...
Me too - especially when you know the rack is going to develop "play" as it ages - I think a little rack assistance helps prevent the rack from getting too sloppy...
 
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