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Discussion Starter #1
A friend told me about it, but I don't have a subscription to view the online edition.

Does anybody have the article?

Cheers,

Andreas
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Friend who told me about the article gave me this quick summary.

<I>It's short but lots of info. Interesting...they thought the optional convenience/luxury package
cheapened the car. Rave review for the handling and acceleration. Not so nice on the noise.
</i>
 

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Andreas said:
Friend who told me about the article gave me this quick summary.

<I>It's short but lots of info. Interesting...they thought the optional convenience/luxury package
cheapened the car. Rave review for the handling and acceleration. Not so nice on the noise.
</i>
Hmm.. if someone can copy and paste it, that would be great.

I find the noise comments that people make pretty damn funny. What do they expect, a 7 series BMW? What's even better, is that if they didn't like the touring pack, then they REALLY wouldn't like the noise of the car without it.

But then again, this is a car review from the Wall Street Journal.
 

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Here you go:

Title: A Ferrari feel--at Toyota prices

Two years ago, Steven Stander put a deposit on a car with exotic looks and enough power to sprint from zero to 60 in under five seconds. It isn't a $450,000 Porsche -- but a $40,000 Lotus Elise, a British car with a Toyota engine and a chassis put together with glue. "It's everything you need," says the 51-year-old loan officer from Manalapan, N.J. "But nothing more."

After 20 years of building ever more powerful and expensive sports cars -- and still falling behind its rivals -- Britain's Lotus is going back to its minimalist roots. Its new Elise has less than half the horsepower of today's fastest cars, but it's also so much lighter it can keep up with them. Lotus expects to sell about 2,400 Elises a year in the U.S., and many buyers such as Mr. Stander, who plans to get his in June, have been in line for years.
DRIVER'S MANUAL


See how the Lotus Elise stacks up against other two-seat roadsters, and our assessment of the roadster.



This less-is-more approach has failed Lotus before. The company built its reputation on feather-light race cars with just enough strength to last through a day of competition, winning the Indianapolis 500 and a string of Formula One championships in the 1960s and '70s. When it applied a similar idea to its production road cars, though, many buyers complained they broke easily and spent too much time in the shop. Although James Bond's Lotus Esprit turned into a submarine and Richard Gere used one to pick up Julia Roberts in "Pretty Woman," sales in the U.S. slipped to almost nothing through the '90s.

Hold the extras: The lightweight Lotus Elise get big performance from a small engine.

To see if the new version could give a Ferrari feel at Toyota prices, we headed to Birmingham, Ala., where we put the Elise through a twisty autocross course and around the 15-turn, 2.3-mile racetrack at Barber Motorsports Park.

It was clear the Elise is about the smallest car we've ever seen -- even before we crawled behind the wheel. It's several inches shorter than a Mazda Miata or Toyota MR2 and four inches lower. It's also more stylish than those other small cars, with swooping, Speed Racer-style front fenders and a muscular rear end. It reminded us somewhat of a race car from the 1960s, though its overall look still was modern.

Inside, there's nearly nothing extra -- no wood trim, power outlets, cup holders or soft lighting. The basic Elise costs $39,985 and comes with air conditioning and a CD radio but also has an unassisted steering wheel and only enough carpeting to cushion the feet. Much of its door panels and aluminum floor is exposed. Cloth-covered molded seats adjust only forward and back. Noise from the engine, wind and road make it difficult to listen to the radio.

It is possible to make the Elise cushier: A $1,350 "touring pack" adds more carpeting, leather seats, a fancier stereo, noise-cutting insulation and electric windows. But Lotus has made the Elise's minimalism appealing enough that add-ons seemed to cheapen the car. We liked the fast-feeling bare aluminum floor, and the switches in the electric-window version look chintzy compared with the sleek, modernistic feel of the basic version's aluminum window cranks.

Pressing the starter button prods the four-cylinder engine to life with a crackling growl that makes it seem bigger than it is. The 1.8-liter motor, in fact, comes from the Toyota Celica GT-S. When we drove that car a few years back, the engine seemed weighed-down, yet it makes the lightweight Elise feel like a hot rod. Up steep hills and around sweeping bends, it felt solid and stable. On a course of traffic cones, the Elise was agile as it darted around an impossibly sharp hairpin turn.

The car stood out the most on the racetrack, which had several blind curves and rapid elevation changes. Rain made conditions more difficult, but our sticky tires gripped as if the asphalt were dry. The pedals weren't ideally suited to our size-13 feet, but they felt smooth and gave good feedback as we braked and downshifted into one turn and accelerated toward the next. Even when we pushed too hard and started to slide, its movements were so gentle it was easy to recover.

Lotus says the new car is tough enough for daily driving. (The body is held together in part with epoxy bonding, which the company says works better on aluminum than welding.) We still think the Elise is better suited to the track, where it won't have to contend with potholes and Hummers. In either setting, it appears ready to smoke similarly priced cars, from the BMW Z4 to the Honda S2000. And with luck and a good driver, we think the Lotus stands a chance of beating more expensive minimalist racers such as the $200,000 Ferrari Stradale. Which, by our rough calculation, leaves $160,000 left for celebratory Champagne.
 

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Pretty good article coming from the WSJ...

Thanks for the heads up and we definitely appreciate the posting!

So far I have yet to read any article that mentions the Elise as anything but an amazing car!!! Everyone raves about it from either a conservative or liberal POV!

CAN'T WAIT!!!!!
 

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Final paragraph is a cool read. Thanks for the post.
 

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I like how they lump potholes and Hummers together in the same category. Although it does appear that the author is not aware that the Elise has been around for several years.
 

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It was actually a better car article than I thought the WSJ would be capable of. Shouldn't they limit their reviews to Maybachs :rolleyes:
 

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mlk_f1 said:
No Power Outlet? I thought it was located between the two seats behind the E-Brake lever.
I sure hope so... for the Valentine 1.
 

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"...no wood trim...cup holders or soft lighting."

"Noise from the engine, wind and road make it difficult to listen to the radio."

"an unassisted steering wheel"


Seems we have to consider the source. Sounds like this guy's point of reference is Lexus etc. & just doesn't get it.

I'll be looking forward to blasting by his ilk on the highway as he cruises in the left lane burnishing his wood...
 

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Need4Speed said:
"... as he cruises in the left lane burnishing his wood...
Always a dangerous activity
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Need4Speed said:
"
I'll be looking forward to blasting by his ilk on the highway as he cruises in the left lane burnishing his wood...
The last bit of the article was missing:


<i>
Here's what we liked -- and didn't -- about the Lotus Elise.

The Outside
WHAT WORKS
Has a classic racy look with widely flared fenders, upturned rear end that forms a spoiler.

WHAT DOESN'T
Front end looks slightly cartoon-like, with headlights that seem to squint, grille that looks like gritting teeth.


The Inside
WHAT WORKS
Surprising headroom: Six-foot-oneinch driver had more than an inch to spare between head and roof.

WHAT DOESN'T
Hard-plastic dashboard panel around gauges seemed cheap compared with other interior materials.


Under the Hood
WHAT WORKS
Small, high-revving 190-horsepower engine makes ultra-light Elise seem like a muscle-car.

WHAT DOESN'T
Since it comes from the Toyota Celica, the power plant probably won't impress car-fanatic friends.


Behind the Wheel
WHAT WORKS
Among the most agile cars we've driven, it seemed to go wherever it was pointed, even on wet roads.

WHAT DOESN'T
Might as well leave the CDs home: Short on sound-deadening insulation, the cockpit is noisy.


Over the Top
WHAT WORKS
Feels remarkably similar to speedy, no-frills Ferrari Stradale ($200,000) we drove a few months ago.

WHAT DOESN'T
Option package ($1,350) is supposed to add luxury to the interior, but actually makes it look chintzy.</i>
 

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Man they keep doggin the touring pacakge don't they.
 

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I can see their point about the touring package making things look chintzy.

They are dead on about the electric window switches looking like junk. In the car that was at FVMC the switches didn't even look like switches...they looked more like cheap decals stuck to the doors. When I tested the switch it took a lot of force to get them to click too...further enchancing the "decalness" of the switches.

I haven't seen what the extra carpet looks like but I can imagine it evoking the back of a 70s van... :)
 

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The WSJ reviewer is not a car enthusiast. He once complained that the new Lambo was not very practical since he could not hang up is dry cleaning or carry his groceries. The guy is clueless.

The best thing about the article is that the picture used on the cover looks like my car: CO + Sport

I am suprise that his article broke first. Who will publish the first intrument tested review?
 

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_JD_ said:
A bit more leather and carpet looks chintzy? I'm not sure I understand that comment.
I think they kind of get what the Elise is about -spartan. But when you add the touring package, it doesn't meet up to their definition of luxury (ie: cheap interior).

Most of America is not going of have anywhere near the level of appreciate of the Elise and we would. It's too small, too impractical, too spartan, and only has 200hp (ie: oh, it's 2000lbs, that's nice). The only attraction the Elise will have to the general public is that is look "stylish." But I bet the next words will be, "but it's so small."
 

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I think Allan is spot on. (See, practicing my British!)

We're a bunch of loonies over here working ourselves into a lather and getting the impression that this car will take the world by storm -- but it's just us. We get it.

I just don't see demand outstripping production for more than a year or so. For $40k, the non-enthusiast has a gaggle of cars more livable to chose from. And at $40k, it's not the kind of trophy car the WSJ audience is going to buy to impress their buddies at the Club.

I'm curious to see how the scene looks in a few years.

So long as I get mine first. :)
 

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"It is possible to make the Elise cushier: A $1,350 "touring pack" adds more carpeting, leather seats, a fancier stereo, noise-cutting insulation and electric windows. But Lotus has made the Elise's minimalism appealing enough that add-ons seemed to cheapen the car. We liked the fast-feeling bare aluminum floor, and the switches in the electric-window version look chintzy compared with the sleek, modernistic feel of the basic version's aluminum window cranks."

From the above it sounds more like there knocking touring vs the standard version which give you the cool looking aluminum hand cranks opposed to a little switch. Also the carpet covering the "fast-feeling bare aluminum floor". Think the pent up demand will out strip production for the first year to 1.5 years, after that Lotus may need to make some changes to help keep demand up.
 
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