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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I just got my '06 Elise about two weeks ago. I only get to drive it on the weekends, so I haven't put a ton of miles on it yet... but I am baffled as to why my 97 Mitsubishi Eclipse "feels" quicker. Granted, the Eclipse is a turbo with about 220hp, but it also weighs more. I can stay in first gear in the Eclipse and still have usable speed, but in the Elise, first gear feels like an anchor is dragging behind the car. I feel like I have to shift into second gear almost immediately to get moving.

Maybe I am waiting too long to shift gears? Could it be that I am so used to driving the turbo Eclipse (for ten years) that I am subconciously trying to shift at the same times in the Elise? At first I thought it was just my imagination, or that I just had to get used to the car... but the issue doesn't seem to be going away. According to the numbers, it should be faster than the Eclipse
(0-60 time) but it doesn't feel that way to me. I am sure it must be something that I am doing wrong as the driver. Any tips or suggestions would be most appreciated...
 

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The shifter in the elise / exige is notoriously bad. And also I feel that way about 1st gear too sometimes espcially when i was N/A you really need to get into 2nd to get some pick up
 

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turbo might just feel faster because of the lag/surge effect. Might not be slower...

you have got to drive it like you stole it! similar to honda engines, engage the secondary cam lobes, keep revs in short distance to power band, which will feel like youre going to break the car (as compared to a turbo engines)... F1 mindset, when you depress that clutch and turn the key.

still not enough, change to shorter gear ratios/larger final gear
 

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The Elise is significantly faster than any stock DSM car by at least a second zero to 60 and probably a second and a half in the quarter mile. I've owned two DSM's and, even stock, they have quite a bit of turbo lag which makes them feel faster than they are when the turbo spools up. My Esprit was the same way.

The Elise doesn't have a lot of torque, so that means you have to rev the crap out of it to make power. The cam switch point is about where many cars redline. Use all 8000+ revs and make sure the car is warmed up before you judge performance. The '98 GSX I owned was modded to about 300 hp and was probably about as fast as my Elise (low 13 sec 1/4 mile times).
 

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To get the published 0-60 times you have to rev way up and dump the clutch - not the kind of abuse you want to subject the Elise to on a regular basis.
 

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Yea, you sound like you're shifting way too early before the second cam even kicks in. Once you pass 6200 rpm, you'll understand. It's a rev happy engine, don't be afraid to keep the revs up, waaaay up.
 

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Another contributing factor:

A car that squats further down on the rear suspension will feel quicker than one which squats less. As the rear end squats down, your seat angle is a bit more reclined, and this leads to you feeling a bit more pressure into the back of your seat.

xtn
 

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Even when the red light comes on, don't shift straight away... the red light just means you are getting close...

Acceleration is no problem in the Elise... you just have to understand the gearing and the revvy nature of the engine.
 

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but I am baffled as to why my 97 Mitsubishi Eclipse "feels" quicker.
I am just as baffled how an 11 year old car with 220HP engine when new, is faster then an 2006 Elise...

Must be your driving style.... :shrug:
 

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I am just as baffled how an 11 year old car with 220HP engine when new, is faster then an 2006 Elise...

Must be your driving style.... :shrug:
Be fair, now! That's exactly what the OP said! He wants help, not smarty-assery.

Goldfive, I'd suggest a slightly heavier right foot, and change up a bit later. Assuming you're not running into the rev-limiter, of course. That'll slow you down!
 

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It's all in the rev's!

As most have already alluded to, with these cars in particular, it is all in how you "manage" the car during its accelleration (especially lower-end) power-band. This means VERY CONSCIOUSLY (as opposed to unconsciously ;)) starting, AND KEEPING your rev's above 6,200RPM in order to best utilize this cars (clearly BETTER than a stock turbo eclipse) acceleration.

For those coming from other vehicles (as you are) who are accustomed to starting their 1st gear acceleration at say 3,000 RPM when slipping the clutch, then CLIMBING FROM THERE - this is very difficult to just naturally do, and this is why your eclipse probably FEELS like it is quicker through this range - and the Elise feels "anchored".

Really consciously pay attention to where your RPM band is when launching and accelerating. This car really is completely meant for that 6,200RPM-8,500RPM range and it really "sings" there! So don't be afraid to use it. I know it seems intimidating at 1st (I come from the old v-8 schools - so I understand completely) as this is where most OTHER cars are instead maxxing out. But there my friend is where your new baby is really only JUST BEGINNING!
:shift:

Have fun with it, be safe - and CONGRATULATIONS on a fine choice of true performance vehicle! :)
 

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When the engine starts to get loud, that's when you are just about ready to enter the "Second Cam Zone" (cue the music)... But seriously, most of us drive by sound and feel of the car almost knowing when to shift by sense of when it's right. I know I did when I first drove the Elise and I shifted at about 4K. That's good when it's getting warmed up, but once warm, wrap that baby past 7K and see how fast it is. 1st gear will get you to 42 MPH at redline, 2nd will go over 60 MPH.

Also make sure you passed through the 1,000 break in and had the oil change before doing these high rev maneuvers.
 

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1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX 0-60: 6.8 seconds (brand new condition)
2006 Lotus Elise 0-60 : 4.9 seconds

I find that if you wide-open-throttle (WOT) and shift right when the light comes on, you'll stay happily in the 2nd cam where most power is delivered when you shift up, that is, you'll drop down to 6400 RPM or so and stay within the 2nd cam-mode. I find it's about as fast as my heavily modified LS1 TransAm Firehawk.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
1st gear will get you to 42 MPH at redline, 2nd will go over 60 MPH.
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Holy [email protected]! I can't even imagine doing 42mph in first gear.... The engine sounds like it's ready to explode at like 20mph...

Actually, I was driving it this morning, and I think I may have figured out my issue-- I think I am shifting based on the loudness of the engine. I guess in my Eclipse I am used to it getting certain decibel level, then shifting. It's just "automatic" (no pun intended) after driving it daily for ten years. So I suppose I am naturally shifting in the elise when I percieve the same volume level. Which, of course, is wrong since the Elise will rev much higher and what not.
 

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Holy [email protected]! I can't even imagine doing 42mph in first gear.... The engine sounds like it's ready to explode at like 20mph...

Actually, I was driving it this morning, and I think I may have figured out my issue-- I think I am shifting based on the loudness of the engine. I guess in my Eclipse I am used to it getting certain decibel level, then shifting. It's just "automatic" (no pun intended) after driving it daily for ten years. So I suppose I am naturally shifting in the elise when I percieve the same volume level. Which, of course, is wrong since the Elise will rev much higher and what not.
Yea, keep in mind the engine is behind you, not in front of you, and unless you have the touring, there's basically no sound deadening so it should be loud. Don't be afraid, you won't hurt the car, it's designed for that. It still sounds like you're being a pansy about the car. STOP shifting too early. Force yourself to step on it and get it to 7500 rpms (you can go higher, that's not nearly the limit so if you overshoot, no biggie). You should notice a significant power bump at 6200 rpms, that is GOOD. Don't back off because you think something is wrong. What you really need is someone to show you exactly how it's supposed to work.
 

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Did you take the parking brake off? Just joking. Really like a lot said, 1st gear really has no torque. Gotta be in the higher rpms. I would also say check your throttle cable but you have an 06.
 
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