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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Since I live 5 miles away from Silver Star, I zoomed down there to take a peek at Steve W's storm titanium (not silver, apparently)/touring/no hard top/no LSS car. It's gorgeous, of course. It's sitting in the showroom with the soft top on, windows rolled up, doors locked and alarm activated (little red light keeps flashing). It's very difficult to scope out the interior due to the reflections from fluorescent lighting.

I spent 10 minutes circling the car before a salesman finally asked if he could help me. I said that I was here to pick up Steve's car. He said sure, how about taking it for a test drive first. Wow. Didn't even have to offer my $100! Off we went and soon had the car up to 130 on the 101 freeway ...

Oops, I thought that I was sending a PM to Sownman. Edit. Delete. Nevermind.

Turns out that Steve was at the dealership for an hour last night, so they already knew what he looked like. So of course, they wouldn't let me drive it, or even sit in it (not that I would have).

First impression: we are sooooo lucky to be buying this car. It looks sooooo great just sitting there. It attracted the attention of other customers coming into the dealership. A 60 or 70-something woman was admiring the car, so we chatted a bit. Her husband has a Corvette, which she loves, but she was quite taken with the Elise. Thought it looked smashing and was surprised at the $40K price, "Looks like it should cost more".

Second impressions: The front end is shorter than I recall. The tail pipes aren't very noticeable, so being in the center isn't a big deal. The reflectors are not that bad, but still an undesirable feature. Oh well. The black plastic thingys are very cheap and almost tacky in comparison to other elements of the car. And they don't look like they will age well - I suspect that they will be hard to clean and will discolor in time. Shinoo - we need inexpensive metal replacements with glossy dark black finish, or perhaps color matched to body. . Does anybody know how easy it is to remove these? It is a little displeasing to look through the hood slots and see the radiator, but not really a big deal. Standard wheels look great. Lotus letters on the back look better than I expected - raised metal letters might not be an improvement, after all. Front license plate plinth is pristine, no holes drilled in it and no predrilled and filled guider slots - not sure what you do if you plan to mount a plate there. The single wiper blade looks awesome.

Dealership - The salesman that I talked to (not saying who) was not really into Lotus. He seemed bored and not at all excited about the car. I asked about the demo - he had no idea when it might arrive and wasn't sure that they even were getting one. Said he hoped not, since it would cause too many problems. They have 140 people on their list, roughly 2 years of sales (although he admitted that they don't know their allocation for the first year, much less the second year). He seemed skeptical about Lotus increasing production, i.e., I'll believe it when I see it.

Sticker - EPA gas mileage estimates seem very poor for such a light car (23/28 I believe) and lower than I remember reading elsewhere. Another sticker indicates that 53% of the parts come from the UK, 20% from Japan and 0% from US/Canada - no indication what happened to the other 27%, which supports my theory that Lotus is using spare parts to make those "extra" cars.

Star Shield - ***Please note that the following comments represent my opinion only; they should not be construed to represent how you might feel about it.***

It sucks big time.

It really is a tradeoff. I have 20:15 vision and the damn thing is far, far, far from invisible. Perhaps it's the silver color. In any case, a number of seams are visible. The most noticeable seam is across the hood. In fact, the 70-year old woman next to me noticed it immediately, as did I. You also can see the circle around the front Lotus emblem and the inner light ovals on the front. And very noticeable on the backs of the side mirrors, since it only covers half of it for some reason. And under the front grill, although that's not too bad aesthetically. And you can see where pieces end along the sides, although again not too bad.

For me, I would rather drive the car and not worry about a few dings here and there instead of looking at these seams all the time. On the other hand, it will offer a lot of protection from those dings. So I suppose it comes down to which bothers you more. In fairness, perhaps in time your eye will become accustomed to the look and not notice it so much, but my initial reaction was WTF, I can't have this. So unless it looks dramatically less noticeable on Saffron Yellow, I plan to do without Or perhaps try to have it placed on just the front "bumper" area, which will take much of the abuse anyway. But I'm thinking that touch up paint would handle it for me, with the occasional re-painting of that limited area if things get out of hand.

Please make up your own mind, but caveat emptor.

Sorry for the ramblings. In summary, the car is great, storm titanium looks great (as do all colors, I would venture to guess), heads will turn everywhere you go, and any negative features are really tiny compared to the big big positives of the car.
 

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shay2nak
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jml1952 said:
Dealership - The salesman that I talked to (not saying who) was not really into Lotus. He seemed bored and not at all excited about the car. I asked about the demo - he had no idea when it might arrive and wasn't sure that they even were getting one. Said he hoped not, since it would cause too many problems. They have 140 people on their list, roughly 2 years of sales (although he admitted that they don't know their allocation for the first year, much less the second year). He seemed skeptical about Lotus increasing production, i.e., I'll believe it when I see it.
Hey jml, ill be moving into your neighborhood in a couple weeks. I also called them at 4:10 pm. The guy was a bit enthusiastic. He told me they will be getting 11 a month. He doesn't know when the demo is coming in or what color? I do know it is yellow though. I didn't go in to see it because i passed the dealership. I WAS DISTRACTED BY THIS....

AT THE 23 CONNECTOR, I PASSED AN OPEN CAR TRANSPORT AND JUST CASUALLY GLANCED AS I PASSED IT.

THERE WAS A BRG ELISE ON IT!!!!!!!!!! (there was a 911 GT2 and a Bentley on it also) BOY I TELL YOU I WAS TRAILING THE SIDE OF THE GREEN ELISE FOR MILES UP UNTIL LAS VIRGINES. It had normal rims & no hardtop. It is a great color!! Damn, i forgot how small it looked. The body was pretty smooth, just a few ripples or so in the door. Nice, nice color. The wheelbase was so small it seemed that i could outstretch my arms and touch the center of each rim.

THIS CAR, I THOUGHT WAS GOING TO SILVER STAR BUT IT DID NOT, SO I DON'T KNOW WHO'S CAR THIS COULD BE. ANY IDEAS?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Nobody has been willing to confirm which port is the west coast destination or where the distribution center is located. Port Hueneme is north of Thousand Oaks and Silver Star, so it could be possible that cars come into port there and are unloaded at a delivery center up there. Heading south, the driver could be going to Newport or La Jolla or Palm Desert (or Galpin, although it's not clear that they are getting any cars just yet).

If the distribution center is in San Diego, it would be odd for a car to be headed back south.
 

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I too called Silver Star today to ask if there demo was on its way. The salesman told me that they were not expecting their demo anytime soon if at all. Why would they not be getting a demo ?.

I also asked him about Silver Star's policy if deposit holders drop off the list. He stated that were not going to accelerate other deposit hoders up the wait list, but instead offer the car for market price (not MSRP) to anyone who was interested. He did confirm that they would contact existing deposit holders first to see if they were willing to pay above MSRP, before making it available to the general public.

So for those on the Silver Star wait list it's either pay a premium or wait it out.
 

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biobaggie said:
So for those on the Silver Star wait list it's either pay a premium or wait it out.
LOL. After reading this I looked over at your avatar.

<img src="http://www.elisetalk.com/forums/avatar.php?userid=1313&dateline=1091255458">

For a short moment the blue-fire E L I S E looked like a simmering F U S E. :)
 

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jml1952 said:
Nobody has been willing to confirm which port is the west coast destination or where the distribution center is located. Port Hueneme is north of Thousand Oaks and Silver Star, so it could be possible that cars come into port there and are unloaded at a delivery center up there. Heading south, the driver could be going to Newport or La Jolla or Palm Desert (or Galpin, although it's not clear that they are getting any cars just yet).

If the distribution center is in San Diego, it would be odd for a car to be headed back south.

I also went by Silver Star Lotus today. The sticker on the window states that the port of entry is Long Beach. The sales person I talked to also said that they are expecting 11 per month, which seems like a very high number. If true, this will mean I may get my Elise by end of October (I'm currently #19 on the waitlist). Somehow, I have doubts.


jml1952 said:
Lotus letters on the back look better than I expected - raised metal letters might not be an improvement, after all.

I actually thought the LOTUS letters were one of the few parts on the car that looked really cheap and tacky. They looked like they were Renold's aluminum foil cutouts glued on.


jml1952 said:
Star Shield - ***Please note that the following comments represent my opinion only; they should not be construed to represent how you might feel about it.***

It sucks big time.

It really is a tradeoff. I have 20:15 vision and the damn thing is far, far, far from invisible. Perhaps it's the silver color. In any case, a number of seams are visible. The most noticeable seam is across the hood. In fact, the 70-year old woman next to me noticed it immediately, as did I.
I also noticed the Star shield on the hood immediately, which disturbed me somewhat. The other areas did not bother me at all. But based on some photos of what happens to other Elises wihtout a clear bra, I think it is a good idea to get it.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Cal-

Thanks for pointing out the port info - I missed that. So who knows why Shay2nak saw the racing green car being transported south on the 101?

I agree with you about the Star Shield on the hood being the most noticeable point where you see the seam. It's just such a big area that it's hard to overlook. I also really don't like the way the film doesn't come up to the edges of the emblem or the lights; the resultant cut-out look is very unappealing to me. I expect to have 75,000 miles on my car after 5 years and I don't expect to be selling it, so I believe that I can deal with the inevitable dingage that comes with time. My perspective may be warped by the fact that I have a 15 year old Miata that has been beaten up by SoCal freeway debris, so I'm used to it. Much like people, the Elise is going to age over time, so I'm prepared to live with that.

As an aside, a few years back I actually saw a tire bouncing on the freeway on the opposite direction from me, then watched as it bounced over the center diameter and hit 50 feet in front of me as it continued on its way across my side of the freeway. No damage to the car as it didn't hit me, but my psyche took a hit as I thought about what if.

I can undertand why many people would want the protection. Especially if you plan to drive the car sparingly and perhaps wish to resell it when you get tired of it :)eek: ) .
 

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Cal said:
I actually thought the LOTUS letters were one of the few parts on the car that looked really cheap and tacky. They looked like they were Renold's aluminum foil cutouts glued on.
Lotus employees are probably shaking their heads in frustration right about now. I seem to remember a big debate on this message board maybe a year ago, when it looked like Lotus would replace those letters with a small Lotus badge instead. If I remember right, the overwhelming majority was in favor of the letters. Of course, few of us had seen the letters in person, so maybe people assumed they were thicker, like more traditional car badging.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
MattG said:
Lotus employees are probably shaking their heads in frustration right about now. I seem to remember a big debate on this message board maybe a year ago, when it looked like Lotus would replace those letters with a small Lotus badge instead. If I remember right, the overwhelming majority was in favor of the letters. Of course, few of us had seen the letters in person, so maybe people assumed they were thicker, like more traditional car badging.
The badge might look a little lonely in that big space. I thought that the letters would look better, but as you said I was expecting raised metal letters. I like the little flat sparkly letters, but I might prefer more substantial letters. Not a big deal in the grand scheme.

I do believe that a year from now, those black plastic pieces in the grill and vents are going to look bad. Even on a brand new car, they don't look as clean and sharp as I expected. Again, not that big a deal, just nitpicking.
 

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The badge might look a little lonely in that big space.
Hey what a great idea!!! Given all the attention the elise draws to itself, that lonely big space would the perfect place for paid ads. I'm drawing up the contracts shortly. How much $ for your lonely space? <IMG SRC=http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v99/smallestminority/LOL.gif>

I thought that the letters would look better, but as you said I was expecting raised metal letters.
Raised <font size =+4><b><h> M E T A L </h></b></font> letters? Adding unessential weight to a light-weight plastic car? That conforms with Lotus' philosophy, how? <IMG SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/zeroforum_graphics/screwy.gif" NAME="Graphic1" ALIGN=BOTTOM WIDTH=28 HEIGHT=20 BORDER=0>

Not a big deal in the grand scheme.

:clap: Now you got it!
That's why I found humor in all that preceded your eventual return to terra firma.
Thanks for the chuckle. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Vantage said:
Somewhat disappointed about the star shield. I knew it had to be more visible than initial reports suggested, so it looks like a big tradeoff.

Here's a picture of the front of the Euro demo's front end. It had quite a few miles. Seems like the sides take more abuse.

http://www.elisetalk.com/photopost/showphoto.php?photo=179&password=&sort=1&cat=500&page=1
The StarShield doesn't seem to show up much in photos, but your eye certainly can see the seams, especially if you are looking for it. How noticeable it is depends on the individual. It's funny, I asked my dealer about it and he said get it, it's invisible. Not by my definition. The installer did a pretty good job with the application, by the way.

Based on your pictures and my experience with my Miata, I would say that it probably would be prudent to get the film to cover the front "bumper" area, as I said before. You would still have a seam, but it probably would blend in with the curvature of the car better.

I know that StarShield has a web site and I believe that they are located in SoCal, so I probably will look into this.

After observing people park, I'm more concerned about parking lot and parallel parking bumps and bruises. Not sure that you can prevent those. Thinking about those plastic boat fender things for the front and back when parked on the street.
 

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jml1952 said:
I agree with you about the Star Shield on the hood being the most noticeable point where you see the seam. It's just such a big area that it's hard to overlook. I also really don't like the way the film doesn't come up to the edges of the emblem or the lights; the resultant cut-out look is very unappealing to me. I expect to have 75,000 miles on my car after 5 years and I don't expect to be selling it, so I believe that I can deal with the inevitable dingage that comes with time. My perspective may be warped by the fact that I have a 15 year old Miata that has been beaten up by SoCal freeway debris, so I'm used to it. Much like people, the Elise is going to age over time, so I'm prepared to live with that.
Hopefully the Star Shield is only really noticeable in certain colors. I ordered Artic Silver, so I'm hoping with the lighter shade it doesn't show too much. I plan on keeping mine for a loooong time, but I still don't want to deal with repainting the Elise every few years. With it's low ground clearance, I think it may get a higher share of the road debris.
 

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My friend's arctic silver with starshield is only faintly noticeable, but you're going to see the line on the hood because your aware of it, the eye expects. Show the car to a dozen people and they won't even see it.
Chris
Who's trying to buy stock in starshield as we speak!:D
 

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Discussion Starter #16
zvezdah1 said:
Show the car to a dozen people and they won't even see it.
Chris
Well, how is it that the 70 year old woman next to me immediately pointed at the seam on the hood and asked me what it was? Perhaps the east coast guys are doing a better job than the west coast guys with the application process.

Love it or hate it, I don't really care. But I think it's misleading to pretend that it's invisible or nearly impossible to see - just isn't so.
 

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jml1952 said:
Well, how is it that the 70 year old woman next to me immediately pointed at the seam on the hood and asked me what it was?
Mike,

There's little doubt my eyes have seen (no pun intended) better days, but I just didn't notice any imperfections on Steve's ST.

I have other photos that I didn't post which show closeups of the hood. Just where on the hood is the imperfection you saw?

Perhaps when Steve gets back from joy riding -- is next month too soon? ;) -- he can tell us what problems he's spotted on the star shield.

-- Gil
 

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I'm Back.

300 miles mostly in the canyons over the weekend.

The worst line on the starshield is the top line across the hood below the radiator outlets. The car has now been inspected by a lot of people (it went to a party on saturday and was the star) and nobody yet has asked me about that line, So I guess that the old woman is the exception, and those of who know about it are looking for it.

I'll write more later. I have to get on with work today.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
AW and Steve-

As Steve said, the seam across the middle of the hood is quite noticeable and my 70-year old new acquaintance and I both noticed it without any problem. Not really an imperfection, just a fact of life.

I also noticed the cutouts around the Lotus emblem and the two inner light ovals in front. However, I'll admit that you have to look pretty close to notice these. But I would prefer to have the film mate cleanly with the edges at these points.

What to do?? I don't really want tons of dings, although I could live with them. But I don't think I can look at the seam on the hood every day without feeling bad. I may punt and let the wife decide.

By the way, the car looked great and I'm sure it's even better in the sunlight than indoors in the showroom.
 

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Yep I've probably paraded two dozen co workers at various times lighting conditions, none noticed, however it is definately more noticeable on the silver car.

Chris
 
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