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Discussion Starter #1
I'd like to here from a few mr2 -> lotus riders. I have owned mr2's since 98. Starting with an MKI. I love these things. Though Toyota is going green with the next release, well or so that was there last concept I read about. They change there mind so often I'm loosing interest. So I'm considering going lotus on my next buy. I guess I want to here what you have to say about pros cons and specifically longevity/reliably?

From what I can tell its mainly the same car. Front and back trunk space, mid engine, small, etc but what can you tell me that I can't see from pics? That is other then the obvious performance upgrades.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I was referring to owning one, not driving one. I can get a review of that online. I have driven in a Elise I just have not been acquainted with one for any longer then 15 minutes. Its not a troll, just a question.
 

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If you drove an Elise and think it is at all the same car, then either you were driving a heavily modified MR2 or a very broken Elise!
 

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I owned a Spyder before the Elise and aside from being mid engine and rear wheel drive they are really worlds apart. You really should test drive the Elise. The performance and feel differences are profound.

Other differences of note:

- The Elise has an actual "trunk" in the rear of the car. I find this much more convenient than the clumsy storage area behind the seats in the Spyder
- Elise 25mpg, Spyder 33mpg
- Elise is louder and a little less comfortable at all speeds.
- Elise has manual steering rack and it is a good thing.
- Elise is easier to "hurt". Fiberglass body is not very forgiving to minor road scrapes.
- Elise is more difficult to get into. You get used to it.
- Elise has no spare tire.
- Snap oversteer was much easier in the Spyder. Part of this is due to a stock Elise's ridiculous wheel stagger but even with less stagger the Elise feels more balanced.
- Some insurance companies will not insure the Elise. This was never a problem in the Spyder.
- The Elise is a unicorn and will draw a lot of attention, good and bad.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
ChronosWS, you're missing the point and taking what I said out of its context. My meaning is more like going from a moped to a motorcycle. The general concept is the same but glorified. Going from a mustang to a lotus would be unfair comparison as its a complete different beast. I do relise there is little similarities in performance, that goes without saying.

240AM, this is what I was getting at thx man.

- Elise has manual steering rack and it is a good thing. I did like my R&P in for MKI, the assisted crap in the spyder I hate.

- Elise is more difficult to get into. You get used to it. I saw the video on here, funny.

- Some insurance companies will not insure the Elise. This was never a problem in the Spyder. I was wondering this, what was the difference in price? I have my mr2 listed as a pleasure vehicle with full collision, about 500 a year
 

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Send a message to Mulder on here. He's also a big MR2 fan, and i let him test drive my Exige for about 45 minutes on the twisties. I'm sure he can explain everything you'd like to know from your perspective.
 

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- Some insurance companies will not insure the Elise. This was never a problem in the Spyder. I was wondering this, what was the difference in price? I have my mr2 listed as a pleasure vehicle with full collision, about 500 a year
My insurance is around $1,700/year. Granted I live in Westchester County, New York and have a $500 deductible, but I have a very clean driving record, took defensive driving (10% off) and the Lotus is listed as a second vehicle (e.g., "pleasure vehicle").
 

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Discussion Starter #10
My insurance is around $1,700/year. Granted I live in Westchester County, New York and have a $500 deductibel, but I have a very clean driving record, took defensive driving (10% off) and the Lotus is listed as a second vehicle (e.g., "pleasure vehicle").
That is not bad. If I add up both cars ( mine also listed as a "pleasure vehicle") I pay 1,200. I could easily go to 1,700, wife would not like it much tough but she agreed to this ;)
 

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They certainly have their similarities. I agree.

I once got ridiculed on here for telling someone who couldn't afford an Elise to buy an MR-S. Go figure. I think the MR-S is a fantastic car, and is a FANTASTIC platform to modify. But I digress....

While they are similar the Elise is basically the MR-S turned up. If the MR-S was a 6 or 7 on the Volume knob the Elise is a 10, and the Exige is an 11. 240AM did a great job of summarizing the differences.

In terms of reliability there are probably a thousand topics on Lotus talk about reliability of these cars so just search. The Lotus Talk search engine sucks, so I suggest using google. To use google to search for something on a specific site use the "site:" token for example in google type:

"Elise Reliability site:lotustalk.com"

To summarize I would say the powertrain reliability is similar between the two, maybe a *little* better in the MR-S, but again similar. The rest of the stuff that is made by Toyota in the MR-S but Lotus in the Elise/Exige is certainly worse. Not to say the Elise is terrible, but its no MR-S. Some small issues tend to plauge the Elise light turn signals popping out, blower resistors going out, oil lines failing, radiators failing, etc. Not terrible in comparison to most "exotic" cars, but certainly worse than an MR-S. Personally, I suggest having a little fund set aside in the case something goes wrong.

Additionally I don't want to downplay 240AMs point about fragility. These cars are pretty easy to cause some major damage to in terms of the body/frame. There really is no such thing as a "fender bender" in an Elise. You always need to be careful and understand that a mistake is very costly.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
400bhp E85 2006 Solar Yellow Elise.
Wow.

Yeah I read that big thread on things to check for. That is what got me wondering. I guess I better find a good local shop near Orlando. Certainly would not want to take this machine to any old place.
 

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I've had:

85NA, 86NA, 88SC, 91NA, 93T, 95NA, 01NA (with 2ZZ swap).

There isn't much you can compare between them except they are both small, mid-engine cars. The Lotus is completely different. I wouldn't hesitate to drive an MR2 daily, but my Exige sits in the garage most of the time if that says anything. The attention they get is fun sometimes, but not ALL the time.
 

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The differences are certainly numerous, but if you love MR2's you're sure to LOVE Lotus. It's that simple. It's like an MR2 on steroids in every good way. It will have you smiling so big that you'll easily look past any faults.

The cost in ownership is the biggest burden to be aware of I think. The maintenance/parts/repairs/upgrades on an MR2 is pretty cheap. Any work required on a Lotus is going to cost A LOT more. Even on things like tires you can expect to pay 3 times as much. Don't expect that you can afford a Lotus just because you can barely afford the monthly payments. It's a significant liability. As you can see from my signature, I'm not ready to take on the lotus costs quite yet in life.

On insurance rates, I called for a quote a couple years ago and was quoted $120/month (25 year old, married, clean record, multi-car discount). To compare, I was paying $130/month for my MR2 on a stated value policy of $11,500. I was suprised that it really wasnt a big difference. That was through my insurance agent, and the lowest quote came from Safeco, who I'm already with.
 

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I used to own an '88 MR2-SC (with the rare 5-speed manual). I loved that car and it made for a great daily driver. Unfortunately it got totalled when it was rearended while stopped at a traffic light. I couldn't find a replacement, and I bought an Exige (was on the market for one, anyway).

I'd love to have another AW11 SC (manual) or a second gen turbo someday...but they are like unicorns. You can't find them in any decent, stock condition anymore.
 

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Former MR2 owner. had a showroom new 1986 and a 2001 spyder. I loved both. The spyder was a hell of a nice car for me.... reliable, almost over the top, but not sweating vandalism in broad daylight over the top. ...speaking of tops...BEST convertible top set up I have ever seen! Bar none!

The Lotus = pure joy. I live in the mountains and enjoy this car the way it was meant to be used! .... weekly!

 

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So I am assuming that many of us MRS drivers fixed fender benders (collision with highway debris) out-of-pocket and the Lotus drivers mostly opted to use insurance, even if it affects their rate....


I absolutely love my pretty MRS so I might get defensive if any more haters show up ;)

Everything will just be 10x more enjoyable when behind the wheel of my (someday) future Lotus. I am on this forum to patiently learn more concrete examples to Mulder's "The cost in ownership is the biggest burden to be aware of I think." Thanks everyone.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
yeah I thinks its for resale ( like:I had it professionally fixed ). I'm a do it myself type so that would be hard for me. Plus I dont like to have my inc. go up for a cracked window, ya know...

MR2 owners are like lotus owners in the respect for car. We MR2 owners do love ours cars, you can see it on are faces ;)

The summer is closing and I'm watching and waiting. Hope to be in the Elise by 2013. I dont think I can sell off my MR2, too much history with it. Killed me to sell of mt 87.
 
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