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Yes I know there are those who like to wait so the manufacturer can work the bugs out BUT,

Lotus plans on conforming to the US standards soon which will mean bumpers and other bloated add ons for the US crash and safety standards that will undoubtedly make the Elise hefty.

So, will this first year Elise with the first year exemptions etc be the lightest most desirable Elise available down the road?

Chat amongst yourselves. :)
 

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I think so... but it depends who we are talking about.

The "bling bling" crowd which will likely become Lotus' main target will like the bloated version better due to more space to fit their dvd players, 40" subwoofers, and 24" spinners.

The true Lotus enthusiasts will be happier with the upcoming 2005 model.

I think it's pretty much inevitable that US regulations will ruin the Elise somewhere down the road. If this is the case, I'd say that it would be better for Lotus to kill the Elise while it's in it's prime and work on a GT car instead, but chances are Lotus will bend to the bling bling crowd for $$$$$.

Of course, I've been proven wrong before and I'm hoping my fears are once again misplaced as they were with the federal Elise.
 

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As far as bugs go, it's the S2 chassis that been around a while, Toyota drivetrain, with a bit of retuning... not much too worry about so far. There are some engineering changes, mainly cooling and packaging that are back-of-the-mind concerns. Looks like the first month production are going to be dealer demo car, so most of the shakedown getting the assembly going should be out of the way. S2 quality has been decent in the Euro market. Feel comfortable going in, but yeah its bound to get get better the second year.

Most desirable Elise. Yeah, most likely. Going to the next generation sounds like a major redesign, meaning more shakedown time to get it "right". More powerful and expensive is likely. Getting close to the weight of the S2 Fed Elise, maybe but it would get more expensive to do it. Tend to think the next gen would be based on a modular chassis & have more flexibility to grow the production line. There are bound to me some aspects desirable but purely from the driver stand point, think what we're getting now is closest to the sprite of a Elise.
 

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I think the 2005 Elise will be the most "pure" sports car...

Honestly, if I wanted a comfortable ride, I'd use one of my other cars. That said, I want a car that's got the pure soul of a sports car. I think the 2005 Elise fits the bill exactly. I must confess that I would order the Touring Package and not the LSS however. I still want to be able to cruise a fair distance in the car. I don't think the marginally increased weight from the Touring Package will hurt performance by much. And certainly I could (and should) go on a diet and offset the weight the Touring package adds! :rolleyes:

Bob K.
 

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I think the Fed Elise will indeed be lighter and more "pure" than whatever follows, unless whatever follows is a higher-volume and/or more expensive car. Saving weight costs money. It's not impossible to meet regulations and also have a lighter car. It's just unlikely due to the economy of it.

I bet the next Elise will have better brakes than the Fed Elise. I predict that's one area that the Fed Elise will actually suffer in, performance-wise. The current Euro S2 is outbraked by an MR2 Spyder according to the specs and the writeups I've read. Add 200 pounds and I think the Fed Elise is actually not going to be a late braking paradise of a car. Not a Cadillac either, but not the best in its class. Unless the Fed Elise brakes are upgraded from the Euro S2.
 

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Cars without ABS tend to do poorly in magazine braking tests, despite the common boast of beating the computer with raw skill and nerves of steel.

The only other reason the Elise would do poorly is too much forward brake bias, which goes hand in hand with the skinny front tires Lotus is using to promote understeer. Both effects help save the "better than average" average driver from his/her own overconfidence. Fatter front tires should help braking performance. I can't imagine the braking hardware (huge slotted rotors) is the limiting factor on a 2000-pound car. The smaller, non-slotted brakes on the Miata are more than satisfactory.
 

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It'll most likely be the best and most desirable Elise in US. That makes me think about this car from an investment standpoint rather than emotional one. For example, my preference is to get the touring package and no LSS - I think this'll suit my driving the best. However, if I ordered the LSS and no touring package, it'd be much more likely to demand a premium in the future (much like the Turbo motor in the second gen MR2 does now).

EDIT - Don't get me wrong, I plan on keeping the car for at least 10 years. Still, I wonder sometimes if the Elise is destined to become a rare collectible? In which case, it could - COULD- actually appreciate in value (which means I could justify keeping it FOREVER, AND buy a cushier sports car to go along with it!).
 

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OneFastMiata said:
Chat amongst yourselves. :)
Why only amongst ourselves? Where ya at? ;)

I think the 2nd year will be best . It will have the best quality since most of the first years bugs are worked out. In the 3rd year the car will likely get heavier.

I'll have an early first year car. Which breaks one of my car rules - never buy a car in its first year of production. I've been using LarryB's rationale to jusify why I need to overlook my own rule...
 

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I bought a first year Miata and it didn't seem to make any difference.

As others have said, most of the bugs should have been worked out of the car by now with the European cars.

I wouldn't try to predict whether the 2005 Elise will be better than what follows. Who knows what Lotus will come up with? With more time and money to work with, they may come up with something quite spectacular. Or they may not. Can't say that I really care. I'm quite happy to take my chances with this version.
 

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John Stimson said:
Cars without ABS tend to do poorly in magazine braking tests

[..snip..]

Fatter front tires should help braking performance. I can't imagine the braking hardware (huge slotted rotors) is the limiting factor on a 2000-pound car. The smaller, non-slotted brakes on the Miata are more than satisfactory.
The Speedster/VX220 (which is still lighter than the Fed Elise) has ABS and also does worse than the MR2 Spyder in braking tests. It has the narrow front tires, though, and I see your point there.

Hopefully Lotus will get the braking force distribution set up well. EBD would be a bonus. I'll be a bit dissapointed if an LSS (read: wider front tires) Elise gets outbraked by an MR2 Spyder. The spyder is a great car, but a lighter-weight $40k purpose-built-for-great-handling Lotus should be able to stomp it. I see braking as part of "handling".
 

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The standard brake setup in the euro Elise is not fantastic. In the wet it can be a problem. As to what the US Elise will be like with ABS is anyones guess. A lot of people in europe upgrade the pads and fit braided brake hoses to improve the brake feel and performance. I have just ordered a new set of aftermarket discs from these guys http://www.mutsnuts.co.uk these are the first non OE S2 discs I've found. I'm running EBC greenstuff pads, some use Pagids.
 

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Four of the last five new cars, I've picked up were fresh out of the box designs. They were Japanese's car, all to compelling for there segment & my interest to let pass. While the Lotus is a English car, given it recent history & approach they appear to be taking, feel comfortable so far. Gotta wonder with the short life cycle of what we're getting other then minor changes how much better it would get assuming no major flaws.

Brakes, with the LSS package much sticker tires (also wider in front) & ABS it should be greatly improved, aftermarket breakpads are a cheap way to upgrade. Also with ABS braided lines are a good mod. For the track would be a bit more concern about fade, which doesn't seem to be much of a problem.
 

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Are there more than four or five thousand drivers in the US who will want a "2.5" Elise? Lotus may have to fatten up and soften up the next gen car with power mirrors, cruise control, subwoofer, etc. to appeal to a new class of buyers. I still remember the last Mazda RX7 - really light and fast for its day - but pretty harsh even with the std suspension and a tight cockpit for anyone 6' or over - and it didn't sell very well. At the first Viper Owner's Convention in Detroit (1994) Bob Lutz said the Viper would never get roll up windows - and we all cheered in defiance of those mamby-pamby Corvette and fill-in-the-blank cars that had them. When the '97 RT/10 came out with power windows I, and a lot of other Viper owners, couldn't wait to get our hands on one of them there civilized auto-mobiles. The latest S2000 and Miata are arguably less "pure" than the originals, but they are still wonderful cars and probably appeal to a broader market - and that is, after all, the bottom line! So we'll get a really light sorta bare bones car that we will cherish, and the next gen car will play off the reputation of ours but give up a bit in some respects to gain in others.
At the end of the day we can't lose. If the Series 3 is better we get back on a list. If it isn't we will already have the real thing.
 
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