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Hello Folks, so I'm curious about test driving a Lotus. I'm not quite ready to buy, so I don't want to impose on anyone selling theirs. But has anyone test driven one from a dealer? I've never driven any Lotus before. So I'd like to test drive one before going through the paperwork with my credit union.

How did you know the Lotus was the car for you? Did you wait until you were ready to put the cash down to drive one for the first time?

I'm probably as far from an impulse buyer as you can get. So i generally take my time in researching a vehicle after the test drive. If I like the driving experience that is. How was your pre-purchase story? Also, did you have it shipped to you? How did that go? Any advice? I may have to have it shipped, since availability near me is nonexistent. Thanks in advance for your input!
 

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I bought mine without so much as even having sat in a Lotus before! I got a 2009 Exige Cup260 new from the dealer...it only had 8-km on the clock...at 129-km on the clock, I was already in the formula-1 pit lane ready for my first track outing! This is the best handling car you will have ever driven...period! And you won't know that until you've taken it to a track...
 

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I was an avid admirer from afar until one track day I had the opportunity to drive a supercharged elise on the street on a fuel run. Ms Olga, you changed my life. Once I drove it, I could not forget that experience and had to own one.

Ended up buying one from a private seller after a quick test drive and putting down a small cash deposit. I had a preapproved loan from a credit union when I was serious about buying it before this reaching out to any sellers.
 

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Happy To Be Here
2013 Lotus Evora IPS - Carbon Gray
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I went to a dealer to see the Evora I ended up buying. The dealer gave me a ride because I was nervous about driving such a rare car. So I rode shotgun and the dealer was showing me the interior before we took off. When I say took off, I mean it. The dealership is on a small industrial block with 25 mph speed limits. Easily, we were above 70. Hard braking into the sharp corners with curbs on both sides of the road. I was clutching the door handle pretty tight! After the hot lap, I was sold on the handling of a Lotus and I hadn't even driven it yet. I got behind the wheel then and felt like I was driving like an 80 year old haha. All said and done we put 13 miles on the car but I was pretty set on buying not only a Lotus, but that exact car. I wasn't ready to buy just yet, so to be safe I left the checkbook at home. So that day I went home empty handed, but looking at the car in the rear view the entire way out of the parking lot. I recommend hopping behind the wheel of one before you buy, just to really ignite the fire. I drove two and a half hours to get to that dealer. I was back a month later with a check in hand. Hope that helps!
 

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Vroom vroom
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I have an unusual story...

My wife drove my car home to Arizona from California because I was no good at stick yet. No test drive except stalling a few times trying to get it out of the sellers garage. Whatever. Harry at A1 gave it the OK and I bought it. Learning stick was a breeze on this car and I've been daily driving since September (and the clutch is still good!). If you are ok with the price, trunk space, spartan accommodations, and the ingress/egress then this is the car for you, the test drive can only make you want to buy it more.
 

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I test drove one at a dealer about a year before I bought one. Was in no position to purchase at that time but the dealer didnt seem to care. I did a second test drive a few days before I bought it mainly because my wife wanted to see what it was like. I already knew I was hooked so that drive was purely for her. The dealer even baby sat my 15 month old while my wife and I went out for a drive.
 

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It is like crack, don't try it unless you want to secure a regular dose.
 

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Bought my first Lotus on ebay from Texas (we're in NC). Only sat in a couple never driven one.
 

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A dealer should really let you drive a car if they have one. Barring that, though, a local owner might give you a ride. A ride in the car will let you know if you can deal with its only possible deal breakers (noise, ingress/egress and seat size).

If you like riding along you'll just love driving it more.

I was shopping around for a Cayman but saw an Elise at Cars and Coffee and remembered that I really liked them back when they first came out (you don't exactly see our cars every day to remind you, unless you own one!). I looked up prices, reliability, and lap times and realized it was the car for me. I was lucky in that I bought my car locally and could drive it first, but all that did was made me want it even more quickly...
 

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I sat in one when I was far younger (17 or 18) and was familiar with the Elise for quite some time. When I started to look around to buy, it took me about 4 or 5 months to find the right deal. I had never driven one nor had I gotten a ride in one... but had done plenty of research online. If you can deal with what some people see to be the downsides of the car (spartan interior, rack and pinion steering, excessively small, hard to get in and out of, no cargo space, etc.), it will be a dream car for you. I am one of those people that could care less if I have bluetooth, and actually enjoy the fact I can see bare aluminum all over the interior.

Just to reinforce what others have said, you have never been in a car that drives like this.
 

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Never drove let alone sat in one either... Now I can't get out :clap:
 

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Never drove let alone sat in one either... Now I can't get out :clap:
Tcab, do we need to send someone over? Should you dial 911? Try working just your left leg out and then upper body.:D
 

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Hello Folks, so I'm curious about test driving a Lotus. I'm not quite ready to buy, so I don't want to impose on anyone selling theirs. But has anyone test driven one from a dealer? I've never driven any Lotus before. So I'd like to test drive one before going through the paperwork with my credit union.

How did you know the Lotus was the car for you? Did you wait until you were ready to put the cash down to drive one for the first time?

I'm probably as far from an impulse buyer as you can get. So i generally take my time in researching a vehicle after the test drive. If I like the driving experience that is. How was your pre-purchase story? Also, did you have it shipped to you? How did that go? Any advice? I may have to have it shipped, since availability near me is nonexistent. Thanks in advance for your input!
I was shopping for one for...wait for it...4 years.

Lived around the corner from a dealer, walked their lot every Sunday dreaming. They had a brand new used (turned in from a sales contest winner) that had less than 1k mi on it...rainy day, they let me take it out with a sales guy.

First thing that I will never forget - the perspective on the road. So low, like you could fit under an SUV.

Second thing - the sound...like the engine was in the passenger seat.

Third thing - I was almost shaking I was so excited to finally drive one.

Lastly, we took it on a brief sprint on the highway...in 5th gear...still oh sh*tting myself and the sales guy was like "you know there is a 6th gear, right?"


Second test drive was at a Porsche dealership that had no idea what they had. The were sharing it with staff like a drunk college girl at a fraternity...I over heard two staffers laughing about a mechanic taking it the night before.

On the way out of the lot for my test drive the front clam scraped hard on the street. Sales guy "oh, don't worry about that, it happens all the time"...

I get back from the drive and check the clam - the chins were litterally shaved off, foam exposed...I walked.

Last one, and the one I bought, I bought pretty much sight unseen. Met the guy in Erie, Pa after verifying all the important stuff...and then drove it home 418 miles to Philly...best ride of my life.

This is the 2009 version of me...much like you...

http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f221/how-do-i-am-purchasing-used-private-party-73765/
 

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I let the LT community whip me into a froth for about a year. Then I was on a trip and knew where a dealership in NC. The salesguy let me test drive a Elise SC. It was exactly as advertised RAW...

It was two months later and I found exactly what I wanted in Louisiana so without PPI I flew and bought and drove home. Sure it had a few issues / problems that should have been disclosed and I prob even paid a few K to much, but I fixed everything wrong and I got exactly the car I wanted. It ain't Krypton Green, but it also is not easy finding a CO Exige S with the mods it had at the time either... good luck man, but seriously have your money lined up before you test drive one cause if you are anything like I was it will just consume you afterwards.

Just remember they are uncomfortable, demanding little rattletraps. You won't be disappointed !
 

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I found mine about 200 miles away on Ebay. Negotiated with the seller over the phone, down to 25k. Drove up with a friend. Took it for a spin; it was pristine at 38k miles. Drove it home, via the twisty route. My buddy had a mishap with a porcupine on the way home (he was leading the way home). I felt so bad for him, I paid his deductible.
Within a year, added all the performance and reliability goodies in my signature. Quite a car.
 

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I had plenty of experience with all types of sports cars but never drove the Elise until I bought it. I did sit in one just to make sure the sight lines were good.

Made a deal on my car with a guy in Denver, about 1000 miles from home, over the phone subject to an inspection. Had the Denver Lotus dealer do a PPI and flew in to look at the car while it was on the hoist. Didn't need to drive it particularly, since I knew it wouldn't tell me anything about the car I didn't either know already or couldn't tell me without me owning it for a while. Handed over the check and flew home.

So my first real behind the wheel experience was when the truck that transported it pulled up in front of my house a few days later. Looked like an idiot when I forgot about the start button on the left and kept trying to start it with the key.

It's now five years later and been a nice run. It's staying in my garage for quite a while longer.
 

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I sat in an Elise and Exige one time each before buying my Exige. All I really needed to know was that I'd fit...I was confident (and correctly so) that the driving experience would live up to expectations.

First drive was the drive home in my purchase.
 

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There was a guy in Fort Worth that owned a bunch of exotic cars and made a side business of renting them out. Rented a 2005 Elise for 2 days (at about $800 total). went and sat in traffic with it, ran the AC. Put probably 150 miles on it.

Bought an Exige about 2 months later.

Unfortionantly that guy stopped renting his cars, because I really wanted to rent his Ferrari F355 :(
 

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When I walked into the dealership to look at my '06 Exige with full intension of buying it, and I've never even been in a Lotus before. Just had to make sure the test drive went well, and everything looked good. Signed the papers an hour later :D Sooooooo glad I did! :nanner:
 
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