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It should be Hyperbole, but people on this board say it with a straight face.
While I love my car, it's an extremely watered down version of the experience even Lotus engineers first envisioned for the Elise, which was an experience "inspired by" a motor bike, not actually comparable to one.
The sheer speed, exposure to the elements, comfort, and practicality are literally all on different planets between any car and any bike, much less a true sports/super bike.

Drive an Ariel Atom without a windshield... now that comparison to a sport bike isn't so silly.
 

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Hi There - I agree with most all of what has been said. I can tell you that I own a 2006 Lotus Sport Elise. It's one of 50 that has improved suspension and a few other goodies compared with a regular Elise. I used to track the car a bit. It's an amazing experience and not at all like driving anything like a Porsche. I'll also admit that I'm a total Porsche freak. I have several, but no way am I selling the Elise. I track a Cayman now. It's now particularly fast, but I do feel that if I ball it up I'm more likely to walk away without injury. I'd also feel terrible if I ever wrecked the Elise. I use it mostly for spirited drives of about an hour on back roads. I pretend I'm on a motorcycle. You do want to be ultra observant. Make sure to buy a bright color. People are more likely to see you.
 

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Been said already but these are completely different car experiences. I have both a 996 turbo and recently acquired an Elise SC and although I have only owned the Elise a short time it is a completely different car experience than you will get in a 911 from the 996/997 era. I do most of the maintenance on both of these cars and have already done most of the preventative maintenance on the Elise. The cost of parts and relative simplicity of the Elise is a big benefit over Porsche ownership for sure. I'm really amazed getting under these cars as to how different the chassis is put together compared to any other car I have ever owned or worked on yet the drivetrain is the simplicity of a Toyota - simply brilliant. The cost to maintain any Porsche can be staggering in comparison and every generation of 911 seems to have an achilles heel - the bore scoring problem of the direct injection cars, IMS bearing failures in the M96/97 engines, the cooling pipe failures of the Mezger engined 996/997 Turbos and GT3s, valve guide wear in air cooled engines, etc. It just comes with the territory and if you are concerned with big repair bills, the 911 probably isn't a great choice.

That said, I would describe my 911 turbo as 'effortless power' with driving dynamics only Porsche seems to be able to deliver so consistently and so far for the 4 years I've owned it, has been bullet-proof reliable. It is completely civilized and comfortable cruising through town or a precision guided missile when you put your foot down. I can drive my 911 turbo for hours and hours with no fatigue and of all my toy cars my wife enjoys riding it is as long as I'm not on the boost too much. The Elise by comparison is a raw race car experience. The steering is incredibly direct. The shifting is rifle-bolt like. The driving position incredibly low. The ride is at best 'firm'. The few times I have driven it so far, it requires your full attention, every moment. I absolutely love it but after an hour or so.... let just say it is clearly a workout in comparison.

I am perhaps fortunate in that I didn't need to make a choice to own one of the other. The advice on driving one before you buy one is solid - and advice I didn't follow for the simple fact that the Elise has always been a bucket list car for me and I wanted to have the experience of owning one. Second I think if you buy one right, you can own it for nothing than the maintenance costs if it turns out not to be the right car for you over the long run.

In summary, if I had to choose only one car, I think it would still be my 996 Turbo as it does so many things so very well and you can take it anywhere at any time. The Elise really for me is a fun toy. I expect I will put 4x the miles on my Turbo to my Elise.
 

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It should be Hyperbole, but people on this board say it with a straight face.
While I love my car, it's an extremely watered down version of the experience even Lotus engineers first envisioned for the Elise, which was an experience "inspired by" a motor bike, not actually comparable to one.
The sheer speed, exposure to the elements, comfort, and practicality are literally all on different planets between any car and any bike, much less a true sports/super bike.

Drive an Ariel Atom without a windshield... now that comparison to a sport bike isn't so silly.
It is hyperbole and I haven't seen anyone give the straight-faced same-as-a-sportbike comparison. Obviously an Elige has 4 wheels, doors, a windshield, and a trunk. In my case though, I use my Elise exactly the way I used my sportbike- planning drives around the weather, roads, conditions, traffic, where to park, how much I need to bring, etc. Sure, it's not replacing the experience 1:1, but it's providing the same amount of pleasure and feedback during the experience. I think it's important to convey this mindset to potential buyers so they understand it's a toy first and foremost. This isn't a car you should be planning to use for everyday car things. If you know that going in, you won't be disappointed.

And yes, an Ariel Atom is more raw, but it's existence doesn't invalidate the Elise's driving experience.
 

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I drove an Ariel Atom at VIR. I prefer the look of the Elise. The look of the Elise was a major attraction besides the feel and performance. For me the Ariel Atom is not even in consideration.
 
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