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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, I'm finally in a position to buy a toy car, and my choices are between the Elise and an LS3 Corvette. I have to admit that the Lotus has been my dream car for some time now, but I'm concerned about the cost of repair/maintenance/parts etc vs the chevy. I know the Elise is a reliable car, but when something does go wrong, I don't want to have to throw thousands at it every time something breaks.

I know this forum will be a bit biased, but still, any input is appreciated!
 

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:facepalm
 

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Less is Better
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As others will tell you, these are very different cars. If it's a toy, the repair costs should be low on the decision making list. You are trying to enjoy yourself. You should make the decision on which car gives you the more satisfying experience.

For most of us, the Lotus is unique and fitting to our idea of a sports car.
 

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Hey guys, I'm finally in a position to buy a toy car, and my choices are between the Elise and an LS3 Corvette. I have to admit that the Lotus has been my dream car for some time now, but I'm concerned about the cost of repair/maintenance/parts etc vs the chevy. I know the Elise is a reliable car, but when something does go wrong, I don't want to have to throw thousands at it every time something breaks.

I know this forum will be a bit biased, but still, any input is appreciated!
The cost of maintenance shouldn't be your main concern. Find a good car that's been well maintained, keep it up and it will treat you right. It's a Toyota drivetrain, if it hasn't eaten it's cam yet it likely won't.

the expensive fixes are when you bust up the body. Many, if not most of the Elise's with salvage titles were written off because of body damage, not serious damage to frame.

THE difference is more that these are two completely different cars. You'll quickly get responses along the lines of "you see a Vette on every corner." If you want the car for vanity purposes and for being noticed, then yes the Elise is the way to go.

Driving wise, they are just plain different, and really shouldn't be cross shopped.

If you like acceleration and speed, the Vette is the clear choice, unless you want to go the route of forced induction, but even then the factory supercharger doesn't really beef it up all THAT much.
 

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Okay, now that I got that out of the way. I had an Elise SC and now the Evora S. My father has had his C5 during the whole time frame of me being a Lotus owner. Honestly man, you're asking us whether you should order steak or salmon. It's YOUR decision.

The Elise is a reliable car, fairly easily worked on, can be driven everyday (which I did in nice weather during the summer), and there is ZERO comparison in head-turning ability. Just don't damage the clam. That gets wicked expensive.

I've driven my Dad's Vette and for me anyway, there is absolutely no comparison when it comes to "fun factor". If it's been your dream car just friggin' go for it! Now's the time to get a great deal. Winter's just around the corner.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Look, I know it's apples to oranges, but I love both the cars for their own strengths.

I much prefer the Elise, but I don't want to be hosed once it's time to fix something. I'm more speaking of the stuff that isn't a Toyota part. Or the clamshell, which I know is a bump away from totaling the car :)
 

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Look, I know it's apples to oranges, but I love both the cars for their own strengths.

I much prefer the Elise, but I don't want to be hosed once it's time to fix something. I'm more speaking of the stuff that isn't a Toyota part. And the clamshell :)
Well, you're at least well researched on this whole thing and that's half the battle. There's also the "just trust us factor" that you need to take into consideration. Just trust us......you'll LOVE the Elise!

Have you driven one though?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have not driven one, but my first car was a miata with all the suspension goodies, so I have a general expectation that the lotus experience will be similar, just 'turned up to 11.'
 

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Get an Elise now, if you find out you don't like it after a few months or a year, you can sell it for pretty much what you got it for. They aren't depreciating anytime soon.

You'll always find a C6 for sale. Not so much with the Elise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Are there any other good places to look for classifieds besides the LT for-sale forum?
 

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eBay & Autotrader. Where do you live? Can you go drive one somewhere? You really owe it to yourself to do so.
 

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Also - with either car , a friend with fiberglass repair skills is very handy. Once you have fiberglass skills "in the house" so to speak,you can do anything you want, because it's Toyota powered, and maintainable. You need to drive them both. Then come back and apologize for doubting us. Haha. Just kidding.
 

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Are there any other good places to look for classifieds besides the LT for-sale forum?
I found mine on cars.com before all the folks on LT saw it...
 

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Yes you will get hosed on prices for Lotus parts. That is just the nature of the beast. Sometimes money isn't even the problem...it is trying to get them in the first place that is troubling. Take for example the rear led tail lights. I was on backorder for 2 months before I cancelled my order and decided to find a fix myself.
 

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Yup. Bingo. Drive both. It'll be worth a year's time spent in LT asking us about the car. If you had a Miata before, you can relate to the fact that on paper it isn't that impressive but when driven properly.....

Same thing with the Elise, but also it's so much fun to watch people's mouth drop when they see it on the streets. If you don't want to have your photo taken with camera phones and similar attention then definitely get the Vette (yawn).
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I'm in Atlanta; I think there is still a Lotus/Lambo/Aston dealership here, but I've only seen Evoras on the lot. Regardless, I doubt they would let me drive one of their cars if I pulled up in my DD hyundai, lol. I know I will love the car, so I'm not too concerned about test drives at the moment. I'll check out autotrader, thanks for the tip.

My buddy also manages a boat repair business, and they do a LOT of high quality fiberglass work.
 

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There you go. Boat repair shops know their schit when they it comes to fiberglass. Lotus U.S.A. headquarters is in Atlanta. You should be able to go test drive an Elise no problemo. In fact, I can't think of a better place in America.

My DD is a Civic. Who goes a crap? With many, many Elise's in the 30K price range, it's not like you're showing up to shop for a new Ferrari.

Now get off this forum and go test drive one.
 

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At one time I looked at new Corvette. The problem I had was that they had 4 years of brand new one on the lot. Whatever I chose would drop $15K the minutes I drove it off the lot. So I bought a C3 Stingray. I drove it a few months and then it just sat after picking up my Elise. Drive the Elise. Fall in love. And forget about the Corvette!
 

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So far I think the Elise is pretty economical. The fuel consumption is going to be about 1/4 that of a corvette. I've done a few HPDE events and it's amazing how much fun you can have for $40 of fuel. Compared to $160 or so if you have a big V8. Tires will be about 1/2 I would guess. It's just less expensive to operate and the only issue is if you bang up a clam.

The only time I don't like the car is on the freeway. It's loud, rough, and boring. Lots of people just try to drive next to you and take cell phone pics.

I had an instructor take me out in his Miata during an HPDE event last weekend after doing some laps in my Elise with him. I couldn't believe how much body roll the Miata had and it seems like it was really loose. I didn't want to insult him and said his car "felt awesome for a stock Miata" (just assumed it was). Then he informed me that it had XYZ full suspension upgrade and was totally dialed in. Not to Miata bash or anything, but way different league.

You don't mention what what you plan on using the car for? I think that's a big factor. They are great for short sprints and slow windy roads. I wouldn't want to take any long road trips in one though.
 
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