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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, I'm new to this forum and also new to the concept of seriously considering the Elise. Yes, I took note of it, but didn't think that we would ever see it here. Also, I guess that I have discounted Lotus for years because of their refusal to let the Esprit die. I still can't handle how an OK mid-engined Lotus that originally cost ~ $17,000 could become a $90,000 supercar.

I'm not new to Loti - never owned one, but my dream as an 18 year old was to buy the Elan kit. The Elite and the Elan were of course benchmark cars.

Ok, so now we have the original Elise, with a wonderful, modern and affordable chassis wrapped by a graceful, evocative body with styling cues reminiscent of the Elan. In fact, it looks exactly like a modern interpretation of the Elan. Actually, let me clarify this, the Elan was/is both beautiful and classic. Its' lines are as perfect today as they were when it was introduced. Witness the success of the Miata. So the transformation that I am referring to is the change in layout from front engined to midships. This was accomplished beautifully with the original Elise.

So, my question is why was it necessary to make a caricature out of the car? From quiet and elegant beauty to UGLY??

Granted the mechanicals are still beautiful but!!!!
 

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some people don't like Picasso

No matter what you do, there's always going to be some self-centered a-hole who always thinks he's right and think the world wants to know his opinion
 

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The S1 was very derivative in design - like a Dino. That was smart for Lotus since the car was such a big gamble. I love the way it looks but it was not really that fresh - even in 1997.

Have you seen a S2 in person? It really looks wonderful in the flesh/metal/plastic. I think the S2 is very cool.

Most people feel comfortable with things they are used to. Things that have already been done. I'm happy that the Lotus designers saw fit to look forward and experiment with the Elise's design...
 

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If you're looking to get flamed tell us how you will put on some sprewells and drag race turbo'd civics. If you question the styling that much don't buy the car, I'm sure most of us won't care you think it is ugly anyways. Fact is, a lot of us also question some of the things in regards to styling but I personally think it looks just fine. That's not the reason we are in love with this car. The only pet peave I have about car styling is vents or other features that are nonfunctional. As far as I know the only useless part of the car is the little strakes on the outsides of the tail lights and I feel they were done tastefully to match the rest of the car.
 

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Hey everyone is entitled to an opinion and there will be those who don't like the new body style. I owned a Europa for years and loved the styling although many did not. My view is that beauty and functionality are tied together, I have never seen an ugly race car, although the Panoz pushes the limit, the beauty of a race car is in it's functionality. The same holds true for the Elise and did for the Europa. I have a Seven now and think it is beautiful because it is so purposeful, not much on it that doesn't help it perform well.
So PurpleLion, what cars do you think are beautiful?
 

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IMHO, the best automotive designs are the controversial ones, ones that some people consider 'ugly'. A couple great examples are the BMW Z4 and Lamborghini Countach.
 

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Might as well ask this on a worthless thread: Does anyone know if the Celica GTS driven by #98 Peterson in the SCCA runoffs was powered by the 2ZZ-GE motor? He was in the lead for a while today and chasing the leader in second for a few laps. They had an in-car camera and the sounds coming out of that motor were pretty nice.
 

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Opinions are ine thing but if your going to try to pick a fight, you'd better have a good basis for it, esspeically around these parts. The Esprit, for example, did cost $17k when it was introduced. Would you like to discuss CPI (cost price index), inflation, government regulations, new equipment? How about comparing the price of other cars from the same year to their comparable counterparts today? It's a bad thing to row out to the middle of a shark infested ocean in a boat with holes.

As far as appearances, you need to see the car before saying anything. I was not sold on the car at all when I first saw the pictures of the S2 in late 2000. It looked thrown together and the simple lines of the orginal, not to mention the Esprit, Elan, etc. seemed lost on the car. Looking closer you start to notice the areodynamic reasoning for the modifications. Then came my first in person experience and all I can say is wow. There is no picture that can do the car justice.
 

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The reason for the drastic change in style is the large number of complaints that the old Elise was too feminine. I guess you don't mind looking feminine?
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Lots of great responses!

Re my masculinity - I am confident and not worried about driving a feminine car; however, I don't think it is feminine. I never thought that the Elan was feminine; just very clean and purposeful.

I also believe that beauty, especially mechanical beauty, should flow naturally from function. And, yes the 7 is beautiful as was the original Elise. Clean, simple...

I just think that the original is so elegant; however, I have never seen the new version in the flesh. Many of you are saying that pictures don't do it justice. So, I'll shut my mouth and go look at one.

Beautiful cars - it think that should be a separate thread. I'm sure we all have our favorites. I'm not sure where I would start. There have been so many over the years.

The purpose for the thread was not exactly to voice my .02. I was curious to see if there were many people that thought the revisions were a step in the wrong direction.

Re. the original styling being derivative - Yes, of course it was - but, it was simple, elegant and functional, just like the rest of the car. I certainly agree with James A that beauty should exist in and flow from functionality. Certainly, the only (or primary) reason to love this car is its functionality. However, the original was very functional. If someone wants to call it feminine as you motor past them, who cares?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
wallabyguy - The Esprit went stratospheric in a matter of two or three years. It had nothing to do with inflation and everything to do with Lotus finances.

Re the statements about ultimate beauty being based on functionality, i.e. form following function etc. (which I agree with), I have at least one hat that I will eat if anyone can show that the styling changes were anything but a refresh to cater to the (American?) market. I would bet that the revisions are aerodynamically inferior to the original design. I can practically hear the excuses - "Yes the drag numbers are higher but that is because of the need to have larger side scoops for engine/brake cooling, etc..."

And, I also read the quote from someone at Lotus stating that they had many complaints about the styling being too feminine. Ok, someone made the statement and it was printed, but, that does not necessarily make it true. Did anyone on this forum either write or call Lotus to complain about the feminine styling? Loti have always been very simple elegant designs, that was one of Colin's gifts - simple elegance or elegance of design. His cars were not so much styled, instead their shapes evolved from their chassis.

While we're at it, lets refresh the Elite. It surely needs a refresh after all of these years!
 

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Look, if you want an older elise, go and buy a "purple" one and you can enjoy your old , plain, unreliable, slower elise. And while your at it, get some pink fuzzy dice and a rainbow sticker for the the backglass. Enough on this subject already. If you don't like the new elise don't get it. But your obviously outnumbered because this forum at this time is primarily concerned with the us version.
 

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(my opinion)
I've always thought the S1 was a better looking car (the S1 Exige is absolutely beautiful), but I wouldn't consider the S2 "ugly" by any means.
(/my opinion)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
MikeAR303 said:
I've always thought the S1 was a better looking car (the S1 Exige is absolutely beautiful), but I wouldn't consider the S2 "ugly" by any means.
Thank God!!

At least someone! Mike - I agree 100%. I am sort of daydreaming about an Exige with the Mazda rotary (250~300HP).

Maybe, if enough people complained, they would revert back to the old styling; or, at least, sell the Exige in the states as is, but certified for road use.

Maybe the majority prefers the new styling over the old and I am just too old to "get it".
 

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I originally liked the S1 better than the S2, specially the S1 Exige. But the S2 has grown on me as far as looks. And in person, I really like the S2.

I don't see either car as feminine, though I tend to think of the S1 Elise as cuter, so it's more the opposite.
 

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beauty is in the eye of the beholder

PurpleLion, I respect your decision not to like the look of the Elise. What baffles me is why you would spend time to register to an Elise talk forum and post a thread if you disliked it so much?? Hey, it's as they say, "to each his own". The beautiful thing about this country is choice and I choose to smile and think of how bad your taste in automobiles must be. ;)
 

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All the cars today are goofy. German cars looking Japanes, Japanese cars a copy of something.

Saab, Volvo, everyone is confused with what they want in a car now.

We are a recycling culture, we recycle our music, movies and now cars. The VW Bug, the Mini the T bird the upcomming mustang.

The American market has lead to all these changes. We want the body of an athelete and live like lazy bums.

I will purchase the S1 or S2 just let me buy an Elise. They also say that Lotus has till 2006 to confirm with the bumper laws, IMO the S4 will be a very diffrent car.
 

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I commend Lotus for giving the Elise aggressive, sexy styling. On a scale of 1 to 10, I'd give them good marks, perhaps 9. Definitely not ugly. Best looking car that I can think of for under $50,000.

By comparison, although I applaud BMWs attempt to set the Z4 apart from the pack, the new angular styling fails miserably by my aesthetic standards. I give it a 3. Not necessarily ugly, but pretty darn close.

Porsche blew it with the Boxster. They took the sexy 50's Spyder (easily an 8 for me) and modernized it into a very forgettable look (perhaps a 5, if I'm feeling charitable).

Honda gave the S2000 a nice look, but rather uninspired. Maybe a 6.

The Elan is a cute, sexy little car, but I wouldn't say that the styling is all that exceptional. Perhaps a 7 (or 8 if you let nostalgia rule over objectivity).
 

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If you want to buy a car for looks, get something else.

PLEASE get something else, and shut up about the looks.

Most people registered here would buy the Elise no matter what it looked like.
 
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