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Wow... after talking to some chaps from the UK, they were telling me that the same thing happened with the Elise in the UK. They sold like hot cakes the first year and then the used market sector exploded after that. He was mentioning that you can buy used Elises for $5K Pounds...... I went on Autotrader.UK and found hundreds of Elises for sale used.
http://atsearch.autotrader.co.uk/WWW/cars_search.asp?modelexact=1&lid=search_used_cars_full&make=LOTUS&model=ELISE&min_pr=75&max_pr=&postcode=nr14+8ez&miles=1500&max_records=50&source=0&sort=3&ukcarsearch_full=SEARCH

So if my car will only arrive in 2006, I wonder how many used cars will be out by then. I think people on the waiting list will drop off it and buy used... No?

I was just surprised when I heard how many used Elises are in the UK. I thought it would be rare as in 5 - 10 but several hundered... WOW...
 

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Interesting. I'm sure the same will happen in the US, but at a considerably slower rate. There are many more people here, many enthusiasts that can't afford a car right now (but can in 1 or 2 years) or can't find a list to get onto for the 2006 production run (which is the end of the exemption for this version of the Elise IIRC.)

That said, I suspect that the frenzy will continue. Look at the 2004 Prius. There's still long waiting lists and substantial premiums over MSRP for them in some areas. People still wait months for them.

The Elise will probably have the same response. Frenzy for the first year, reduced frenzy for the 2nd year production run. But at the end of 2006, there will be no more of this version of the Elise... so will people be willing to pay a premium to buy one? I don't know. But I can almost be certain that the next generation of Elise (if there is one) will be considerably heavier because it will need to meet the US bumper and headlight requirements. If so, it won't be the "pure sportscar" that the Fed Elise is. Of course, that's all my opinion...

Bob
 

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There is one very important point you're missing about cars in the UK. All UK number plates (license plates) have a letter which represents the year the car was manufactured. For this reason when cars become older they often suffer a greater price drop because while it may look new the plate tells a different story. In the UK the number plate stays with the car for the life of the car.

Look at how the cars in your link are listed.
 

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A lot of that is because of a newer model that is perceived as being better. The value of the older model drops.

Once they got past the idea that the S2 with the Toyota engine was going to be too heavy, poor performing, etc.... most in the UK (based on reading SELOC) have seemed to embrace that the new model is the pants, and now with the new Exige, they are "upgrading" to the newer cars. That created a lot of used car sales. Supply and demand.

If Lotus comes up with a newer Elise in 2007 that was 240hp, weighed 1750 pounds, and did 0-60 in 3.8 seconds, and was MSRP at $35k, you can bet your 2005 Elise will drop like a brick in value.

However, I doubt there will be a cheaper/lighter/faster car soon.
 

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The key to the Elise not dropping off after the first year will be those small performance updates and changes. keeping the next year always better than the current will keep the buyers wanting the latest and greatest.
 

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This is also the US. Not the UK.

I have a mini cooper that would bring $18,000 -$25,000 here in the US, and probably only $10K ( maybe less) in the UK because they're common.
 

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The Elise has been sold in England for several years, so it's not really surprising that so many used cars are for sale. Once we get past the first few years of production here, you will see lots of used cars on the market for decent prices.
 

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You must remember that the Elise has been on sale in the UK for several years and it started with a 118HP? engine and as newer more powerfull versions came out people kept trading up, so naturally you will find used cars as we will find here but I think the shortage here in the US is going to last for quite a while.
 

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JML's point is important. Several years does begin to cover it, though. The Elise has been around in Europe since 1996 ('97 model). In that time the car has changed, in most ways improved, immensely since that time. I'd expect with this "next great car", i.e. Toyota-powered and improved amenities (let's please not argue if that's an improvement) I'd expect the older, less advanced Elises would drop significantly in value. The changes are on par with a complete facelift of a nameplate; remember what happened to pre-1994 Mustangs after the new, widely popular look was introduced??

And there have been a lot of Elises sold over there. It will take many years for our used market to resemble that.
 

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Randy Chase said:
However, I doubt there will be a cheaper/lighter/faster car soon.
When the production of the VX220 ceaces, rumour has it that there may be a turbo'd elise made using vauxhalls new aluminium turbocharged engine.

They can't make a turbo'd elise at the moment due to a deal struck with vauxhall. Once the VX has gone, they are free to do so and this new engine sounds perfect.

Fingers crossed for a turbo'd elise. It may even tempt me away from my VX220T
 

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The cheapest S2 Elise I've ever seen for sale was just over £15,000, which in your money is over $27,000. Most of them are still fetching around £17k ($31k). Of course the S1 Elise's took a value hit when the S2's came out - the S2 looked drastically different and was a significant enough different ride to have people upgrading, or at least stating a preference between the 2. Plus early S1's are pretty old cars now.

On the whole, Elise's hold their value very well over here (where the market is saturated) - I expect US Elise's to have fantastic residuals for the first couple of years, and then maybe drop off to the UK rate (which is still very good) once more cars are available.
 

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I agree, the residuals are going to stay high. Figure the law of averages, there is going to be about 1 elise per every 100k-125k people in the USA, per year. That makes it quite rare. While I think at some point maybe 3-4 years out, the car will meet a bit of a saturation level, the first couple years are going to be met with long waits to purchase and dealer gouging. As the car hits the streets, people will oggle and stare and decide that is the car for them. I know we here all know cars through and through, but we are the .001%ers. Most of the US public has no clue what a lotus elise is, though when they see it, it will make some serious blood boil, and they will want the car. With only 2400 or so coming to our shores each year, I imagine the dealers will be busy keeping up with the deposits.

By the time it starts to fade, the new lotus vehicles should start to hit the shores.

Of course if my theory plays out, I doubt we will see a factory turbo or supercharger upgrade for the elise. One can hope though! (imagine 2000lbs with 250 hp/250lbft of torque! Combine that with the knowledge "brake at marker 3? No. In this car we brake at 1.5" )

Scot
 

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scot said:

Of course if my theory plays out, I doubt we will see a factory turbo or supercharger upgrade for the elise. One can hope though! (imagine 2000lbs with 250 hp/250lbft of torque! Combine that with the knowledge "brake at marker 3? No. In this car we brake at 1.5" )
We don't have to imagine. We run that now in the VX220 Turbos, which is pretty much an identical ride to the S2 Elise.

In fact we are currently having developed a stage 5 VXT which has just been tested at 330bhp and 340lb ft torque :bow:
 
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