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Discussion Starter #1
Now that the C6 is out, could someone volunteer to compare the driving experience of the C6 Z51 vs. the Elise? The C6 has multiple improvements relative to the C5. Maybe Randy could go take a spirited test drive of a C6 Z51. (Not interested in a C5 comparison or a Z06, or a C6 with any suspension other than Z51.) I'm sure lots of us would be interested in the comparison, and I wouldn't be surprised if there are a lot of lurkers who are strongly considering the C6 in addition to the Elise.

I still want the Elise, but a C6 Z51 convertible is my second choice.
 

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I think this would be an interesting thing to do...but from my POV the cars are so very different in concept and chosen design compromises that it's a bit hard to consider the two direct competitors in terms of the driving experience they present to the enthusiast.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I concur that the total experience will not be in common, but there will still be valid comparisons of handling, feel, acceleration, etc. For example, I have read that the general handling dynamics of the C6 Z51 is much improved over the C5 version. Obviously, it won't be an apples to apples comparison, but it would be interesting, and a fun thing to do for the lucky person who can arrange it.
 

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Why not be our slueth? This way you can experience the differences first hand. The C6 seems to be a great sportscar. Can't wait for the Z06...
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
shinoo said:
Why not be our slueth? This way you can experience the differences first hand. The C6 seems to be a great sportscar. Can't wait for the Z06...
I haven't driven an Elise yet, and I don't feel as qualified as some of the enthusiasts here. I value expert opinions.
 

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Speculative review

Oh sure I am entirely unqualified to make an assessment having not driven either car but here is my prediction of how that comparison will go...


The Elise has very good acceleration initially and then what can be argued is great acceleration once over 6200 RPM and on the cam. The C6 is however much more urgent across the whole range although given it's added mass not quite as savage as one might expect from a car with such high HP numbers. The C6 just keeps on pulling all the way down the track where as the Elise tops out short of the Corvettes full potential. Straight-line advantage: C6.

The breaking and cornering abilities of the C6 are laudable and arguably superior to most sports cars under $100k here in the US. That said, the simply astonishing lack of mass of Elise takes these tasks to a whole new level while providing tactile feedback that leaves even the Z51 feeling like typing with oven mitts on. The C6 is a great improvement over the C5 but still feels large and lumbering when compared to the fleet footed and tossable Elise. Driver feel, cornering and stopping advantage: Elise.

From a creature comfort standpoint the Corvette has numerous bells, traction control, whistles and even (dare I say it) cup holders. The Elise has none of this and yet the simplicity and purposeful nature of the car leaves you wanting for none of those things. The build quality of the Z51 is on par with what one would expect from GM with lots of plastic bits and sometimes rattly fitment. The new Elise seems to exude a solid sense of confidence and quality that is somehow lacking in the Corvette. This however is not a fair fight since the Corvette has at least made an attempt at providing creature comforts while the Elise sees free to omit these entirely. Interior advantage: Draw.

Overall impression. These cars are both remarkable incremental improvements in both lines lineage. They will both thrill a driver but it is where the thrills come that distinguishes one from the other. If you need pin your ears back speed with vague but statically significant cornering ability then the new C6 Corvette Z51 is your obvious choice. If you get your adrenalin from rapid acceleration, telepathic steering and super human car control then you really must succumb to the siren song of the Lotus Elise.



Of course I could be all wrong on this...right?
Jim
 
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