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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Well...I finally got to see and sit in an Elise Today

Finally got to see an Elise close up (other than the one at the car show roped off in New York).

Although no test drive yet (these are being arranged during mid-week), I did get to sit in and do a thorough inspection.

No revelations I'm sure but I was disappointed at how much of a pain it was to get in and out. I am 6'3" and thin but have long legs. With the top on and no tilt steering it was a bit of a chore. I did it three times and it got a little easier but not much.

The only other thing I didn't like was the spacing of the gas and brake pedals. Again, no revelations here but it was too close for my wide feet. Wish they were just about 1/2 inch further apart.

I know some of you will say I just don't get it but this is not a second car for me. It was to be my daily driver. Gonna need to re-think things now and possibly save some more for a 997.

BTW, the build quality was quite good and the seats which look flimsy in pics were actually quite well built and suited my long frame quite nicely. I even had about an inch of headroom to spare.

Oh and the ST is an awesome color :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Chris, I felt kind of sad because the car is beautiful and I have lusted for one ever since I saw and read about them in Evo magazine a few years back.

No question, Lotus will sell everyone they can make.

BTW, I do not have a deposit on the car. I was waiting for this day to put one down if all worked out well. The wait would not have bothered me since I am driving a fairly nice car now.
 

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Have a few years Lotus experience...

* You can't judge ingress/egress in a car like this one by the first few times. There is a different approach to this action which, after a short time, becomes much easier. Ran into the same thing with my Europa S2, which has a hard top and is even lower. After a week or two it was no longer an issue. At first it would take me about 20 awkward seconds to get in or out of the Europa. Once used to it, about 5 easy, smooth seconds. It will never be as easy as most other cars though. And it helps if you are agile and flexible. Maybe not a good choice if you have a trick back or sore knees or something.

* Pedals. It helps a great deal to wear shoes whose soles are narrow. Also, on many cars it is possible to adjust pedal positions. Many Lotuses are undriveable if you were shoes with wide soles. Many sneakers are fine, many aren't. Real driving shoes are fine. Dress shoes with narrow soles aren't. Lots of Italian men's dress shoes work well.

Stan
 

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ZO650TH,

I was going to start a thread of my own about my test drive of today but I think i'll just piggy back onto yours here....

I just came back from taking a test drive of the Elise at Palm Beach Motors. First let me say that the people at Palm Beach Motors are some of the finest folks I've had the pleasure to meet in the car business. I told them I had a deposit at a different dealership but just wanted to see the car in person, etc.. and Ryan Moore was totally great and courteous and ended up spending almost an hour with me talking, showing me the car, and test driving it, besides offering my wife and I several water bottles along the way, it really made me feel guilty I didn't have my deposit with them.
Now for the car...... it is simply amazingly beautifull, I think the rear end is stunning and the front end is nice but i would have liked more rounded front fenders rather than the sharply creased fenders in the car. The interior with the Touring pack is pretty nice, it had a lot more carpeting than I thought and I honestly don't see why bother with the touring pack, I wish however that lotus offered the option to have just the leather seats, they look great and although thinly padded were extremelly confortable even for a 6'4" guy like me and head clearance was great. The steering weel felt light weather at a stand still or while moving, and the feeling you get from it is really the closest I have seen to a go-kart, you feel connected to the wheels and the imputs are direct, my 911s and the Mini never felt this good. Getting in and out is no big deal with the top off, didn't try with the top on. The wheels are just awesome looking and the Neovas look very mean and sporty. The trunk area I felt was quite big and for my wife and I would be easily enough for a months' worth of luggage. The exaust note is great, not too loud while at iddle or while pulling out but once you get going is loud enough and throaty enough to let you know you are driving a sports car and once you get on the higher revs you can hear the sound of the engine which is great at higher revs. Under way the car had plenty of power, yes i did go into the "cams" ( don't kill me for it but it is a demo and that is its job, I only went into the cams 2 or 3 times for a few seconds to feel the "kick") and I could feel the extra power; however' it was not nearly as much as i thought it was going to be but you get out of the car and you can't believe it is a 4 cylinder toyota you got there, the torque was really better than I thought at the lower revs, overall very impressed by the power plant. The suspension is great and at the same time amazingly forgiving, we went over a rail road track and it wasn't much of an issue, my 911 was very stiff and even while changing lanes at speed I always tried to go in between the white lines painted on the road because the bang was too much but the Elise was very forgiving. I touched every part of the body and I can forsee light plastic pieces falling off the car in a matter of months, especially the pieces near the windshield and just aft of the radiator, the plastic used in the body is very thin and light and it bends to your touch, not much pressure needed. The engine cover is flimsy and I would be very carefull who you let open it, some animals out there are likely to damage it. The underside of the car is awesome, totally flat and that rear diffuser, makes me horny just thinking about it.
Now for the bad news, as soon as I saw the Elise, I thought to myself: this is a toy! it is not a car, it is a toy! After spending an hour with it and driving it a litlle, I am thinking: It is a go-kart, it is not a car, its a go-kart! I think the car is easy enoughh to live with as a daily driver as long as you don't need to do too many home depot runs but i must honestly say that I am not sure if it is the right car for me. This would be car #4 at our household replacing our Mini Cooper S, my wife liked it and she is encouraging me to get it but i'm honestly thinking that a 911 again might be more my style. It pains me to write this as I have lusted after this car for a good while but I'll have to see how I feel about it in a few more weeks, the car just attracts way too much attention for me, is tiny and overall the impression I get when looking at it is that it is a toy, not because of its livability issues but because of its looks and the feeling I get from it.

Anyway, sorry to write this and run by my wife is waiting for me to go out kayaking. When I get back around midnight I'll put my flame suit on and field the criticism about my opinions. Kayaking is going to be tough tonight because all I can think of right now is her...... Elise my mistress who may not be for long...

See you all later!
 

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fredg said:
...The trunk area I felt was quite big and for my wife and I would be easily enough for a months' worth of luggage...
:D :) :D

Fred thanks for the above quote (embedded in your very entertaining synopsis of your test drive). It helped put a smile back on my face after reading way too many posts about delays, dealers, allocations, ebay, ethics, etc.

Either the comment was for grins, or you and your wife travel much, much, much (did I mention much) lighter than we do and you have my utmost respect :bow:

Larry
 

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Fred,
The Aston and the 911 are too similar. Intead, stradle the 911 on the sports car scale and get the Aston and the Elise!
 

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Thanks for sharing Fred.... Great review.
If theres one thing you can say about an Elise is that it always leaves an emotional and memorable experience to whomever touches her, whether they would bring her home or not.

PS: Fred, it is a toy and thats why we must have it. You'll see when you start to miss the toy in the next few weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Thanks Fred for sharing your driving experience.

The Elise really is a special lady and I didn't even get to drive her as you did.

By the way, after having recently owned two C5's (2002 C5 coupe and 2003 Z06), I was very impressed by the fit and finish of the exterior in terms of Lotus's use of composite materials.

In the end, 1FASTMX5 said it best when he wrote: If theres one thing you can say about an Elise is that it always leaves an emotional and memorable experience to whomever touches her, whether they would bring her home or not.

As for the 911, well I love all 911's....every generation. Certainly not a bad second choice if one is not getting the Elise.
 

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Allright guys, back from kayaking!
Vantage,
I totally agree with you about the 911 and the AMV8, I wouldn't keep both at the same time. Palm Beach Motors is also an Aston dealer and it is where I do have the deposit for the AMV8, before going to the Lotus side I stopped in to see the Astons, The Vanquish is one cool car, drool! MSRP 245K!!!!! You guys should have seen my wife's eyes roll when she saw the price, I told her that the one we were in line for was muuuuuuch cheaper but she thought the Aston would be too much of a car for us, anyway it was cool checking out the Aston before going to see the Elise. BTW they told me they are going to have a launch party for the AMV8 as soon as there is more info so i'll keep you posted on that.

Back to the Liz...

Ibonham, my comment about the trunk was partly true partly teasing. My wife and I could really tour the whole country on the Liz easy with the space you have in the car and the trunk but in reality we have a 3 year old daughter and she takes a whole Range Rover full of crap anytime we go away for the weekend but if we have to we can pack light, the 3 of us just took a month vacation in South America and all we had for the whole month were 2 Backpack/suitcases and we had clothes to spare... (we traveled from beach to beach on a Defender 110 to some very remote beaches in Brazil so all we wore were bathing suits all day long for a month!) this reminds me of a poem by an Argentinian writer ( can't remember his name now) but he basically says that if he could go back in his life he would learn to travel with less lugage go out in the rain without an umbrella and otherwise lead a calmer more relaxed life, that is my moto these days, less is more hence the Liz fits the bill!
My wife and I felt that we would like the Elise in black, a jet black would be great ( IMO would give it a meaner, tougher look) but if not the starlight should be fine, my wife also really liked the idea of the SY or AR but as i said I think the car already calls too much attention as is so I dont think I could handle it but I'M going to drive down to Miami and check out the other dealers there and see the color of their demos. Regarding pedal spacing, my shoes were a bit wide but I had no problems with the spacing of the pedals other than the dead pedal was useless, I couldn't put my foot on it without hitting the clutch.
I totally agree with Z0650TH that the fit and finish were superb on the car, the paint job looked pretty good and the surface of the car didn't seem wavy to me as some mags have suggested. I wonder what special paints or additives Lotus has to use on the paint to make sure that it remains flexible because the body is softer to the touch than any regular sheet metal car is. The car feels solid everywhere except for the few pieces i mentioned on my earlier post. The doors close with a nice solid feel, the dash is nice and the seats are really very nice, the backs are not upholstered except for the backs of the headrests which are covered in fabric. The seats are hard if you drop your body into them hard but once you are sitting they are amazingly confortable and I didnt feel any need for adjustment. The steering wheel is also extremelly nice and small and that helps to give plenty of room inside the car even for tall guys like me, as a reference, I am totally unconfortable in a Boxter or Miata because my knee hits the steering wheel and the gear lever but in the Elise I had plenty of room for my legs with the seat all the way back. A couple more things I appreciated about the car were the fact that the cockpit was not excessively windy even at speed with the windows down and that the widshield doesn't come too close to my forhead in the same manner as a Mustang Covertible and others do. To me the sunvisors are worhtless, if i lower them they are in front of my eyes so I would never use them and I can see how having a top on would be a pain at stop lights because I would never be able to see them. i didn't try either the AC nor the radio but I'm sure they are more than suitable.
Another thing I thought it was pretty cool was that if you look through the front wheel into the wheel arches where the suspension attaches to the frame, you can see different aluminum pieces joining with a tong and groove type connection and some of the red adhesive used in the frame. Another thing that inpressed me about the car were the brakes, pretty nice cross ventilated disks and you can see the nice brake calipers through the rims, I would think it would look good on a black car to pull the calipers and have them repainted in red to make them stand out more, curiosity here, why does Lotus use two different manufacturers to make the front and rear brakes? The engine looks very nice when you open the engine cover and you can clearly see what I think is the trasmission and differential on a sloping angle from the engine down towards the rear wheels. Another thing I didn't like is that the headlight lenses on PBMs demo were dirty on the inside and that has got to be a pain to try and get cleaned. All in all a damn great car and as you guys said : If theres one thing you can say about an Elise is that it always leaves an emotional and memorable experience to whomever touches her, whether they would bring her home or not.
The car is just so awesome, I'm totally bumed at myself for taking the "logical" look at this and feeling it is a toy and I don't need it. I also can't believe my wife is the one who is now saying I should get the car, I really didn't think she was going to like it. My biggest problem is that these days I don't track my cars anymore because we have a bunch of other leasure activities that we do and i don't think that is going to change even with the Liz and she really deserves to go to the track, that is what she was made for. I think I'm going to still get it but i really have to refocus and accept the car for what it is but i think that a lot of people who have deposits and or orders are not going to take the cars because it really is that minimalistic. I totally understand how the Elise's sales dropped in ROW after a few years of production because IMO this car is just not going to appeal to very many people because of its very focused interpretation of what a sports car should be. I know everyone has been saying that here and elsewhere for the longest time but you just can't come to grips with it untill you really try it for yourself.

Good night!
 

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fredg said:
Palm Beach Motors is also an Aston dealer and it is where I do have the deposit for the AMV8...
really?? you have a deposit for the AMV8? when is it coming out? what's MSRP?

thanks!
ara
 

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fredg said:

...I can see how having a top on would be a pain at stop lights because I would never be able to see them....
If this is an issue with others try going to this site:
http://www.lightinsight.com
Easily the best performance item per dollar spent I ever got on any car. No HP but it's good for a car length at a stop light. ;)

Works great in my MINI. It sticks to the windshield. I would have injuried my neck driving the car every day in Washington DC without it.

John
 

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Fred

Thanks for the great review. I never fooled myself that this is a practical car. I like it because it is a toy. It beats transporting the go kart to the track every week.

The one reservation that I have the the amount of attention it gets. I decided to go for the BRP insteead of CO for that reason. Perhaps Chris can tell us if a darker color helps to lower the profile?

Should get my car this week. Can't wait!!

Bert:clap: :clap:
 

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Samberken wrote:
I decided to go for the BRP insteead of CO for that reason
I agree Bert... I decided against Ardent Red and went back to BRP (with biscuit interior) for the Elise. I know, I know... I still have time yet to order, but at least I've convinced myself that it'll be a lower profile color. I tend to be a bit shy and don't like a lot of attention, so the "quieter" colors may be better for me.

As for the practicality of the car... it's got a Toyota powerplant, so it'll be reasonably reliable. But admittedly, it won't be a daily driver for me (unless my daily driver is in the shop.) It's going to replace both my Mustangs and be my weekend car. I used to have an older Ferrari 308 GTSi as a weekend car, but the ergonomics were a bit torturous and the air conditioning was feeble at best. The euro-spec S2 Elise I drove had significantly better ergonomics. (I didn't try the a/c then.) I think the Elise will accrue miles much more quickly than I'm anticipating! :p

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
I may be wrong but this car would command attention if it was in transparent color. It's just one of the most original designs on the road. Add to that it's diminuitive size and the Elise can't help but grab attention. IMO everyone will notice it no matter the color.

Plain and simple, she's a looker.
 

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Yep,
afraid this car attracts attention in any color, but I suspect something like silver might be a little less obtrusive, that's what my friend ordered he should be picking it up late next week early the following week.
Chris
 

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I saw one! I saw one! :D

Since the dealer didn't call me for the test drive last week, I drove by MidRiver Lotus today to at least get a peek at the demo. It's inside the show room (poor Esprit has to stand outside in the rain instead :p ), so I could only see it from the front through the window.

It's beautiful! As the pictures indicate, the yellow is relatively dark, you could probably argue that it has a slight shade of orange. But it's a very nice, rich color. I didn't think that the car looked that tiny, very comparable to a Miata.

:bow: :clap: :bow:
 

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I'm removing the stock steering wheel and having Shinoo get me a removable C/F one. Two reasons: The car is pretty hard to steal with no S/W, and it makes getting in much easier especially for the long legged. Not to mention the increased feel of the C/F unit.
 

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perryeyges said:
I'm removing the stock steering wheel and having Shinoo get me a removable C/F one. Two reasons: The car is pretty hard to steal with no S/W, and it makes getting in much easier especially for the long legged. Not to mention the increased feel of the C/F unit.
Removing the steering wheel may make it harder for people to steal the car and to get into it but ot get out I thin it may actually be harder without it.
 
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