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Discussion Starter #1
My apologies if this has been asked before (a search didn't provide any direct hits).

With a wide range of sports cars to choose from, why is the Lotus Elise on the top of your list?

I'm not sure if the Elise has direct competition but the cars that come close are the Z4, S2000, C6 Vette, 350Z, modified Miata's and the Boxster. I'm sure there are others as well but the Elise still manages to be the number one choice for me.

Somewhat prioritized, here is my list:

1. LOOKS - whether you view it on a computer screen, magazine or in person, the Elise is drop dead gorgeous (IMHO)! Those curves......ooolala! :eek:

2. TOYOTA ENGINE - As much as I love the look of the Elise, I'm not too sure if I would be as interested if the car had the Rover engine. Toyota implies quality and reliability. :)

3. LOTUS SUSPENSION - Legendary... My old MGB couldn't hold a candle to what Lotus builds. :bow:

4. SMALL/LIGHTWEIGHT - I love small cars that don't need a monster V8 in order to go fast. Reciprocating mass is a negative! While the Vette C6 is a marvel in performance, the Elise is no slouch with far less muscle. :cool:

What's your attraction???

Bobby
 

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1. Track capability while remaining street legal.
2. Price.

Thats it, and it has to be the combination of the two. As the MSRP and dealer gouging goes up, there is a significant drop in it's value for me. So far, the Elise is holding a slight lead on my alternatives, which are:
Lotus Elise. Pros: short track performance par excellence, novelty and WOW factor like no other (for now, at least), fair cost (for now, anyway). Cons: Lotus rep for poor reliability, current feedback of poor service and parts support, definitely not a daily driver.

Caterham 7: Excellent track car close to Elise (maybe even better depending on set-up), classic looks with WOW factor, can get in and out normally. Cons: whose going to service it when it's not DIY?

Boxster S. Pros: Excellent track performance, excellent daily drivability, Porsche reliability and service, priced below MSRP. Cons: You can't turn around and not see one, still slightly more expensive than the Elise (for now, anyway).

Honda S2000. Pros: Excellent performer, outstanding Honda reliability, excellent service and support, excellent daily driver, a LOT cheaper than the Elise. Cons: it's a Honda, not in the same track performance league.

There are others: The Audi TT Quattro, BMW M coupe, MB 33AMG or the new SLK55 AMG, old Z06 or new Z06 when it comes out.....etc. We can even throw in the Mitsu Evo, or - surprise! - the Mazda MP3 (see R&T article )

The Elise will be strictly a weekend fun car and a street legal track car for me, so I'm hanging on in the waiting list. For now, anyway
 

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-i have wanted a lotus ever since i first saw one in 1976.
-i have wanted an elise ever since i first saw one in an auto mag some years ago
-they are bringing it here (or so i have heard:D )
 

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None of the above.

GT3-like performance at less than half the cost and a fraction of the upkeep (brakes, tires, gas) for track use, with promised otherworldly cornering speeds.

There are conflicting accounts of whether this little bug can really run on the track, so I remain a bit cautious.
 

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>>>There are conflicting accounts of whether this little bug can really run on the track, so I remain a bit cautious.<<<

Can you elaborate?
 

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I fell in love with the looks first and the specs 2nd

i like the idea of small and low weight but it was not my primary concern.

Cars i considered before the elise

used 911 turbo 1991 body style i just seem to like it

used 348
 

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For me it was the handling followed by the looks. I didn't care too much that they used the Toyota motor, but I liked the fact that is was up near 200hp.
 

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frayed said:

There are conflicting accounts of whether this little bug can really run on the track, so I remain a bit cautious.
I had mine on a track last weekend, Motorsport Ranch in Fort Worth, TX, also driven by the club "pro" driver/instructor, who said it's the best stock setup for the track he's ever driven.

Oh, and what attracted me to the Elise? seems silly, but as a young car-geek I had a very fast remote controlled car (RC12i) with a body kit that looked very similar. Now I get to actually drive one around. :eek:
 

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There were a couple of things.
1) it reminded me of my mom's X1/9
2) I love to looks (although I think I like the S1 version a little better)
3) the cost was reasonable.

Of course the more I read about it's performance the more I wanted it. This is my little version of a supercar. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Palting said:
Lotus Elise. Pros: short track performance par excellence, novelty and WOW factor like no other (for now, at least), fair cost (for now, anyway). Cons: Lotus rep for poor reliability, current feedback of poor service and parts support, definitely not a daily driver.
I find it interesting that someone feels that the Elise would not be a very good daily driver.

Outside of the poor inress/egress, loud interior noise and lack of amenities, what else would make this a poor daily driver? Is it quality/reliability concerns?

Also, for the folks who already received their Elise (I'm envious), do any of you use your Elise as a daily vehichle?

Bobby
 

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What attracted me to the Elise?

The first Europa I sat in at a dealer back around '72.

The Elan S4 Sprint I bought back in '76 (and still have).

The first time I heard that Lotus was making a new (relatively) affordable, aluminum chassis, open top sports car back in the mid '90s.

Above all else, the handling and performance.
 

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I definitely will use the elise as a daily driver.

I drove the demo from valenti in ct on the highway and on backroads.

i saw no problem using the elise as a summer daily driver

The ride is better than my wrx sti.

Plus i have a 30 minute commute to work with no traffic and great curves.

Ingress with the top installed sucks so i am getting a gullwing top.

Hopefully i will never have to put the top up ever!!
 

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I have to confess the looks/design really got my attention and really makes me want to have one. Beyond that, I really appreciate the "less is more philosophy." The Toyota engine serves as an extra padding of security.
 

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My short-list:

1. The car epitomizes for me what a true sports-car is/should be: small, lightweight, amazing handling.

2. There's nothing else like it; it's relatively affordable, yet still has the legendary Lotus heritage and definitely an exotic look.

3. It's the real deal, it's a true Lotus, not a "wannabe"; for example, the vents and grills are not there for show, but are functional (except for those small ones just outside of the rear brake lights).
 

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I read the review of the S1 in Road and Track back in ~96. I still have that article somewhere. The article speculated that it would be here shortly. At the time I was seriously considering a new Miata. I turned to a friend and said that if this thing came to the US that I was going to buy one. Eight years and $11k later it looks like it will actually be here.

I want as close as I can get to driving a formula car on the street. The Elise represents the right balance between minimalism and practicality for me right now.
 

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MJC123 said:
I had mine on a track last weekend, Motorsport Ranch in Fort Worth, TX, also driven by the club "pro" driver/instructor, who said it's the best stock setup for the track he's ever driven.
MJC,

LSS or base suspension?
 

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Bobby said:
Outside of the poor inress/egress, loud interior noise and lack of amenities, what else would make this a poor daily driver?
I think that qualifies as "not a good daily driver" ;)



I first thought of owning an Elise when some car mag (car & driver?) reviewed the Sun International Elise. Haven't stopped persuing it since.
For me, I'll admit that the looks and small size attracted me to the car. I initially did not like the look of the S2, but it has since grown on me - I now like it more than the S1.
The light weight, big performance, super stiff chassis, and, believe it or not, fuel economy have kept me around for the years and years waiting (deposit or not).
 

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MJC, what kind of laptimes did you pull at MSR? Would be great to know what the Elise can do there, as it's a track seemingly *MADE* for the Elise. Tight, technical, lots of off camber stuff. Intense braking track too. I reckon the Elise will not be as comparatively fast at TWS, since hp plays more of a role there.

Stan, I'm referring to all the reviews from the mags that I've seen, including Top Gear testing. There are plenty of head to head reports with other cars that show the Elise or the Exige running pretty darned fast laps, but others where the laptimes seem a bit underwhelming.

One of the Euro mags (Autocar?) showed the Elise with LSS to be only marginally faster than the Evo. Car and Driver I believe showed the Elise with LSS only one second faster than the non-Romp shod S2000. Even on a short track, I expected more of a spread in performance, particularly considering the tested car had LSS with Rcomp A048r's. I'm a prior S2000 owner and am interested only in cars that are a significant step up.
 
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