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Which cars would you consider exotic?

  • Ferrari pick your model, anything they make is exotic.

    Votes: 58 71.6%
  • Lotus Elise, it meets most of the criteria so I would call it an affordable exotic.

    Votes: 49 60.5%
  • Porsche 911 non turbo. If it’s a Porsche it’s exotic to me.

    Votes: 7 8.6%
  • Honda S2000, it maybe a Honda but I think it’s an exotic.

    Votes: 1 1.2%
  • Pagani Zonda… Yes this is the ringer.

    Votes: 53 65.4%

  • Total voters
    81
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Discussion Starter #1
There seems to be a lot of confusion about what is considered an Exotic car and what is not. Since this is largely something that is decided by public opinion I though it would be interesting to see how most people here think.
Hopefully we can settle the issue of how cars are viewed.
 

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I've always considered the Elise and affordable exotic. What do I want out of a sportscar? I want the absolute best bang for the buck and a car that is unlike no other.

I found that in the Elise.

Now, if mine would only get here!
 

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I dunno.

It's all a matter of semantics. Technically, they're ALL exotics.
exotic: Introduced from a foreign country; not native; extraneous; foreign; as, an exotic plant; an exotic term or word.
However, the word "exotic" has traditionally referred to that which is unobtainable except by a very small percentage of the populous. I think the misuse of the word is derived from the fact that in the 19th century and earlier, exotic items were difficult and expensive to obtain. Therefore, the word became commonly used to mean "rare" or "expensive".

For that reason, I checked Ferrari and Pagani. I think the only factor in determining an exotic today is "market value". A good indicator of where "exotic" car prices start has always been the market value of entry-level Ferraris.

My $0.02 USD :D
 

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This is a fun debate, especially since it is impossible to settle. Feel free to insert IMHOs in front of every statement :)

This is my definition of an exotic car (items in order of importance):
* Rare
* Unique styling (doesn't necessarily have to be pretty)
* High performance levels for the type of car
* Expensive when new - 4X average US car price
* History of the company

So for me, just about any Ferrari qualifies (although the 308GT4 might not.) Very few Porsches qualify, probably only the 550 and new Carrera GT (959 loses on #2.) Vettes aren't exotic. Ford GT hits the mark, as does every non-tractor Lamborghini. Viper squeaks in, but isn't really very rare. NSX is close to the borderline because of the conservative styling and high mfg numbers. The Prowler was way too slow, as was the Delorean. The Montreal was the only modern Alfa to get close. BMW M1 and every Aston, Bentley, Rolls and Maybach.

And the more pertinent question, what about Lotus? The Esprit certainly qualifies. But the Seven, Elan, Europa, Elite, Elise and Exige aren't exotics in my book. They just aren't expensive enough.

By the way, some of my favorite cars were listed as non-exotics above. I don't see the term as a value judgement any more than the terms "SUV" or "GT" (both of those are pretty fuzzy these days too). For instance, I'd rather have an Elise than the exotic 328/348 that I could get for the same price. I guess that is one thing that almost all of us can agree on. ;)
 

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JeffersonRaley said:

* Expensive when new - 4X average US car price
I agree because the expensive when news make them hard to get or rare, beyind the ability or means of the average guy on the street.

HOWEVER, my perspective is that the Elise falls under this category similiarily, because of the waiting list.

If the Elise was under $40k and they were importing 50,000 of them and they were waiting on the dealer's lots, then they would not longer be exotic. And eventually, that may be true of the Elise.

But for now... it's Exotic because we don't even have them. They might as well be $1,000,000 each. But money will not make them arrive faster.
 

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Agree with Jefferson that beyond availability issues, a high price need also accompany the designation. Much as I'd love to say I drive & own an 'exotic' sports car, it would seem a little ridiculous by comparison to a Ferrari, McLauren etc. Were this not true, any fast $30K kit car out of a garage could wear the term, but would seem inappropriate.

Nonetheless, the Elise surely has 'exotic looks', scarcity, spanking performance, and for my money, I'm perfectly happy to pocket the $100K difference and drive with a sh*t-eating grin, whatever the definition.
 

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Depends a lot on where you are, in some locales a Porsche may very well be considered an exotic, but IMO certainly not in So Cal, for example.

To my mind when I think of an "exotic", I think of the McLaren F-1, Enzo or a Countach. I guess that it comes down to a combination of pricing (stratospheric), exclusivity(very) and a sense that this car is or at one time was absolutely state-of-the-art. Oh and also a certain sense of outrageousness in the design. I don't know if I'd put the Elise in that category, but certainly a "junior exotic". :bow:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I must admit I’m surprised that anyone would miss voting for the Pagani Zonda. After all at almost half a million dollars per car it is certainly expensive. Performance is amazing: top speed of 220 mph and a 0-60 of only 3.6 seconds. I can’t see it not fitting the bill:confused:
Perhaps it's so rare that some didn't vote because they didn't know what it was?
 

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Or possibly because they did not know it was multiple choice?
 

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The Zondas are at the top of my dream car list. It's right above the McLaren and Enzo. Zonda b/c i'ts beautiful (more than the Mac imo), has a nice rear, relatively practicle, satisfys the reqs to be a supercar, and aparently reliable.
 

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agent.5 said:
You have introduced a new term that I am trying to learn here. What is the difference between an exotic car from a dream car?
Dream car is something an individual fantasizes about owning, whereas a Lamborghini Diablo is exotic but it may not be desirable to the same individual. A person's dream car could be their most desirable car as well.
 

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ok my take:

Ferraris are all exotic. The 8-cyl ferrari is and has been for a while the entry level exotic car.

Porsches are not exotic, save the CGT and possibly GT2/3.

S2000/NSX, not exotic.

Zonda is a no brainer. It is everything that would make something exotic to the Nth degree.

As for the Elise, it seems exotic to me now only because the cars are not here yet. In 3-4 years we will have to see how many cars actually make it over here and how often they're seen on the street. Also what kind of reception they'll get styling-wise from the public will make a difference in this debate too. IMO for something to be exotic it needs to attract a lot of ooohs and aaahs.

One thing that hasn't been mentioned is that IMO an exotic also has to have some degree of expensive/frequent maintenance and be difficult to drive, park, etc. This is why the Porsches and Hondas strike out for the most part. They are too much like owning a normal car...too civilized, too easy.

-Steve
 

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ex·ot·ic
adj.
1. From another part of the world; foreign: exotic tropical plants in a greenhouse. See Synonyms at foreign.

2. Intriguingly unusual or different; excitingly strange: “If something can be explained simply, in a familiar way, then it is best to avoid more exotic explanations” (Chet Raymo).
____________________________________________________

IMO the car that created the need for the term was the Lamborgini Miura. The characteristics that defined that car define the word exotic for me.

-First it's configuration was mid-engined/rear drive.
-It has two seats.
-It is rare and handbuilt
-It is expensive/nearly unobtainable as a result of being handbuilt.
-It's design inspires awe and elicits the exhaustive study of those who view it.
-Kids should have posters of it on their bedroom walls.
-Comes from a country different than that of the owner.

I view the Elise as a near-exotic. It has many exotic attributes, but it comes up short on the exclusivity front.
 

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Derek said:
Perhaps it's so rare that some didn't vote because they didn't know what it was?
Is wasn't sure which car it was so I had to google it.

Second <a href="http://www.pistonheads.com/roadtests/index.asp?storyId=4292">result</a> from google is a Piston Heads review.

<b>Pagani Zonda: It's like an Elise with 500bhp says Robert Farago</b>
<i>No other example of this mega-breed is as willing to do your bidding as the Pagani Zonda. In fact, there's only car that comes close to matching its handling prowess: the Lotus Elise (see here). Everything I wrote about the Elise - the visceral connection between car, road and driver; the unadulterated bliss of flinging the machine through the twisties - applies to the Zonda.</i>

So does the fact that an Elise is positively compared to an exotic make it an exotic? =)

Sounds like a decent car.
 

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Vantage said:
Dream car is something an individual fantasizes about owning, whereas a Lamborghini Diablo is exotic but it may not be desirable to the same individual. A person's dream car could be their most desirable car as well.
Saw this guy recently in a yellow Diablo and I
could swear it looked even lower in height than the Elise.
 
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