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pullthatwigback
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Discussion Starter #1
im thiiiiis close to buying an elise. its a surreal car really. not that different from other cars i love but just a lot more of what i love. i was just wondering if its anything other than weight. is that why they are good? is the suspension design that good? or the weight balance? basically, would the car be great if it was 3000 lbs?
 

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Some cars are made to impress other people.

A Lotus is made to impress the driver
 

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Acme Super Moderator ** The Enforcer **
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Don't drive one unless you're prepared to buy one. Seriously.

After driving an Elige, when you get in your other car you knew was good/great (with a few exceptions), you'll realize you're in a different class of car. It will change your opinion on cars in general.

I'm sure there are cars that are even more pure driver's cars, but I've never driven one.

San
 

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Premium Member
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Elige are not at all like other cars. They were, and are, as close to no-frills, no-compromises hand-built competition vehicle platforms for the road as you will find for the $$. I've owned and driven many other very small roadster/sub-compact sporty vehicles over the years that have reputations for "go cart-like" handling and comportment. Compared to my Elise, they are like driving big tubs of mush.

Yeah, they're different.
 

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This simply comes down to physics, and nothing more.

Yes, Lotus is brilliant at chassis/suspension, but there are a myriad of cars out there that have such, even designed by Lotus.

The brilliance of the Elise/Exige/111 chassis comes down to physics.

- light
- rigid
- low
- short
- mid-engined
- short wheelbase
- RWD
- manual gearbox (re: driver involvement)

The rest is just aftermath.

The best part, IMO, is that the Elise/Exige come from the factory with a TON of compromises, and if you're willing to do a little research and spend a little money, you can make the car 50% better than factory with some tweaks. At that point you'll really have something that's just out of this world.

Would it be as good at 3,000 lbs? No, nothing would. It'd still be great with the above-mentioned list, but low weight is the key factor.
 

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Wingless Wonder
1988 Esprit Turbo
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I can quote more than one Elise/Exige owner as saying:

"It literally goes where you think you want to go"

Meaning it has the ability to go around corners FAST and IN CONTROL. (This applies to my Esprit as well as Evoras, and even Europas.)


Think about the difference between HANDLING and ROAD HOLDING. Road Holding (skidpad numbers) don't measure how well the car transitions during varying conditions.
 

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Did you just say it would be better at 3000 lbs?

Colin Chapman is rolling over in his grave.

Its about power to weight ratio hence the lower the better

If you want more things and a heavier car, then you dont want an Elise.

If you want to have the most fun with your clothes on and an absolute curve and cornering machine then this is the car for you.

I smile from the time i start the engine until hours after i have put it away
 

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Oh yes he did

"is the suspension design that good? or the weight balance? basically, would the car be great if it was 3000 lbs?"
 

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Oh yes he did

"is the suspension design that good? or the weight balance? basically, would the car be great if it was 3000 lbs?"
Dude, go back to your drink, the OP is asking if there is something special in the design composition, other than weight, that would make it the same if it were heavier, not better.

And the answer is NO. Weight is the key that makes all of these little Lotus locks turn.
 

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Acme Super Moderator ** The Enforcer **
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Oh yes he did

"is the suspension design that good? or the weight balance? basically, would the car be great if it was 3000 lbs?"
No, he didn't. You posted only part of the quote. Your imagination runneth over. I would have a cup of whatever you're imbibing in though.

San
 

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All true.

Now imagine a Europa at 1500 pounds. Talk about telepathic. How many coats of paint on the roadway center line?
 

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Less is Better
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I have to agree with the consensus, light weight is a large part of what makes the Elise so special. I haven't had the pleasure of driving an S1, but it's another 300 pounds lighter than the federal cars or an original Elan at 1200 and I'm sure they an even better experience because of it. But like any good meal, the final product is more than the sum of it's ingredients. Size, the directness of the controls, the suspension design, the chassis stiffness all lead up to the experience. The feel of total control of the vehicle is something you can't get when you're surrounded by weight and size.

There are plenty of capable, stable, fast sports cars out there. But none of them can give you the experience that an Elise can.
 

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Less is Better
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This leads to an interesting question, what is the lightest car you've driven and is it better than the Elise? The Elise is the lightest car I've driven. The closest cars I can compare to are my 2300 pound NB Miata and 2400 pound FB Rx-7. Both of which I consider to be great fun as well. I'll take less weight over more power every time.
 

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This leads to an interesting question, what is the lightest car you've driven and is it better than the Elise? The Elise is the lightest car I've driven. The closest cars I can compare to are my 2300 pound NB Miata and 2400 pound FB Rx-7. Both of which I consider to be great fun as well. I'll take less weight over more power every time.
My 1970 TVR Vixen is only 1650#, but also only about 135 hp. Very fun to drive, but not an Exige.
 
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