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Original Owner
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well the other day Gixxer_Drew and I went to go test drive the elise at our local lotus dealer. They tossed us the keys and we were off for fourty minutes or so doing some spirited driving.

It was an 05 red elise w/ the top off touring package on advan neova's.

PRO's

This thing gets attention like you would not believe. We had nearly 20 people snap their necks while we were on the test drive. Everyone from old men to teenage girls did a double take. Mind you this was w/ a stock exhaust and the car seemed at times a bit annoyingly loud.

Handling: this was a very well balanced car ( but i guess its hard to mess up something so simple and light ) there was slight understeer on low speed corner exits as well

CON's

If you are 6'0 + you will look like an idiot getting in and out of this vehicle w/o the top off. I personally think its worse than getting in a 6pt roll cage.

the power leaves a lot to be desired. If you are thinking of going from a supra to this, well you better do forced induction because it seems like it goes no where and just gets louder and louder. Supercharging would be a clear solution, i think w/ another 50rwhp it would be more decent.

Grip:
the level of grip on this car is overrated. Perhaps it was because they had changed out the ao48's to the neova's but taking the onramps i would feel a lot more comfortable and faster taking them in my supra hands down. However w/ that said i'm sure the elise would catch up in consecutive tight turns.

The throttle was incredibly heavy and thin, it took a little getting used to , to heal toe.

With all this being said, i still could see myself in an exige but only if i have the extra capacity to supercharge it. In all honest any supra owner coming into an elise will definately miss the power. The car just doesn't seem to have that much pep. And i wouldn't even consider myself a power junkie like some of you folks.

But if you have the extra 40-50k laying around it is definatley an attention getter not to mention still a fun car if you can get past the lack of power.
 

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Supra + DSM = heaven
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My thoughts exactly. It was a fun car but when your used to the kind of grip a supra can provide you realize you could have taken corners at higher speeds in the supra. The difference is the Elise was much more nimble and could probably change directions into the next corner faster. Plus the advantages of just being a smaller car allowing you to take a line. Don’t think about rolling two guys in the thing either. It should be ladies only in the passenger unless one of you is a leprechaun your arms will be getting cozy with each other. I am not a big guy either 5’8”.

The car we had you could feel the diff fighting you on the corner exits, I had a suspicion it was no LSD car and the sales guys confirmed the LSD wasn’t available that year. DEFINITELY get the LSD.

The Bilstein valving was excellent felt like a progressive valve that someone spent a lot of time on in conjunction with the chassis and spring rates were exceptional all the normal road irregularities were absorbed with easy under cornering but big stuff like you would never see on a racetrack will jar you. Those little bitty calipers bite HARD and stop fast but then again the car didn’t have enough power to jump up to 150 like the cars we are used to either. The ABS had a very fast sample rate and adjusted for changing pavement quickly under max braking. The car was easy to push to the limit I was just surprised by how soon we found that limit.

100 more HP would be good as a minimum.

I disagree on one point though. Even with all the padding my 10pt cage is definitely harder to get in and out of then the Elise. I think curtis just isn’t as used to getting in and out of a cage theres a special technique that works well and made the elise fine to get in and out of. But I am a lot smaller guy.

The heel toe thing was really strange at first then we both got used to it.
 

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Original Owner
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
gixxer_drew said:
My thoughts exactly. It was a fun car but when your used to the kind of grip a supra can provide you realize you could have taken corners at higher speeds in the supra. The difference is the Elise was much more nimble and could probably change directions into the next corner faster. Plus the advantages of just being a smaller car allowing you to take a line. Don’t think about rolling two guys in the thing either. It should be ladies only in the passenger unless one of you is a leprechaun your arms will be getting cozy with each other. I am not a big guy either 5’8”.

The car we had you could feel the diff fighting you on the corner exits, I had a suspicion it was no LSD car and the sales guys confirmed the LSD wasn’t available that year. DEFINITELY get the LSD.

The Bilstein valving was excellent felt like a progressive valve that someone spent a lot of time on in conjunction with the chassis and spring rates were exceptional all the normal road irregularities were absorbed with easy under cornering but big stuff like you would never see on a racetrack will jar you. Those little bitty calipers bite HARD and stop fast but then again the car didn’t have enough power to jump up to 150 like the cars we are used to either. The ABS had a very fast sample rate and adjusted for changing pavement quickly under max braking. The car was easy to push to the limit I was just surprised by how soon we found that limit.

100 more HP would be good as a minimum.

I disagree on one point though. Even with all the padding my 10pt cage is definitely harder to get in and out of then the Elise. I think curtis just isn’t as used to getting in and out of a cage theres a special technique that works well and made the elise fine to get in and out of. But I am a lot smaller guy.

The heel toe thing was really strange at first then we both got used to it.

mind you that the top was off, and i'm also a few inches taller than you ;)

you know that analogy, hotdog down a hall way? well it's the opposite of that
 

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Original Owner
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
that is my nickname ;)
 

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Administrator
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Good times, and a fun car I'm sure. I just read a pretty harsh review of the Exige where they basically told readers that it's not a car to be driven on the street for normal commuting, and that the interior quality wasn't so hot. More bad news is that used Exige's are already showing up for sale, which tells me that it's likely not much fun to live with. :(
 

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Former Moderator
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I rode in one a few months back and I liked the car quite a bit. However, I was expecting much more velocity from such a lightweight car. It was SupraSeb's Lotus. He claimed he was able to relieve 200 lbs off the car by taking off "useless" stuff!! :lol: :lol: The car weighs 2000 lbs, and he's able to take out 10% of the weight!?!? :hahano: Ridiculous. Anyways, he had also fitted a loud exhaust on it but it was getting a bit annoying at the end.

I agree with both Curtis and Drew, this car needs a SC or turbo-kit, to achieve at least 50hp more to really give it some guts and some much needed torque down low.

-Olivier
 

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Passion Driven
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MyKarIsVicious said:
The throttle was incredibly heavy and thin, it took a little getting used to , to heal toe.
What do you mean by "Heavy" and "thin"?

Heavy as in harder to push..? Thin as in....

Thanks for the review otherwise...
 

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Original Owner
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
PhoeniXDownVII said:
What do you mean by "Heavy" and "thin"?

Heavy as in harder to push..? Thin as in....

Thanks for the review otherwise...

heavy as in i would normally give my supra 2 lbs of pressure to take off from a light where as i would have to give this thing like 8lbs to even budge the pedal.

thin as in the whole pedal looks like the letter "I" its really thin, but its just something you have to get used to, i was use to blipping the throttle with the side of my foot to rev match and heel toe but this you really have to use your heel to heel toe.

I really would not recodmend using this as a daily driver, it can be done, but so can an f40 ferrari but would you really want to? probably not. It also sucks that if you ever so happen to be on a freeway and a new maxima (god forbid a jetta) pulls up to you, it would most likely smoke the elise on a highway run... something i could never allow to happen.

for the price, i would think a used nsx would be a better all around daily car and weekend track warrior. used nsx's go for 24k , spend the other 24k in mods, ( if you really wanted to ) and you'd get something equally rewarding, faster, and classic styling.

i do however think that the elise is a panty dropper (albeit teenage panties) but panty dropper nonetheless. Its just a harsh ride, loud car, and not very fast .

once again , with all that said i would still pick up a used exige and supercharge it =), i love the looks of it, and it would never be a daily driver.
 

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Supra + DSM = heaven
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Interior quality was meh. It was better then GM though. I wasnt sure if it was just our demo model but I was whacking the gear shifter around and the whole plastic center console thing was flying around half an inch with it. I cant imagine that thing holding up long.

As for the comfort, I can sort of see where they are coming from but I think they are trying to relate to the 'normal' folks not us gear heads.
 
G

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didn't feel fast huh?? Ive read alot about it , and they say it does 0-to 60 in like
4.5 seconds? you guys did not comment on the steering , i know the exige
doesn't have power steering , but what about the one you drove?

i would love one , but living in mass, i would drive it for 4 months out of the year
IF THAT ...... its a cool car to have JUST TO LOOK AT

i think the next version will be bigger and less harsh
 

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Supra + DSM = heaven
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The car does it that fast because of a hell of a launch with rear weight bias and very little weight besides. 0-60 doesnt mean much to me.

Steering was excellent. Didnt feel over or under assisted not sure if it was assisted or not though. I would tend to think it was assisted but felt like a variable assist changing with speed.
 

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irie
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168 Posts
gixxer_drew said:
The car does it that fast because of a hell of a launch with rear weight bias and very little weight besides. 0-60 doesnt mean much to me.

Steering was excellent. Didnt feel over or under assisted not sure if it was assisted or not though. I would tend to think it was assisted but felt like a variable assist changing with speed.

Drew im still trying to pick one up, just have to figure out the garage problem. But i would have to get rid of the M3. But then again, i only rode in the passenger seat once, last year, so i really dont know what to expect from that car. I just cant walk in the dealer and expect a test drive. The closest dealer is on van ness, and im not going there, and the next one is at the boardwalk in Redwood city., which i s where i spoke to a guy there trying to sell me a red one , but the base model without the twin oil coolers and tires and such. But i have to test drive one.
 

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Supra + DSM = heaven
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Jose! Whatsup man! I would think its a great replacement for the M3 if you can live without the creature comforts and rear seat. I hope your not planning to use it as a Daily Driver though? It did have REALLY good gas mileage ratings its not exactly a grocery getter ;)
 

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irie
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168 Posts
gixxer_drew said:
Jose! Whatsup man! I would think its a great replacement for the M3 if you can live without the creature comforts and rear seat. I hope your not planning to use it as a Daily Driver though? It did have REALLY good gas mileage ratings its not exactly a grocery getter ;)


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(The Bilstein valving was excellent felt like a progressive valve that someone spent a lot of time on in conjunction with the chassis and spring rates were exceptional all the normal road irregularities were absorbed with easy under cornering but big stuff like you would never see on a racetrack will jar you. Those little bitty calipers bite HARD and stop fast but then again the car didn’t have enough power to jump up to 150 like the cars we are used to either. The ABS had a very fast sample rate and adjusted for changing pavement quickly under max braking. The car was easy to push to the limit I was just surprised by how soon we found that limit.)



Well see.... Ive been a fan of that car for a long time, but im really digging the new styling and also since its available here. Ill have to adjust some stuff here at home. Your suspension knowledge never ceases to amaze me Drew.

:)
 

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Ok, here's my review of the car. First off, my dad has owned one for over a year and I have driven the shit out of it. If you are looking for mainly a street car, this car is probably not for you. If you are looking for a car that you can take to the track, you may want to consider it.

Driving it on the streets is fun, but I'll admit that it does feel a bit underpowered. However, this assumption changes on the track. When you take this thing to the track, it really comes to life. It is amazing how quick it actually is. To give you an idea of how auick it actually is, I did an HPDE at Carolina Motorsports Park in the car and my brother was chasing me in his 97 Camaro with about 400 hp. This camaro is set up for the track and he is a very fast driver. In the straights, it was pretty much even between us, and every lap I kept gaining distance on him. Also, on the same track, I was hitting the same speeds in the elise that I was in my 400 rwhp supra! Although, at faster tracks, higher hp cars will start to pull away a bit at speeds above 120 mph.

The handling and brakes are absolutely amazing. Now this car is stock straightr from the factory (including brake pads and tires). You can brake so late that it is alsmot scary. The handling is also phenominal. Without having power steering the car gives you tremendous feed back. The car is very balanced and is very easy to make it do what you want it to do. I've gotten it very sideways and it is very controllable which makes for some very awesome drifts (not the fastest way around the track, but damn it's fun sometimes).

I was chasing down vettes, porches, cars with track tires, cars w/ twice the horsepower, etc. Even with all of that, I do think that you can get more out of the car. There is a turbo kit out for it that gives it about 260 to the wheels. I think the combo of this, some track tires, and maybe a little more downforce via the exiges wing, the car would be absolutley unbeatable!!

One thing that is awesome about the car is that it takes absolutely nothing to do to get it ready for the track. Just put gas in it, change the oil once in a while, and you are good to go. So if you are looking for a streetable weekend car that is an absolute blast to drive at the track, you may want to consider this car.
 

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Will it give you more excuses to go to the grocrey store tho :rofl:
gixxer_drew said:
Jose! Whatsup man! I would think its a great replacement for the M3 if you can live without the creature comforts and rear seat. I hope your not planning to use it as a Daily Driver though? It did have REALLY good gas mileage ratings its not exactly a grocery getter ;)
 
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