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Bought a Lotus Elise

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Bought a Lotus Elise

 
Old 08-30-2018, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Say Chi Sin Lo View Post
I was referring to the level of refinement of being in the driver's seat (not knocking it, it is what it is). Like you mentioned, it's a track car made street legal. Hence, you brave.
Yes, refined it is certainly not. Although, I did manage to fix the worst rattle, which was the windows. There are actually two screws on each door for adjusting them (no need to remove any panels or plugs to access them) so after a bit of screwing around (bah-dum-cchhhh) they're quiet now.

Now the main rattle is the plastic trim by each side climate control vent, although these seem to not rattle unless it's over 70 degrees out, then suddenly they rattle like mad, hahaha. Might just yank them off and put some felt in there. But really, the car is such a stimulus overload that it doesn't really bother me, whereas it would drive me insane in a car that's otherwise quiet and refined like a new Accord.

Speaking of refinement, just ordered a locking gas cap because Lotus didn't put any sort of locking mechanism on US Elise gas doors. Fancy!
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Old 08-31-2018, 12:45 PM
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What is the insurance like relative to your other cars?
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Old 08-31-2018, 01:18 PM
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hell of a pick up, congrats and enjoy in good health!
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Old 09-02-2018, 07:14 AM
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Love the color. I wonder what it would feel like with some boost and 300hp?
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Old 09-04-2018, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by rwheelz View Post
What is the insurance like relative to your other cars?
It's about the same as my M3, which is interesting because they are worth about the same, but the Elise is a lot more spendy to repair. $88/mo thru State Farm.
Originally Posted by fusionchickenleg View Post
hell of a pick up, congrats and enjoy in good health!
Thanks! Took the wife out for a 2.5hr twisty road drive last weekend. She didn't hate it - actually enjoyed it as much as our drives in the M3. I've put 500 miles on it already, which is twice what the previous owner would put on in a given year. No idea why - this car was meant to be driven, especially in California weather.
Originally Posted by rob-2 View Post
Love the color. I wonder what it would feel like with some boost and 300hp?
Thanks - it's my first bright/colorful car. I figure this type of car should be bright and fun - and also, it's much easier to see than gray.

I would love to try a boosted one. It has surprisingly good power - substantially quicker than a stock S2000 at any rpm (especially on the low cam). However, at speeds above ~85 and with a passenger you can really tell that most of its speed is due to light weight rather than power. There are a lot of SC ones, seems like it would be a blast. Although the factory SC ones are only good for another ~30hp and tq.
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Old 09-05-2018, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by rob-2 View Post
Love the color. I wonder what it would feel like with some boost and 300hp?
300 hp in an Elige is a lot, I supercharged mine with the basic MP62 kit to 250 rwhp and it was quick to about 100. The difference in mid range torque made it a lot better to drive on the street, in stock form you have to wring the hell out of the engine like a S2000.
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Old 12-10-2018, 02:05 PM
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It's been almost 4 months with the Lotus so I thought I'd give an update on living with it. I've put over 1,000 miles on it (which is 3x what the last owner added over 3 years), including a ~200 mile trip to Monterey Car Week and back. Not a single problem thus far, and have been averaging 26-27mpg.

I've made some fairly minor but useful changes to it. The biggest is I replaced the much-maligned Sport Pack Bilstein suspension with a lightly used set of Nitron Street Series coilovers I got for $770, which have nearly identical spring rates (softer by less than 10% F&R) but MUCH better damping, which is adjustable for compression and rebound together. The stock setup had a very strange ride in that it was uncannily compliant over large bumps (less abrupt and firm feeling than even our Merc C350 and E90 M3), but jolting over minor imperfections like cracks and even lane markers. Made for a jarring ride on rough pavement and a skittish demeanor on imperfect backroads. The Nitrons soak these up a lot better - it simply floats over most bumps while remaining aggressive and maintaining better contact with the road. My wife even fell asleep while riding in it last weekend!

The shifter base had a lot of lateral flex and slop, so I used a couple of cheap (under $50 total) methods to reinforce it to the chassis. These improved shift feel quite a bit, to the point where it's actually pretty good esp. for a cable shifter. It's no S2000, but shifts are now direct and very light and quick. Having given up on the stereo because it is horrible and I never felt like listening to music in this car anyway, I replaced the deck with a simple lidded box to throw my wallet, keys, etc. into while driving. I've also done a few small but necessary things for practical livability - a locking gas cap (LOL), a slimmer/better wiper blade than the massive single stock one, and a gas trunk shock to hold open the lid instead of the stock prop rod, which was incredibly annoying having to use two hands on when you have your hands full.

I find myself driving it whenever I can. I've gotten over some of the paranoia of driving in traffic, as a lot of times people don't see it since it's >2" lower than a 1st-gen NSX. You learn to drive more defensively and park carefully, as the fiberglass clamshells are VERY expensive to replace and are easily damaged. But as long as you don't have a lot to carry (I can do an average grocery run, but barely) it's a blast to rip around in. The lightness and immediacy of everything, the steering feel, the balance and progressive break-away, and the surprising amount of power (1.8L doesn't feel so gutless with 1,950lbs to punt around, until you reach triple digits) make it a ton of fun at any speed, and make other cars feel numb and sloppy. The car gets a lot of attention, but so far all of it has been very positive so that's kind of fun. It was also funny taking it for its oil cooler line recall, as my local dealer also sells Lamborghini, Aston, Bentley, Rolls, and Bugatti. It felt like bringing a 49cc Ruckus to a Honda dealership, lol.


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Old 12-15-2018, 05:39 AM
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Awesome writeup, photos, and update.

Time to get a blower.
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Old 12-17-2018, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by kenstyle View Post
Awesome writeup, photos, and update.

Time to get a blower.
Haha, the thought has crossed my mind. Gotta get it on track first though and get to the point where I can use more power. Still have a couple of things to address before track time, including the fact that it's on tires from 2008!
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Old 12-17-2018, 08:25 AM
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I've always loved this car! It looks great and congrats on the purchase! Would be curious to hear what you ended up getting it for.
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