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i think its an itch that has to be scratched! the best car ive ever driven in terms of handling an performance! so much fun! if you have a bad back dont bother, the seats are so bad, it will start to rattle and squeak but if i had 5 other cars i would buy one, a lot of money for what you get but they give you such a buzz! i had a loan of one and put up a few miles in one

424 Posts
About a year ago i was asking this same question on this forum...
So, ill spend some time and write a writeup!
Ill say about my general views as well, so you can judge by yourself whether elise is the car for you.
Yeah, and if you find this boring then just dont read, but for gods sake dont flame me! its just mho. please.

I live in Moscow.
Lotus Elise 111R for summer.
Mitsubishi Evolution 8 for winter.
Some track experience, lots of rally sprints and countless driver trainings, so im no pro racing driver, but i know what im doing behind the wheel.
Both cars are used daily during corresponding season. Mainly country roads + some highway and city driving. Very rarely i find myself doing above 100mhp (160kph).
I dont like straight lines very much. I love corners. The steeper - the better.
Cars that ive driven (worthy ones) : Elise, Evo 7,8, M3, Catherham (160bhp one), 911 s, 645 and a lot of crap like 330, 545, 7series, merc slk and a cayenne s.

What i think about cars:
Driving should be fun. For me a car is not something that gets me from A to B. Its something that gives me pleasure and satisfaction (or indeed dissatisfaction if im not pleased with my driving). Its a kind of realtionship really.

Why i dont like cars like M5, 911 etc:
(Dont get me wrong! I respect them a lot, but they are just not for me)
When im driving i want to feel like the car is a logical and physical continuation of me. I want the car to be honest with me. I want it to give me all the feedback it can.
Example. Ive driven the new 911 (cabrio, S) pretty hard recently and was very disappinted. The car just felt totally disconnected and (surprise!) uncomfortable. It did corner very well and as a whole thing it was put together very well, but it just wasnt much fun... The suspension was horrible as well (too soft in normal mode and still quite soft in sport mode but very oscilltionary (bouncy?) (if you see what i mean)). Didnt feel as fast as elise either (at least upto 80mph).
Remark on highways: if you plan to do lots of high speed driving, then cars like that are a good choice though, but we are not talking about that coz there is no fun in highway driving (personally, i would take something like gallardo for that sort of thing, and M5 if i needed 4 seats).

Now enough of that ramble(or rattling? excuse my poor english), some stuff about the car itself.

Straight line thrills. Plenty! Particularly at slow speeds (upto say 60mph) its very fast. It keeps pulling pretty good till around 100mph and then its over.

Corners. Well, by many, its considered to be one of the best chassis(sp?) in the world. And the best car for twisty roads... ever.

Comfort. It either fits you or it doesnt. Personally, i find it to be the most comfortable car of all i have driven. Im 100% serious. Its another business if you have problems with back or it doesnt fit you... For me it worked out perfectly.

Communication and handling. Again, the chassis is a work of a genius. Nothing i have driven comes even remotely close. Its like another world. Telepathy actually! I just have to think where i want the car to go and i goes there.
I always have info on where the limit is and how much grip i have left etc. Very honest and predictable.

Ride. Well, most of my friends say that suspension is hard. Some say its very hard. Again, i think that its setup perfectly for street driving. It communicates all road surface, but is not very harsh across bumps and such. And doesnt bouce at all (oscillate). And keeps the car very flat across the corners.

Build quality, reliability. Well, its reliable as hell (toyota engine). So far i have 10k miles on mine and i havent had a single problem. The only car i havent got a single problem over 10k miles was lexus sc?(small sedan one) and cayenne (of like 10 or 12 my family and i owned excluding ladas during comunists!)

Misc. Fuel consuption is like 10 liters/100km. Truck can swallow a full trolley of supermarket(food) shopping and a roof. Getting in and out is hard, but its all part of the appeal! You wont believe how much attention you will attract. Also, i dont know why, but girls (ALL OF THEM, even 3 year olds) find it unresistably attactive. oh, and the ground clearnce is pretty good.

Now, some +/-es...

All the above. This car is plain astonishing.

By far the most annoying thing is people touching your car with thier dirty oily hands when you are away!!! bah!!!
Brake pedal is a bit soft for my taste. And heal'n'toe is hard.
Stereo isnt great, but it reads mp3s and what else do you want?
And as i said, its no highway stormer.
Thats about the only things i dont like about the car. The brake pedal being the most importaint, but not THAT importaint.

Also, just wanted to warn you...
Youll be driving along a longer route to get some more time behind the wheel!
Youll be looking for an excuse to go and drive it.
When you are not driving it, youll be walking around the car... Just looking at it, touching it...
I do.

If you gave me a carrera gt or anything like that, i would sell it, and by my elise back :)

But then, im one of those sick elisaholics...

Arr, now that i wrote all this, i wanna go and drive my car!

In fact, i will...

Anyways, i hope some of this stuff helps you out!

2,289 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks guys..i have been visiting over at elisetalk so mainly reading up. I think i have decided to go with something a little less expensive as my first track car. Although maybe on down the road a used elise will work perfectly.
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