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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My former teammate bought a 06 Lotus Elise optioned out (for an Elise) with the sport suspention and the touring package. I got to drive it on a twisty mountain road the other week. My thoughts on the difference between the two cars.
the Lotus looks sexier than my STi, but what struck me is how tiny the the Lotus is! The roofline only comes up to my navel!! This made me nervous when we were on multi laned roads with SUVs. My friend bought black- good thing the Lotus has a clear bra as an option.
Storage in the Lotus is a joke even for a mid engined sports car. You can fit a back pack in the trunk. If you need to fit a second back pack, it is going on the passengers lap, because there is not enough space to even place it in the foot well. And I'm talking about small packs here. In comparison, the STi can fit a back pak in the trunk...along with my bicycle including a spare set of wheels!
Getting into the Elise requires mid level yoga manuvers. this is not a joke- you do not want to be getting in and out of this car frequently. I never thought about that with the STi's egress.
The Elise has more rattles than my STi and it only has 1500 on the clock.
The dashboard on this car is justabout non existant. it reminds me of motorcycle instrumentation. It also looks cheap. The STi in comparison looks like an Audi.
The seats are leather and very thinly padded- they are fixed back seats and not something you want to occupy for more than a couple of hours at a time. I find the STi seats comfortable for long stretches even though everybody seems to complain about them.
The STi sounds better than the Lotus, thought you can really hear the engine, since it is 8" behind your head, in the Lotus.
Acceleration feels about the same for both cars. I do feel much safer in the STi at speed.
The ride of the Lotus is harsh! I have always wondered why people think the STi is a rough ride. It feels like a '78 cadillac compared to the Lotus.
The Lotus has no body roll. The tiny steering wheel takes effort to turn, as there is no power steering. The shifter throws are a little longer than on our car. Shifter feel is decent, but I like my STi SS with the Kartboy/TiC treatment better. Steering feel is excellent in the Lotus.
The Lotus does handle incredibly well. It makes our cars seem like a luxury car in comparison. the lack of weight is very evident in the Lotus.
While it was great to drive this incredible automobile, I would not want one over my STi. The Lotus is in no way a suitable daily driver. If you are rich and want a track toy, this is the ticket. I think the Lotus is too hardcore even for a weekend car- I'm betting my friend will sell his before too long.

CN: Who said our cars are hardcore?
 

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I have an 05 mr2 spyder and it is fairly close in dimensions to the lotus, although probably softer in ride. I agree with all of your statements, but one thing I love about the spyder is the steering feel, just ten times better than my STIs. It helps not having the motor in front push down on the suspension.
 

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our cars are cadillacs compared to an Elise. Drove an Elise and then drove my STi home and one word came to mind: marshmallow. Our cars are super soft compared to Elises... the suspension and the seats. Elises are truly great cars.

Exige FTW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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Litfuse said:
I have an 05 mr2 spyder and it is fairly close in dimensions to the lotus, although probably softer in ride. I agree with all of your statements, but one thing I love about the spyder is the steering feel, just ten times better than my STIs. It helps not having the motor in front push down on the suspension.
You can also dramatically improve the steering feel on an STI by adding a front STB.

Great post dobie, btw.
 

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I had the privilege to ride in an Elise on the track. It was driven by a skilled driver on a relatively short road course.

Although the Elise isn't very fast on the straightway, it has an amazing ability to carry speed through the corners. It can handle so much g that corner-entry speeds were unbelievably high. Body roll was non-existant, and weight transfer is smooth.

Comparing the Elise to my STi on the same course, I find myself having to brake severely on certain tight corners. The process of brake-entry-apex-exit was much more labored and deliberate.

All in all, the Elise is build for the track, and the lack of horsepower and torque can easily be compensated by its superior handling.
 

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I'd worry about safety in the elise as well. Does it have airbags?
 

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Well, I suppose that's no worse than the EVO which IMHO is rather unsafe.
 

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A guy near my college has an 05 STi, and a red elise, newer one, not sure which year, but defiinitely no more than a year or 2 old. He also works across the street from me, he alternates cars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Iguana said:
I'd worry about safety in the elise as well. Does it have airbags?
Even though it has airbags, at around 1900 lbs and having a low ride height means that in a collision
Everything on the road (except stuff on 2 wheels)>you.
I think the Lotus is not much better than a motorbike in terms of people not seeing you.
 

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Ya they are cool cars but damn they are tiny! I pulled up next to one in my old nsx and I felt like I was in an suv or something, and the nsx was pretty small.
 

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purreplayya69 said:
hell yea lol but like 520hp said it have to be my track not daily
I gots me a beater car already. :)

The STi is my "toy" car. But it probably gets driven on the street more than an Elise would...
 

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dobie0791 said:
The dashboard on this car is justabout non existant. it reminds me of motorcycle instrumentation. It also looks cheap. The STi in comparison looks like an Audi.
OK, now that is definately a stretch on both statements. The elise interior looks very purpose built, and the STi interior definately doesn't look like an Audi's.

I agree with everything you said though, however it seems like you tried to focus on the negatives. I made a post a while back about driving my friends Elise, and you can definately tell you are driving a street legal race car. Especially when you awkwardly maneuver in and sit in the wood-like seats.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Gentry said:
OK, now that is definately a stretch on both statements. The elise interior looks very purpose built, and the STi interior definately doesn't look like an Audi's.

I agree with everything you said though, however it seems like you tried to focus on the negatives. I made a post a while back about driving my friends Elise, and you can definately tell you are driving a street legal race car. Especially when you awkwardly maneuver in and sit in the wood-like seats.
Don't get me wrong- the Elise is a fantastic driving machine. But it is just that-a driving machine not well suited for much else. I guess I was not trying to put down the Lotus as much as I am trying to point out that the STi is a well rounded vehicle that is a screaming deal at around $30K. My friend's Lotus was $50K. Aside from the sexy body work and the aluminum chassis, it features a Toyota drive train -corolla engine and tranny. Howz that for econo box DNA? :)
If the Elise was mass produced off of another platform, it would cost 1/2 as much.
And yes, while the STi does not have an Audi interior, the dash of the Elise still looks cheap. I was just trying to make a point.
 

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My last two track days had about 10+ Lotis' including the hotter Exige. Only one guy (oriental, go figure...) could even come close to my speed and he was still about 3 seconds off of a 1.5 minute lap. I caught up to one in the esses at Buttonwillow and expected him to put on a show thru them. Instead, I almost rear ended him!

I got a buddy who says that it takes the right driver but I say that after seeing over 20+ of them at track days going slow, where are those good drivers? I def think they are cool in their own way but it aint the track tool that an STI is with basic set up mods.

Besides, I dont think road-head is possible in a Lotus while my STI is a proven winner...
 

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An Elise is a good weekend car but you'll never see me on the 405 freeway with that thing.

One H2 Hummer later and I'm roadkill.
 
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