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Thorburn

1,385 posts

77 months

[news] 
Monday 23rd July 2012 quote quote all
Had a chance to drive the Elise S along with a year old Elise SC at the weekend, just posted up a write-up here: http://www.seloc.org/articles/driven/driven-elise-...



Have to say on the road, the Elise S is probably my favourite Elise variant of them all now - including the new Exige S.

GTRene

8,617 posts

108 months

[news] 
Monday 23rd July 2012 quote quote all
I like that color/wheels combo.

The Pits

4,118 posts

124 months

[news] 
Monday 23rd July 2012 quote quote all
Sorry but the new car is a missed opportunity for me. It only offers something to those who prefer low down torque - a curious thing for someone who's drawn to such an uncompromising car as an elise to aspire to.

I'm disappointed they didn't offer a higher power output than the previous elise SC. Yes I know the torque is better but seriously 7000rpm vs 8500rpm means I'd rather have the previous Elise SC by some margin. New car should have offered 240bhp minimum. Lotus should be adding to the positive headlines that the Exige S has been generating.

From a business point of view there's very little in the new car to tempt existing and former elise SC owners. For owners of the n/a toyota ZZ engined car, like myself, I don't consider this new car an 'upgrade'. I'd rather have the RGB. Shame, it should have filled the space left by the old Exige S and offered around 250bhp.

otolith

25,308 posts

88 months

[news] 
Monday 23rd July 2012 quote quote all
I think it's fine if the range goes from {S, R, SC} to {1.6, S, ??} - they need another car to slot in above this one.

The Pits

4,118 posts

124 months

[news] 
Monday 23rd July 2012 quote quote all
Price wise there isn't room for anything between this and the Exige S. A much faster car for £45k would kill sales of this Elise and push the price any nearer £50k and who wouldn't want to stretch another £5k for an Exige S (or roadster)?

Similarly for £40k it needs more than 217bhp.

I think we're at the point where that should be the power output of the base Elise. It's hardly outrageous and I'd like the Elise to be seen as a fast car not just a light one.
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Thorburn

1,385 posts

77 months

[news] 
Monday 23rd July 2012 quote quote all
Different strokes for different folks I guess, I wouldn't right it off without trying it though.

I thought it rode far better than the Elise SC RGB and while the rev limiter is lower it's got more low-end punch and feels just as potent at the top-end. The sports exhaust suits it nicely for fun driving - I prefer a deeper note to a high rev scream.

It's fair to say it doesn't move the game forward dramatically, but it offers all the benefits of the Elise SC in terms of performance along with a healthy reduction in fuel consumption and emissions, so win/win.

It's certainly my favourite Elise out of all of those I've driven now, including the Exige V6. Don't forget the base price is £36,200 - this one had quite a few options on it.

otolith

25,308 posts

88 months

[news] 
Monday 23rd July 2012 quote quote all
The Pits said:
Price wise there isn't room for anything between this and the Exige S. A much faster car for £45k would kill sales of this Elise and push the price any nearer £50k and who wouldn't want to stretch another £5k for an Exige S (or roadster)?

Similarly for £40k it needs more than 217bhp.
It's not 40k, it's 36k. You can certainly option it up well beyond that, but that's true of everything. I think this at 36k and then something with another 30-50bhp for another 5k or so would be fine and would still leave plenty of space for the Exige.

The Pits said:
I think we're at the point where that should be the power output of the base Elise. It's hardly outrageous and I'd like the Elise to be seen as a fast car not just a light one.
The 1.6 is a niche within a niche, and serves its own purpose. To all intents and purposes, this is the 36k base Elise.

The Pits

4,118 posts

124 months

[news] 
Monday 23rd July 2012 quote quote all
Ok but 217bhp is still not enough for my £36k. I can get that out of my elise with a supercharger for a little over £3k! It does matter because Lotus should be making cars that make current owners want to swap to. It's a very tough job to convince Lotus sceptics and ambivalents to buy a Lotus, doubly so with the state of the current dealer network. Much easier to aim at people who have already bought into the brand and are happy with the compromises needed for such fabulous, lightweight sports car, such as getting in and out and the odd buzz and rattle. For them there is no clear step forward that I can see. Maybe easier power curve for daily (boring) driving but if it's at the expense of the few moments we get of joyful, inspirational driving then it's a net loss for me. I should add that I'm of the view that the toyota 2ZZGE engine is a near perfect match for the elise. I also love the now unfashionable (and in engineering terms sub-optimal) 'v-tec' powerstep because it never fails to make me smile along with the 8500rpm scream. The sound it makes with a decent pipe is about as inspirational as a four cylinder gets. It's a big part of my car's appeal to me.

The old SC version also offered a more linear delivery for those that prefer it but also with a more exotic rev limit than your average warm hatch offers.

I agree of course that final judgement should always be reserved for driving but as yet I've not read or seen anything to make me even bother with a test drive. With another 30bhp (so easy and cheap to achieve with a pulley and some electronic fiddling surely?) it would be a different story.

The Pits

4,118 posts

124 months

[news] 
Monday 23rd July 2012 quote quote all
Please don't misunderstand, no-one would be happier to see the new Elise S(C) fly out of the showrooms than me. I wish it every success. I still can't help feeling it's a missed opportunity to move the game on. Let's hope there is a large untapped market out there for elises with strong bottom end performance and impressive CO2/mpg figures.

Thorburn

1,385 posts

77 months

[news] 
Monday 23rd July 2012 quote quote all
Honestly, I don't like the 111R at all as standard, the dip in power before the cam change got on my wick and it felt gutless lower down. Great if you were flat out, frustrating if you weren't. I'm sure it's better with the lowered change over, but I've not driven one with that so I can't really comment.

The 2ZZ-GE in the SC is much better than the standard 111R and I went in to the drives expecting to actually prefer the SC because it seemed to be the answer to the 111R's problems mixed in with it's good points, but I didn't. The Elise S was simply better.
Other than a different number on the dials the power delivery feels very similar when you're using pushing on, but the Elise S is quicker to respond when you put your foot down at lower revs and the gearing means you're travelling at near enough the same speed in each car when you hit the red-line.

It's very much an evolution of the SC, but it is a very complete package. Totally exploitable on the road and superb fun.

I will agree that more power would make it more appealing on paper however, but I don't think it would actually make it much more fun.

GTRene

8,617 posts

108 months

[news] 
Monday 23rd July 2012 quote quote all
more power means more warranty claims I guess...

they keep a door open to ad a 30 or 40hp extra, but that's then up to you and loosing your warranty,
so risk that or buy it in a few years if warranty is important to you,
and do it then?

The Pits

4,118 posts

124 months

[news] 
Monday 23rd July 2012 quote quote all
Well flat out is the most fun bit so that's where I like my fun cars to deliver most.

'the power delivery feels very similar when you're using pushing on' that's all well and good but I think the new car should move the game on from what came before.

Ideally I'd like to see the elise offered with a more exotic engine, not a more ordinary one. Was there ever a better 1.8 four cylinder than the 2ZZRGE? Honda 1.8 vtec perhaps? But it's in the running. Not a claim you could make for the 134bhp toyota engine. However I do appreciate that Lotus have to make do with the limited options and resources available to them.

Let's just hope there are a lot more people out there who share Thorburn's tastes. I really hope it's a successful car for Lotus.

otolith

25,308 posts

88 months

[news] 
Monday 23rd July 2012 quote quote all
I think the Honda K20A is a much better implementation of the 2ZZ kind of engine, albeit 200CC larger capacity. On the other hand, I've never thought the Rover K-series was anything to write home about either, and for my tastes the 2ZZ lump was the best thing Lotus had put in the car up to that point.

Thorburn

1,385 posts

77 months

[news] 
Tuesday 24th July 2012 quote quote all
The Pits said:
Ideally I'd like to see the elise offered with a more exotic engine, not a more ordinary one. Was there ever a better 1.8 four cylinder than the 2ZZRGE? Honda 1.8 vtec perhaps? But it's in the running. Not a claim you could make for the 134bhp toyota engine. However I do appreciate that Lotus have to make do with the limited options and resources available to them.
Sad fact that there aren't really any of those engines left thanks to the pressure to lower CO2 emissions and meet increasingly tight regulations on other gases. The Euro V regs killed off all kinds of interesting engines like the 2ZZ - the Honda S2000 and Civic Type R are both gone, as is the Mazda RX8 rotary.

Scuffers

13,655 posts

158 months

[news] 
Tuesday 24th July 2012 quote quote all
Thorburn said:
Sad fact that there aren't really any of those engines left thanks to the pressure to lower CO2 emissions and meet increasingly tight regulations on other gases. The Euro V regs killed off all kinds of interesting engines like the 2ZZ - the Honda S2000 and Civic Type R are both gone, as is the Mazda RX8 rotary.
Very true, (although its more the EU5 stuff than CO2 per say)

It's still possible to make that kind of engine, but the costs to achive it now make it un-economic in 'normal' cars.

As with most st, blame the green .

1560

141 posts

82 months

[news] 
Tuesday 24th July 2012 quote quote all
In doubt: exige or the exige roadster
Use: more roadtrips than ring, little track-use

pthelazyjourno

1,622 posts

53 months

[news] 
Tuesday 24th July 2012 quote quote all
The Pits said:
Price wise there isn't room for anything between this and the Exige S. A much faster car for £45k would kill sales of this Elise and push the price any nearer £50k and who wouldn't want to stretch another £5k for an Exige S (or roadster)?

Similarly for £40k it needs more than 217bhp.

I think we're at the point where that should be the power output of the base Elise. It's hardly outrageous and I'd like the Elise to be seen as a fast car not just a light one.
Don't agree with this, can't say I hanker after an Elise with more than 220bhp, it just doesn't appeal.

I love the Elise at legal speeds, and it's already more than quick enough when accelerating between 20-60mph, say.

Just don't think it needs to be ballistically quick, the Exige is there for that.

All IMO, of course, and as somebody happy with a mere 150bhp. Obviously nobody would ever turn it down, and say "no I don't want 280bhp", but I think it only makes a big difference at silly speeds - not what the Elise is about.

The Pits said:
Was there ever a better 1.8 four cylinder than the 2ZZRGE?
Yes, a tuned K series, it doesn't weigh a ton and doesn't sound like a souped up washing machine.

Change to Toyota power ruined the Elise for me, I'd much rather have seen Lotus go 200bhp Duratec.

Still, kept Lotus going for another decade, so there you go.

Edited by pthelazyjourno on Tuesday 24th July 20:46

peter450

1,434 posts

117 months

[news] 
Tuesday 24th July 2012 quote quote all
I agree with prev comments, the new S should really have looked to up the bar, not hold station over the previous SC, thats been the biggest issue for the Elise down the years, looking for the same performance as the prev car, rather than tryint to improve on it

The 2011/12 lineup should have been S/C & intercooled for both 1.6 and 1.8 with 170/180hp and 240/260hp respectively, to get the Elise back on track performance wise

sidsideways

369 posts

39 months

[news] 
Thursday 26th July 2012 quote quote all
To C43. Yes, tell me if i am wrong but an LSD gets some power from the spinning wheel to the gripping wheel making better use of the available power whereas putting the brake on lowers the available power by wasting it as heat. In a performance car this to me appears ludicrous but i am always open to be educated in modern technology. Even the top lotus guru admits to the journos that 'it is on the borderline of needing an LSD' from which I infer he thinks it already needs it. All Lotus race cars have an LSD so the race teams also think it is necessary.

C43

631 posts

82 months

[news] 
Thursday 26th July 2012 quote quote all
Hi sidsideways,

starting to get to the edge of my engineering as well to tell the truth. What I do know is that although a LSD allows you to transfer torque from the wheel with reduced traction to the wheel with high traction the risk is you will end up over loading the wheel that is not spinning, reducing the lateral support producing snap oversteer. With a free diff you greatly reduce snap oversteer chance. The reason it is used by race cars is with high power traction becomes a real issue and race drivers are meant to be good enough to cope with it.
By using a free diff and braking the inside wheel that wants to spin up I believe you can still keep the torque building in the wheel with the most traction and hence improve corner exit acceleration. However I have never done this in racing so cant say for sure but using this technique with closed loop traction control should be very good. The best is to run a hydraulic diff and closed loop traction control, but that costs cash.

I fitted a LSD to a high powered 7 and it was fantastic for fun but did make the car more snappy. In mid engined Lotii traction never seems to be a problem, lets see what the V6 Exige is like though.

cheers

C43
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