The Elise - what to expect

The Elise - what to expect

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toppstuff

Original Poster:

13,698 posts

216 months

Sunday 8th February 2004
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Although I don't have one now, I had one of the first series 1 Elise in the UK years ago. The S2, and now the S2 with Toyota power, are all variations on the original theme, which has'nt changed.

They are wonderful cars ! I plan to get another sometime soon if i can ( new business allowing! ) .

They are very hard to describe to someone who has'nt tried one.

The chassis is amazing - and it inspired a lot of very hi-tech cars to come. The aluminium tub is made from a special technique , using technology where pieces are extruded from soft/semi molten aluminum , with the pieces then glued together. This technology is now used in fighter planes.

The outcome is that the chassis is very stiff and very light. It gives the car an amazing, connected feeling, and the steering is just awesome. It turns and steers like a kart, and all the time you can sense the car under your feet, hands, bum, everywhere ! It feels alive !

Very light, the car will feel very fast. Be prepared however, for a buzzy and pretty noisy engine just a few inches behind your head - but as you redline it , it will sound and feel like a racecar.

And it is true - getting in and out of the car is a challenge, but you get used to it. With the roof on - its like climbing in through a narrow window of your house, and hard to to be dignified !

But to drive - they are amazing.

Here in the UK, we are now very used to seeing crowds of Elise turning up and track days and events, where it is commonplace on the twistier circuits to see a little Elise buzzing all over faster and more expensive machinery ! Very entertaining - they are especially good at embarrassing Ferrari owners..

jpf

1,295 posts

245 months

Monday 16th February 2004
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Maybe this isn't the right area, but for those of you in the USA, how much of a markup from sticker are you experiencing?
For those of you in the UK, did the Elise ever require a markup over sticker? If so, how long did it last?
My dealer told me I could jump the line for $5,000 over sticker (FYI, I took a pass on that I idea).

chris_w

2,559 posts

228 months

Monday 16th February 2004
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jpf said:
Maybe this isn't the right area, but for those of you in the USA, how much of a markup from sticker are you experiencing?
For those of you in the UK, did the Elise ever require a markup over sticker? If so, how long did it last?
My dealer told me I could jump the line for $5,000 over sticker (FYI, I took a pass on that I idea).


Can't answer your question directly but I had heard a theory that the line will get shorter in the US once people had had a chance to drive the car. The logic behind this was that a lot of people put money down based on the cars looks but will find the car too raw when they finally get to try it.

Not sure if I'd place too much in the above but good luck either way!

Chris

toppstuff

Original Poster:

13,698 posts

216 months

Monday 16th February 2004
quotequote all
Do you think people underestimate the US market, and the capacity for enthusiasts to get into the Elise?

I am sure that there will be some people who have their name down because they heard that it was a cool car, or thought it might be fashionable. If the only experience they have is a Lexus or a Taurus - they are in for a shock !

But I am not sure that there will be many like this. Instead, perhaps the Elise will surprise everyone with just how well received it will be !?

After all, BMW were not sure if the Mini would be a hit as they worried it was just too small , and Americans never understood the appeal of the original Mini as it never got to he US. How wrong they were !

I predict the Elise is going to be huge stateside...look forward to seeing thousands of them hounding US musclecars on the circuits !

onedsla

1,105 posts

225 months

Tuesday 17th February 2004
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As I understand the list price is $40k in the US? This converts to a little over 21k when the most similar car in the UK (111R with touring pack) costs in the region of 32k. Having driven a car in this spec, I can confirm that it's a much more refined ride than my year-old 111S - even with the roof off it didn't feel at all noisy until cruising at 60mph+.

With this in mind, I probably wouldn't mind spending an extra $5k if I was in the US!!

jpf

1,295 posts

245 months

Tuesday 17th February 2004
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1) Anyone can get in and out of a Mini

2) You guys have a VAT tax that does not exist in the USA--which may explain a ggod chunk of thr $5,000 spread in pricing previously referenced.

3) Autocar states that Lotus made less than 2,000 new cars in 2003. If the Elise was so great, it would have sold more

I hope Lotus does great--first impressions from someone who is way down the list (and not accustomed to the thought of waiting 7 years for a car) is that Lotus should sell as many cars as possible--some fo us who are being told the wait is 18 months may move on to used Espirits, Boxsters, 911's, etc.--which won't help Lotus when people drop off the list!

If Lotus has the capacity to build 10,000 cars a year, then Lotus should be excited about the depth of the list at every dealer in the USA and ramp up production. Each car on the street is a great form of advertisment for its product!

cuzza

2,042 posts

222 months

Wednesday 18th February 2004
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When the S1 came out over here there was a waiting list for it of about 18 months at one point IIRC (a colleague of mine paid a premium for a higher list spot). You can't expect Lotus to conjure up 10,000 cars out of thin air to make sure you don't have to wait a while for one of the best sportscars in the world (and yes, IMHO it is that great).

Lotus are probably trying to smooth out the initial 'bump' in the demand curve by producing a constant number of cars over the next say, five years, keeping a constant revenue stream rather than ramping up for massive production and having to cut back (which will cost them). This constant income over the next few years will hopefully help with the new Esprit.

As for the cost, VAT on the US price of $21k takes it to 24,675

fastspider

64 posts

232 months

Thursday 19th February 2004
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Exchange rates have gone from $1.70 to $1.90 or so over the last three months. The US pricing was set a while ago, and I expect that if the rate stays at $1.90 or worse that all import cars will eventually see big price increases in the USA, including the Elise.

Fast changes in exchange rate cause havoc in international business, its a major problem right now.

In the USA you have to add taxes that vary based on where you live, so prices are quoted net of tax. Typically add 10% or so for on the road price in California. UK prices include taxes and are historically higher than the USA (i.e. include a higher dealer margin as well).

Basically its very difficult to get a clear comparison on price US vs. UK.