Lotus Elise and Exige - are they safe in a crash?

Lotus Elise and Exige - are they safe in a crash?

Author
Discussion

Venisonpie

1,027 posts

39 months

Thursday 4th June
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MellowshipSlinky said:
I walked away from this - rather heavy impact with a Merc at quite a speed.
Apart from airbag burns to my face and lots of glass and fibre glass in my arm (still a few lumps of glass in there) I was generally ok.

I’ve had two Exige V6’s since this, so didn’t put me off smile



Blimey. Was that a glancing head on? What sort of Merc was it?

MellowshipSlinky

11,847 posts

146 months

Thursday 4th June
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Was an old folding hardtop Merc.
Sort of hit me on the front wheel (split it in half!)
Both doing around 50mph.

DaveGB

1,668 posts

138 months

Wednesday 17th June
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ecain63 said:
I have an Exige 410. In fact, I'm on my second one having crashed my first.

84mph impact speed, head on with a crash barrier at Thruxton. Not the best day out!

Front end destroyed. Engine moved forward and hit rear bulkhead. Roof blew off on impact. Tub damage. But, absolutely no cabin intrusion and I got away without needing an ambulance.
Looks like someone has a had a go at repairing this car halfway and then given up ?.
Windscreen damage gave it away as same car and can’t be many cars in this colour https://www.copart.co.uk/lot/39437030.

Potentially cheap track car ?

Edited by DaveGB on Wednesday 17th June 21:17

ecain63

10,131 posts

132 months

Wednesday 17th June
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DaveGB said:
Looks like someone has a had a go at repairing this car halfway and then given up. Windscreen damage gave it away as same car and can’t be many cars in this colour https://www.copart.co.uk/lot/39437030
A bit of looking shows they've fitted a pre facelift damaged front clam, fake 410 decals, refitted the dashboard and botched the wheels on. Ouch!

ecain63

10,131 posts

132 months

Friday 19th June
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Never expected this from copart. Criminal!

£33'500 it sold for, despite being contacted by a number of concerned individuals regarding the history of the car. I even heard that Lotus themselves called up and were told it was a dealer demonstrator. Wtf!


Venisonpie

1,027 posts

39 months

Friday 19th June
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ecain63 said:
Never expected this from copart. Criminal!

£33'500 it sold for, despite being contacted by a number of concerned individuals regarding the history of the car. I even heard that Lotus themselves called up and were told it was a dealer demonstrator. Wtf!

I've a feeling this is not uncommon. Buy a wreck, disguise it as lighter damage, sell to the unwary/ unscrupulous. There seems to have been an explosion in the trade for damaged cars which Copart have ridden on.

They are very easy to do business with as the buying arm of the business trades in the same way as webuyanycar but under the banner of "sellthecar.com" - some may not be aware of the connection.

chemistry

879 posts

66 months

Monday 22nd June
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AdvocatusD said:
What I'd like is a new-ish Exige, but it's sounding like safety is a definite issue.
I have a 2019 Elise. Originally I wanted a Caterham, but I felt that the safety compromises were too much for me...no side impact protection to speak of, etc. The Elise meanwhile was an acceptable compromise, being still small, light and fun but with some impact protection, airbags, ABS, bright colour, etc.

Ultimately risk is a spectrum; no car is 100% safe. Some people find the risk/reward of a motorbike acceptable, some a Caterham, some a classic, some a Volvo...you pay your money and make your choice. Would you really be THAT much safer in an MX5, Z4, Boxster or other small convertible than an Elise/Exige?

My advice is drive them all and see which you feel offers the best mix of safety, driving fun, etc.


SarlechS

270 posts

141 months

Monday 22nd June
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Keen to know if Lotus improved the safety of the rear with the S3 Exige?

Are these still a weak point? I'd be doing a fair bit of B road driving so i'd want there to be an element of safety with the car? Are they still death traps?

Gad-Westy

10,417 posts

170 months

Tuesday 23rd June
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chemistry said:
I have a 2019 Elise. Originally I wanted a Caterham, but I felt that the safety compromises were too much for me...no side impact protection to speak of, etc. The Elise meanwhile was an acceptable compromise, being still small, light and fun but with some impact protection, airbags, ABS, bright colour, etc.

Ultimately risk is a spectrum; no car is 100% safe. Some people find the risk/reward of a motorbike acceptable, some a Caterham, some a classic, some a Volvo...you pay your money and make your choice. Would you really be THAT much safer in an MX5, Z4, Boxster or other small convertible than an Elise/Exige?

My advice is drive them all and see which you feel offers the best mix of safety, driving fun, etc.
I feel the same. My first sportscar love is a seven more than Lotus really. I owned two Westfields when younger and would have really liked to have built a caterham around about now. But in weighing the decision up, aside from the less usable aspect, the biggest factor for me opting for another Lotus instead was the safety side. In a seven, front impacts don't terrify me and rear not so bad as long as it's not too heavy. Even a rollover is reasonably well protected with a proper roll-bar and harnessed. But the slightest side impact on those cars can be seriously risky. As P'hers obviously we never make mistakes but let's pretend we do and pull out of a badly sighted t-junction into the path of another car. A 20mph driver side impact that would be an annoying insurance claim and loss of ncb in a 'normal car' could be life changing injuries or worse in a seven, I'm older, wiser and more boring now and I just didn't have the appetite for that risk on the road. I might have felt different about a dedicated track car.

The Elise chassis is a massive step up in terms of protection particularity the side impact side of things. It might not be a volvo but it's certainly safe enough for me to feel very comfortable using it on the road. It's not something I give much thought to where as driving a seven or a classic it's never far from your mind.

gareth h

2,352 posts

187 months

Tuesday 23rd June
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SarlechS said:
Keen to know if Lotus improved the safety of the rear with the S3 Exige?

Are these still a weak point? I'd be doing a fair bit of B road driving so i'd want there to be an element of safety with the car? Are they still death traps?
Death traps, don’t be ridiculous!

CTE

1,353 posts

197 months

Tuesday 23rd June
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Troll or BLM marxist activist!! ha but you never know.

SarlechS

270 posts

141 months

Tuesday 23rd June
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CTE said:
Troll or BLM marxist activist!! ha but you never know.
Not trolling at all, just trying to understand how safe these cars are for general day to day driving, side impacts and rear shunts.

I've seen the pictures and horror stories from S1/S2 elise owners getting shunted from the rear, it isn't pretty!

I was just interested to know if Lotus had strengthened the rear of the car in the S3?

MellowshipSlinky

11,847 posts

146 months

Tuesday 23rd June
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gareth h said:
SarlechS said:
Keen to know if Lotus improved the safety of the rear with the S3 Exige?

Are these still a weak point? I'd be doing a fair bit of B road driving so i'd want there to be an element of safety with the car? Are they still death traps?
Death traps, don’t be ridiculous!
Lol at death traps..

In the case of my crash, I rather suspect the fact that everything shattered around me but the tub remained largely intact dissipated a lot of the impact.
Never crossed my mind that the car could be a death trap, and I bought two more post crash.

Edited by MellowshipSlinky on Tuesday 23 June 17:29