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    Lotus Exige 240R

    Some folks think this will be the spec of the US version of the Elise to come in MY06...

    There are pics of exterior and interior if you scroll down the thread far enough...

    Also, here are pics of the motor:

    Re: Lotus Exige 240R

    Hi Grant,
    Is that you over there that recently registered? Could have sworn I saw a post by a Grant. My handle is Vantage.

    I have it on good word that the Exige is coming soon. The engine option part is what we'll have to wait to hear about.

    - J

    Re: Lotus Exige 240R

    Yes, I only have 1 post over there though...

    Re: Lotus Exige 240R

    Justin - How about sharing some of your impressions of Elise ownership. I think they're great cars from what i know of them. Just wish they offered a bit more headroom (my head is flush with the roof (when the top is removed and without a helmet). Do you think the Exige has more headroom?

    Re: Lotus Exige 240R

    Hi Grant,
    The fun factor is very high and I'm enjoying myself! However, these cars are far from perfect and are marked by some compromises. Fortunately, a few local owners gave me the opportunity to evaluate the car at social/track meets and listen to their experiences. There weren't really any surprises by the time delivery came around.

    Essentially you give up a lot of elements cars like the Boxster have that allow them to be more daily cars for the majority of sports car drivers. I do not drive mine daily, but I could probably do so if needed. In return, you get a car that is more connected with the road and filters out less of the driving experience. I'm sure you are no stranger to this kind of motoring with your 911. In some ways it's like a throwback car, because very few cars today offer this kind of experience.

    The car is not as refined as its competition and that is part of the charm. Porsche tends to find a very good balance between refinement and sporting nature, but the Lotus is basically for driving and enjoying taking the long way to your destination. This current iteration quite a bit more civil than those in the past, so the Elise is very much a road car by Lotus standards. But people keep telling me its a track car only, for whatever reason. The interior is functional, but not what I would call a lounge. Fiberglass seat, steering wheel, shifter, pedals, and a radio that doesn't sound too good as the speed climbs. It's a sports car.

    The engine is not the most sophisticated and is peaky, but overall it suits the personality of the car. Lacks some low end grunt and I'm sure the ultimate acceleration at higher speeds (above 100 mph) is not sufficient for some. The 250hp Exige supercharger kit should put all of those concerns to rest and it should be easily adaptable for the Elise. For me the power is adequate as I'm still learning to drive it to its potential.

    The base suspension is a great street setup and most good drivers can work around some of the understeer at the limit. If you really like oversteer I suggest getting wider fronts or going with the sports package. The sport package has the same suspension as the Exige and most of the extra stiffness is go accomodate the stickier tires. Hard core track junkies will want to get an aftermarket set of shocks/springs and a stiffer front bar. The difficulty in tuning this car is that it's setup very specifically for the tires that it comes with. Once you start changing things like tire sizes and sway bars, you get a slight improvement, but you have to reconfigure the entire suspension to get it optimal. A lot of drivers find the sport package with an alignment to be a great road and track setup and don't change it from there.

    Overall, I know it's not the fastest car out there, and maybe it does not even generate the most cornering force. But this lightweight philosophy is really something the sports car world needs to embrace. Driving a twisty road with near perfect steering and a car that reacts quickly to inputs is sublime. It's very tidy and if you jump back into a heavier car, the latter tends to start feeling sloppy and not as composed. By comparison, you could have a C6 Vette for the same money that is several seconds faster on most road courses. But I picked fun and precision instead. Lotus has done a remarkable job considering their engineering budget and the resources they have to obtain an engine suitable for our market. Given Porsche's resources, they could start refining the car's drivetrain and build quality to move it upmarket, but that's another discussion.

    BTW, Lotus was waiting for Toyota to develop a better engine than the 2ZZ-GE for the high powered Exige, but it never happened, so they had to supercharge it!

    - J

    PS: Check out this thread for some of the compromises you would have to deal with:

    Re: Lotus Exige 240R

    While I was ramblinb on, I forgot to answer your question about headroom.

    Do you mean your the top of your head comes into line with the top of the rollbar? As the Exige is just an Elise with a hardtop, I'm not sure if would offer any additional headroom. However, an Elise with hardtop may offer a little more room than an Elise with softop. I will check with someone who has the hardtop and get back to you.

    One way to gain headroom is to sit closer to the floor. The seat is basically as low as it can go, so you gain headroom back by removing padding, either from the stock seat, or buying a racing seat from Lotus or a third party. Reverie makes a carbon fiber seat for the Elise that gives you 1" extra headroom and is pretty comfortable.

    - J

    Re: Lotus Exige 240R

    Thanks alot Justin! Sounds like my kind of car. If I didn't already own my lightweight street/track car, I think I would buy one immediately.

    On the headroom issue: I'm only 5'11", but I have a freakishly long torso and short legs, so I have headroom issues with alot of cars. I sat in an Elise that had the soft-top removed and my head was basically as high as an imaginary line drawn between the windshield and roll bar. So, with a helmet, my head would've been the roll bar

    I felt like the seat was already very close to the floor (much lower than in any Porsche). Although I didn't drive the car, I loved the way the pedals, steering wheel, and shifter were so driver oriented. None of the crap you don't need in a sports car.

    Congrats on your good taste!

    Re: Lotus Exige 240R

    Took a ride in a 270hp turbo Federal Elise tonight. This car is seriously fast below 100mph (unfortunately did not go above that). Plenty of torque down low and the top end surge is addicting. Car also had wider tires all around and Ohlins double adjustable shocks. An Alcon brake upgrade is pending. The car is cornering better than stock with a more comfortable ride. I don't think this car would have any problem disposing of a 997S on the track. Tuned vs. stock comparisons are unfair, but if this is any indication of the Supercharged Federal Exige/Elise, then we are in for a treat.

    Expect to see this car in Autoweek by the end of the month and Motortrend, Sport Compact Car, and a European magazine later this year.

    I also learned that Lotus had discussed the maximum power output that a 2ZZ-GE engine should be developing with forced induction with Yamaha, without bolsering its internals and maintaining Japanese reliability. The 240hp figure and the boost needed to achieve that output is a direct result of the discussion with Yamaha and a desire to be conservative. Afterall these cars have to come with a warranty.

    The company (ForceFed) that did the turbo Elise has been testing for a long time and is aiming for high reliability, but time will tell. The company is very professional, and so far I trust them. The car weighs 10 .lbs more than stock with a few weight saving measures!

    - J

    Re: Lotus Exige 240R

    I currently have a S2 Elise 111S and also drove the S2 Exige extensivly. I must say that the S2 Exige is a much more civilized car one might expect. The engine delivery is very linear compare to the K series. The seat is soft and comfortable. Many people are actually disappointed with the S2 Exige because it lack the rawness of the S1.

    Check out some of the test drive impression of the S2 Exige that day.

    Re: Lotus Exige 240R

    I've only seen a few track only S1 models around here in the U.S. and generally that is the consensus from Elise/Exige veterans. As I noted in the Cayman forum, the Elise platform has had some luxuries added to make it more marketable.

    You guys over there get lots of neat aftermarket goodies!



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