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View Full Version : 190hp toyota powered Elise @39,000 coming to the USA!



JBsZ06
10-05-2003, 01:49 PM
What do you guys think of the new 39 grand Lotus Elise coming to the USA with a 190 hp toyota powerplant and six speed..

Lotus can run a double shift at its plant should demand warrant it..

Will this new Lotus be the rage of the USA sports car scene?

Its write up at road and track truly impressed them..

What do you guys think?

Double shift to meet demand or will this lotus stay for the truly informed minority?

Looking foward to your responses.

JB

JBsZ06
10-05-2003, 01:50 PM
Lotus Elise

Considered by many as the best-handling car on the planet, the Lotus Elise has remained frustratingly unavailable to North American enthusiasts — until now. Starting in May, the much dreamed-about, often prayed-for U.S.-spec Elise will finally arrive stateside as a 2005 model. Sporting a 190-bhp Toyota 4-cylinder engine, 6-speed transmission and tipping the scales at a svelte 1800 lb., this latest iteration promises to be the best Elise ever. Your prayers have been answered. — Kim Wolfkill

JBsZ06
10-05-2003, 01:51 PM
I believe that 9 lbs for every single hp will also give amazing acceleration..too.

And lets not forget the amazing reliability of Toyota ?

Don't they make bulletproof motors...so this could be a turning point for lotus in america..

A durable reliable..everyday usuable lotus..that is quoted by many as the best handling car in the world...

Will the Porsche boxster, Audi TT, BMW Z4, Honda S2000, Nissan 350z and Mazda RX8? take a hit in their reputations as performance sports cars as this race car for the street hits the market at 39 grand?????

I know if I was considering any of the above..the Lotus would be my choice hands down..

I'm not quite sure I could give up the Z06 for one but it sure is tempting..

Lotus has been a favorite of mine for decades!

I remember when the Europa hit with its twin cam..John Player Special..I was smitten with it..

Just shootin the breeze..but this Elise seems to finally have it all put together for a huge success...

[ 10-05-2003: Message edited by: JBsZ06 ]</p>

aeronca65t
10-05-2003, 04:36 PM
I just read the R&T article.
The Elise is a "real" car in my view, and a very nice one at that.
I saw one (a pirate version, running "antique" plates!) here in NJ last year. They have weather-proof tops, a heater, radio, etc. The Toyota-powered version will have A/C, CD player, etc.
They would be a nice alternate to the Z4, the S2000 and the Boxter (and much lighter than any of those cars).
One problem I see, however. They are basically similar to a new MR2: mid-engine and Toyota powered. Although the MR2 engine isn't as "tuned", it would be easy to get it to the Elise-level. And the MR2 isn't that much heavier. I've driven a new MR2 and it's a real nice car, if you like the mid-engine layout.
Locally, new MR2s are available for under $20,000 (USD). I'm also not sure that every is really "sold" on mid-engine sports cars for the street. Miatas outsell MR2s about 3 to 1.
I'm still waiting for a Miata-priced Brit sports car....and I'm not giving up yet.

flip
10-05-2003, 05:09 PM
The Elise is only 'usable' if you get a hardtop, then it's realy nice! I am not sure if they have changed, but a friend had a 2000 Elise and the softtop was a horror. It took ages to put on and take off. We also almost lost it once after driving high speed though Germany. (those motorways are great for cars like this)

I know a couple of people in UK with Elises and they use them as an everyday cars. Personally i am not so sure though. More of a fun go-cart if you ask me. And the leather seats are so uncomfortable (but look great)

Paul

JBsZ06
10-05-2003, 10:27 PM
Road & Track:

The first thing you notice when slipping into the snug cockpit is the simplicity of the interior design. The U.S. Elise will come standard with a Blaupunkt stereo, air conditioning , power windows and and an aforementioned airbags - all of which weren't onthe european series 1 - but overall the overall essence has been kept intact. The driving p[osition fits anyone up to about 6ft. 3 inch tall, but climbing into and out of the car takes a bit of agility, especially with the roof up.

The exterior styling of the Elise remains vertually the same as the current Series 2. The only changes are to the rear end - the dual tip exhaust is nowlocated inthe centero of the car - and the addition of marker lights on the front and rear fenders. The elise is about as small as a cars can get in the US with an overall length oand width of 149 in and 67.7 respectively its a slightly smaller than a Mazda Miata.

The face has been designed to portray a serious, aggressive performance car. Lotus stylists said that the overall demeanor of the Series I proved tooo "cute" for its customers I discovered that its new face reflected the Elises's on road performance to a tee.

Turn the ignition key, and the Toyota engine comes to life with a growl. At idle, the powerplant purrs and remains relatively quiet until about 5000 rpm. The clutch pedal has a rather light effort, and the shifter a nice solid feel, sliding into the gear with a reassuring snick. When driven in a civil manner, the Elise is a capable and comfortable commuter. Even with the top removed, cabin noise is nominal at high way speeds and unlike in the Celica where theres little low and mid range resonse, the 1975 lb Elise pulls impressively from 2000 rpm onward.

To get the most out of this engine , rev it like there's no tommorow. Drop the clutch at about 7000 rpms and you'llleave theline like a dragster, smoking the rear tires. Keep your foot pressed to the floor because all the fun starts when the tachometer needle brushes past 6000, the momnet VVTKi kicks in. The engines purr turns into an ear blasting scream, as the acceleration curve radically spikes , pressing your torso into the custom bucket seat. A shift up light says its time to grab the next gear . The Elise runs to 60 mph in a claimed 4.8 seconds with a quarter mile mark coiming in 12.0 seconds. Top speed is estimated at 141 mph.

As for the cars handling, what is there left to say about the Elise that hasn't already been mentioned. It has garnered more than 30 awards from virtually every enthusiasts publication and organization in Europe. In our evalutation of the worlds best handling cars. the previous 160 hp model ranked seocnd behind the Ferrari 360 Modena and twon the objective performance category. And lotus guarantees that the US spe Elise willout shine its predecessor.

//

So when do we get our hands on this car? The word from Lotus is spring of 2004, with its official unveiling at the upcoming Los Angleles Auto show in January..

But don't wait till then to get your order in. Chances are you'll be placed at the end of the line. Lotus plans to sell about 3000 cars the first year and the capacity is limited.

As for the asking price, its not final as of this writing, but expect a sticker price of 39,000 dollars. Its more than reasonable for a car thats arguably the most enjoyable car on the planet to drive, now equipped with a reliable efficient powerplant.

The Elise also embraces the heritage of one of the most celebrated marques in racing history. From a sports car enthusiasts perspective, no only does Lotus need America, one can make a case that America needs lotus as well..

==============

Cool read from Road and Track..

What do you think...?

Come this January...Los Angeles might just have a star of its own..

JB

Super 7
10-05-2003, 11:09 PM
It sounds like something I need.

Mark Beiser
10-06-2003, 03:02 AM
links? images/icons/smile.gif

Super 7
10-06-2003, 03:12 AM
At that price, it should seriously bite into Caterham sales. Is it a real car though? Does it have real weather protection etc.?

The originals were more or less toys, weren't they?

A lot of Elises and variants thereof show up at the track days I attend. I'm particularly fond of the open wheel one, whatever its called.

Tiger
10-10-2003, 11:29 AM
I wonder if any potential buyers have asked their insurance companies about the Elise yet. The last time a singularly featherweight car -- the original Honda CRX -- was offered in the U.S., it was subjected to crippling insurance rates. This time, they might look not only at the weight differential between the Loti and the average SUV, but the car's somewhat unique structure and what they might perceive as difficult-to-repair, and OUCH!. One might say, well, if you can afford the car you can afford the insurance, but I'm not so sure. graemlins/cryin.gif

Bret
10-10-2003, 08:43 PM
Absolutely love it. We (my daughter & I) got to see one at last weeks British Car Day in San Diego. I think(?), it was Southern California dealer that had it there on display. Because one of the guys next to the car was handing out flyers on it and other cars it was selling. They seemed pretty confidant that they would have’em here next year.

But generally it seemed to be a huge crowd pleaser?

http://home.earthlink.net/~bretduff/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/lotus_julia_a.jpg

MAF it took me a half an hour just to get this picture because of all the people gathered around it.

graemlins/cheers.gif

[ 10-10-2003: Message edited by: Bret ]</p>

CanyonCarver
10-18-2003, 01:43 AM
I drive a Spitfire every day in Oregon, and my only real complaint is a weak defroster. I think that the Elise is more than fine for anything but heavy snow. Those journalists that complain about entry and exit and whatever other irrelevant nonsense they insist on filling the columns of "enthusiast" magazines with have just gone soft. I mean, the audacity to complain about lack of cup holders and whatnot in a car like the Elise! graemlins/lol.gif This car makes anything this side of $70k or maybe even more look like a flabby boulevardier, and relative to the Elise...they are. I wouldn't have picked any other unavailable foreign car to bring to the US over the Elise. Now if we can get Alfa and MG back over here I'll be happy.

This is the best thing to happen to the US market since the VW Beetle, in my opinion. This car only makes it more evident that the other manufacturers need to give the green light to their sports car projects. GM (GM, for crying out loud!) has done so with the Solstice, and VW has also released a new concept car with a mid-mounted V6. The Miata is ready for a replacement, and MG is talking about a modern Midget. Can't wait!

Super 7
10-18-2003, 06:07 PM
Its all relative. Compared to a Seven, a Spitfire is a paragon of refinement and practicality, not to mention capacity for hauling goods. Cup holders are one thing, roll up windows are another. How easy it is to stow and erect the top is another issue. $40,000 may be a lot for most people for something that may be a hassle in toll booths if it uses side curtains, or can't carry groceries home.

Canyon Carver,

Were you at the All British Field meet at PDX this year? There were a lot of Elise's there at the Lotus club track day on Friday.

I had the Black Lotus 7 and the Silver Ford Cortina GT that was there.

Do you ever run any autocrosses in the area? I have run with the SCCA in Oregon, Emerald Empire sports car club around Eugene, and Willamette Motor club in Salem a little. All fun. There is a cool hillclimb every year outside Beaver, too that is pretty fun to run. I have also run the Portland ABFM autocross almost every year.

Ever run it?

JBsZ06
10-18-2003, 11:38 PM
I believe the new elise will have the traditional american luxury that we as sports car buyers want..

A/c and power window should fill the bill..

At 39 grand I think this car with its 190 hp Toyota (read reliable) powerplant that americans will feel very comfortable buying..

I bet the demand on these cars will be quite impressive and spark an interesting new trend here..

Power to weight rules!

SR
10-19-2003, 07:51 PM
I put a $1k deposit down yesterday morning. I am number 37 on the list at Silver Star AG in Thousand Oaks Calif. They say they have been told they will get 8 cars a month starting next April, so with a couple folks backing out I may see mine in July. My only real concern is the car may be too small for me. I am 6'1" and about 250 lbs. I can work on the 250lbs part between now and July, but I'm kind of stuck with the 6'1".

I want yellow and I want it now.


Steve

10-20-2003, 12:44 AM
scrunch down SR images/icons/tongue.gif

CanyonCarver
10-20-2003, 02:02 AM
Super 7: No, unfortunately I couldn't make it to the all British field meet. I wanted to do some autocross stuff too, but somehow I just never got around to it. There were some things I wanted to do to the car first, and I'm still working on that. With help from this forum, I'll have everything sorted out soon!

Do you have any links to the clubs/events that you participate in? I haven't joined any yet and am looking forward to meeting some British car people who actually DRIVE their cars. Any information you can give me on local events would be much appreciated!

Super 7
10-21-2003, 01:29 PM
The Oregon Region SCCA is www.oregonregion.com (http://www.oregonregion.com) The Emerald Empire sports car club is www.eescc.org (http://www.eescc.org) The Willamette Motor Club is www.wmclub.org (http://www.wmclub.org)

The Oregon Region SCCA autocross program is in trouble, they are loosing their main site for events. There are also lots of events in Everett and Bremerton. I have only run in Everett once, and never in Bremerton. There is also another club in Medford where I have not run. They have a great place to run though, I hear. Next weekend in Redmond (both days) there is an event with the ACCO club. I don't know how to contact them, but the EESCC probably has a link. http://www.autoxclub.org/ This is a link to the ACCO. Looks like this weekends event is only for the top 2 finishers in each class for the season in all the state's autocross clubs.

There is a pretty active Triumph club in the Portland area. It seems to me that their focus is far more on tours and shows than thrashing their cars at the limit (which is more my focus). I don't know a contact for them.

<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>

Do you have any links to the clubs/events that you participate in? I haven't joined any yet and am looking forward to meeting some British car people who actually DRIVE their cars. Any information you can give me on local events would be much appreciated![/QB]<hr></blockquote>

[ 10-21-2003: Message edited by: Super 7 ]</p>

SR
10-22-2003, 11:42 PM
Super 7...

I love your list of cars. I'm envious. My first car ever was a Triumph Herald, followed by a 1966 Lotus Cortina then a 1968 Cortina GT. I wish I could find a Cortina again at a reasonable price, not set up for race. It seems everything I see is not street or is in poor condition.


Steve

Super 7
10-23-2003, 12:08 AM
http://home.earthlink.net/~schnellbmr/id2.html

Here is a link to Simon Horton's web page. He is in Devore California, out past San Berdino, I think. He's got nice Cortina's for sale.

I want to sell my '68 two door GT with the Mustang GT 302 and 5 speed. Its pretty nice, looks great, and will get out of its own way. Violent acceleration from any sane speed. It is in Anaheim, in my mom's garage. I'm seriously considering selling the 4 door too. It has never been beaten by a MG or Triumph in an autocross. $5000 obo for the V8, a lot less for the 4 door, depending on what engine goes with it. The 4 door is in Tillamook OR.

Simon's '66 Locort looks like a good deal to me. It has been reshelled though. That '63 GT he races has been a race car for 40 years. all its life. a nice car.

<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by SR:
Super 7...

I love your list of cars. I'm envious. My first car ever was a Triumph Herald, followed by a 1966 Lotus Cortina then a 1968 Cortina GT. I wish I could find a Cortina again at a reasonable price, not set up for race. It seems everything I see is not street or is in poor condition.


Steve<hr></blockquote>

[ 10-22-2003: Message edited by: Super 7 ]</p>

SR
10-24-2003, 06:15 PM
Thanks for the link. After thanking you I'm going to try getting in touch with Simin to go see that Lotus. I'm in Los Angeles.


Steve

CanyonCarver
10-25-2003, 02:52 AM
Thanks for the links Super 7. graemlins/cheers.gif

As soon as I get these stupid carbs dialed in I may see you around!

Jon12
10-27-2003, 08:20 PM
I've heard rumors that the adhesive used on the Elise chassis only has a an 8 year life span. This is not from a reliable source so don't take it too seriously but does any one know if the rumor has any merit?

This is the only new car I would consider buying but at 19 I may have to wait a few more years. I can't wait to take a test drive in one of these, I get chills down my spine thinking about it graemlins/thumbsup.gif

Super 7
10-29-2003, 12:05 AM
I just got word. Thay made it through the fire storm. They don't have electricity though. All the cars are intact.

<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by SR:


I sent him an email on the 24th and have not gotten a response yet. I told my wife about "Cortina Rancho" and the Lotus for sale that looked promising. We were watching the fires and during shots of Devore I said "I hope thats not Cortina Rancho". She called me a self centered *****. I said no, I'm concerned about the mans home and business, not about the car I want. I don't think she bought my explanation. I really do hope he's OK. I don't know him, yet anyway but it would be a little extra sad that a guy who's been working to help save Cortinas lost his work as well as his home. I'll send another email later this week.


Steve<hr></blockquote>

Sherlock
10-29-2003, 01:09 AM
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr> SR said: I sent him an email on the 24th and have not gotten a response yet. I told my wife about "Cortina Rancho" and the Lotus for sale that looked promising. We were watching the fires and during shots of Devore I said "I hope thats not Cortina Rancho". She called me a self centered *****. I said no, I'm concerned about the mans home and business, not about the car I want. I don't think she bought my explanation. I really do hope he's OK. I don't know him, yet anyway but it would be a little extra sad that a guy who's been working to help save Cortinas lost his work as well as his home. I'll send another email later this week.

<hr></blockquote>

I've had the same thought pass through my head sometimes too whenever I see disasters unfolding on the TV screen before me, ultimately a car can be replaced but human life can't, yet at the same time... some cars are so rare they would be very difficult if not impossible to replace.

Chatting with a friend awhile back [he lives near Glacier Park, Montana] about fires this past summer in the area and him being on evacuation alert, he said something like this, "My Spitfire's the first car out of here if we have to evacuate", but he also has a good handle on life and what is ultimately replaceable.

Super 7
10-29-2003, 04:26 AM
He's in Devore. The fires have been very bad there. I hope those cars are still the same. I have been threatening to buy that Lotus too.

<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by SR:
Thanks for the link. After thanking you I'm going to try getting in touch with Simin to go see that Lotus. I'm in Los Angeles.


Steve<hr></blockquote>

SR
10-29-2003, 04:52 AM
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Super 7:
He's in Devore. The fires have been very bad there. I hope those cars are still the same. I have been threatening to buy that Lotus too.

<hr></blockquote>

I sent him an email on the 24th and have not gotten a response yet. I told my wife about "Cortina Rancho" and the Lotus for sale that looked promising. We were watching the fires and during shots of Devore I said "I hope thats not Cortina Rancho". She called me a self centered *****. I said no, I'm concerned about the mans home and business, not about the car I want. I don't think she bought my explanation. I really do hope he's OK. I don't know him, yet anyway but it would be a little extra sad that a guy who's been working to help save Cortinas lost his work as well as his home. I'll send another email later this week.


Steve

MGA Steve
12-06-2003, 05:06 PM
New article on the 2005 Lotus Elise in the December issue of Car & Driver or at:

http://www.caranddriver.com/article.asp?section_id=40&article_id=7406

This article says 2000 pounds and 4.9 second 0-60 time and repeats the $39,000 starting price. Their tester, Ray Hutton, drove the American-spec car in England.

I can't wait!

Take a look in the same issue at the new M-B "Smart" roadster--80-HP from a turbo, 700-cc 3-cylinder. Not an American-spec car though. coolgleam.gif

SR
12-14-2003, 06:17 AM
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by MGA Steve:

I can't wait!

<hr></blockquote>

Me either. I posted earlier in this thread that I had a deposit down as of Oct 18. I now have two deposits down. I still am #37 at a Los Angeles dealer, I'm also #28 at the Salt Lake City dealer. I have a signed purchase order listing MSRP as the price in SLC, although the LA dealer wouldn't commit to MSRP. The debut at the LA auto show is about three weeks away, and demo cars should follow shortly afterwards. I'm also pleased about what I've been reading on Elise sites about size. I've seen guys say they can't fit an Esprit, or MR2, or Miata, but can easily drive an Elise. I fit an MR2 and Miata just fine. I'm not very concerned about being too big for the car anymore.

Steve

JBsZ06
12-14-2003, 05:02 PM
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Bret:
Absolutely love it. We (my daughter & I) got to see one at last weeks British Car Day in San Diego. I think(?), it was Southern California dealer that had it there on display. Because one of the guys next to the car was handing out flyers on it and other cars it was selling. They seemed pretty confidant that they would have’em here next year.

But generally it seemed to be a huge crowd pleaser?

http://home.earthlink.net/~bretduff/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/lotus_julia_a.jpg

MAF it took me a half an hour just to get this picture because of all the people gathered around it.

graemlins/cheers.gif

[ 10-10-2003: Message edited by: Bret ]<hr></blockquote>

Bret..not only is the car stunning but your a luckier to have such a beautiful daughter..

Enjoy the holidays and thanks for taking the time to wait out the crowd and get the photo..

I believe the Lotus Elise to be a big win for all sports car enthusiasts in America!

What a great concept...an ultra light and fast sports car!

JBsZ06
12-14-2003, 05:09 PM
The concern about 8 year lifespan on adhevesives (sp) is not true..

That lotus will outlast many other cars I'm sure..

This is going to revolutionize the sports car market..

I do believe there will be quite a few for sale by private owners in the third year..as many consumers will shop it without realizing what the cars compromises actually are...

Great third car..yet it might be for the true enthusiasts as an only car..

I'm very impressed and plan to test drive one if available for sure.

Always have been impressed with the Lotus philosphy...(sp)

Got to say I believe the 190 hp Toyota powerplant and 6 speed is an extremely smart move towards selling even enthusiasts cars ..

Rumor is Ferrari is moving towards a timing chain rather than belt to make normal maintaince less expensive..

Even owners of todays supercars want more drive time and less maintaince time..

JMO..but this Lotus could open a new book for English sports cars here in America..

Not a flame but a compliment