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Old 02-18-2008, 08:46 PM
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Elise v. Exige

Not exactly a clash of the Titans, is it?

I intend to have me a Lotus one of these days, whenever my ship comes in, as they say.

Unfortunately, my scripts for Beneath Brokeback Mountain and The Battle For Brokeback Mountain have been rejected (sigh...). That leaves my diet pill pyramid scheme, then...

But I'm torn between the Elise and its chest-thumping, tooth-gnashing ne'er-do-well brother, the Exige.

There's a lot to be said for more power, but does the Exige really up the ante where it counts: in sportscar driving bliss?

In some ways, I feel, it's what Robert Zombie would have called Supercharger Heaven vs. the Unbearable Lightness of Being Lotus (without all the bizarre ****ery and that whole uncomfortable scene with the bowler hat).

For starters, the Exige isn't as practical, as you can't see out the back.

I read that the Exige is a more track-focused, all-out-speed machine whereas the Elise's suspension is tuned for a more relaxed and loose, but still very quick driving style, though you'll lose time with all those minute slip angles around a track compared to what I understand to be a more nailed-down Exige experience.

I'm after a car with a delicate, throttle-dictated balance and light, responsive controls. I think the Elise gets the upper hand here, but does anyone know for sure?

I'm kind of doing the big power/big grip thing right now and I've gotta say, there' a lot to be said for a car with explosive, leave 'em in your dust acceleration and tenacious grip.

Also, is the new factory-supercharged Elise really the Great Compromise I'd hope? I've read no reviews so far, as my local bookseller has stopped carrying EVO, the dickweeds.

Anybody driven both?

Do tell.
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Old 02-18-2008, 08:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LandQuail View Post
For starters, the Exige isn't as practical, as you can't see out the back.
I know the exige is a fantastic car but this alone would turn me from ever buying it. Seems like it would make it dangerous both on and off the track.
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Old 02-18-2008, 09:17 PM
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I'd go for the new blown Elise, then spec it up with Exige suspension and wheels. I'd far prefer the convertible to the coupe.
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Old 02-18-2008, 09:49 PM
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I far prefer coupes. Better looks, (in my opinion) greater chassis rigidity, and a roof that's guaranteed to never ever leak, which is one of my major fears of convertables. Besides that the Exige is marginally faster, and much more uncommon, if that's important to you. I'd prefer the exige, but I'm into stripped down bares bones car. I prefer manual everything (locks, windows, etc.) and even a lack of trim panels. But I'm young, crazy, and haven't driven either. If possible I would drive both, then choose.
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Old 02-18-2008, 09:49 PM
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the new blown elise has no intercooler, as i'd guess that would ruin the drop top lines and rear visibility?
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Old 02-19-2008, 12:01 AM
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I'd personally have the Elise, and not the top one.

The fun would be probably had at speeds better suited to my driving skill
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Old 02-19-2008, 12:34 AM
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LandQuail, it seems you've already made up your mind about the Exige but I support you for digging further by asking us before making your purchase. I would advice you to go for the Exige.
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Old 02-19-2008, 01:53 AM
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your size ?
Both are a bugger to get into for "larger" people.
At least with the Elise you've got the days in the year when the tops down and it's an easy drop into the driver seat

In terms of the difference. As a "driver" the difference won't be that obvious. As a "show off" the Exige probably has it on the burn-out, sprint between traffic lights so many seem to use as a measure of "performance"
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Old 02-19-2008, 02:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matra et Alpine View Post

In terms of the difference. As a "driver" the difference won't be that obvious. As a "show off" the Exige probably has it on the burn-out, sprint between traffic lights so many seem to use as a measure of "performance"
i thought the n/a exige was actually slower off the line than the elise as it was a bit heavier?
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Old 02-19-2008, 02:26 AM
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yes the first Exige was slightly slower off the line than the best of the Elise of the day.
But with the supercharger it's the fastest. But the differences are small and won't come to the surface until pushing the same route regularly hard or on track.
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Old 02-19-2008, 02:28 AM
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to be honest for some reason i'd always choose the cheaper n/a exige for reasons i'm not entirely sure about
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Old 02-19-2008, 04:10 AM
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The Exige works only on track.

In the real world with rain and potholes, the Yokohamas and stiff suspension of the Exige won't serve you that well.

I'd go for the supercharged Elise with the 220 horses.
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Old 02-19-2008, 06:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LandQuail
Also, is the new factory-supercharged Elise really the Great Compromise I'd hope? I've read no reviews so far, as my local bookseller has stopped carrying EVO, the dickweeds.
Google is your friend...

Lotus Elise SC - Road Test First Drive - Autocar.co.uk
Lotus Elise SC review | New Car Reviews - Times Online
Lotus Elise SC Car Review - January 25, 2008 - Car Reviews - Top Gear
First drive: Lotus Elise SC - Yahoo! Cars
Lotus Elise | First Drives | Car Reviews | Auto Express

Overall it seems like a 2-thumbs-up from the press.

Personally I'd take the Elise every time. I think it looks better than the Exige, is more versatile, and is more enjoyable on wet and bumpy everyday roads. I'd probably be quite happy with the basic Elise S as it offers great value and is lighter and simpler than the top of the range model, not to mention over £5000 cheaper. Also I'm not a fan of that silly spoiler thing they've attached to the back of the Supercharged model.
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Old 02-19-2008, 07:16 AM
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neither are at the height of modern luxury but nothing much beats an elise for sheer driving pleasure on a nice day. I knew a guy who saved up for most of his early working life to buy a pale blue elise and when he got one it changed his driving life. Supposedly it just brings all the joy back to driving with or without the top off. Its superb on country roads too and on the track. Its definitly my first choice when the money comes my way.

The exige would be your choice if the 'track day' part meant more to you. It is a little more expensive and it is a little less comfortable but its sheer performance. Whichever means most to you would sway the decision at the end of the day.
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Old 02-19-2008, 01:29 PM
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I think I would take the Elise. It is more everyday friendly than the Exige and in every day driving are you really going to notice the shortcomings vs. the Exige? I doubt it.
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