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So we have a forum?!


Sam Downey

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I didn't realise that!

Maybe we should communicate this in one of the emailings, to get some more activity on here? Perhaps the club emailers could have a register message and link in their signature for club emails or something? Just an idea.

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  • 1 year later...

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Hi again Sam.  This is probably a quieter part of TLF for Kiwis to communicate in.

Keen to hear your first impressions once you get a drive.

Jason

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Hi Jason,

Unfortunately the club guys use Facebook, so our regional forum is usually dead. I'm the outlier that doesn't use FB...😅

Congrats on your first Lotus! It's sad to hear something as fantastic as a 964 Turbo had to go to make room but I'm in a similar boat. I've been a lifelong Lotus fan and also spent years (like 10-15) searching TM for cars and was never in the right place at the right time, but 5 years ago I was able to import my ideal spec Elise, a 2006 Sports Racer that is now supercharged. It was (is) my dream car and although I don't think I can justify having two such similar cars I have refused to look at selling it until the Exige is here and the Elise starts to not get used.

Your 420 sounds amazing too. If I had been able to spec one myself my colour preference would have probably been red, then blue, then white. Probably! (actually when I was looking at a selection of UK cars I just couldn't decide on colour!). Essex blue looks great and really suits the car. You also have a fully loaded spec by the sounds of it. I'm also wary of the extinguisher taking up passenger leg room and perhaps it will get removed one day but initially I'm going to be selfish and enjoy the hardcore appeal of a road car (I won't be tracking mine initially) with kill switches and a plumbed in extinguisher! 

So how did Chris manage to get hold of the car? I understood there were no remaining build slots and all dealer stock was allocated. Good to know the 430 sold also.

The modern cars have come a long way in reliability, and it's a toyota drivetrain and the rest of the car is so basic, there is little to go wrong. There can be niggles though: The central locking on my Elise packed up (they all did apparently). The part to fix was on never ending back order so I just forgot about it. Now I have to (shock horror) lock the doors with the key...Lol. But the pay off is that there are just no other modern cars that indulge a driver as much as a lotus.

I had test driven 3 Elise's of varying types over the years and was impressed with the 111R for how much it felt 'like a real car', solid, reliable etc, yet still felt like a Lotus. When I got my own fresher, newer, tighter car, over time I did notice things that still made it feel a bit kit car-ish. But they really are inconsequential and nothing I've owned (DC2R, Evo 9, boxster) or driven is anything like it for fun and feedback.

You've timed it right to dip your toe in, because with the Elise, Exige, Evora ceasing production this year, it is the end of proper lightweight, largely hand built (for better or worse) Lotus's for many years to come. And the last ICE cars ever.

The club are a great bunch, very much Auckland Centric, but there are enough of use spread out across the country too. Check out their FB page for the low down. We are actually hoping to have the annual central (i.e. national) meet mid November. Lockdown allowing the guys will drive down and we're doing the Forgotten World Highway to new Plymouth and will then hang out and drive around for the weekend. If you wanted to join in I'm sure they'd be open to it and it would be great to have the Turbo among us!

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3.3, Correct? Love the RUF wheels. That looks fantastic. Must have been hard to see it go.

I think the Exige 380 CUP press shots were an Essex blue car. Google those, look stunning to my eyes. I like blue cars though and tail lights always look best on a blue car! (My Elise is Nightfall blue).

Yes I have thought about a stereo, and would probably do the same, a headless BT unit behind the dash. Although I'm basing that on someone in the forum saying that they specced a blanking plate for the head unit and their car still came with speakers wired up. I think I'd be too lazy if I had to fit speakers also, but we'll see.

I did get full ppf done by Protect in Akl, (covering the entire car) they do a lot of work for Giltraps apparently, (they recommanded them) and i've seen an Elise that they did and it was great. I will let you know what my car is like. I'm paranoid about stone chips etc so the money spent on that will hopefully be better for my mental health in the long run! 😂 I haven't heard of a spray on product? I wanted full ppf and that was that basically. Actually the paint of Lotus's is usually very soft and they're low so they stone chip very very easily. Something to bear in mind.

The 430 cup comes with a cool looking rubber lip for the spoiler, which loses you ground clearance, but looks cool to my eyes, and looks like it would protect the underside of the splitter too. But some of the 430 guys rip them off because they end up drooping and coming away but I'm sure that is fixable.

Yes I'll definitely get a soft top at some point, not sure if they're available to order yet (they were out of stock due to covid for a while) and on the Exige there is a minor modification required of cutting into the bodywork for two small holes for the roof spars but plenty of people have done it.

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Yeah 3.3 but a fairly rare factory X33 so has the power of the 3.6, classic old school turbo lag. Had only done 64k kms.
Chris thinks they all come with speakers (which seems odd given the attention to weight). 
Will do some more research on PPF and lip guards… I have time!
Might take me a little while before I have the courage to cut holes in my new car!

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I've just checked and we have about 5,000 people each year from NZ visit TLF. A few more posts in here may well encourage some out of the woodwork to join in themselves :thumbup:

I'm not a Porsche fan but that 964 does look amazing! :D

 

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88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

For forum issues, please contact the Moderators. I will aim to respond to emails/PM's Mon-Fri 9-6 GMT. 

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Thanks Bibs.  Was a pretty stunning car and a really nice ownership experience.  It was relentlessly reliable if you nibbled away at the preventative maintenance, and spares were easy to obtain, and there was a good on-line international community.  The 964 model is incredibly modifiable (like Lotus?) but I kept finding myself trying to shed kilos and ultimately, the 964 Turbo is more GT than track car, and I'm ready for a new, different, more nimble experience.  I am a big fan of the Porsche brand but it annoys me that their cars are just getting bigger and heavier in the quest for faster lap times when their heritage is in lightweight cars.  Even their little sports car the GT4 is 1340kgs.

I am bracing myself for less than German build quality but have really enjoyed my test drives to date.

Thanks for such a warm welcome into the community.

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Watch out for RMS issues and bore scoring and engines catching fire on the Lotus...oh wait. No that's Porsches 😂😋(sorry below the belt!).

There is a surprising amount of anti Porsche sentiment on this forum which is a shame. I love Porsches. They are generally a far more advanced and capable product that a Lotus (or most anything else) but they just have this frustrating habit of burying the driving experience under layers of polish so you have to dig deep to uncover it, and with modern cars capability's being so high compared to the un-evolving roads we drive them on, it's usually just not possible to push that hard on the road safely or legally.

However, a 996.1 GT3, 993 GT2, 2.7RS would all be in my dream garage.

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23 hours ago, Sam Downey said:

Watch out for RMS issues and bore scoring and engines catching fire on the Lotus...oh wait. No that's Porsches 😂😋(sorry below the belt!).

There is a surprising amount of anti Porsche sentiment on this forum which is a shame. I love Porsches. They are generally a far more advanced and capable product that a Lotus (or most anything else) but they just have this frustrating habit of burying the driving experience under layers of polish so you have to dig deep to uncover it, and with modern cars capability's being so high compared to the un-evolving roads we drive them on, it's usually just not possible to push that hard on the road safely or legally.

However, a 996.1 GT3, 993 GT2, 2.7RS would all be in my dream garage.

Well put Sam. 
Today is the day!! Enjoy!

I want all the details!

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43 minutes ago, Exigo said:

So what’s the verdict after a few days Sam? I’m keen to hear how it’s all going. 

So....
Short version, is the car is amazing. There are limited things I can compare it to though.

Long version:

I've squeezed the accelerator down a little and let the revs go slightly above 4,500rpm and the thing absolutely howls! It is the most crazy, ferocious sounding thing I've ever been in. I've just done that for a split second at a time. I can't wait to experience it foot flat and all the way to the red line.

It is much more immediately responsive to throttle than my Elise so, so far it feels like it's in another league in terms of grunt (It should do I think). But I haven't gone WOT so I don't know its true performance yet. I'm being a good boy with the running in ;) But the more I have put my foot down, the more it seems like it might not be a huge difference in straight line grunt, but we'll have to wait and see. The Elise is around 277bhp/tonne with me and half a tank of fuel on board, the Exige should be around 357bhp/tonne, so it should be a big difference.

It's great, but a little nerve wracking driving around in a brand new car and it obviously gets a lot of attention.

The thing i didn't expect is that it is so much easier and more relaxing to drive than the Elise at normal traffic speeds. It's quieter, rides better, steers with slightly less effort and has air con! 😂 I imagine driving long distances would be nowhere near as wearing. It's much better built than my '06 Elise also, which is nice, if not that important. It's just a lovely thing.

But, something I have noticed is that the steering isn't as feelsome as my Elise. And the seat of pants feel, at first I thought it was perfect, I'd describe it as "you feel everything, but nothing bangs, crashes, or unsettles it" but now I think it is like the steering: Superb, but not quite as the same level of feedback as the Elise, which is a little disappointing but I'm hoping that it will come alive more when I can push it, or by tweaking the suspension, or the geo. I currently have no idea what the factory settings are supposed to be (i don't see them in the owners manual anywhere) or how close it is to them.

I need to get it run in and then open it up and lean on it in some corners to see what it's really like, but driving home I thought "The Elise is going to be sold...." but now I'm not so sure. It possible that it doesn't match the Elise for feel and feedback, and if that is the case it's going to be very, very hard to part with the Elise. Maybe I'll end up keeping both after all... 😂

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Thanks Sam. Great info again. Obviously I haven’t owned an Elise but when I drove an Elise FE after driving the Exige FE I thought it was too much of a toy car as against the more hairy chested one. 
I like that it seems docile and comfortable to drive around normally (liveable) and that it’s well built. These were two of my concerns coming from that other marque which does those two things well.

How long is the run in period?

(Sorry but I’m going to have to live vicariously thru you for a few months). 

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On 22/10/2021 at 22:19, Exigo said:

Thanks Sam. Great info again. Obviously I haven’t owned an Elise but when I drove an Elise FE after driving the Exige FE I thought it was too much of a toy car as against the more hairy chested one. 
I like that it seems docile and comfortable to drive around normally (liveable) and that it’s well built. These were two of my concerns coming from that other marque which does those two things well.

How long is the run in period?

(Sorry but I’m going to have to live vicariously thru you for a few months). 

Sorry Jason, I forgot to reply to this.

The run in period is 1,000kms.

The refinement aspect is all relative obviously. Against any other new car it would seem crude and basic. No iPad on the dashboard, no heated seats, multizone climate control etc etc....But I would bet that it will feel refined and comfortable and capable next to the Turbo, purely because of that car's age.

So just to tease you (haha!) I managed to get it on a very windy and well surfaced little road around a local inlet and the traffic was flowing very well, the sun was shining, and I was able to tease it in second gear (still not putting my foot down though) but it was enough to get the exhaust to open a few times and it was ...very special. I suspect that using this car as intended is going to be something else... ;)

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7 hours ago, Sam Downey said:

Sorry Jason, I forgot to reply to this.

The run in period is 1,000kms.

The refinement aspect is all relative obviously. Against any other new car it would seem crude and basic. No iPad on the dashboard, no heated seats, multizone climate control etc etc....But I would bet that it will feel refined and comfortable and capable next to the Turbo, purely because of that car's age.

So just to tease you (haha!) I managed to get it on a very windy and well surfaced little road around a local inlet and the traffic was flowing very well, the sun was shining, and I was able to tease it in second gear (still not putting my foot down though) but it was enough to get the exhaust to open a few times and it was ...very special. I suspect that using this car as intended is going to be something else... ;)

Thanks for the tease Sam. I honestly don’t know how I am going to get through the next several months without going insane…

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8 hours ago, Exigo said:

Have you got through the run-in period yet Sam?

No, unfortunately i have to be patient, because with the Akl boundary in effect I cannot get the car back to Giltraps to service, nor can they send guys out down the Wgtn. It might be a possibility for them to nominate someone else to do it, but that would not be my first choice. So I'm just cruising around at half throttle not revving higher than 4k(ish) revs adding kms currently.
630kms and counting...

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15 minutes ago, Sam Downey said:

No, unfortunately i have to be patient, because with the Akl boundary in effect I cannot get the car back to Giltraps to service, nor can they send guys out down the Wgtn. It might be a possibility for them to nominate someone else to do it, but that would not be my first choice. So I'm just cruising around at half throttle not revving higher than 4k(ish) revs adding kms currently.
630kms and counting...

That must be frustrating. Happy to meet you at the border…

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1 minute ago, Exigo said:

That must be frustrating. Happy to meet you at the border…

Thank you Jason, (if serious). I have another contact offering to do that also if needed. The situation can't last forever, so patience will see me through. 
It is a strange feeling though (I've never run in a car before). 630kms in and I don't yet know just how fast the thing is when you put your foot down! 😂Something to look forward to anyway.

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It'll open your eyes when you can finally use the power I promise!! :D

 

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88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

For forum issues, please contact the Moderators. I will aim to respond to emails/PM's Mon-Fri 9-6 GMT. 

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On 30/10/2021 at 21:05, Sam Downey said:

Thank you Jason, (if serious). I have another contact offering to do that also if needed. The situation can't last forever, so patience will see me through. 
It is a strange feeling though (I've never run in a car before). 630kms in and I don't yet know just how fast the thing is when you put your foot down! 😂Something to look forward to anyway.

Well I am serious but the offer is perhaps a bit cheeky...

The optimist would have some changes coming next week but I'm not sure we'll all be crossing borders.  Fingers crossed.

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19 hours ago, Exigo said:

What news Sam? 

well, no news....is err, good news? 😂

The car is currently sitting in the garage on trickle charge doing nothing. It has sufficient kms on the clock that if I could drive to Akl it would be ready for its run in service. I can't do that until the boundary is lifted (although thanks for the offer of meeting at the border Lol).

I'm being patient until the end of the month when we will get some news i think. At worst they'll have to think about opening Akl for Xmas surely?

So I've still only cruised around in the car like a taxi cab. Going for a proper drive and seeing what it's really like is still to come. It's a strange situation, but will be worth the wait I'm sure.

On a more nerdy note, I'm really looking forward to being able to drive it back to back with the Elise to feel what the differences are too.

So I think it's gonna be quiet for a few more weeks yet unfortunately.

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11 hours ago, Sam Downey said:

well, no news....is err, good news? 😂

The car is currently sitting in the garage on trickle charge doing nothing. It has sufficient kms on the clock that if I could drive to Akl it would be ready for its run in service. I can't do that until the boundary is lifted (although thanks for the offer of meeting at the border Lol).

I'm being patient until the end of the month when we will get some news i think. At worst they'll have to think about opening Akl for Xmas surely?

So I've still only cruised around in the car like a taxi cab. Going for a proper drive and seeing what it's really like is still to come. It's a strange situation, but will be worth the wait I'm sure.

On a more nerdy note, I'm really looking forward to being able to drive it back to back with the Elise to feel what the differences are too.

So I think it's gonna be quiet for a few more weeks yet unfortunately.

Bum. At least you can admire it in your garage and drive your Elise. Is driving off the remaining kms to service them trucking it north and back an option?
The black 390 in Auckland has sold so I can’t even ask to test drive that. 
Some relaxation of rules evident today but the problem is different rules for different areas so no border crossings. Fingers crossed. 

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Hi, Guys, I just found this forum a few days ago, so I though maybe I could join your chat if you don't mind? I am based in Auckland, and have ordered that grey Exige 420FE on TM from Chris. Hopefully I will be able to collect it by the end of this month according to him. BTW Sam, did Chris orginize your PPF for you before delivery?

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