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Final Edition Elise Cup 250


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TL:DR - A Cup 430 is "for the ego", not "for the drivers".;)

Long story, but I've spent the past 17 years nearly buying an Elise/Exige, with the mindset that whatever one I did buy, I'd likely be keeping forever as I've done with all of my other "special" cars. That has given me a lot of time to mull over what my "perfect" Elise/Exige would be.

Though thoroughly considered, I ruled out the S3 Exige as I felt it had veered away from the core ethos of the platform. The Elise isn't about being the fastest car on the track, its about being the most engaging - which I think could be said about Lotus road cars in general when compared to their competition. I think that taking an S2 Elise/Exige, stretching it and cramming a V6 in the back - whilst being a very effective way to make a faster car - by no means makes it a more engaging car. Lots of people who have gone Elise -> S3 Exige -> Elise will confirm as such.

I often think of the day on our honeymoon that my wife and I hiked an active, snow-covered volcano in Chile with our ski's and snowboard on our backs. After ~6hrs of hiking, we were rewarded with one, single run back down the virgin-snow covered mountain. Had we taken the Cup 430 approach, we would have tucked our arms by our sides and barrelled towards the bottom as fast as we could. But we took what I consider the Elise approach, in that we criss-crossed the face of the volcano with the widest arching curves we could, savouring each and every turn.

An fair argument could be made that the featherweight S1 is pinnacle Lotus/Elise, or the S2 Exige (NA or Supercharged) with the screamer 2ZZ. I eventually "settled" on the Cup 250 FE because:

  1. I felt the minor losses in "rawness" were worth the major improvements in build quality, interior touch/feel and that the rawness would only be realised in direct comparison with an S1/S2, but that the lack of build quality/etc. would be realised every day in comparison to ever improving cars from everyone else, and
  2. The car has to tug at the heart-strings visually, and I view the Cup 250 as far and above the best looking and most timeless out of the bunch, and lastly
  3. After 17-years of waiting or my "perfect" Elise/ExigeS2 to come up for sale at a concurrent time when I was in a position to pull the trigger on one, I've eventually accepted that unless I give the recipe directly to Lotus and have them make it for me, I may be waiting forever. My wife said if I don't get off my ass, stop talking about the car and just buy the goddamn thing, she's going to divorce me. 🤣

To your other point, an Emira over an S3 Exige? Well, it would depend on what else is in my quiver. I explained above why I personally will have a Cup Elise in the garage. What then would be the purpose of having an Exige as well? For the track days when I want to be a bit less engaged while ripping through a lot more consumables just to flex with lap times? I've got other cars that I'm building or have built for that purpose...but for others who don't and want a Lotus to fill that role, I can see that being the primary selling point of an Exige amongst the modern Lotus line-up. The Emira looks to be a far better road car, with better build quality, interior fit/finish, tech, etc., with the same reliable 2GR-FE available with the same three pedals.  I have no doubt that in typical Lotus fashion, hundreds of special editions will come to follow, amongst them will be a handful that will take the spot of Lotus' fastest ever ICE production car. I seriously doubt it will ever be as light as the Exige, but if that's really what you care about...again, you should just skip over it and go straight to the Elise.

The Exige now seems like a compromise - jack of all trades, master of none (well, one - lap times...for now), and the Evora seems like is has no place at all in the line-up, sans someone who absolutely has to shuttle around a few small humans on occasion.

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@Slow Yank

That is a great, if very personal, post. I guess not everyone agrees on what excels at what, but I think your mountain skiing approach Is a very good description of where the Elise excels. Just as getting your carving right can be very satisfying even if you are faster going straight.
 

I know I will be looking at Elises again now...

 

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Yes, just my humble opinion voiced in what is likely a very safe echo chamber. I'm sure if I put my thoughts in the a Final Edition Exige or Evora thread, most all would disagree! To each their own, as they say. :) 

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19 hours ago, Slow Yank said:

An fair argument could be made that the featherweight S1 is pinnacle Lotus/Elise, or the S2 Exige (NA or Supercharged) with the screamer 2ZZ

Only thing I preferred on my S1 compared to S2 and S3 was no servo on the brakes. As for the FE, can’t help but think the digital dash is out of place, but like you say, you can’t have them exactly how you want them.

 

 

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The digital dash certainly clashes a bit with the analogue nature of the car, but as I'll be using the car as a track toy 1st and road car 2nd, its a worthy trade off for me to have the inbuilt lap timing. As long as the rev/shift indicator is as easy or easier to see than on the older dashes, I'm a happy camper.

Most road cars modified for heavy/exclusive track work go to something similar to a Stack LCD motorsport display for a reason.

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Not sure this is the right thread, but seems to be the most active about the Elise FEs...  ...and dealers do not seem to have much information.

Given the current delays in production, would it be possible that production continues a bit into next year or is nov/dec 2021 set in stone as the end of production?

I know I am swimming against the tide, but I would rather have them stopping next spring to give me some "time" to organise my next car purchase and partner's approval. 😁

Otherwise, I guess I will have to wait until first Emira deliveries and hunt a hardly used one traded for an Emira... what are the odds, right?

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I can't see them continuing building the Elise into next year.

The delays are quite small and mainly involve parts supplies I think so seem quite minor. They have a lot of Emira's to build and that's their future

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1 hour ago, Arregueti said:

I know I am swimming against the tide, but I would rather have them stopping next spring to give me some "time" to organise my next car purchase and partner's approval. 😁

 

I think order books are full and they are only going to make those and no more.  If you don't already have an order placed I feel that you may be too late (unless you can find a dealer slot) or a car bought for stock.

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13 hours ago, TonyKL said:

I think order books are full and they are only going to make those and no more.  If you don't already have an order placed I feel that you may be too late (unless you can find a dealer slot) or a car bought for stock.

Further to this, my dealer told me that there is a chance that those at the very end of the list might get bumped off if production runs long and/or they run out of critical parts. I had wanted to be towards the very very end of the production list for many of the same reasons as you Jorge, but my dealer convinced me to move up a bit for this reason.

Edited by Slow Yank
fat fingers
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I did hear similar, actually. Also in terms of specifying too many individualities. It sounded more like a "take it or leave it" approach for things like stitching, etc. There was no guarantee they could accommodate some requests.

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3 hours ago, Slow Yank said:

my dealer told me that there is a chance that those at the very end of the list might get bumped off if production runs long and/or they run out of critical parts.

As @jimichanga said, that's just not going to happen with a car that has at least a 6-9 year life. You might be delayed, but they won't cancel orders unless the order book is so big that ever Emira they ever plan making is sold. It would make zero economic sense.

@Arregueti, there is some sense to saying either have an FE built as they will all be built at first (to smoothen production speed) or wait for a customised car but I can pretty much guarantee that Lotus (the company) won't say, sorry, you can't have one. Again, zero economic sense.

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Thanks, @Bibs

Not sure how to read your post. Are you referring to Emira or Elise production? (funny that FE stands both for First Edition and Final Edition...)

If I got it right, the Elise production site will not host Emira production, so what is the harm in leaving that production facility running for a couple more months (assuming they have available chassis, parts, etc.). Is that "factory/building" going through refurbishment so quickly?

For the Elise the problem seemed to be the opposite. They seem to be reluctant to extend production beyond their preset deadline and would be limiting some choice on some minor things (which I can also understand to a certain extent as their priority is elsewhere now).

Anyway, I guess if I want one hard enough I should be able to find one.

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55 minutes ago, Bibs said:

As @jimichanga said, that's just not going to happen with a car that has at least a 6-9 year life. You might be delayed, but they won't cancel orders unless the order book is so big that ever Emira they ever plan making is sold. It would make zero economic sense.

@Arregueti, there is some sense to saying either have an FE built as they will all be built at first (to smoothen production speed) or wait for a customised car but I can pretty much guarantee that Lotus (the company) won't say, sorry, you can't have one. Again, zero economic sense.

I was referring to the Elise Cup 250 FE. I've been told that if the production strays too late (to the point that the cars would be 2022's) or they run short of parts that would keep just a handful of cars from being built, it's possible those at the end of the list would get culled. My dealer told me this already has happened with some Evora's? Makes total economic sense that with all production switching over to the Emira they would want a clean break with the 2021 Final Editions. 

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I also think it makes economic sense, however it also makes few really pissed off customers. I know if this happened to me (buying first Lotus), I wouldn't try to buy another car from them ever again.
Well, maybe if they offered me discounted Emira as "sorry", I would think about it. Thankfully my car should finish production any day now, if it hasn't already.

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59 minutes ago, Arregueti said:

They seem to be reluctant to extend production beyond their preset deadline and would be limiting some choice on some minor things (which I can also understand to a certain extent as their priority is elsewhere now).

Anyway, I guess if I want one hard enough I should be able to find one.

The factory where they are built is being torn down at the end of the year hence no more production / orders allowed.

If however they fail to build the current orders of FEs by then who knows what they will eventually do.  But I can guarantee that without finding an existing build slot you will not be able to order one.

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