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Hello from Surrey


yentl

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Always been interested in Lotus Elise, now actively looking to buy before prices get crazy! (Assume prices will now go up?)

Have test-driven a 2001 Elise so far (although from a local dealer so a tad more expensive than other prices online)

Currently looking at 2 models: S2 2001 and an S3 from 2011, but seem to be fairly priced (15K vs 21K), looking to test drive both next weekend. Anything I should keep in mind?

Something I haven't quite figured out yet, everyone says a lotus drives like it's on rails, while at the same time they also say that lotus is well known for spinning on the track.

What's up with that? Should I be worried about spinning it on the public roads?

 

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Welcome to TLF. :welcome:

Best of luck with the test drives. I know of the 'drives like it's on rails' comment, but am not so sure of the 'spinning on track' comment. I can't recall that comment being made on TLF and quite a few people on here track their cars. I was at a track day with quite a few Lotus in WA before I moved over to Victoria and no-one on that day spun out. I expect you would require a car to be biased toward oversteer that would spin more easily than a car with understeer. As I understand it, Lotus are set up to understeer from the factory? I know that my S4 understeers when set up to spec.

Anyway, any questions or issues with using the forums, feel free to ask one of us mods. We're here to help. :) 

All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

For forum issues, please contact one of us Moderators.

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Hi @yentl. Watched the video and I have to agree with some of the comments on LT from other members about driver technique. I can even say that I have possibly almost been caught out by this as well.

Lotus make VERY good handling cars. The problem with that is that many people can get an exaggerated feeling of ability based on what the car can do and incorrectly apply the sense that 'I' can drive better on what 'I' am doing. Result: push too hard and possibly without good driving technique and you can get yourself into trouble.

Out of all the Elises on there that were seemingly circulating without issue, one has spun.

I suggest you post a topic up in the relevant area on the forum and ask your question there. I feel you will get many more answers to the contrary of the cars spinning without notice.

I presume that many will suggest getting on a Lotus Driving Academy course where you are instructed on better driving techniques within a safe environment.

Then again, I have only ever had the one Lotus, so I am possibly speaking rubbish. I know that I was instructed on the track day that I went on, before I was allowed to drive there on my own that day, and had quite a few things pointed out to me.

All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

For forum issues, please contact one of us Moderators.

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Welcome and happy hunting!  I assume you've spoken to Jamie at Bell & Colvill?  He'll look after you very well but I know they are very short of stock.  Silverstone also have a steady flow of used cars and a great reputation.  There are some good independents around too, such as Will Blackham - you'll find him on Facebook and Pistonheads Classifieds.

I'm surprised by the "well known for spinning" comment, I've never heard that before.  The Elise re-defined the lightweight sportscar/track car segment and a 25 year model run is testament to their ride and handling.  If you've not driven a rear wheel drive light sportscar then I'd recommend some driver training - Lotus Driving Academy, Car Limits and CAT Driver Training are all Lotus-savvy and do road and track training.  I had an S2 Elise as my first RWD and found all the training really valuable.

Car setup is a factor, so checking geometry is correct and looking out for wear on suspension bushes and toe links.

One thing to bear in mind is these cars are relatively unforgiving if you're ham-fisted.  Lift off suddenly or brake badly mid corner and you can provoke a spin that takes good reactions and the right skills to recover.  That can also happen on the road if you unexpectedly find a diesel spill on a roundabout.  Being very light they'll also aquaplane more easily in standing water on the motorway and won't plough through snow like a heavier car.  I was unlucky and hit black ice in the dark one January morning and left the road, but I was uninjured and the car was repairable.

We have a regular monthly meeting at Newlands Corner near Guildford, every 3rd Sunday of the month.  Usually 20-40 cars and owners, who will gladly chat about their experiences and show you their cars.  Info here: https://www.thelotusforums.com/forums/forum/437-topics/

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Rear wheel, mid-engined car driven by some clueless or irresponsible drivers, many brought up on FWD euro-boxes. S1 Elise had no driver aids but only 118bhp but still idiots managed to bin them. 

Get a lesson or learn a lesson. 

Elise is a honey but you have to respect basic physics. 

Welcome! You'll have a ball.

Justin 

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@yentl Speaking as one of those clueless irresponsible drivers, I started my Lotus journey with an S2 111S about 15 years ago, took it on track and spun it several times over. Then on a damp day spun it on the road and wrapped it round a telegraph pole 🙄 Went back to school, starting with Car Limits (a 'Walshy Day') and progressing through various other course over the years. Best thing I have ever done and continue to do as regularly as my wallet will allow. Most recent was the Lotus Driving Academy at the factory and probably one of the more intense (if you do Bronze, Silver and Gold back to back). Worth every penny and a great way to learn more about the car and drivers capabilities.

The S3 Elise being more up to date obviously benefits from ABS, traction and stability control without loosing that special Lotus feeling.

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@TomE I haven't really considered reaching out to Bell & Colvill as they don't seem to have any used cars in stock, maybe they're getting sold too quickly for me to even see them! I assume they'd also be listed on Autotrader/Pistonheads if they get any in stock?

I'm keeping an eye out on autotrader and pistonheads mainly, have come across a few cars from Will Blackman but wasn't ready to purchase at the time and his stock is very limited at the moment. Wonder why! I'd expect that everyone buys these cars in the summer and sells them at the end of the summer? Seems like it's the other way around at the moment.

Will definitely check out the Newlands corner events, I assume I can tag along before I have a Lotus? 😁

@jep @Dobbin145 @TomE Will have a look at getting a course to learn&understand these little cars, hadn't considered that yet!

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The basics for road driving Elise are: slow in, fast out. If you are of limited talent, as I am, get it lined up straight(-ish) before powering out of the corner. 

If conditions are against you, be super-cautious, just as you would have done 40+years ago before cars became incredibly capable in poor conditions but also incredibly dull (with the odd exception).

Justin

 

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32 minutes ago, yentl said:

@TomE I haven't really considered reaching out to Bell & Colvill as they don't seem to have any used cars in stock, maybe they're getting sold too quickly for me to even see them! I assume they'd also be listed on Autotrader/Pistonheads if they get any in stock?

I'm keeping an eye out on autotrader and pistonheads mainly, have come across a few cars from Will Blackman but wasn't ready to purchase at the time and his stock is very limited at the moment. Wonder why! I'd expect that everyone buys these cars in the summer and sells them at the end of the summer? Seems like it's the other way around at the moment.

Will definitely check out the Newlands corner events, I assume I can tag along before I have a Lotus? 😁

@jep @Dobbin145 @TomE Will have a look at getting a course to learn&understand these little cars, hadn't considered that yet!

Apparently there is a shortage of cars at the moment. Due to Covid and silicon shortages, there is a shortage of new cars resulting in additional demand for used cars and driving the prices up as well.

Long time Lotus admirer, recent owner

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37 minutes ago, yentl said:

@TomE I haven't really considered reaching out to Bell & Colvill as they don't seem to have any used cars in stock, maybe they're getting sold too quickly for me to even see them! I assume they'd also be listed on Autotrader/Pistonheads if they get any in stock?

I'm keeping an eye out on autotrader and pistonheads mainly, have come across a few cars from Will Blackman but wasn't ready to purchase at the time and his stock is very limited at the moment. Wonder why! I'd expect that everyone buys these cars in the summer and sells them at the end of the summer? Seems like it's the other way around at the moment.

Will definitely check out the Newlands corner events, I assume I can tag along before I have a Lotus? 😁

@jep @Dobbin145 @TomE Will have a look at getting a course to learn&understand these little cars, hadn't considered that yet!

There are several factors pushing up prices and demand, including the chip shortages affecting new car availability and the end of Elise production.  It's worth talking to some of the dealers and people like Will to let them know what you're looking for, as many are running waiting lists and cars will be sold without being advertised.  A post in the Elises Wanted section is also worth a go https://www.thelotusforums.com/forums/forum/212-wanted/

All Lotus enthusiasts are welcome at Newlands Corner regardless of current car, so do just come along :thumbup:

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Hello and welcome

 

The Elise is a great car. I have an 111s S2.  Its a great car.  Being rear wheel powered car. The back can get twitchy in wet conditions.  The car itself is not crazy on the power so it easy to correct.  The lotus car does give good feedback and allows you to adjust your driving input to correct the car.  It's a very manageable driving car. 

 

Spinning is down to poor driving skills.  I've only spun at North Weald on a training day which was a blast (large tarmac driving area so you can be a complete idiot with out fear of damage to your car).  On track I have also lost the backend (but not spun) which was all down to poor driving skill and being over enthusiastic.  I was on track for about 15 seconds at Cadwell Park when this happened.   Since then I have been getting more tutoring.   

  this is a link to one of the training days at Millbrook.  I learned a lot on that training day.

I also use this car as a daily driver and its great, I just love driving it.

 

Good luck with choosing your Elise.  Its a great car so enjoy.

 

 

All the Best

Greg

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Thank you everyone, appreciate the warm welcome and suggestions! Have now also posted in the wanted section.

Currently really conflicted about getting a cheaper 2001 (S2 K series) or more expensive 2011 (S3 1.6 Toyota). It seems I won't be able to test drive the S3 I was looking at until October so will keep my eyes open for others.

 

 

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I am not sure if there is something mystical about getting a Lotus. It seems to be that the right car finds you, more than you find the right car.

Definitely how I ended up with my Esprit.

All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

For forum issues, please contact one of us Moderators.

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