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lotus for my 21yr old?


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I've been to a few gigs in the Bridgend Rec, nice town!

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

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When I were a Lad 'all this were field's' no seriously though I have crashed a lot of cars (lack of talent and to much power generally mixed with a bag of stupidity). I've got an esprit now but I've been through a lot of cars enroute and have driven many more.

If your son has issues with keeping his foot off the loud pedal the elise is not for him. he would be better off in something more forgiving, dare I say 4wd (as impreza etc) The elise has lovely poise and balance but it can be a little twitchy and in the wet once its gone on a road with no margin for error ie most of them in Wales you either need to be a driving god or have a winning lottery ticket in your back pocket if you get my meaning.

Too be honest he may be better off with an N/A esprit as they are heavier and a little less twitchy!!

If it has to be a convertible then there are lots of possible candidates, MX5, BMW Z3, Merc SLK (if you can stretch you budget).

Just my thoughts and yes I know I sound like an Old fart but having blown so much money on cars in the past I feel duty bound to point out the pitfalls.

Toby

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thanks for that mangel that is is the type of honesty i am after!! i let him in my b on an industral est for a spin and he was foot down all the way, he is a good driver but likes his speed on corners in the b i can do it as i have fitted her with koni suspension, but i wonder if the elise is going to be the right choice for him. i need to get him out in on to see what the ride is like. he is coming around to an esprit after seeing gasmangt3 orange one.

by the way the sun has been shinning all day here perfect soft top weather.and the worst part of driving in bridgend is to many speed cameras.

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I'll try not to beat the horse here as it has been pointed out the the Elise can be a hand full. It daf. can - esp in the wet. However, the Esprit with a turbo can be a bit of a hand full in the wet as well. i have no idea as to the level of skill your son has achieved as age is absolutly not a reference for this IMO. That said, I do not think you can find more fun for the money than a Miata (MX-5 for those abroad). It is a very forgiving car and loads of fun. I have one for a daily driver and it puts as much of a smile on my face as any car I have ever owned (Porsche, Ferrari, Lotus). There are also several things that can be done to step up the performace of the car - so, you could spend lees money up front and then add to it as time goes by with the money svaed on the front end...

Cameron

"If you feel that you are in total control of the car, well, your just not driving fast enough". Jimmy Clark

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I will be in Cardiff in a couple of weeks time, but I'm affraid in a decidedly unsexy Diesel Vectra SRI. Toby shame on you shame on you for mentioning the "I" word, the lad has obviously got taste lets not spoil him, it's only a short hop to white baseball caps and Addidas track suit bottoms, from there. :evil: .

Can I throw another suggestion in the mix, a Smart Roadster preferably Brabus. Fast, easy to handle, tuneable and you can even get it sprayed Orange B) . We have a black and gold Roadster, almost as much fun as the Esprit, but does up to 55mpg.

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shame you cant come to cardiff in that racey orange no much better than a vectra.!!!

showed my son a mx5 and got a "nah" he like the tasty stuff

trying to find some info on the driving course's that have been suggested i think that a cracking idea, but how do i find on here?

he has done a pass plus but the old gran that toke him out didnt teach him anything usefull, i want him to learn how to get out of skids and stuff hey come top that i would love to learn that too,

Edited by wish mine was orange
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Hiya,

If I may add my 10 pence worth as an Esprit and Elise owner... B)

The Elise is a great car - and pretty economical to run/insure for the performance and type of car.

I've had my Mk 1 for seven years now - daily driver and she's now done over 130,000 miles without missing a beat. Ok - she's a bit like Triggers broom (for any Only Fools and Horses officianados out there) - but she's been cheaper to run in terms of fuel burn and servicing than the Peugeot 406 I last had as a company car...

And for smiles - can't be beaten!

More fun than the Esprit - but less of a sense of occasion and certainly not as refined.

<runs for cover> :evil:

Now - experience/age...

Well - I don't think it's necessarily a problem to be a young Elise driver (I was riding litre plus superbikes at 19) - but the Elise *can* and *will* bite the inexperienced. Trust me - I've driven an Elise on a track near the edge of the envelope and high speed lift off oversteer can be a killer (and has resulted in a fair few ending up wrapped around trees).

So - would I recommend one?

Most certainly yes - and early Mk 1s are a real bargain (and have more classic looks than the later ones - lets see which ones the collectors are after in 20 years time!)

Which one?

Well - standard as possible - Mk 1 - and everyone knows Norfolk Mustard/Spice Yellow ones are the fastest!

To a youngish driver?

Yes, possibly - just make sure they've got their head screwed on and have a little driving skill - rather than show off/bravado tendencies...

If he really wants an Elise - I guess nothing else will do!

Prolly not helped - but if you need any specific secondhand Elise pointers - just shout! :evil:

Iain

Edited by Iain

"... the Lotus Turbo (Esprit) owner will not only be comfortable in fast company, but will find, more often than not, that he has no company at all!" Road and Track magazine

1983 Turbo Esprit - Silver - 'Lottie' Featured in Classic and Sportscar Aug 2008 and Wheeler Dealers.

1999 Elise - Norfolk Mustard - 'Liz' Daily driver - 221,000 miles and counting!

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Ouch! :evil:

"... the Lotus Turbo (Esprit) owner will not only be comfortable in fast company, but will find, more often than not, that he has no company at all!" Road and Track magazine

1983 Turbo Esprit - Silver - 'Lottie' Featured in Classic and Sportscar Aug 2008 and Wheeler Dealers.

1999 Elise - Norfolk Mustard - 'Liz' Daily driver - 221,000 miles and counting!

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shame you cant come to cardiff in that racey orange no much better than a vectra.!!!

showed my son a mx5 and got a "nah" he like the tasty stuff

trying to find some info on the driving course's that have been suggested i think that a cracking idea, but how do i find on here?

he has done a pass plus but the old gran that toke him out didnt teach him anything usefull, i want him to learn how to get out of skids and stuff hey come top that i would love to learn that too,

If you click on the Lotus link banner at the top of the page that should sort you out.

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Could be too much emphasis here on being a good driver.

What's his attitude like to other road users and driving-road conditions at all times?

I'd sooner be with a bad driver who has good road sense than a good driver with bad road sense.

DanR

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I've held off on making a post in this topic. the problem is that every driver is different, with different circumstances.

I drove my first car at 12 years old and was racing Karts, Motorbikes, single seaters and Saloons by the time I was 18. As such, for me to own a car like the Elise (at the age of 21) wouldn't have been a problem. The picture above shows what can happen to an inexperienced driver in a car like a Lotus (He was killed by the way).

Note that I don't say young, because, frankly, bad driving is not limited to the young and fast driving isn't either. I've driven with people at 40 who scare the bejesus out of me and 18 year olds who I think are great drivers.

What it comes down to here is choice. If you have the money and thats what he wants then my suggestion is to book him on a driving course at Lotus. An intensive one! Most of us have lost our cars in one way or another (am I the only one who purposely gets the rear end to step out in the wet?) it's how you control it when it does, and that takes experience.

After taking the course I would suggest a season of track days, not only for fun, but so he can keep up with the reactions and handling skills taught by lotus.

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http://everyman-campaign.org/

 

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i agree with kimbers, some good points there, you have to remember these are not your everyday cars so to say, and in being so demand 100% attention when driving them if you dont then they will bite you, we have had members lost their cars after just 15 mins of ownership!.

myself, i drive on the edge of my pants, i have to really as at speed the middles usually full of warm stuff!

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Lots of sound advice here, FWIW I bought my daughter an MX5 on her 21st. Lovely car, practical, cheap (comparatively), fun, quite adequately quick enough - you can 'wring its neck' without being a social imbecile, and thus learn a lot. Try that with an Esprit or maybe even a base Elise without a fair bit of experience (& their ain't no substitute) & something or someone will get broken.

Mind you, I had Ginetta at 21, complete with (leaky) grp fuel tank over the legs & the battery right next to it ...... That did make one wary of big lumps like trees, walls etc. .....& Still 'ere !

Good luck with the hunt, what a lucky lad !

Edited by tonyp
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thanks every one for the good advice. i not total conviced her is ready for an elise yet as he is still has a bit to learn when it comes to other driver on the road he thinks he should always be in front.

and corner well he still cant judge how sharp they are untill he is have way though then and things are getting sticky.

but it amazes me he rides a ninja 600 and is more sensible on that ok he fell off once at 20mph as he hit a patch off back ice he did not see a novice mistake!

i think it will be a case of driving course first car after for my peace of mind and to save his neck, we have had enough tradagy i this family dont need another.

so i will see if i can find a course

thanks karen

If you click on the Lotus link banner at the top of the page that should sort you out.

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I do not think you can find more fun for the money than a Miata (MX-5 for those abroad). It is a very forgiving car and loads of fun. I have one for a daily driver and it puts as much of a smile on my face as any car I have ever owned (Porsche, Ferrari, Lotus).
:)

Ever heard of the M100 Elan?

I have no idea why this has not been mentioned.

There has been lots of talk about the Elise. From what I have seen, it is a fantastic track car, but is noisy, uncomfortable on a long run & undignified to get into & out of. Fun, yes. Daily drive, no.

Elans are not too expensive these days. There are NA ones available, but these are uncommon. It is FWD too, so is very quick around twisty roads.

In Lotus terms, they are cheap to maintain.

There are upgrades available (exhaust, turbo chip) which will increase the stock power to over 200bhp without any problem. The engine can take it too (mine blew though abuse by a previous owner, before you mention it Kimbers :P ).

Yes the roof leaks a bit, but not too seriously.

Proper soft-top too. After market hard tops are also available.

2nd best looking car ever built (after the Esprit of course :D ).

Probably the easiest Lotus to live with as a daily driver.

I will echo what has already been mentioned though: You don't want to get any Lotus and then wreck it. Handle with care. M100's are scarce enough already.

Edited by rip
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Forgot to mention: Monty from LEC took me round Donington in his (modified) red Elan on Saturday afternoon. In the wet he was a touch quicker than the Elises (which were quicker in the dry).

So they are not exactly slow either.

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:)

Ever heard of the M100 Elan?

I have no idea why this has not been mentioned.

There has been lots of talk about the Elise. From what I have seen, it is a fantastic track car, but is noisy, uncomfortable on a long run & undignified to get into & out of. Fun, yes. Daily drive, no.

Elans are not too expensive these days. There are NA ones available, but these are uncommon. It is FWD too, so is very quick around twisty roads.

In Lotus terms, they are cheap to maintain.

There are upgrades available (exhaust, turbo chip) which will increase the stock power to over 200bhp without any problem. The engine can take it too (mine blew though abuse by a previous owner, before you mention it Kimbers :D ).

Yes the roof leaks a bit, but not too seriously.

Proper soft-top too. After market hard tops are also available.

2nd best looking car ever built (after the Esprit of course :P ).

Probably the easiest Lotus to live with as a daily driver.

I will echo what has already been mentioned though: You don't want to get any Lotus and then wreck it. Handle with care. M100's are scarce enough already.

You are correct... I often do not think of the M100 because I am in the USA and they are not common. I have only ever seen one 2X's - once at Sebring and once at Road Atlanta. However, for me personally, the fact that it is front wheel drive has always put me off a little. I hate front drive with a passion. I have had front drive in every type of weather condition and I still do not like front wheel drive. I am totally willing to state that this is "me" and prob. not the car, but I have never been able to get one to handle quite right and once it starts to spin... it is spun. I just never was good at driving them. I have a Mazda 3 now - the wife drives it, and I never quite trust it when I'm driving it in the wet... but I do like the car...

That said thought, I do agree that the M100 Elan might be a good choice as well. They are fairly pretty cars and seem to be more common place on that side of the pond...

Cameron

Edited by Autocross7

"If you feel that you are in total control of the car, well, your just not driving fast enough". Jimmy Clark

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just come back from lotus dealer in cardiff he had a elise and 1 exige i sat in it and i have decided i need to go to the gym more often, getting out with the roof on is a joke i could'nt handle that not to mention my short 5ft 1" has to strech for pedals to say the least.

my son liked the elise it had a good sound too so we are waiting for the garage to arrange a test drive for him and he prefers the look of the mk1 but the dealer does not have one.

the roof is a bit pointless as if your out in the rain to bad because you left the roof home lol not smart for wales.so he is now giving though to the esprit but i will have to look private for one as with the elan hard to find.

let hope the test drive in the go kart helps him decided

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There are Elans available if you try looking B) . LEC is fantastic source of info for them. :P Being front-engined, they are easier for DIY than a mid-engined car too.

I agree with Autocross7 about FWD cars being eager to 'snap away' from you when you go past their limit, but you can just about feel it on the Elan. I should point out that there is one FWD with suspension designed differently to any other...so it handles 'properly'. I wonder which one that could be :) .

Elan has a decent boot (trunk) for a 2-seater too.

I also used mine as a daily for 3

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