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Never having been in either, given the option, which one is the better car?

OK one says LOTUS and the other says VAUXHALL, so thats the easy bit. I'm also guessing alot of VX220 owners don't like the Vauxhall thing as many I see are de-badged front and back.

Anybody lucky enough to have tried out both?

Edited by mayesprit

Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk - that will teach us to keep mouth shut!

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I have.

IMO it depends which VX220 and which Elise - which is also reflected in the price. VX220 doesn't look as good as the Elise either imo.

The VX220 is a lotus type btw, #116. MK1 elises do have engine options - I still say grab a good VVT K series Elise MK1 but the VX220 has the edge imo over any of the MK1 cars.

MK2 Elise different story.

VX220 is basically a series 1 Elise with some engine options, the interior is all but identical to the Elise with a few bits of trim. AGAIN you have owners saying it's only got X% of the same parts....big deal and no real suprise, different dials and brake suppliers, trim carpet sizes and so on do not discount from the fact the chassis is identical and when I drove it, it shared EXACTLY the same characteristics of the Elise (ie driving position, suspension, brake balance etc) - the fact it has differnt window winders and so on....please.....Esp when they probably count the chassis as 1 component !!!

The engine is more urgent, the turbo is VERY fast and has much better top end and acceleration - however it does feel slightly softer than the Elise MK1 and I think it's heavier at the back which would explain it - great car though but what do you expect, that chassis is a stunner and Lotus done the engine too (but it's a vauxhall..honest !!!). I dont think it's faster than the Elise around a track either...

The MK2 Elise is the better car imo - better than the S1 and the VX220. Again perhaps not top end, plus with a turbo you can really play with the power (if only Lotus had used the Honda engine, it's incredible). The Elise MK 2 is much more user friendly in every aspect than the MK1 so it gains on the VX220 as well, massive improvements were made to the car which as far as I know were not made to the VX220. If you have the beans.......MK2 Elise, Honda 2.0l engine.....supercharged....300HP+, dust most things out there and as reliable as the sun+moon.

Good vid :

We in the market then Ian ?

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Ian

Slightly off topic, but having been in Martyn's new S1 Elise on part of the journey after Hethel, I can say for def you're going to have enormous probs getting in and out of it with the roof on. Can't speak for the VX220 or a series 2 Elise.

Regards

Mat

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Ian,

Are you thinking of buying one or is this just one of those 'which is better topics?

Dave

ps. I'd had a S2 Elise but not an S1 as I can't in and out properly of an S1. VX220 were supposed to get a better write up than a standard S1 but the badge has always put people off.

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S2's and VX220's are easier to get in and out as the 'sill-line' was reduced to aid entry (no comments please!) to help slim-line racing athletes such as me and Mr Bibs.

VX220/Speedster went into production same time as S2 (very late 1999), it was not based on the S1 but was engineered at the same time as S2 with of course some generic carry overs from S1, it however is generally not the same car as S2 when you look at part number detail. (S2/Vx220 are part numbers 116,117,120,121,122,127,130)

The new Europa (part numbers 124) has similar characteristics to the Turbo Speedster/VX220 as it runs the GME 2.0 Turbo engine/transmission.

S2 early models up to 2004/05 had the Rover K series 1.8 120ps twin cam and 143ps VVC (very very complicated!) engine. Basically the same unit bar trick stuff in the c/head.

S2 Elise/Exige from 04/05 run the Toyota 1ZZ 147ps and 2ZZ 190ps and supercharged 220ps engines. Interior was revamped also for the 2004/05 models with better HVAC, Air con (if spec'd on build), leccy windows, air bag again if Spec'd on build.

Now which one to buy. Politically correct answer now following.....The one YOU like the best and for what ever budget you have is in the best condition. As ever always look for a FSH and check HPI, its not a write off or ringer etc. These checks cost a few quid but trust me i know of some very expensive lessons that have been learnt by some buyers in haste.

Finally if you go for an Elise look out for the special editions, often a near similar price but with extra kit 'exclustivity'.

Hope this helps

Gooner :wub:

Parts Supplying Lotus God

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If this isn't a trick question then re-sale value has to be a factor, I've no idea how it compares but I'd want to before spending money.

Roger B)

Life is like a sewer, what you get out of it, depends on what you put into it. (Tom Leahrer)

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you can pick up a vx220 cheaper and there DAFT FAST, friend just sold his, he had it modded and was running 11.8 (iirc) in a quarter and the handling to match. you want quick quick the vx, badge then elise.

OUR CURRENT COLLECITON :- MODIFIED LOTUS ESPRIT, FULL VEILSIDE SUPRA (BEAST 409.3bhp), NEW ADDITON TO THE TROOP, 1996 S CLASS MERC (FULLY PIMPED OUT, DUB EDITION)

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Ian,

Have a look at http://www.elises.co.uk there's loads of info on there about all the models and what are common faults etc and the odd bit of info about the vx220 as well, it might help out making your mind up.

Sadly Mat's comments about getting in and out are true about the S1, however it is much easier getting in and out of the drivers side but I would imagine someone of your build would have considerable problems unfortunately. I guess it depends how your going to use the car if it's just for dry days with the roof off most of the problems are going to dissappear since there's loads of leg room and a removable steering wheel should ease getting in and out, the only remaining problem maybe the seats might be a snug fit. Having been in an S2 Exige at Snetterton I can confirm it is much easier to get in and out of.

One thing not mentioned so far is the S1 is better from a driver feedback point of view and its lighter as well. With no ABS and stiffer suspension the overall handling and feel is probably going to be better. The strange thing is on the S1 that although the suspension is very stiff and bangs and crashes over pot holes as you would expect it doesn't actually seem to transfer any teeth breaking energy to the driver.

Martyn :wub:

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Have always had a bit of a hankering for those VX220's. Love to say yeah but no imminant purchase. Love the looks, just not the badge. I had two pass me yesterday on the motorway and both sounded beautiful and looked very low to the ground, which is what largely prompted the post.

Size again would be a major issue for me unfortunately. Martin, interestingly you said getting into a S2 Exige is easier - and having sat in one of them, for me, it was fine once in, but the excersize of actually getting in and out was a major headache (actually more of a I'm a fat bar steward issue)

An Elise S1 with no roof I'm guessing would be no problem. I can see the issues with the roof up or hard top on for the bigger driver. Also really do like the look of an early Elise with hard top fitted - just adds to that sleak design.

I'll have to bring helmet and blag a few rides at track days.

(Watched MJK get out of his Elise at the Factory BBQ two weeks with vertually no effort)

Edited by mayesprit

Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk - that will teach us to keep mouth shut!

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Ian,

You're welcome to try my S1 for size if your ever in the London / Essex area let me know. It was an S2 Elise MJK emerged from at the BBQ and as you say he did make it look very easy, obviously had lots of practise. However as I said previously don't compare getting in the pasenger side (which is very difficult on the S1) with getting in the drivers side which is much more straight forward. I've just got a secondhand hard top for mine and you're quite right the car does look a lot sleaker as a result and seems a bit quiteter inside as well.

Martyn :welcome:

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Gooner - thats a good point, does it share the same engine as the Europa ? Thinink of it they were similar in ride, although I only drove the 2.0l NA

I must admit I've never noticed the sill difference on any of the cars (apart from the europa) but some people find it impossible to get into my car net alone an Elise with the lid on.

(people try and sit in 1st and you can't do that - dive in with 1 leg and get that as car in as possible and limbo into the car using your right hand to support your weight on the sill - all technique !).

I personally wouldn't write off the VX220 simply on the badge, they're very capable cars and you often see them on the Lotus runs.

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ive done some track time in a S1 (190hP) exige sport, VX220 and S2 Fed elise.

Contrary to some other comments on this forum, I believe the VX22O is closer to the S2 Fed car than the S1. it uses the same suspension hubs which differs significantly from the S1. it also has the updated rear suspension with the alter anti squat and chamber curve geometry. other common parts are the airbags, power windows and cut down side sill in the chassis.

as for there driving dynamics... the S1 exige sport is raw! much louder than any of the elises with its top on and race exhaust. the pepped up rover motor has decent power up top but its not too charismatic in its delivery. it always sounds like its about to hand grenade every time you race towards the redline. It has enormous grip with the yoko race slicks and large angle rear wing. it under steers somewhat in slower corners or when you jump on the power to early. It dosent really have the low end power to rotate the car quickly to lean on its rear tires. its really a carving momentum car. it can certainly use a better motor and some visibility in the back.

Vx220 is a great underrated car. its a little bigger than the elise and rides better. its motor isnt inspiring either and sounds drab but its much smoother and has enough low end torque to hustle it like a rally car if you choose to. its not quite as sharp or frantic as an elise but thats not necessarily a bad thing. the low end grunt this makes it a little more entertaining to drive... i wonder how much better the turbo would be? i think the 5-speed gearbox ratios are way to long for a vehicle of this type. one thing that was annoying is that driven spiritedly the horn goes of because they are located near your thumbs. yea i know its a Vauxhall and people prefer the styling of elise...but if u can get over that it would be a great choice for a street car.

S2 Fed (usa spec) is smaller than a Vx220 but weights the same!!! at around 1950lb-2000lbs its around 350lb heavier than the S1 elise with is a significant given the curb weight of these cars. even with the added weight the S2 I think it handles better than a S1. is much more forgiven than the S1 at the limit with more dialed in understeer and better rear suspension geometry. the toyota motor is a screamer. not much down low but enough to pull of the line in traffic without always having to floor it. only the last 2000rpm it accelerates with any urgency. The elevated redline over the opel/rover and 6 speed helps a great deal. like all elise and exige variants rover, opel, or toyota the shift quality isnt so great. This is probably the most complete car of the group mentioned. It has that dreaded vx220 airbag steering wheel with the horns where u don

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My comments about it's relation to the S1 Elise was the fact it felt like an S1 Elise, I dont know much about the VX220 technology other than what I've experienced from driving it.

Its difficult to explain, I went from owning an S1 and then someone saying - "drive this and see how it compares" so I guess my words were from an S1 vs VX220 perspective. The 1st thing that hit me was the fact when you go it in, it felt identical....the experience was nigh on identical, it definatly felt heavier (possibly from another person in the car and the weight vs the S1) but you could have put me back into the S1 and I wouldn't have noticed much at all other than the obvious.

Then I went on a spate of driving the S2 elise/exige range - Dont get me wrong they are great cars, I'd buy one tomorrow, but the feeling inside is different, from the reverb of the floor pan, the steering, the pedal box, extra trim and so on. Everyone who's driven the 2 marks of Elise 'should' tell you the S1 is technically not the better car but can be more involving to drive which is why they are still popular and highly regarded....thats what I felt about the VX220, it felt a lot closer to the S1 than the S2 Elise - if that makes sense ? but that's just my opinion.

I totally agree they are under-rated, why I dont know (well, lets face it it's badge snobbery) - esp when you look at it's evil twin !

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Latest Classic and Sportscar magazine have just the article! they compared the elise, vx220, renault spider, caterham. The verdict was that the elise was the superior car, 5 elises were coming off the production line to every 1 vx220 and that was not down to just badge snobery.

Mike Kimberly at the launch of the Lotus Evora,

"These cars will be for the few who know the difference!"

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Thats not suprising, since they stopped making them a few years ago now :P

Magazines and the facts, never the twain shall meet ! I mean they never get anything written on the Esprit wrong do they ? hehe

This from Wiki:

"Some journalists recommended that the Vauxhall car was better value for money than the Lotus (such as Jeremy Clarkson in his 2003 DVD Shoot Out)"

Who to believe.....end of the day none of them, drive the car and judge it yourself.

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