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Sport 300 vs. Turbo SE


Calavera

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Hello all together,

someone there who can give me some impressions about the differences between driving a Sport 300 and a Turbo SE.

Think the 10% difference in power should´nt make a big difference - but how feels the stiffer chassis, wider wheels, differential, higher torque on the plus side and antilock brake and power steering on the bad side? How feels the difference in the complete package?

I for my self own a SE and are very happy with it - the Sport 300 is a icon for itself - so I watch the market all the time - but didn´t had the luck to drive one yet.

Is it worth an extra cash of round about 100% ?

Many thanks!

Calavera

Edited by Calavera
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It's THE definative Esprit of a lot of people, including myself. It's when they got it bang on.

The S4s and S4 did not come close to being more desirable, the V8's did not trash the 4cyl performance enough to eclipse it with any real credibility.

I'd have loved to own a Sport 300, i liked the fact my SE looked more like it than later cars, but i'd have loved to have been in that exclusive club for even a short time.

:)

Edited by Paul C
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A top person on here has driven both and told me they are "Chalk and Cheese", i'm sure they will be along.

Amateurs built the Ark

Professionals built the Titanic

"I haven't ridden in cars pulled by cows before" "Bullocks, Mr.Belcher" "No, I haven't, honestly"

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I have been lucky enough to drive both. (drive but not own)

For me the Sport 300 is/has always been the ultimate road going Esprit. So few seem to come onto the Market and certainly command really top end Esprit residuals. Bit of a sweeping statent I know, but you could probably get 3 SE's for the cost of 1 S300 but that would be down to the rarety and desireibility imo. Very difficult to put finger on why though. The looks help, but I just got that feeling of 'YES!!!' when driving the S300 especially on the Motorway when Tony (Loteuk) swaped Esprits with me for 50 odd miles a couple of years back. Just a great feeling being behind the wheel in the cockpit of that car - very special feeling but difficult to express. I've scratched the itch, but for me the S300 is most definately on the 'really wanted' list!

If you get the chance, grab it with both hands. :)

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

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... i liked the fact my SE looked more like it than later cars...

Would say - the S300 looked more like the SE than later cars... :thumbup:

The SE - for me is the ultimate Esprit Design - only the S3Turbo is maybe close - and that´s the reason the Sport300 is very desireible too - but Design is subjective.

So I´d be interested whrere the difference is really noticable - but yes - surely hard to describe... I´ll have to feel it for my own I guess...

Someone there who gives me a test drive? He or she will be allowed to drive my SE in return too... :thumbsup:

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I've driven the X180-R back to back with my 89SE, on the street and the track.

The X180-R is similar to the Sport300.

The X180-R has a full roll cage where the Sport 300 has a few reinforcements to the chassis (engine bay brace, front chassis Tee brace, and a plate bolted over the chassis hole for the shifter.

The X180-R has a ZF clutch type LSD, where the Sport 300 has a Torsen helical gear type LSD (I have added a Quaife helical gear LSD to my SE since driving the X180-R)

The X180-R and SPort 300 have the same AP racing brakes front and rear with the same Brembo parking caliper.

The X180-R has the same head and turbo as the SE, the Sport 300 has 2mm larger inlet valves some changes to the head and a larger hybrid turbo. But I've driven a modified X180-R (turbo, injectors, Memcal, fuel pressure, BOV, etc...) and a stock X180-R

The X180-R has standard 16" 3-piece forged wheels, and the Sport300 has 17" 3-piece that are wider in the rear 315mm vs ~265mm

The X180-R body is the same as my 89SE except for the wing, airdam, canards, and brake cooling ducts. The Sport 300 is lighter, thinner, bigger wing.

The X180-R has a cloth interior and special reclining Recaro seats that are very supportive and comfortable.

They are very similar cars

Compared to my SE, the AP brakes are amazing!!!!!! The LSD was a notable improvement, so I added it to my car (had to have it)! The chassis is much stiffer, makes mine feel like a wet noodle!

It will be much stiffer than he Sport300 as well. Though I can tell now after driving the X180-R that most of the chassis flex comes from just behind the shifter area where the chassis is cut open.

The X180-R is noisy due to the roll cage, it transmits a lot more noise.

The X180-R is better in that the suspension geometry is set up for anti dive and anti squat, but that isn't as noticeable. My SE feels really flat.

For some reason the X180-R shifter feels much more rubbery...

Biggest reason to own the Sport 300 IMOis to have the brakes, LSD, and the chassis braces!

Travis

Vulcan Grey 89SE

 

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@Vulcan Grey - Thanks! for that detailed answere! You write the LSD is notable - so how? The back comes earlier?, later? is better controllable?...

What setup do you drive on your SE? Original rims, springs and dampers? - guess complete 15" on the 89 model year - right? Or changed?

Mine has 17" rims front and back with 245 tires front and 265 in the back. The springs are harder and shorter too. But I didn´t drove the original setup...so don´t know the difference before/after.

O.k. and better breakes are allways a good idea :thumbup:

Edit: - well saw your pics right now - are V8 wheel i think. Definetly great colour!

Edited by Calavera
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I do have V8 wheels (235/40-17 & 285/35-18)

I also did adjustable camber like the later cars, and I currently have SPAX adjustable suspension, but I just bought some JRZ race double adjustable dampers with Eibach springs.

These

jrz-double-adjustment-spring-and-damper-kit.jpg

I am finally finishing my brake design (based on X180-R and Sport300) using Brembo race brakes

P1180303.JPG

P4150186.JPG

The Quaife LSD helps with traction all around, less wheel spin, and definitely helps put power down out of the apex. My car used to always spin the inside rear tire. You can use the LSD to tighten the line as you go through the turn, that was not possible with the open diff. It can lead to both tires losing traction at the same time, and is a bit more tricky/less safe than the open diff though. You just need to approach the limits carefully at first until you learn it's behavior.

Travis

Vulcan Grey 89SE

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

The X180-R has a full roll cage where the Sport 300 has a few reinforcements to the chassis (engine bay brace, front chassis Tee brace, and a plate bolted over the chassis hole for the shifter.

All Sport 300 apparently have the anchor points for the full roll cage too, and some of them were actually built with the roll cage fitted, it was an optional part...

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  • 2 weeks later...

I was lucky enough to own a 300 and a 350 for a while. And while i enjoyed the 300 i sold it and kept the 350. That is a seriously sorted car and i think hugely underated. I never really understood the 300 thing...it was quick..but the 350 was (and is) brutally quick with a fantastic chassis...I know this is not a common view but i regard the 350 as the pinnacle...

Ken

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Sellers remorse. Bet you wish you'd kept the 300! :D

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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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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You wouldn't if you were selling. I'm guessing that's Russell Mills car by the way.

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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  • 2 months later...

I'd ruin a 300, it's too special a car and (when not in an Evora) my Esprit is my everyday car.

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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