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giorgiozeta

V6 Exige surrogate

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Maybe a little off-topic...but here is how I filled my empty garage, while wondering whether to wait for a 400 Exige or getting a good second hand 350 one (I've been very near to buy a nice 260 Cup too but I fell out with that cock of its owner).

It's a CSR 260, one of the three cars ever imported in my country.

Incredible performing car, huge fun, accelerates like a motorbike and makes exactly what you want whether you like to drive surgically or like a pig!

BUT after one month of ownership (without still having been able to track it) I must admit that I miss:

- the Elise S1 steering, lighter and more communicative (I don't say faster),

- the 111 chassis with the engine in the "right" place and those thick tubes between your body and the rest of the world

- a proper cockpit (especially in case of rain with a nervous wife sat nearby)

post-18789-0-79095300-1442136934.jpg

Edited by giorgiozeta

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Caterham CSRs are amazing, a great choice. A brilliant car totally mis-understood and under promoted. Caterham have all but given up on them now despite them being much more sophisticated (in terms of suspension). Overall they are better on the road but also the track. You MUST take it to a track before you do anything else.

 

However it's also interesting that you share my view that the Elise has even sweeter steering. You are also very right about safety. The extra weight in the Elise is in all the right places and the side impact protection is better than many much larger and heavier cars.

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I agree ... i used to have a Caterham 1700 Supersprint so "old" chassis, but with De Dion rear axle), but ditched it as I didn't feel secure with it, and it is a "butcher's" car regarding the handling, compared to the ballerina Elise, with its delightful steering and its mid engined behaviour !

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Both the S1 and the CSR steerings are very direct (2 turns lock to lock in the 7) but while in the Elise the feeling is great already at low speeds, in the CSR it happens to fight with the wheel in narrow hairpins where you definitely can't' keep yor hands at 9:15 but you have to work a lot with your arms.

I think it's mainly due to the position of the engine but maybe even the front push-rod system has a role, as I never felt the steering so heavy in various R300-R500 Duratec I drove before.

These S3 Cats and the S1 Elise are great already at low speeds while you have to push the CSR hard to take its best (far more rigid tube than an S3 and very fat 245 tyres)...it is huge fine at that point but then you realize it is too much for regular roads without no real protection for your body.

I'm sure I will drive back home from Imola with a big smile on my face when I'll have my first TD in October...but I'll wait that moment to decide whether to invest in costy "necessary" track upgrades (full-cage, 13" rims with softer tyres, light carbon seats) or to put back the CSR in the classifies waiting for "mother Lotus" to give us another BIG Exige.

I confess that even the GT4 idea never faded in my mind (especially now that production should increase and AP declared that no RS version is coming in this generation).

@kokostrollet: I know that V6 Cup in Rome (even if I never touched it with my hands) but it looks heavily overpriced here even with those upgrades (in Italy you must consider about 3000 euros/year of taxes for a recent 350 hp car)

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Both the S1 and the CSR steerings are very direct (2 turns lock to lock in the 7) but while in the Elise the feeling is great already at low speeds, in the CSR it happens to fight with the wheel in narrow hairpins where you definitely can't' keep yor hands at 9:15 but you have to work a lot with your arms.

I think it's mainly due to the position of the engine but maybe even the front push-rod system has a role, as I never felt the steering so heavy in various R300-R500 Duratec I drove before.

These S3 Cats and the S1 Elise are great already at low speeds while you have to push the CSR hard to take its best (far more rigid tube than an S3 and very fat 245 tyres)...it is huge fine at that point but then you realize it is too much for regular roads without no real protection for your body.

 

I'm sure I will drive back home from Imola with a big smile on my face when I'll have my first TD in October...but I'll wait that moment to decide whether to invest in costy "necessary" track upgrades (full-cage, 13" rims with softer tyres, light carbon seats) or to put back the CSR in the classifies waiting for "mother Lotus" to give us another BIG Exige.

I confess that even the GT4 idea never faded in my mind (especially now that production should increase and AP declared that no RS version is coming in this generation).

 

@kokostrollet: I know that V6 Cup in Rome (even if I never touched it with my hands) but it looks heavily overpriced here even with those upgrades (in Italy you must consider about 3000 euros/year of taxes for a recent 350 hp car)

Wow I didn't realise that taxes were so high on new performance cars in Italy.. I must stop complaining about the taxes we have to pay in the UK :) . My Caterham is a bit of a one off, narrow body, regular front suspension, but IRS, built by Owen Davies a development engineer at Caterham in 2008.  Definitely better ride and rear control that the de dion suspended cars I tried. I'll prob keep it until the exige 400 is out, is great on track, but slightly impractical getting there and back. Thanks to Lotus-on-track for another great track day yesterday, (Hethel) and for the Lotus guys for showing us a beautiful yellow Evora 400, fresh off the production line.

IMG_2825.jpg

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