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i wanna ferrari

Which elise to go for?

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So I have been Lotusless for over a year now and hence I need to get back in one but just cant decide which to go for.

I sold the exige 350 last year when my daughter was born and replaced it with a new V8 Mustang as it has back seats and a big boot so is practical enough for when I need to take her to nursery etc but still good fun when I am in the car on my own.  I therefore cannot sell this and get another exige so the plan is to keep it and buy another car to go with it and I thought an elise would be ideal.  The question is which one?

My first lotus was an elise S1 160 so ive been there done that.  I had always wanted a 135R but they are so rare these days and will have a 16 year old K series so be risky.  My budget is £20k max and for that you can get a 11R but this will also be fairly old now as £20k only buys 2004 / 05 cars.  The other option is an early S3 but these have the 1.6 engine and I cant help but think that given what I am used to, this wont be anywhere near quick enough for me.

So the 135R is a car ive always wanted but I may be waiting a while for one to come along and it is likely to be unreliable and expensive to run.  The 111R will be an early one meaning that again it will probably be fairly expensive to run / tax etc and I would need to spend a bit to change the cam change point to make it nicer to drive.  The S3 will be significantly newer and cost a fraction to run of the other two but I am likely to get bored of it very quickly.

Whilst it is a nice position to be in, I just can't decide which to go for - any advice would be welcomed.  Thanks.

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Posted (edited)

You’ve owned Elise’s previously so you know where they’re at, you simply won’t find a 135r and if you do your budget isn’t enough, unless you go for a shonky one and then you’ll have to spend ££’s on it. Your price point is particularly tricky and that added to the lack of good cars out there for sale really limits your choice. You’ve already discounted S1’s and you state that a 16 year old K will be “risky” I don’t agree, and would have suggested an early 111s(although to find a good car at that price is getting harder to do) but if that’s your opinion it leaves you looking at S2 Toyotas, you might find a 111r for that, but again it will be 05/6 at best and to find a well looked after one under 20k isn’t going to be easy. The 1.6 I had a day with really didn’t float my boat, if it was the first Elise I’d ever driven/owned then it would have been fine to start with, but you really had to thrash the thing all the time to get anything out of it, and of course we’re men and we’re programmed to “bigger is better” I think the 1.6, no matter how good it is would always play on your mind and as you say you’d soon tire of it. Probably just telling you what you already know so not much help I’m afraid.

How big is the boot on an Evora?, could flog the mustang??

 

Edited by Jonathan E

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I agree with Jonathan above.  I would recommend an s2 111S.  The k series is very reliable except for the head gasket - and if that has already gone and a new type gasket is fitted they usually don't go again.  If they do, it's about £700 to fix properly so not a ridiculous amount.  The 111S has also started to appreciate slightly and so is a fairly safe investment.

I particularly like the k series cars because they are 100 kilos (ish) lighter than the Toyota cars and don't have a brake servo so pedal feel is better.  They are a purer expression of the elise concept and history will judge them well i reckon.

I also like the supercharged cars but they are probably out of your price range.

There is a nice blue 111S for sale at a garage in Louth by the way.

Happy hunting!

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On 30/03/2019 at 05:40, Jonathan E said:

You’ve owned Elise’s previously so you know where they’re at, you simply won’t find a 135r and if you do your budget isn’t enough, unless you go for a shonky one and then you’ll have to spend ££’s on it. Your price point is particularly tricky and that added to the lack of good cars out there for sale really limits your choice. You’ve already discounted S1’s and you state that a 16 year old K will be “risky” I don’t agree, and would have suggested an early 111s(although to find a good car at that price is getting harder to do) but if that’s your opinion it leaves you looking at S2 Toyotas, you might find a 111r for that, but again it will be 05/6 at best and to find a well looked after one under 20k isn’t going to be easy. The 1.6 I had a day with really didn’t float my boat, if it was the first Elise I’d ever driven/owned then it would have been fine to start with, but you really had to thrash the thing all the time to get anything out of it, and of course we’re men and we’re programmed to “bigger is better” I think the 1.6, no matter how good it is would always play on your mind and as you say you’d soon tire of it. Probably just telling you what you already know so not much help I’m afraid.

How big is the boot on an Evora?, could flog the mustang??

 

The boot on the Evora isnt big enough unfortunately plus I dont want to sell the Mustang - I like it

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Posted (edited)

Its just one of those which do you follow decisions - heart says 135R as ive always wanted one and I love the look of it with the colour coded exterior bits and blue interior plus it is said to be the best of the elises. Head says get a Toyota engined car for reliability and fact it will be newer etc.

Heart usually rules over head for me so will probably end up waiting for a 135R to come up for sale - if anyone has one that you are considering selling - please get in touch.

Edited by i wanna ferrari

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I don't think you should worry about reliability and age with an elise.  It sounds like the 135R is the car for you.

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Paul Matty have a 135 R up for sale - I've just seen it on pistonheads.  It's £26,750 mind.

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You might be able to find an Elise SC for that sort of money.  Had mine for three years and loved it to bits.  You get the rev happy 2ZZ, but with the additional shove of a neatly integrated supercharger.  Never had any heat-soak probs either.

Also owned a 1.6 S3 for less than a year 'cause it was crap - one to avoid like the plague!

My current Elise S (now known as 220 Sport) is a joyous little thing though.  It's deceptively quick, loves to be revved out, and has the added bonus of very decent mid-range torque, thanks to the switch to the 2ZR (mit supercharger :-) ).  It's just huge fun to drive - anywhere - love it!!

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