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Sawda

Hello, New to Forum Specifiying a new Lotus

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Just thought I woudl say hi. Active on other forums and always found them to be a great like minded commuinity. Like most here (if not all) I love my cars and driving which has naturally lead me to Lotus. 

I enjoy track driving and wanted something relatively cost affective to run, capable and reliable and hoping Lotus maybe the answer. I started looking at used Lotuses but went for a test drive in a Sport220 Elise and found it very enjoyable indeed. I also managed to blag a pasenger ride in a 220 Cup and was impressed with the grip and that was after coming directly from a Porsche GT4. This had led me to seriously consider a cup250. I am a big fan of the new open gated shifter which is looks great, but more importantly has such a beautfiul short mechanical shift.

At around 50k its a lot of money (for me anyway) for what is essentially a toy and it will be my 3rd car. Dosnt seem to much difference between new and used 250s so newer seems better value although still open to used cars. I dont think I could look at teh CUP250 withough considering a SPORT350 so booked a test drive for next month to help with the decision making but feel like the 250 maybe more 'me' as smaller and lighter but would love to hear about others experiences.

I have specced a new 250 and quite hard being new to Lotus to see what comes with the car as standard, plus there is no configorator, but here are my thoughts and interested in others experiences:

- I can see that there is a £400 option for a bluetooth stero, is this essential? Does it come with a standard radio if it isnt specced? Not bothered about audio so would rather put it towards other options just trying not to get carried away.

- Being a CUP car im thinking not to get AIR-CON and get the 2 piece brakes instead, or is this a bad idea for resale? No idea how much weight Aircon adds (not that I am likely to notice anyway) and perhaps the standard breaks are perfectly fine for Track days and perhaps upgrad once oe set have been done? Would be very intested in anyones experiences.

- Love the carbon but seems like if you do a bit of carbon you might as well do all the carbon which is way too much money for me to justify. Be quite happy I think with the stock Alcantra pack and think car looks great in any colour so cant really see the point in going crazy with the options. Would like a hard top roof for certain times of the year, is this better/ cheaper to buy aftermarket?

With Lotus being a smaller community than others infomation has been less available, but do hope to join the fold soon and share my own experiences and join in with some events.

 

Edited by Sawda

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Hi and welcome to the forum

 Aircon is often desirable at resale, and handy for demisting  ;) if tracking with a roof on too :) Nothing wrong with 2 piece brakes.

Hard tops are cheaper when spec'd with a new car - you don't need Bluetooth radio, and I think they do still come with one fitted, but werent standard on the S cup.

In real terms theres not that much difference between the 220 and 250 cups, the 220 is more tuneable too, - however I did notice a lot of difference between my 250 and my old S2 SC.  There may be some S cups around too for sale, which are the same as the 220 - rebranded later ;) 

 

A 350 Exige is a different beast really, but an Elise would be more suited to smaller tracks and roads - but as you are testing one wait until after to decide. Haver fun and will be good to hear about your experiences.

Might be worth registering on SELOC if you haven't already, contact Will B, who's a reputable dealer of Lotuses to see whats about.

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Snows in Southampton have a Sprint for sale at the moment, lots of carbon, Seats, access panels, bootlid etc and power up to about 260 I think. A lot of car for the money?

https://www.snows.co.uk/lotus/used-cars/10474900-lotus-elise-sprint/

Edited by Jonathan E

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thanks Jonathan and Martin. Will check our SELOC as suggested Martin thanks! I also didnt think about the demisting side of things for the A/C so good point. If the Elise comes with a standard/ basic player than that will suit me fine, cant see the point in buying a £400 one when I hear its not that great anyway, could always upgrade later. Might as well bite the bullet on teh hard top if I end up doing a factory order.

I know that the car market is a little slow right now and wondered how lotus dealerships are with discounts. I have seen some ready made sport 350s with huge discounts, dosnt seem to happen as much on the Elise. Been browing for a number of months but very much closer to buying now.

Still happy to look at the back catalogues of Elises, what drew me to the CUP250 is that it is purpose made for the track and will have a 2 year warranty to back that up. After pouring loads into other cars Im getting tired of spending so much repairing and upgrading when I want to be just enjoying it and maintaining them. I am still open to tyeh Lotus back catalogue as power is very similar just no idea what models are best for say 8-10 track days a year?

On a side note, anyone use the forum on TapTalk app? I always find it alot easier but for some reason it wont let me login :(.

 

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It sounds like an Elise Cup 250 is the perfect car for you.  As Martin says the air con is worth having - you will be very glad of it as you drive home after a track day in the summer - they can get very hot inside!

If it were me i would spec the big brakes as using it on track but not bother with bluetooth or carbon (waste of money imo).  

Colour is massively important for maximum enjoyment of the car i think plus you don't want to turn up at a meet and see someone else with one in a better colour!  I have seen pics of new Lotuses in a colour called 'air force grey' or something similar which looks great, as does Daytona blue.

I would look at a brand new car or at least no more than a year old because the current front clam is a lot better looking.

Lotus have done a 50/50 finance package on new cars that i heard was good but I don't know if they still do - why don't you give Connor at Central Lotus a call? - he's a nice guy, tell him MLOC sent you 😁

I don't know if you would prefer an Exige 350 but I know of at least one guy who had one but swapped it for a 250 Cup because the Cup is better on twisty roads because it is smaller, lighter and more wieldy.  Personally I prefer the Elise too but that's just me.

I think you'll find the Cup 250 really does work on both road and track straight out of the box, and probably better than any other car full stop. Some can do one thing or the other very well, but not both, except maybe a GT3 which is hideously expensive to buy and maintain.

Have fun looking and welcome to MLOC.

If you do get one do join us for a Sunday morning run and meet in the Peak District next spring!

Dean

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Correction to my previous post - that trick colour I mentioned is called 'military grey' and it's a sort of metallic olive/grey green. It's mega.  If you google Road Racing Centre Pau and have a look at the cars they have for sale it might help - they have an exige in military grey as well as a few other colours and combinations you don't see so often in the UK.

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Thanks Dean and everyone for the warm welcome. Peak district dosunds like a great idea and if I get my Lotus (which I probably will) then I would love to join. Sounds like Aircon and big brakes are my 2 must haves. Will give connor a shout and mention the MLOC. The 50/50 is still running so makes me lean on a factory order as makes more financial sense. Will report back after my test drive on the 350 but think the 250 will be perfect if I am lucky enough.

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I'm in a similar position to yourself in respect of a new Elise having sold my S2111s at the end of the summer, only differences are that I've owned several before and I won't be placing my order until February 2020, the reason for that is I don't use the car in the winter, and I won't really have enough wedge until then to pay for it🙄.

I had a 48 hour test drive in an orange Sprint in September, there were two things put me off, one was the trade in offer on my Elise, and the other was that I didn't like the carbon seats, I found the headrest curved back into the car too much, they are designed to be used with a helmet so thats possibly the reason I found the headrest didn't fit so well, to the point of it cutting into your head when leaning back into the seat.

I was quite keen to do a deal last summer on a new car and found that there were quite a few stock 220's 250's at dealers that they were more than willing to discount, this was after sending every Lotus dealer in the UK an email telling them I was in the market for a new car(Some didn't even reply). When it came to purchasing a car to my exact spec I found dealers weren't quite so enthusiastic about doing a deal, obviously they want to get rid of cars they have in stock first, I was in no hurry, so no real problem.

We use our Elise mostly for holidays/weekends away, I've done quite a few track days in previous Elises but not many in the recent past, I'm hoping to get more track use out of the new car. I have the spec to my new car pretty much sorted but a couple of things are still in the balance.

A/C is something I've only ever had on an Elise once before, and it was pretty rubbish, I've been told by the dealer that I've chosen to use to include it on the new car as it will aid any sale in the future, its a £1250 option and weighs in at around 18kgs so I'm still very much undecided on it. The Elise comes from the factory without a head unit, you have to spec it, and at £400 mine won't have a head unit, little point really, as the roof is always off when I'm using the car, and sadly industrial deafness has pretty much done for 50% of my hearing.

The final sticking point, which is the biggest issue, is which model, 220 or 250. I've driven quite a few 220's but only finally got the chance to drive a 250 back to back with a 220 a couple of weeks ago. Theres very little in "on the road" performance in my opinion, on track, the 250 is better but certainly not stunningly better although I'm no driving God, but when being passenger with someone who knows the cars again there was some difference but not all that, unless really pushing the cars to their limit. The damping on the 220 was certainly better on the road and I'm still not a fan of the big spoiler on the 250 although it is growing on me. 

You mention a hardtop on your post, fwiw, I've had two Elises with hardtops both came with them, I sold both before I sold the cars because I just didn't use them, they're a pita to put on and remove then adjusting the windows etc, and even when I used my Elise as an all year round daily driver I found the soft top on any Elise after the S1 to be pretty good really, occasionally required a shower cape in the height of winter.

Exige isn't an issue for me, I'm not a massive fan, and its too big in my opinion, although I appreciate I'm in the minority, S2 Exige at around 260bhp then thats another matter. 

Edited by Jonathan E

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thats really helpful information Jonathan. I am unlikely to use the car much in the next few months but should a deal present itself then I might as well. As with yourself I should be a little stronger finacially come February and I enjoy a little cooper S for the potting around in and a 1m coupe for a bit more of the B road stuff so happy to wait. Rumours of a new Lotus for 2020 or at least an announcment or perhaps an updated Elise will also make a brand new Elise perhaps not the best decision.

I was looking at the spec sheets between the 220 and the 250 and there really isnt much different between them. It dosnt appear that the 250 benefits from any aditional cooling or breaking upgrades over the 220 and manily just a bump in power and aero seem to be the major differences with some adjustment to spring rating. In some respects it makes the 250 harder to justiy. Ulitimately just want a reliable car I can have alot of fun in on track and on the road and then just drive back home afterwards without any issues. I would very much love to fall in love and keep it long term.

I have also consdier slightly older 220's and 250's but they are missing that open gated shifter and still alot of cars seems to me asking mid to late 30's minimum and when you factor in warranty and ware and tear, a new one is looking better value.

I will be keeping an eye out on new CUP250's and any dealers ready to shift as you mentioned I imagine the inscentive over a factory order is likely to be greater since it will be depreciating on their forecourt.

All your first hand perspectives are much appreciated.

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I’m pretty sure there won’t be a new Elise for at least a couple of years and even then I suspect the whole ethos of the original car will be lost due to legal equipment and emission  requirements. 
This will be my final Elise, I’m not sure how long I’ll keep it, but I suspect these cars will be the last on the extruded aluminum chassis and will therefore be the last of the line. Added to that Lotus appear to be heading up market and have made it clear that the range of vehicles will be expanded substantially, that’s great news for the future of Lotus cars but I’m not convinced they will be able to hold onto the “add lightness” philosophy that they have always adhered to. To do that they will have to move towards carbon fibre which then means costs will increase. Sadly I don’t have bottomless pockets and I want a car that is relatively cheap to run due to my low budget, but still offers the thrills I enjoy so much. The weight increases over the years have been offset by the power hikes, I initially thought the 220 felt a little bit less powerful than my 111s, but found that the SC cars do need to be driven slightly differently to get the best out of them.

The last brand new Elise I bought was a 111r back in 2004, it cost around £34k, if you factor in inflation a current Elise should be in the region of £50k so my man maths says these cars are very good value for money🤣 I doubt the next generation Elise will be such a good buy.


 

 

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I purchased a new 250 from Snows, on the 50/50 plus with a massive discount on list price, was a factory order so spec’d by me and cheaper than they where asking for cup 220s that where still in the showrooms at the time, my advice is to phone all the dealerships and see who gives you the best deal. They will be some big discounts this time of year. On my 5th Lotus now a Evora but for me the 250 is the best car i have had so far.

E9CA94B0-D238-4FC8-BA34-100C67CC6077.jpeg

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The best used 250 on the market at the moment 1 of 1 i know the original owner and cost silly money when new, yes a bit high on miles but maintained to the highest standard, if I was in the market for a 250 this would be the one for me.

https://www.pistonheads.com/classifieds/used-cars/lotus/elise-s3/lotus-elise-cup-250/10115403

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I wouldn’t discount a used one as Scott says above. Starting at £35k if you’re patient, there was a white one recently at that money. That’s £15k difference between a new one! Will Blackham has a green one as well which looks very nice @ £39k.

 

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16 hours ago, lotus111 said:

I purchased a new 250 from Snows, on the 50/50 plus with a massive discount on list price, was a factory order so spec’d by me and cheaper than they where asking for cup 220s that where still in the showrooms at the time, my advice is to phone all the dealerships and see who gives you the best deal. They will be some big discounts this time of year. On my 5th Lotus now a Evora but for me the 250 is the best car i have had so far.

E9CA94B0-D238-4FC8-BA34-100C67CC6077.jpeg

That looks stunning, congrats! Can I ask when we are saying huge discounts what should I be aiming for?

 

Some really valid points being made so thank you all. If I could pick up a decent used one sub between 35-40k then I would be happy with that indeed.

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Welcome!

I'm going to disagree with quite a few of the answers you already have :lol:

Don't get hung up on the open shifter, the old style closed shifter is excellent on the Elise and having had both I actually prefer the closed one. It would be a different story if you were buying a V6 Exige - on THAT car the open shifter is a huge advantage.

Remember that on the Elise Cup, with the closed shifter you also get the much more extreme aero which to my eyes looks fantastic, although not to everyone's taste!

For my use (Elise)  aircon is a complete waste of money and is in fact a liability in terms of weight and reliability. The system weighs around 15kg (from memory) and is renowned for developing expensive problems. The Elise doesn't get hot in the cabin at all, different story for the Exige V6 which certainly does get very toasty!

220 Vs 250 - the big advantage (for me) of the 250 Cup is the extra 500rpm on the rev limit when compared to the 220.

However, the 220 engine can be aftermarket tuned to about 260bhp, the 250 engine is stuck at 250 because AFAIK nobody has yet cracked the ECU.

V6 Vs Elise - both great cars, the V6 is more expensive to run in every way, particularly on track where it guzzles fuel and is a lot heavier on brakes and tyres. Having said that it's also quite a bit faster ON THE STRAIGHTS. not so sure in the twisties! The Elise is like a scalpel, the V6 Exige is like a bloody great sword :lol:

I can't comment on your V6 Vs Elise dilemma, you really need to drive them both, I've had two V6 Exiges and I went back to a 250 Cup because I much prefer the way it handles on a twisty road. If I was looking for an Elise I would go for a used and bog standard 220 (best value) or a 250Cup (just best) :)

Good luck!

 

 

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