Friday, June 27, 2008

I check out the Lotus Elise (at the GM dealership)

A week ago I was driving by Forbes Chevrolet in Dartmouth and I saw a blue car that caught my eye. I was pretty sure it was a Lotus (which model, I am not sure). So today I dropped in to get a closer look. It is the base lotus, used, and they were asking $49,000 dollars for it. I didn't even have to ask the salesman about test driving the car... he basically looked up and said "Don't even ask. Nobody drives that car." I didn't even bother to try - and honestly - would I want to drive a 4.9 second 0-60 track car?

But he was nice enough to tell me the car came from Montreal, Quebec. Who owned it? I don't know. It's not a very practical car for sure, being a rear-engined two-seater sports car. Likely the previous owner either upgraded to a Ferrari, Porsche, or Lamborghini, or got tired of the hard ride and got a BMW M5/M6. I took some pictures with my blackberry, so I'll try and upload them during the weekend.

The seats are leather and have tight side bolsters. If you are a fat ass...this car will be hell for you. You sit really low in the car, lower than I have ever seen. The front is nasty....sort of like an ugly bug. But the neat thing is the engine - it's mounted in the rear but in front of the rear wheels. The car is especially light and has 189 bhp - not bad. The real magic is the handling and suspension, and brakes. It is a true track car with a license plate that allows you to legally drive on the road.

I priced one out at Lotus's web site. Even the blue paint costs an additional 980.00. They have 5 different "levels" of paint... ranging from base, to metallic, to "Premium", to "Personalized". It's all marketing hype. Save your money and get the base paint. This is true except for the really exotic "Moonstone" paint, which is categorized as Exclusive paint and costs an additional $5,700 Canadian. The paint looks like mother-of-pearl and has a luminescent hue that changes color in the light.

Want traction control? Ah, that's another $910. Limited slip differential (highly recommended) $2,400. But you're better off getting the Sport Pack which combines lots of these upgrades and costs only $3,250:

• Lightweight Forged Silver Alloy Wheels
(6J x 16 Front / 7.5J x 17 Rear)
• Yokohama AD07 Advan LTS Tires
(175/55 R16 Front / 225/45 R17 Rear)
• Lotus Sport Tuned Suspension
• Twin Oil Coolers
• Lotus Traction Control
• ProBax™ Sport Seats (in cloth unless combined with Touring Pack)

Sport Pack eliminates approximately 20 lbs. from curb weight.
*Removes Lotus Traction Control option if previously selected

Of course if this doesn't satisfy you, you can purchase the Exige S240 which is a Supercharged Lotus that delivers 240 bhp and starts at a hefty $73,995 (excluding delivery).

Speeding tickets not included.

Friday Fun Link: Rice Rice Baby!

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