Lotus Elan

Elan S4 1969 Versus Elise 111 1999

PostPost by: bs982367 » Tue May 04, 2004 12:40 pm

I have the oppotunity to purchase one 1999 Elise with only 12.000 km on the clock and in mint condition (only one owner and full history) for 17.000 euros.
As I am very happy with my present S4 Elan, I would only buy the Elise if this one is more funny to drive and more efficient on a track or for fast driving than an "old" Elan.(mine will be renewed with a 26 R frame).
The owner being dead, I cannot try the car (no insurance ) but I know that it is absolutely perfect !
Any advice on the matter ?

Edouard
Elan S4SE 1969
bs982367
First Gear
First Gear
 
Posts: 37
Joined: 14 Jan 2004
Location: avenue Marie Th?r?se 7 - 1410 Waterloo Belgium

PostPost by: steveww » Tue May 04, 2004 2:23 pm

Before buying my Elan S4 I also looked at the Elise. I have driven the Elise many times both on and off track and it is a great car. You will get better lap times with the Elise and have just about as much fun with the Elise as the Elan. I think the Elan is more fun to drive as it slides about more and is very easy to control. The Elise is quite a bit more twitchy when you are pressing on.

I ultimately bought the Elan because:

1) Elise values are still dropping, Elan values are rising.
2) I enjoy working on my cars and the Elan is simple for the DIY mechanic as there are not any electronic black boxes.
3) The car is just a weekend toy so practicality is not important.
4) The Elan has slightly more luggage space
User avatar
steveww
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1824
Joined: 18 Sep 2003
Location: Northamptonshire, England

PostPost by: Martin_StuartUK » Tue May 04, 2004 7:59 pm

Edouard,

My last Elan was an S4, and I currently own and run an Elise, so I am very familiar with both cars.

For what it is worth, my opinions are as follows:
1) The Elan is much more 'fun' for road use. The handling balance is better and more progressive than the Elise and as a result it is much easier and safer to set up a 4-wheel drift or tail-out oversteer in the Elan at moderate speeds on public roads. The Elise is a bit nervous at the limit, particularly in the wet, and you need to be quick to catch it if it lets go.
2) Conversely, the Elise is significantly quicker and has much higher levels of grip than a standard Elan, so for track use the Elise is quicker and more exciting.
3) The steering feel and response is fabulous on the Elise - better even than the Elan.
4) The gearchange on the Elise is awful. You can make a big improvement by fitting a quickshift kit and a linkage kit (total cost about ?120 and very easy to fit), but is still isn't anywhere near as good as the 4-speed box on the Elan.
5) The Elise is totally reliable, particularly in comparison to the Elan! The reason I got rid of my Elan was that I couldn't afford the time for the constant maintenance, pampering and checking necessary for reliability. By comparison, the Elise just starts and goes, every time, with nothing more than routine servicing at the factory specified intervals.
6) Reliability aside, the Elan is more practical in many respects - it is easier to get in and out of, more comfortable, better luggage space etc. But then thats not why we buy Lotuses, is it? Then again, I may well be forced to sell the Elise because my girlfriend is complaing loudly that it is exacerbating her back problems and that she finds it very difficult to get in and out of; since she doesn't like Elans because they feel too flimsy, it is looking like a non-Lotus (TVR Griffith), may be on the cards, next.
7) The Elise is more fuel efficient (30+ miles per gallon, compared to 23mpg on the Elan, and standard 95 RON unleaded petrol instead of 98 RON) and has cost me nothing in spare parts so far, but here in the UK is much more expensive to insure and tax (pre-1973 cars pay no road tax, and 'classic' insurance policies are very cheap). Overall running costs are probably lower on the Elise, though.
7) The Elan has a better 'image' in my opinion. It is a prettier car, and earns you a lot more respect from fellow enthusiasts and less animosity from everyone else. The Elise appeals more to small boys and women (to the point of earning me the phone number of a very attractive blonde in the supermarket carpark last week; something that those people who know me would recognise as truly astonishing!), but also makes you a target of aggression from every hot-hatch and BMW driver on the road!

Not very helpful, I know - there are big pros and cons to both cars! Both the Elise and the Elan are great cars. It really depends on what you want to do with them and what aspects of the driving experience appeal to you the most as to which car is the best.

For what it is worth though, I really regret selling my Elan and miss it a lot, despite having an Elise in the garage!
Martin_StuartUK
Third Gear
Third Gear
 
Posts: 396
Joined: 29 Feb 2004

PostPost by: bs982367 » Wed May 05, 2004 12:10 pm

Many thanks for these replies to my post.
Now, I shall select the S4SE with the following modifications:
- 26R frame and wheels for more rigidity and grip
- 1700 block for more torque and higher capacity
- injection system from my former Triumph Daytona motor bike with its EMU (extended fuel range, higher torque, more power, less maintenance)
- traditonal mods in order to get the car more reliable
I shall of course keep the genuine parts in case of future resale !
In one word, all this will improve the reliability/performances/road behavior of the car .
Edouard
bs982367
First Gear
First Gear
 
Posts: 37
Joined: 14 Jan 2004
Location: avenue Marie Th?r?se 7 - 1410 Waterloo Belgium

PostPost by: brian wilson » Wed May 05, 2004 11:29 pm

Start with a Plus 2 as it will handle better than a S4!

My Plus 2 has all your suggestions with kevlar/carbon body reinforcing.

5 speed box

c/v drive shafts

1700 with fuel injection

sprocket
brian wilson
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 78
Joined: 17 Sep 2003

PostPost by: axis77a » Mon May 10, 2004 9:04 pm

Having had 2 elises and 4+ elans (over a few years), I now have an Elan in the garage. I'd agree with most Martin says above except reliability ! The elan is as reliable as the elise - and easier to fix; if and when. I never trusted the rover parts on the elise (especially head gasket). I prefer the Elan as you can have great fun at sensible speeds on the road and on the track it may not be the fastest to lap but probably more fun than most - 4 wheel drifts and throttle steering are just brilliant. The Elise does have faster steering (less weight up front), but steering feel is probably equal. the Elan seems to mkae most folk smile - its so non-threatening and kids thinks its cool, but I got few smiles in the Elise (especially not from women), but this is SE England / london where Elans are rare on the road and Elises are plentiful.
As prices are so similar its a close call - flip of the coin - cant loose with either ;-)
Add Lightness
User avatar
axis77a
New-tral
 
Posts: 12
Joined: 17 Mar 2004
Location: Windsor, UK

PostPost by: bs982367 » Tue May 11, 2004 9:34 am

I agree with you about reliability and ease of maintenance of the Elan (I own an Europa Special too - extremely reliable) but you have to look after.
Regarding the road/track behaviour I think that a 26R frame + 26R wheels and adapted tyres will make the Elan as fast as the Elise on the track.

Edouard
bs982367
First Gear
First Gear
 
Posts: 37
Joined: 14 Jan 2004
Location: avenue Marie Th?r?se 7 - 1410 Waterloo Belgium

PostPost by: rgh0 » Tue May 11, 2004 11:39 am

In comparing the Elise versus Elan on the track

I have run my Elan against Elises on the track a few times and had no trouble running away from them in my Elan on the day . My Elan is fairly well developed for track work but is not a radical full race car by any means. I am also probably a more experienced track driver than the people I was competing against. I have never driven an Elise at serious track speeds but my observations come from following and passing them in my Elan and my epxeriences driving Elises more sedately on the road!

However for what its worth:

An Elan is just as quick as an Elise in straight line acceleration as you would expect given it has a similar weight and similar HP depending on engine development of the Elise versus the Elan. I.E. they both weigh about 700 kg and go from 120 to around 190 hp depending on the $ you want to spend

In short stop go corners the Elan is quicker and seems to get out of the corners quicker. The cars are similar under brakes going in. My impression is that the Elan is easier to thow into a short corner and come out facing in the right direction and you can get on the throttle earlier in the exit.

In long sweeping corners the Elise is quicker than my Elan, as the instability in Elan handling in these circumstances shows against most cars.

In top speed my Elan is quicker with its smaller frontal area inducing less drag but you need a steel bottom end to have the revs to achieve this.

Rohan
In God I trust.... All others please bring data
User avatar
rgh0
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 8874
Joined: 22 Sep 2003
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPost by: axis77a » Wed May 12, 2004 3:46 pm

Rohan
Thats not really a fair comparison: experienced driver in car "fairly well developed for track work" vs standard cars, in the hands of less experienced drivers. If you were to drive a standard elan back to back with a standard elise. I think you would see the advances, especially in tyre and suspension development at Lotus.

At goodwood, admittedly a faster UK circuit, my standard Elise Mk1 was much quicker than current sprint (with VJ5 cams c 135bhp), more so in the wet, with Elise suspension designed around modern tyres. Both fun, but its the Elan that I keep - being fastest is only thing and there are faster cars out there.

It was also interesting to see many of the direct comparisons Elan vs Elise when the Elise came out and also comments of the Lotus development guys .... yes the Elan was and is a landmark in handling, that's one reason I have one.... but pleeeeaase.... the Elan being the fastest, greatest etc etc ;-))

I know this is an Elan Forum; but for fairness try posting such on an elise forum :-)

Mark

PS Rohan - do you have anything to do with the clothing company of that name ?
I seem to remember reading an early 80's Rohan catalogue - meantioned the owner (tim ?) raced Elans.
Add Lightness
User avatar
axis77a
New-tral
 
Posts: 12
Joined: 17 Mar 2004
Location: Windsor, UK

PostPost by: elansprint71 » Wed May 12, 2004 9:39 pm

Mark,
The Rohan clothing dude was indeed an Elan and Healey driver in may classic rallys, he also started making repro rally gear such as helmets, timing devices, etc. He sold out of the clothing business (I think to Clarks shoes; the company has been sold on several times since then). Unfortunately he met an untimely end in a motor-cycle accident some years ago.
Rohan is also a pretty village in northen France and was a mythical place in The Lord of the Rings.

Next general knowledge question please.............. ;-)

Cheers,

Pete
User avatar
elansprint71
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 4438
Joined: 16 Sep 2003
Location: Cheshire, UK.

PostPost by: axis77a » Thu May 13, 2004 3:10 pm

Nice 1 Pete, good starter for 10
Add Lightness
User avatar
axis77a
New-tral
 
Posts: 12
Joined: 17 Mar 2004
Location: Windsor, UK

PostPost by: steveww » Thu May 13, 2004 4:54 pm

For me it is not about the lap times. I used to have a Porsche 911 RS which I could lap much faster than an Elise or Elan not to mention ScoobyDos and EVO X1V11. If you just want mega lap times on the track get a Radical nothing will touch one of those :o No brain racing driver essential ;)

The Elan is so much more fun. You get a great sensation of speed, it is very easy to slide about and you do not have to be on a track to do it, any quiet back road will do :D
User avatar
steveww
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1824
Joined: 18 Sep 2003
Location: Northamptonshire, England

PostPost by: sk178ta » Thu May 13, 2004 7:11 pm

I`ve got a 2002 111S and a 1967 S3. I love `em both but Elise v Elan on the track? I`d guess the Elise to be 10% even 20% quicker, but no more fun apart from rubbing noses in **it!
Jim
sk178ta
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 132
Joined: 08 May 2004

PostPost by: rgh0 » Fri May 14, 2004 7:13 am

Yes I have nothing to do with the clothing company guy !

The point I was trying to make is that an Elise is not a huge leap forward in handling or performance versus the Elan or Europa or for that matter my Series 1 Esprit.

If you set up an Elan or Europa to use modern tyres comparable to an Elise tyres for grip and set it up with a comparable power to weight ratio . Both of which are relatively easily done without doing any thing radical to the Elan or Europa in terms of their looks or character then you have a car that goes and handles similarly to the modern Elise and is quicker in some circumstances and slower in others. I suspect an Elise and Europa are very close in fact in almost all cicumstances if running similar tyres and similar engine powers.

Where the Elise is a great step forward is that it does all this while also meeting modern emission standards and crash worthiness standards something the Elan and Europa will never do !.

Rohan
In God I trust.... All others please bring data
User avatar
rgh0
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 8874
Joined: 22 Sep 2003
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPost by: bs982367 » Wed May 26, 2004 10:01 am

Many thanks for all of you ! Your comments highly appreciated !
I shall opt for one Elan + 26R frame/wheels and modern tyres !

Edouard
bs982367
First Gear
First Gear
 
Posts: 37
Joined: 14 Jan 2004
Location: avenue Marie Th?r?se 7 - 1410 Waterloo Belgium
Next

Total Online:

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests